Monthly Archives: October 2018

Ongoing Developments in Education at ITM

One of the most important news coming from me as Dean of Education is that we are changing the guidelines for how we at the ITM-school should manage the written exams. Right now we are preparing a school management decision where Jan Wikander will determine ITMs guidelines for managing written exams as a complement to the KTH exam rules. The decision will be taken later on this autumn and it has been discussed (I hope) in several different groupings (so that you’ve had the possibility to influence it). One of the most important aspects in the decision is that all teachers shall send a digital version of their exams to the studentexpeditions at least three working days before the exam date. This since it’s the studentsexpeditions responsibility to print the exams, make sure all the exam guards get their copies as well as delivering it to the FUNKA unit. This means that the possibility for teachers to print the exam themselves and then deliver it directly to the exam rooms disappear.

And although the decision isn’t formally made yet, it is desirable that we implement this routine right away, for exam period 1.

In addition we are also reinstating the routine that the studentexpedition will send out an email to all the exminators approximately one week before the exam with the information on how many student that are notified, a room placement list (which shows the rooms that are booked for that specific exam) and a reminder to submit the exam to them no later then three days before the examination date.

Besides this other interesting educationally focused things are happening at KTH. The Vice Dean of Education, Per Berglund, welcomes KTH’s staff to four seminars focusing on education and quality:

  • The first one is on October 23rd and is focused on Language Policy 2.0, which is a policy for a bilingual KTH.
  • The second one is on November 12th and is focused on discussing experiences from the work done with the program analysis performed during 2018.
  • And the third one is on November 27th and are focused on a Higher education excellence program. This since KTH needs to introduce a clear incentive structure to highlight the importance of pedagogy and encourage an excellent educational environment (according to the development plan 2018-2023).

Finally I would like to take the opportunity to market two of ITMs new educational programs. From the fall semester of 2019 we will include both a Masters Programme in Sustainable Production Development (given by the Department Sustainable Production Development located at Campus Södertälje) and our ämneslärarutbildning med inriktning mot teknik, årskurs 7-9. This program gives students an opportunity to work within two professions, as both högstadielärare and högskoleingenjör.

Have a nice week!

/ Anna Jerbrant, Director of First and Second Cycle Education

ITM in Mozambique – Science Outreach

This time I want to share an experience I had last week in Maputo, Mozambique. I had been invited to give the opening speech at the conference organised by Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM). The title of the presentation was Ideas How to Stimulate a Sustainable and Innovative Research Development at UEM.

My trip started with an experience that illustrates how small the world is. On my way home from my last working day before traveling to Maputo I ran in to Fredrik Lundell. As we discussed we realised that Lars Geschwind that works with Fredrik, will get 2 PhD students from Maputo.  Then, I mailed Lars and got the information that the new students are part of a new program entitled Comparative Higher Education, Policy and Innovation Studies. In the end I could add this new happening to my talk. It would have been embarrassed if they would have asked me about Lars collaboration and I would not have known about it, especially since we are from the same school!

My talk focused on how research is done at KTH, impact, working environment as well as how to attract students to education and research. Here, I tried to give some examples from KTH where we for example use household waste as a raw material to produce both energy and bricks as well as how you can recycle cars and electronics. Specifically, focusing on important issues related to circular economy and sustainability and which are important to society as well as are attractive for potential students. Besides an audience from the academics from different countries, represents from embassies/financial institutions from Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy participated. After my opening lecture, there was especially a large interest for how we could use household waste (landfills) as raw materials also in Mozambique and other neighbouring African countries. Especially, SIDA shown an interest in future research projects in the area of landfill mining.

The technical outcome from my trip seems to be a serious attempt to write a SIDA proposal on the use of landfills to produce energy and building materials. Here, the KTH researcher Weihong Yang will be important but we expect the collaboration with researchers from the Department of Energy and the Department of Industrial Economy and Management. Another potential scientific outreach from KTH could be a project focusing on cleaning of water from metals such as Hg, Cd and Pb. I know that our colleague Gunno Renman at the ABE school is an expert in the field and I have contacted him regarding this topic.

Besides the engineering talks at the conference, I also listened to other talks in a wide range of areas:  violence against women, traffic deaths, malnutrition of children, presence of heavy metals in food, lack of clean water, agricultural methods and biodiversity in nature. This definitely helped me to get another perspective on issues of importance for Mozambique.

As I was shown the neighbourhoods at the outskirts of Maputo I experienced the many temporary houses (“kåkstäder”). Then, I thought that it would be great if we could use the solid material that is left after combustion of household waste as an inexpensive building material for low-cost homes. I thought maybe it is even possible to use this solid waste material to 3D print houses in the future. Is it really possible to combine a fashionable high-tech method with a cheap rest product to influence the life of those in need…

/ Pär Jönsson, Deputy Head of School