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!
I hope all of you had a joyful vacation. Probably those of you with children missed the snow during the first part of the holiday, since it was so warm. At least in our neighborhood the kids were excited when the snow finally came.
As the new year just started ITM gathered 45 unit and department leaders for a leadership conference during two days. The first day had a focus on learning about stress and how we as leaders could work to decreases the stress among the personnel. The lectures were given by a psychologist and he explained to us how the brain works in relation to stress. It was interesting to learn how, for example, the oldest part of our brain, the so called reptile brain, works. It takes over when we encounter danger, such as when we see a snake while out looking for mushrooms. However, it can be trained if we force ourselves to get in to situations we are afraid of. If you are interested to learn more, for example, check out “Dagens nyheter”, since they recently wrote some articles about stress and fatigue.
The remaining part of the conference focused on how it is possible to increase the collaboration between the departments as well as between the departments and the administration. This was done in four set of groups works. This is a concept that we have tried several times with good success. This time we were for example focusing on how we better could use the separate knowledge in different department in writing larger future proposals. This has already been initiated with the circular economy initiative that has started. Furthermore, it will continue with an initiative on additive manufacturing. In the future we might see other collaborations focusing on big data, teaching etc.
Finally, I wish to say one more thing about the vacation. As I mentioned it was quite warm during especially new year. Thus, when it was +11C on the first day of the year I decided to dig in my garden to see if there were any potatoes left in the soil. I find a bunch of them so that we could fix a nice dinner. Who said that you need to wait for midsummer to get fresh potatoes in the new year!
A systematic work focusing on the working environment for the personnel and the student’s is an important ITM task. As we have explained in earlier blogs ITM has appointed the following experts to lead the work in their respective area of expertise:
Each of these three persons is in turn responsible for a group consisting of experts from each of ITM’s department. They meet four times a year to discuss different issues such as needs for education of personnel, smart solutions that was found by one department and that can be transferred to other departments, etc.
In addition to the above mentioned three experts, Emelie Griplund, Katarina Tersmeden and Anton Lagerbäck from Deans Office as well as Staffan Qvarnström (ITM’s main Health and safety representant) meet four times per year to discuss the overall environmental work at ITM. During our last meeting for the year we summarized the activities during 2016 in a systematic environmental plan, which will be available on the internal web soon. In addition, we made a budget for the planned activities for 2017. This budget will be presented to the ITM board for their approval. The suggested activities include:
Courses identified by Valter, Anders and Peter to make sure that the personnel at each department obtain the suitable training.
Courses offered to all personnel at ITM including hints on how to handle stress as well as how to use a hearth starter may be used.
Sport activities, which were selected based on the input from those of you that had replied to the survey that was sent out (95 people): including massage, badminton, floor hockey, yoga, swimming and core.
I have corrected the exams from period 1 in the two classes I taught. Overall, the students performed very well which is a pleasure for a teacher to experience. Now, in period 2 I am involved in a class where students in the fifth year work on solving industrial problems in collaboration with industry. It is one of the most exciting courses I am involved in and I am looking forward to see their innovative solutions at the end of the semester.
As most of you I feel that December and the holiday is approaching in a rapid speed. It is also a time of the year that has its special feeling, since many people decorate their homes and streets with different lamps to counteract the darkness that this time of the year brings. Is not the LED lamp a brilliant technological innovation!?
ITM has received a task from the president to lead a four year initiative on circular economy. A group has been formed at ITH led by Amir Rashid (IIP). Initially, meetings have been held with participants from the departments within ITM: Sofia Ritzen (MMK), Semida Silviera (EGI), Cali Nuur (INDEK) and me. The initial aim is to inform each other on activities that are held at different departments and to identify interesting areas of future research as well as possibilities to develop inter disciplinary courses. The activities of this group will be presented by Amir at an ITM faculty club meeting on October 24 in order to both inform interested faculty members as well as to receive feedback from them. In the next step, interested researchers from other schools will be contacted (ABE, SCI, CHE and maybe others). Our aim is to work together during these four years to form a plat form for a future collaboration regarding circular economy at a KTH level.
Personally I have also been involved in some circular economy related activities. Two weeks ago I attended a workshop on circular economy in Helsinki focusing on metals. The workshop was led by Maria Wetterstrand who has a long experience working with environmental issues related to production issues. There were also people present from Finland that work on the political side. Many technical talks on recycling of steel, copper, gold silver etc., including my own presentation focusing on steel recycling, were held. Also, the workshop illustrates that several companies have invested in recycling facilities to handle for example shredded steel scrap and electronic scrap. It was also of interest to hear that some speakers including politicians claimed that we should have production of metals and mining in Sweden in Finland since we then can make sure that we take an environmental responsibility after, for example, a mine is closed down.
Finally, I must say that it is hard to believe that we have already reached the end of period 1! I was a teacher in production of metals and fiber for the third year BSc students in the materials design program together with professor Gunnar Henriksson from the school of chemistry (CHE). This year the student visited Boliden in Skellefteå to study the production of copper at Boliden and to get informed of typical jobs that they can obtain after they have completed their education at KTH. Despite that the student had to go by bus (we could not afford flying) they were satisfied with the chance to the production facility. Overall, Boliden is a company that practices “circular economy”. Your used computers and mobile phones are melted to produce new metals. Specifically, the annual production of three important metals based on 120 000 tonnes of recycled scrap is the following:
Gold 2000 kg
Silver 32 000 kg
Copper 15 500 tonnes
So, if you wish to play a role in the circular economy you could start by recycling your electronic scrap (phones, computers, etc.) so that the valuable metals can be extracted and used to produce new products!