Skip to content

With the vacation in sight

Portrait of Kerstin Jacobsson
Kerstin Jacobsson, University Director.

The half-term break for the 2024 year of operation is almost upon us, which is probably welcome for most people. How much rest from work there will be and when it will be varies depending on what function you have at KTH. There are activities that are always going on and others that take a more clear break.

In any case, we can pat ourselves and each other on the back encouragingly for doing what we can during the spring semester to provide good conditions for KTH’s education and research now and in the future.

The immediate results of the ongoing development of our campus environments and the preparations for moving from Kista and Södertälje, the efforts to balance our finances, the activities within the Education of the Future programme, the strengthening of our collegial organisation and the development of the University Administration may not be immediately visible. What I do see, however, is a greater awareness that everything is interconnected and that it is possible to lean development on KTH’s new vision and goal document.

I have a personal goal that I will be thinking about a little more this autumn – how can KTH become the smartest authority in the higher education sector? We are subject to countless laws and other regulations, we are given special assignments and we are scrutinised a lot and often. If we manage to handle this in a slightly more thoughtful and smart way, we will save a lot of people’s time and energy in the University Administration. As a nerd on university management in general, it is more of a relaxation than extra work to ponder this on the cliffs of northern Halland.

I wish you all a really nice summer and see you in the autumn!

Kerstin Jacobsson, University Director

Everything is new, and just as usual

Man in googles.
Erik Edstam, Head of Adminstration at School of Engineering Sciences

When we came back after the Easter holidays, everything was new: we were split into several departments, many had new managers and posts had changed names. What would everyday life look like now, and how would we meet the needs and wishes of the institutions? The answer to both questions turned out to be the same: just as we have always done.

A University Administration and support that makes it easier for teachers and researchers to fulfil their missions is not a new feature of school operational support, but the very core of the mission. It is through co-operation with and understanding of institutions and school management that we can best contribute; this is true now and has been true for all the years I have worked on school issues at various levels. Being part of a cutting-edge research and education environment is of course a real bonus!

The work in the University Administration is characterized by close and unpretentious cooperation between functions and people, regardless of which department they happen to belong to, and evolves together with new requirements and needs. A new organisation creates new challenges but also new opportunities, and it is my absolute conviction that in time and over time we will evolve to become even better – together.

Erik Edstam, Head of Administration (acting) at the School of Engineering Sciences

Time flies

Britt-Louise Henriksson, Head of Administration/Responsible for HR within UA.
We have had some major practical developments during the year that have affected many staff in the University Adminstration to a greater or lesser extent.

The UA departments established at the turn of 2022/2023 within the schools were moved financially from schools to UA in January 2024, and the finance, communication and human resources areas were co-organised from April.

There have been some practical challenges in the organisational changes and in this case it has, among other things, been linked to permissions and accessibility within our various administrative system supports. Everyone has worked together to make things run as smoothly as possible and the issues have been worked through and resolved over time.

This has also provided opportunities to find new, common and perhaps even better/more efficient solutions when something “needs” to be addressed. It is instructive to see how things are interconnected and affect each other, where you might least expect it.

Forward-looking work is under way to establish routines for monitoring operational support and to work on achieving financial balance.

Development work is leading to new opportunities…

Britt-Louise Henriksson, Head of Administration/Responsible for HR within UA.

KTH Innovation supports the work of transforming research into innovations

At KTH, knowledge is created every day. At KTH Innovation, we have the privilege of meeting those who want to do something extra: to ensure that knowledge also spread in society and benefits more people. We meet over 400 teams with new ideas every year, from different apps to hydrogen and quantum technology.

The second paragraph of the Higher Education Act stipulates that the knowledge and expertise generated must be put to good use.  Our researchers have enormous potential to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society. The results of their research can create new products and services that can reduce emissions, improve people’s health, or simply make people’s lives a little easier and more enjoyable.

However, those of us working in operational support know that they already have their hands full. They have to teach, apply for funding, publish, and manage their research. We also know there are rules around secondary employment, intellectual property and the teaching exemption, which can be perceived as complex. Therefore, we must make it easy for them to go the extra mile and explore how and where their research could benefit more people. We also need to be brave, and dare to support them in that endeavour even when it feels like we are breaking new ground.

As part of the work to create a more coherent support, we look forward to a more harmonised approach that creates the right conditions for transforming research into innovation across KTH. Contact us at to find out more!

Lisa Ericsson, Head of KTH Innovation

Mutual respect in change

Woman in googles and midlong hair.
Charlotta Andersson Lund, Head of the Property Department.

Have you been affected by the new pandemic? The meeting pandemic at KTH. I meet colleagues at meetings every day, but it is during the breaks at the toilet queue and at the coffee machine that we have time to chat. During these necessary breaks, almost everyone realises that there is a lot going on at KTH at the same time.

There are many change projects going on in parallel. The merger of the University Administration is one of these long-term projects that started in 2022 and will last until 2026.

A major change that affects and will affect us is the programme for the relocation of operations in Kista and Södertälje. The Property Department participates in the programme group and in programme support. It is part of the property department’s responsibility to plan and ensure the implementation of construction projects, such as tenant adaptations and adaptations to the physical work environment of the university’s premises.  The Property Department works with the aim of creating well-functioning premises adapted to the activities.

When changing a facility and its utilisation in order to improve efficiency, it is important to implement it according to established processes. For example, to consider what our priorities are. Is it time, quality or finances? Good planning can save resources and avoid late programme changes, which are often costly.

To lead in change is to understand the processes going on in each of us. To achieve a safe, trusting and permissive work environment, we need to understand each other’s mission. Be curious about each other’s knowledge and have faith in each other’s abilities. I often encounter this when I stop at the coffee machine and get a much-needed break.

Charlotta Andersson Lund, Head of the Property Department