On November 17 KTH held its annual celebration with respect to the conferment of new doctors and inauguration of new professors. All PhD students that had defended their thesis during the period of October 1, 2016 to September 29, 2017 were invited to the celebration. In total, 198! persons defended their theses at KTH during that time period, whereof 42 were from the ITM school. This is an impressive number of PhD students. As many of you, KTH is among the top three universities in Western Europe when it comes to the number of students receiving a PhD. Thus, KTH and ITM truly have an impact on the higher education in our nearest region. For those of you that currently are studying for a PhD you should look forward to this celebration. When I have talk to doctors throughout the years they often mention this celebration. I have heard words such as “I was happy when I defended my thesis but it did not sink in to me that I actually had become a doctor until I stepped up to the stage to receive a diploma. I was nervous to enter in front of the audience at that moment, but standing there to receive applauses from the audience made me feel warm and proud inside”. I think that most former PhD students finishing a PhD can recognize themselves in those words.
History was also made at KTH and ITM during this ceremony. KTH inaugurated the first to professors at the Department of Sustainable Production Development. Monica Bellgran has obtained the position The Leif Östling professorship in Industrial Production Management and Magnus
Wiktorsson has become a professor in Production Logistics. We welcome both of these new professors to ITM and we are looking forward to follow your future progress.
The formal part of the celebration started at the concert hall in Stockholm. Thereafter, buses took the participants to the city hall. Here, more than 900 people enjoyed a fantastic dinner in the blue hall. Afterwards, a live band played in the golden hall. It was both traditional waltz as well as more modern dance music. Overall, I am convinced that the new doctors and professors will remember this evening for the rest of their lives!
Those of you that are interested in reading more about this and former year’s celebrations can read more here.
As I write this blog the snow is falling outside the window. This is a sign that the fall has left and that we have entered the last season of the year, namely the winter. During this period people like us living close to the “north pole” enters a calmer stage of our lives. It feels so nice to light candles at home and snuggle up in your favorite sofa to read a book. Of course, those of you with young children will be chased outside to enjoy winter activities. Myself, I enjoy to light a fire in my stove and then sit and try to solve a cross word puzzle.
This week KTH will carry out an internal review of the environmental work that is done at ITM, as part of their annually evaluations at all schools. During this review they will discuss many topics as well as meet many people. First, they will discuss how the management of ITM supports the activities with our working environment, including specific groups where we discuss the progress regarding our systematic work focusing on the different part of the environment. They will also review how we work systematically on how to handle waste and to decrease the waste at the departments, handle chemicals, fire hazardous materials, etc. Moreover, how we change our habits to replace travels with web meetings etc. to decrease the impact on the environment. Based on this internal review ITM will make a plan to make improvements to become even better. Remember that all of us as individuals can help to improve the environment by, for example, sort materials instead of throwing them away in the regular trash.
Finally, I wish to say some words about wellness activities to promote your health. You have a description of the wellness activities organized by ITM at the ITM intranet.
In addition, as you all know we are approaching darker days. As the days become shorter and the rain and snow appears we all feel that it becomes more difficult to find the motivation to carry out outdoor activities. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend you to fight that resistance and take a walk to get some fresh air and to catch the few glimpses of sun. When I do it I feel that I get so much energy, which I also hope you do. When it comes to other wellness activities I have given up floorball due to a problem with my knee. Instead, I started weight lifting with my son as the personal trainer. This is not maybe the best choice of trainer, since he enjoys pushing his father to lift heavier and heavier weights!
This is my first blog after the vacation, which by the way was great! I had a 3 weeks road trip in the north western part of the US, to see the red woods, Lake Tahoe, national parks and deserts. However, since the return from vacation I have already been involved in interviews to hire new faculty, been at an international conference in Qingdao in China, and started to teach two courses. Thus, working lite has returned to a normal state!
This fall, ITM is preparing a number of new faculty positions. The department of energy is seeking an assistant professor in integrated system analyses focusing on sustainable energy, the materials science and engineering department is hiring an assistant professor in materials science with a focus on mechanical properties of metals, and the department of industrial production is seeking a professor in cybernetic production systems. Meanwhile, recruitments of the positions advertised before the summer is ongoing. Me and Anton will keep you updated.
I also wish to mention some things about the environment and safety work. Our systematic work focusing on the working environment for the personnel and the students is ongoing. As we have explained in earlier blogs ITM has appointed the following experts to lead the work in their respective area of expertise:
They have their meetings with their groups, where each department has a representant. Currently, they are planning for an internal environmental revision and to discuss how environmental issues at ITM can be improved.
On October 17, we will have an internal environmental revision at the ITM school. Allpeople involved are currently being informed.
Finally, I hope that you have a stimulating and exciting start of the fall at work. However, do not forget to enjoy the coming of the fall with its beautiful colors as well as abundance of mushrooms and berries in the forests!
Currently, the safety inspections are ongoing. So far the inspections at Deans Office, Industrial Economy and Management, Industrial Production, Machine Design and Materials Science and Engineering have been completed. We are currently waiting for the written statements from the inspections. However, so far we have noticed one very positive thing. All the remarks from the 2016 inspections have been corrected. Thus the department Heads and their personnel have worked actively to improve the work environment, which is extremely important to create an attractive and safe work place.
Professor John Ågren at the Materials Science and Engineering department will retire this year. Thus, his colleagues organized a two day conference at KTH last week. It attracted the attention from both a dozen of international experts in the field as well as researchers at institutes, companies and universities in Sweden. All speakers praised the contributions of professor Ågren to both research and education within the materials science field. In addition to the technical contribution, a dinner was organized at Sing-Sing. For those of us that participated in the dinner it was a remarkable experience. Some extremely talented girls from Adolf Fredrik school in Stockholm made a breath taking performance. In addition to the music, many speakers wanted to thank John for his contributions to the materials science field and for his friendship. The most touching moment was when the current professor emeritus Mats Hillert announced that he, at the age of 92 years!, soon would step down from the emeritus position and to let John take over that prestigious position!
Finally, I wish to say that one specific sign of that spring is approaching is that the Annual step competition at KTH soon will start. The interest at different schools at KTH has increased compared to last year. Thus, this year the following schools will participate: ITM, CSC, ICT, ABE, and CHE. In addition, the university administration (UF) will also take part in the competition. This year, a lecture on health will be held both in Swedish and English at the start of the competition. Thus, we hope that this can motivate more people to increase their exercise activities to improve their health. When all details are finalized, Anton Lagerbäck will send out detailed information to all of you.
Enjoy the sun and take some moments to admire the signs of spring in the nature!
As you all know, the leadership at ITM and at the departments strive 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 requirements from the Swedish laws. As a part of these efforts, it is time for our yearly safety inspections at each department. More specifically, they will take place at the following occasions:
Department of Industrial Production: March 9
Deans office education office: March 16
Deans office Sing Sing: March 16
Department of Materials Science and Engineering March 17
Department of Applied Mechanical Engineering: March 20
Department of Machine Design March 21
Department of Industrial Economy and Management: March 22
Department of Energy: March 22
After each inspection, a document will be made that summarizes the findings. Possible corrections will be pointed out. Thereafter, each Department Head will 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 regulations. Please contact your nearest manager if you need more information regarding the safety inspection at your department.
ITM organizes several activities to stimulate the health of the personnel. Many of you already take part in activities such as badminton, floor hockey, body pump etc at the KTH hall. However, the most attended event has been the annual step competition. Initially, it focused on a competition within and between the departments at ITM. Later, it was expanded to also include the central university administration (UF) and the CSC school. The 2017, step competition will include all Schools at KTH. We believe that personnel at other schools have heard about this fun event and said to their leaders that they also wish to take part in this activity.
From the evaluation of our previous step competitions we know that many of you have said that this step competition inspired you to carry out more exercises. Of course, we think it is valuable that you make sure that your health is kept or improved by doing exercise on a regular basis. So, if you do not already have a comfortable pair of shoes in your wardrobe it is time to look for a suitable sale. Get ready for the 2017 step competition!