Category Archives: Jan Wikander

Summer is approaching

On Thursday June 15 at 13.00 the ITM School has a joint Faculty Club and Summer celebration in M1. The main focus of the Faculty Club is to discuss the first draft of the KTH Development plan 2018-2023. You all have the draft now attached to the calendar invitation in your e-calendar. By the way, this seems like a good time to remind us all about a previously announced ITM policy:

  • All employees should use the Outlook calendar for planning time, and the calendar should be open (for time slots, but not content) within ITM.

As we all know, KTH is currently subject to a quite substantial reorganization and the first reports are as earlier announced available here . In the case of integrating CSC, ICT and EES the first report outlines two different solutions, one of which implies a transition to two schools rather than the proposed one-school alternative. It seems however that our president will go for the one-school solution.

During the spring, an up-to-date slide presentation of the ITM-school has been prepared. It is available for all to download here. After the summer it will be complemented by short department presentations as well.

Summer is approaching and times are hectic in terms of correcting exams, reporting results, performing course analyses and graduating PhDs. After this hectic period I would like to wish all ITM co-workers a nice summer and relaxing holidays.

On Thursday June 15 at 13.00 (starting with the Faculty Club) we will celebrate our efforts with some prize ceremonies, some School information and certainly mingle and refreshments!

/Jan Wikander, Dean of School

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

 

 

 

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

Time for some time off

We are approaching Christmas and New Year’s Eve and I take the opportunity thank all ITM employees, students and scholarship fellows for all the strong engagement and valuable contributions during 2016. My hope is that the we all during the coming two weeks find enough time to relax, to practice our hobbies and to enjoy being with families and friends.

The annual ITM leaders’ conference which gathers almost all staff members having a management role within ITM takes place on January 11-12. Except fostering improved leadership, the ambition with the 2017 conference is to initiate the strategic work towards our next development plan. Our new president, Sigbritt Karlsson, has announced that the work with the next KTH development plan will start early 2017. It is important that we are well prepared to contribute to this work, and to deliver constructive criticism when necessary. The conference will make use of some background material which might serve as an inspiration, but also as external contexts that we need to consider when formulating our strategic plans. Here I would like to share one piece of this background material, namely the KTH Utbildningskatalog 2026/2027 .

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

/Jan Wikander
Dean of School

An interesting period to come

Yesterday there was an award ceremony to thank our president Peter Gudmundson for his 9 years at the rudder of KTH. Labans Hage – the small area between Brinellvägen 8 and 10 – was renamed in Peter’s honour to Peters Hage, and a nice piece of art was installed reflecting Peter’s background as an elite ice-hockey player.

The first KTH Management group meeting with our new president Sigbritt Karlsson takes place on Monday afternoon. She has already announced that her ambition is to have more of strategic discussions at those meeting, and little less of just unilateral information flow. Information can be passed on more efficiently by other means, she says. The topic of discussion at this first meeting will be the “conditions and situation for young researchers”. And the corresponding background material is:

Early-career researchers need fewer burdens and more support and
Young scientists under pressure: what the data show

Another topic that our new president most likely will bring to the table is a new development plan for KTH from 2018 and onwards. For ITM, this topic will be one of the main points of discussion at the annual ITM leader’s conference which takes place January 11-12. The KTH and School development plans 2013-2016 were extended with one year due to the change of presidents. For ITM we made only minor changes to the previous plan except for a new section entitled Specific initiatives which covers a number of new strategic School initiatives which have resulted from, and been developed under, the ITM Academic Development Plan 2013‐2016. You find this plan under our intranet pages.

On Wednesday this week we had the last formal discussion with the former (by Monday) president, and this ended up in a signed ITM Activity contract (Verksamhetsuppdrag) for 2017. After some rather tough negotiations we managed to almost reach the targeted level for new initiatives (faculty positions) while preserving the funding for some “extraordinary initiatives” which we have negotiated during the year. Examples of those are cash funding for PMH and extra faculty funding during the build-up period at our Södertälje campus.

As we all have noticed, the winter is here and I hope for a cross country première during the weekend! Physical exercise in any form is good for us, so please check out the ITM Wellness activities and the ITM Calendar on our intranet.

/ Jan Wikander
Dean of School