Monthly Archives: January 2017

A year of changes is to be expected

The ITM management team has for a while discussed the importance of strengthening the links and communication between the line organization and the education dimension. A working group with representation of the PA:s, directors of study, education administrators and line managers has during 2016 worked out a draft basis for new Rules of procedure for how to operate our educational programs. Based on this, a new organisation structure has been decided upon. This decision was recently communicated via our intranet, just as we always we do with important news within the School. The draft of the rules of procedure will now be further elaborated in the new GU (Grundutbildningsutskott) which replaces the former UN (Utbildningsnämnd). The time line is that new Rules of procedure should be decided upon and in operation before the fall semester 2017.

Our new president, Sigbritt Karlsson, has announced that the KTH Board has initiated the work towards a new KTH Development plan. It is preliminary said that the plan should cover the period 2018-2023 and that a close to final version should be available for the board meeting in October. Ideas on structure and content have not yet been communicated but a likely focus might be on three pillars; equality, internationalization and sustainable development which Sigbritt already has communicated.

As was mentioned in my last blog the annual ITM leaders’ conference took place on January 11-12 and was focused two things:

  1. Some first creative discussions as a basis for the next ITM development plan. A few keywords from all the group-work are: Utilizing school synergy; efficiency in support functions; impact strategies; ITM common technical or non-technical cores in research; digitalization; big data; facilities, environment and space for better synergy; culture, operations and activities for better synergy.
  2. Half a day with professional external expertise to learn and discuss how we can improve our working environment in order to reduce negative stress among all personnel.

Finally, two new tentative policies which might be introduced within ITM:

  • All employees should use the Outlook calendar for planning time, and the calendar should be open (for time slots, but not content) within ITM.
  • The default configuration for internet browsers will be the ITM intranet.

Let’s see if we get some reactions to these tentative policies!

All the best,

Jan Wikander, Dean of School

Welcome back to school!

I hope all of you had a joyful vacation. Probably those of you with children missed the snow during the first part of the holiday, since it was so warm. At least in our neighborhood the kids were excited when the snow finally came.

As the new year just started ITM gathered 45 unit and department leaders for a leadership conference during two days. The first day had a focus on learning about stress and how we as leaders could work to decreases the stress among the personnel. The lectures were given by a psychologist and he explained to us how the brain works in relation to stress. It was interesting to learn how, for example, the oldest part of our brain, the so called reptile brain, works. It takes over when we encounter danger, such as when we see a snake while out looking for mushrooms. However, it can be trained if we force ourselves to get in to situations we are afraid of. If you are interested to learn more, for example, check out “Dagens nyheter”, since they recently wrote some articles about stress and fatigue.

The remaining part of the conference focused on how it is possible to increase the collaboration between the departments as well as between the departments and the administration. This was done in four set of groups works. This is a concept that we have tried several times with good success. This time we were for example focusing on how we better could use the separate knowledge in different department in writing larger future proposals. This has already been initiated with the circular economy initiative that has started. Furthermore, it will continue with an initiative on additive manufacturing. In the future we might see other collaborations focusing on big data, teaching etc.

Finally, I wish to say one more thing about the vacation. As I mentioned it was quite warm during especially new year. Thus, when it was +11C on the first day of the year I decided to dig in my garden to see if there were any potatoes left in the soil. I find a bunch of them so that we could fix a nice dinner. Who said that you need to wait for midsummer to get fresh potatoes in the new year!

Pär Jönsson, Vice Dean