Category Archives: Vice Dean of School

Evaluation of research quality

In the academic world all researchers work hard to discover new findings, which will lead to great improvements in the scientific world. The leadership at universities monitors the success of groups/department with respect to the research quality. At KTH, this has been done at research evaluations (RAE) in 2008 and 2012.  It is not exactly clear when the next evaluation will be done, but a good guess is that it will take place in 2020.

Currently, I am in Helsinki to take part in a one week research evaluation of the materials science and metallurgy research at Aalto University, RAI2018. As a matter of fact I am also joined by our Head of School Jan Wikander, who has been invited to evaluate the mechanical engineering research at Aalto University. Overall, 45 scientist from all around the globe have been invited to this exercise. It is a very interesting experience that provides me and Jan with important input which we can share with the ITM researchers, so that they can be better prepared for a future evaluation at KTH.

One important thing with the evaluation is that each department should be compared to peers at other benchmark universities. Thus, there is not a focus on comparing department’s performances on a university level. This is very good since there exist different ways of publishing research results, having an impact on society, etc. So the focus should be on comparing how each department performs in comparison to similar departments elsewhere.

Aalto University is a fairly new university which in 2010 merged arts, business and engineering into one new school. What we have seen so far they have already been able to create new exciting collaborations. Maybe one interesting example is the production of textiles from forest-based raw material rest products that has been developed by engineers. Then, the art scientists have used these materials to produce fashion clothes that already have been shown on so called “cat walks”. Maybe later the business school will create business models on how these fashion clothes, produced based on recycled product, can be branded as a sustainable fashion!?

Overall, it seems like Aalto University has created an atmosphere which stimulates collaboration between different research groups and scientist. During the interviews it is clear that both PhD students and faculty thinks that laboratories have opened up so that basically everyone has access to all experimental equipment. Maybe something for us to think about…..

Pär Jönsson, Vice Head of School

Result of external revision and new Docents at ITM

The external revision of KTH and ITM to determine if we meet the environmental standards described in the Swedish standard ISO 14001 took place on April 16-20, for the ITM school. At the end of the revision week, it was clear that KTH passed the revision. I cannot refer to the whole document, but I wish to share some good examples from ITM that was highlighted in the revision document:

  • Minor field studies in the education, especially at INDEK (Anna Jerbrant)
  • Movie on “not another brick in the wall” illustrating the production of bricks and gases from landfill waste (New Mine – Weihong Yang project leader)
  • Digital information in form of youtube movies by, for example, Mikael Ersson
  • Documentation of impact of projects leading to an improved sustainability (Adde Jeihouni and Charlotte Flodin )

Many people were involved in the work with the external revision, but I especially wish to thank Adde Jeihouni and Charlotte Flodin,  who were responsible for the preparation and administrated of the ITM revision work. They did it in an excellent manner!

As I have discussed before, new Docents are important for ITM since they increase the number of people that can act as main supervisors.

Pavel Ramirex Lopez from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has become a Docent in Casting. On Friday April 13 he held a Docent presentation entitled “Casting Research at Swerea MEFOS: Past Activities, Present Challenges and Future Perspectives”. The audience were close to 70 people, since it was held in connection to  department meeting organized by the Department Head Annika Borgenstam. Docent Ramirez is employed by Swerea-Mefos, but after becoming a Docent he will participate in both research and teaching at KTH.

Pernilla Ulfvengren from the Department of Industrial Economics and Management has become a Docent in industrial technology focusing on socio-technological systems. On Friday April 20 she held a Docent presentation entitled “Safety and change in sociotechnical systems”. The audience were 20 people mainly from the department.

Finally, I want to say that it was marvelous to finally get some sunny weather. I hurried up to plant potatoes in buckets and two new cherry trees in the ground. I could not wait any longer for the spring to come, after this long and cold winter!

Pär Jönsson, Vice Head of School

External revision and conferences

In my last blog I discussed the yearly safety inspections that ITM planned for March. By now we are waiting for the comments from Avanova for each department. Based on this each department will make a plan to correct possible less satisfactorily issues that came up during the inspections.

This time I wish to inform that an external revision of ITM’s work with environment will take place on April 16. The purpose with the revision is to make sure that ITM, as well as all schools at ITM, meet the environmental standards described in the Swedish standard ISO 14001. The ITM work is being administrated by Adde Jeihouni and Charlotte Flodin. Those of you that will be involved have already been contacted and the rest of you will get to know the outcome from the external revision when the report is written.

As a researcher my latest weeks have been full of traveling and new experiences. In the beginning of March I left Stockholm, which had just received lots of snow, to travel to Phoenix in Arizona. This was a contrast since the temperature was 20 to 25 C and the sun was shining all the time. It felt like a great break from the darkness in Sweden. I attended the yearly conference given by the minerals and metals society, TMS2018. It is a huge conference where it is difficult to find people. However, it is also a great meeting place where you can establish new contacts.  Here, I presented some work on how to determine inclusion cleanliness online during steelmaking. I got some good input that one of my PhD students could use in the future.

After a short stop in Stockholm I travelled to Japan to attend the annual spring conference organized by the Japanese steel society. I presented some work done by another PhD student on the use of recycled slags for neutralization of waste water in the steel industry. Again, I received very valuable input to the student’s research from the Japanese steel community. Also, I established some contact so that the PhD student can carry out research in Japan 2019, which he really is interested in.

Overall, my presentations and interactions with other researchers have paid off. Not only did I get valuable input that my PhD student scan use, but I also got some new information on new eco-friendly steelmaking processes that I can implement in the education.

/Pär Jönsson, Vice Head of School

Safety inspections

Our yearly safety inspections represent an important event to make the working environment at ITM’s offices and laboratories of highest standard to create a safe and inspiring working environment as well as to meet the Swedish law requirements. As a part of these efforts, it is time for our yearly safety inspections at each department. During the safety inspections an expert from Avanova will also participate. The specific days for the safety inspections are the following:

  • Department of Materials Science and Engineering: Wednesday February 21
  • Department of Learning: Wednesday March 28
  • Department of Industrial Production: Wednesday March 7
  • Deans office education office: Thursday March 8
  • Deans office Sing Sing: Thursday March 15
  • Department of Industrial Economy and Management: Thursday March 22
  • Department of Sustainable Production Development: Wednesday March 28
  • Department of Energy: Wednesday April 4
  • Department of Machine Design Wednesday April 11

The outcome of the safety inspections will be a document that summarizes possible corrections that need to be addressed. It is each Department Head’s task to make a plan to specify how and when these corrections should be completed in order to meet our standards as well as to meet the laws and regulations. Please contact your nearest manager if you need more information regarding the safety inspection at your department.

For those of you with kids an important time of the year is coming up next week, namely “sports week” (sportlov). Most of you will most likely plan some winter activities and I wish you a pleasant time. However, I will take a short break in the desert in Arizona. Shorts and t-shirt, swimming in pools, Mexican food…  Sounds good or what do you think?

Pär Jönsson, Vice Head of School

Docents, important people in the PhD education

Docent is a title, which enables a person to act as a main supervisor for a PhD student. It should be noted that it is only a title and it does not influence the employment of a person. Thus, this enables external people to apply for becoming a Docent. This is a good way for us at ITM and KTH to build strong collaborations with, for example, institutes. We already know that we have many external PhD students today and for example at institutes. If we build up an improved supervision knowledge at the institute the external PhD student can get an improved supervision on the site where they are active, as a complement to the supervision from the KTH supervisor.

The procedure for becoming a Docent has changed from January 1, 2018. Similar to before, the scientific qualifications are judged by an external expert. Thereafter, the Docent Committee’s task is to judge the pedagogical aspects of the person. The committee consists of a chair person, two teacher representatives and one student representative. The latter is selected by the KTH student organization THS, but is most commonly the elective student representative for each doctoral program. Finally, if the Docent title is granted a diploma is presented at a seminar where the candidate gives a lecture.

Currently, we have a dozen of Docent applications that are in progress at ITM.  If you wish to learn more about a Docent seminar you have a chance on February 14 at 14.00. Lei Feng will give his Docent lecture and receive his Docent diploma in room B242 at Brinellvägen 83.

I also wish to inform you that Professor Natalia Skorodumova has become a new member of the ITM team this year. She will be the vice chairperson in the recruitment committee for hiring of faculty as well as for the Docent committee.

Finally, I wish to say that it is nice that the days are getting longer week by week. For me the need for day light seems to increase in importance as the year goes by. Is this a sign of that I am getting old or simply a craving for the D vitamin from the sun?

/Pär Jönsson, Vice Head of School