Category Archives: Jan Wikander

Christmas vacation is close, but week five next year is as exciting!

In week five next year KTH inaugurates together with Södertälje Science Park a brand new campus for our Department of Sustainable Production. The whole week is full if exciting activities and seminars. Here are just a few examples of the more than 25 topics covered:

  • Open house in the new premises – come and have look!
  • Cyberphysical systems in logistics and production!
  • Smart factories in Korea and Sweden!
  • KTH-Lean: Leadership, holistic workflows and systematic improvements!
  • On the way to heavy vehicle platooning!
  • VR-glasses and GO-PRO in pharmaceutical production!
  • Last but not least Kristina Palm and the undersigned will explain how we, together with colleagues, made it all happen!

You find the full program here

Every year during the fall there is a process of “negotiations” between the KTH schools and the KTH president. This year it has been a bit different from previous years, the reason being that we have a new president and after 1st of January we have a new organisation with five instead of ten schools. Based on this ITM has analysed how we perform and how we are funded in comparison to the other four schools. This has led to the following conclusion which we have submitted together with a comprehensive analysis and more concrete areas where we need more resources:

The ITM School has the lowest base funding (fofu-medel) of all schools. ITM performs better than the KTH average in terms of PhD graduation. ITM performs as good as the KTH average in terms of attracting external funding (where we now see an increasing trend and expect to perform better than the KTH average from this year on). ITM succeeds in this despite the fact that we deliver a huge education volume in relation to our limited base funding. The conclusion is that our base funding (fofu-medel) must increase substantially through a specific president’s strategy in order for the current School management to take continued responsibility for the Schools positive development on par with the other schools”.

On Wednesday, December 13, we have the next negotiation meeting with our president. If the meeting is successful we will be close to a finalized activity contract, if not the discussions will continue….

Finally, I wish all personnel, guests and scholarship holders a very nice and rewarding Christmas holiday!

Jan Wikander, Dean of School

Changes and planning

The ITM School will from January 1st be welcoming one more department – Department of Learning – which basically corresponds to the more academic part of the current ECE School. The remaining part is the KTH Library which will be organised under the central KTH administration. A working group including me, Arnold Pears (head of Department of Learning), Maria Haglund (head of the KTH Library) and Anders Lundgren (head of KTH Administration) is now working out the details of what and how this transfer of organisations will be performed. The Department of Learning will remain in its current premises.

Our president – Sigbritt Karlsson – is about to request development plans 2018-2023 from the KTH Schools, the tentative deadline is set to end of June 2018. This will be one central topic of the annual ITM Leaders’ Conference which takes place January 11-12 2018. The school will, in one way or the other, try to involve as many as possible in the process of creating the next development plan. Our strategic council with external and internal representatives (Anna Jerbrant, Jenny Janhager Stier, Claes Tisell, Jessica Matz Hammarlund and Charlotte Holgersson) will at its next meeting on March 7 have the development plan as the main topic. Discussing with the internal representatives is one way to be involved.

On December 18 in the afternoon a combined Faculty Club and end of year come-together will be arranged. The topic of the faculty club will be a discussion on how we perform and use course analysis to stay on top!

Jan Wikander, Dean of School

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