Stepping up premises and infrastructure

In an earlier blog I wrote something like this:

In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2012) the ITM School achieved reasonably good results, and in some cases best in class. A point that was made by one of the review panels was that we could gain a lot by better integration over department borders. In particular this was pointed out between the departments of Production Engineering and Machine Design. This, together with urgent needs on the one hand from department expansions, and on the other hand from needs of our education programs, have triggered a recently started project to modernize our premises at Valhallavägen.

This project is now entering into its second stage. The result of the first stage can be studied here, where it, towards the end, can be seen that five different paths forward are presented as possible alternatives. The naming of the initiative – ITM Innovation arena – should not be taken too literally, it is all about improving the premises, the working environment and the infrastructure to enhance education, research, innovation and collaboration. Last month, we decided do go forward in a second stage with two of those alternatives (alternatives 1 and 5 in the document).

Alternative 1:

Three arenas, one larger in the M-quarters, and two smaller at MSE and INDEK. Existing office and laboratory premises are re-built for more efficient space utilization and with new functionality for meetings and collaboration. Our activities are exposed through more welcoming entry-points facing the central campus pathways, and are strategically opened up for better visibility. In the M-quarters, existing buildings are physically connected via new spaces.

Alternative 5:

Two arenas, one even larger in the M-quarters, and one smaller at INDEK. The main difference to alternative 1 is that the larger arena in this case also includes MSE, otherwise with the same ambitions.

What happens now? The current project leader, Sofia Ritzén, is now forming several working groups to look closer into the needs and integration principles of the following:

  1. Workshops and prototype centre, maker space, physical model building, communication media production.
  2. Research infrastructure, the needs of both departments and centres.
  3. Spaces for innovation, entrepreneurial activities, collaboration and mobility with industry and society.
  4. Students and education
  5. Reception, visibility, conferences, meetings, coffee shop, faculty club
  6. Office work – typical activities and needs, work processes, flexibility

In parallel to these working group activities, the KTH central unit for premises development will together with external architects go forward on building volume estimations, coordination with Akademiska Hus and cost analysis. Both the ITM and the KTH central process are scheduled to be finished during the fall 2017.

We have established an area at the ITM intranet where the idea is that the progress in various ITM-overarching development projects will be published.

/Jan Wikander, Dean of School