Lab Tour at KTH

Hey Stockholmers! Have you ever thought about all the research environments happening at KTH? Well, now you have the opportunity to join different tours at the main campus to not only see and learn, but to take part in on-going projects! These tours will be having place on October’s first week at KTH.

So don’t forget to check out the event sign up here! You’ll have the chance to visit one of these labs among others!

  • Anechoic chamber
  • Lightweight Structures and Maritime Robotics Laboratory
  • Sustainable Power Lab
  • Smart Mobility Lab & ITRL

See you there!

Music Tech Fest P.2

I was mind-blown this week! Truly, the human mind is capable of so much more! There is a good reason why KTH’s motto is “Vetenskap och Konst” which translated into English means, “Science and Art”.  This week was the Music Tech Festival held in Stockholm and of course, hosted by our very own university, KTH! If you missed the opening ceremony, you need not worry, Fernando has you covered 😉

If you’re interested in the collaboration between music and technology and would like to be involved with the future of music. MTF is definitely something to be a part of; either in the research labs, hackathon or just participating in the festival. I had the opportunity to watch Imogen Heap’s acoustic performance, interview some people who were participating in the MTF labs and also participate in the moonbounce performance. Like this was not cool enough, all these happened at R1. R1 is the reactor hall at KTH’s main campus (25 metres below the Q building) In my opinion, this was the best venue for such a festival. Where else than where KTH housed a nuclear reactor years ago. Very crazy right?  the venue had a charm of its own; providing the extra “sauce” for a great week!

 

Let’s start with Imogen Heap’s acoustic performance. First of all, Imogen Heap is awesome! Not only did I get to experience her performance with just the piano, any of us could request any song and she did perform them. Questions were thrown in by the audience and someone asked for a duet with her and Reeps One; the duet was amazing! One thing I learnt from Imogen Heap is that as a woman, you can be a mom, be interested in tech still have time for other things you enjoy and soon and very soon, you might just find the perfect way to merge it all! She also talked about the creative passport (one of her projects as the founder of Mycelia. Everyone was given a QR code which gives us royalty rights for one song chosen from the evening performance. She explained that this was done so we truly understand what goes on in the entertainment industry especially as it concerns the artists. (P.S: Fernando mentioned both Imogen Heap and Reeps One in Part 1, read it here if you missed it so you understand the full picture of the awesomeness of their duet 😉 )

After the performance, I really enjoyed talking to other people in the room. I sat down beside DJ Carr during the performance and we got talking on his work. DJ Carr has taken artificial intelligence with music to another level. He creates computer-generated music and if you’re not told, you would certainly believe that a human is singing or better still,  our favourite artiste recorded the song! This means live shows can certainly be held long after an artiste is dead! I listened to some of the music he created. You know what, I would attach the video of our interview in this post. Better to hear from the horse’s mouth!

Also, I met Tim. Tim is a DJ (DJ Arthro) born with a condition that restricts his hands but Tim makes good music! In the posted video, watch out for Tim and be amazed! Tim made me appreciate the festival more as right here in the MTF labs, an equipment was built that will be attached to Tim’s chair that will make recording easier for him and even cameras with sensors so as to give Tim’s audience a better experience of him as they actually see how magic is created in Tim’s world.

Lastly, did you know it takes 2.3 seconds for the human voice to travel to the moon and back? Thanks to the moonbounce performance, I experienced this first hand! Enough of reading, enjoy the video below:)

I would recommend this event to anyone interested in music and/or technology. Personally, I learnt a lot and some were not recorded. It was a lot to take in and there were so many people doing amazing things, especially with Artificial Intelligence. In the MTF labs, incredible things were birthed forth and the amazing thing is each one was solving a problem in the world:)

If you joined this event, feel free to comment and share your experience. We would like to hear from you 🙂

Oluchi

The Beauty Around Us

Hello again!

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder but sometimes we are so caught up in the moment that we forget to realize the beauty around us. This busy life and the ticking clock makes it quite easy for us to keep chasing something, always, but sometimes, we need to stop to admire the charm around us. It was one such day to me this evening, I was struck by the beauty of our campus and I wandered around admiring its elegance and charm.

Here are some pictures for you look a bit through my eyes at our campus…

Lighting definitely makes our 100-year-old campus look extremely enchanting. The ancient lights, chandeliers and the art gives it a voice that sings a melody in the dark.

Just as they say that ups and downs make our life beautiful, it is certainly true that a little bit of darkness is needed to make the light look beautiful.

Sometimes, these bright globes give me chills down my spine, especially when am alone in the corridor and a door creaks slowly as it closes. Almost a horror experience!

I really love the way these lights cast their shadows on the walls. Simply spectacular!

Sometimes, one needs to take a moment to zoom in, look close, to see the geometry that garnishes this little platter of art. Now, do you see what I see?

I actually have no exact words to express how I feel about this tree here. There is a brush of beauty in this picture that tries to soothe your soul but at the same time, there is also a trace of mystery and spookiness that creeps you out. How could one tree and a few lights make one experience such diverse feelings?

Every season brings out different levels of magnificence and elegance in our campus. The colorful spring, the shining summer sun, the crimson autumn or the winter snow, we really must take our time to take in and appreciate this marvel that we are in every day. I definitely feel that the nights give a very unique charm to it, am sure you see what I mean now. 🙂

It’s almost very late now, the sparkling stones guide my way out as the clock reminds me that its time to head home!

I hope you will also take a stroll around our campus soon to see more of the beauty around us. It is a beautiful world and let’s promise to keep it that way.

See you!

Sindhu <3

 

Your Guide to Housing in Stockholm!

Hello Hello,

Somehow, today, I feel extra nice and blessed to be able to write a post and share my experiences with my followers. I am really hoping that we’re giving you great information and helping you understand student life in Stockholm. So, in today’s post, I am gonna focus on dealing with one of the greatest challenges of living in Stockholm- Housing!

So, let’s start with the big question- Why is housing an issue in Stockholm?

Image result for stockholm housing meme

Well, the housing crisis is a common term among the Nordic nations so to speak. Mainly because housing is well regulated here to keep rents on the same level. But, this shouldn’t be a problem, right? Well, it could be, and that’s what we are facing right now. Because of all the legislative policies, it has actually become less beneficial to construct a home in big cities like, Stockholm, so, any new apartment that is built is mainly constructed in the high-income households. Also, the labour cost is also quite high which is another factor contributing to the shortage of new homes. While, with increasing opportunities, there are increasing people and more demand which places us in an unfortunate imbalance that has caused this housing problem.

Housing for students

There are a number of ways to find housing, It is difficult but not impossible. It just requires you to plan and act up front. A house cannot be found in a day. I will keep this post mainly focused on student perspective so as to keep things simple. As KTH students, you have guaranteed student apartments for 1 year. But, you need to already start taking the necessary steps to find a home for you for the next year. Yes, this is the truth!

SSSB

Related image

The Stiftelsen Stockholms Studentbostäder is the largest student housing company that regulates housing for students in the city. To be precise, SSSB makes sure that students who belong to the Stockholm Student Union’s central organization, which is nothing but the student union, gets to find a home. But, it is not as simple as it sounds. One has to register with SSSB and start his queue. Understanding queue can be a bit tricky initially, but it is more like the number of days you’re registered with SSSB and waiting for a house. The queue days reset once you get an apartment. So, you will restart your queue counting to find a new apartment for a later period. So, if you want to find an apartment next year once your KTH apartment contract ends, then you need to join THS, which is the student union of KTH and register with SSSB. And, start your queue – Very important!

As someone who recently managed to find an apartment with SSSB. There are a few tips and tricks that I can give you which will be quite helpful to you in finding your dream SSSB apartment. One thing to keep in mind is, everything with SSSB apartment selection happens 3 mins before the deadline. That’s when people change their choices and that’s exactly when you should too. I remember I was refreshing and changing my apartment choice even in the last 30 seconds! I am not even kidding! The best way would be to not choose an apartment and be out of the focus of others and just put in your choices 5 mins before the deadline. keep refreshing and changing them until you can to make sure that you’re the one with most queue days for that apartment. Then its plug and pray as we say in the garage. Pray you will get one, you might actually. So, the last minute is the deciding factor for your apartment.

Second-hand apartments

Image result for expensive student apartment meme

SSSB actually allows students to sublet their apartment for a certain period of time if they are moving out of the city on an exchange or so, which is a great opportunity to find an apartment for half a year. You can find advertisements for these on the facebook pages of the housing areas – Lappis market, or Kungshamra pages. It is actually a promising way to find an apartment on a short notice. There are no queue days! You can find a house in a day if you’re lucky.

But, one drawback with this is that people are usually subletting the apartments at a higher price, they try to make some profit out of it and it is usually quite expensive. Nevertheless, you will find an apartment, it’s better than being homeless at least. Another point to keep in mind is that there are a ton of scammers! I have been contacted by such frauds 50 times at least! So be aware of them. Here is a nice article I found on a link in another blog which I think explains a lot on this topic.

Websites for Housing

Apart from the guaranteed KTH housing, SSSB or second-hand, the next best place to look for an apartment would be online. There are many websites that you can use but the likelihood of finding an apartment is quite unpredictable. Sometimes, people rent out one room in their apartment after their grownup child has moved out from the home, which is quite common to see. These families are usually nice to students as they start treating you as their own child sometimes, which is really sweet! But, always keep in mind of the scammers that are rampant online!

Student focused

Others

There are many websites, as I mentioned earlier, keep in mind of the scammers.

Types of apartment

Image result for KTH shared ktichen

A shared kitchen

I am sure that you are already aware that there are many types of housing options in Stockholm like

  • Shared studio apartment – cheapest
  • Private studio apartment – expensive
  • Private room and washroom with shared kitchen ( Corridor rooms) – Most preferred

Also, the prices vary depending on the location, type of accommodation, whether it is first-hand or second-hand. There is no one rule about it. It just depends on various factors.

Things to keep in mind

Image result for beware of scammers

To put it straight, you need to consider the below while choosing your apartment.

I hope I kinda helped you understand the big picture here. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments.

 

See ya!

Sindhu

Music Tech Fest P.1

“Vetenskap och Kunst”, the motto or mantra from all KTH’s students meaning SCIENCE AND ARTS. This couldn’t fit more perfectly to the event Oluchi and I were invited to, the Music Tech Festival that took place in Stockholm and that of course is being hosted by the one and only Royal Institute of Technology KTH!

The MTF is the place where you want to be if you are keen on music and technology. This festival gives you the chance to see how the music industry is shaping itself at the same time that is merging with technology, to understand and experience the music of the future and its expressions. I had the chance to interviewed some of the people who assisted to the inauguration where else than in Reaktorhallen! This place is a former nuclear reactor hall located somewhere about 25m depth the Q Building at KTH’s main campus. Crazy, right? Having a nuclear reactor just right there in the main campus, well, former as they dismantled it some years ago.

Image result for reaktorhallen

During the inauguration we had the presence of different personalities involved with music and technology as KTH’s rector, Sigbritt Karlsson. I had the chance to learn a bit more on artificial intelligence (AI) and how artist are developing new ways of expressing music through technology as teaching systems to create as humans do. Moreover, I saw the amazing British musician, song writer, mom and audio engineer, Imogen Heap! She took the chance to present “Mycelia”, an innovative platform for musicians, developers, song writers and many other artist that will be growing at fast pace to develop a sustainable music industry, where interaction between artist all around the world and connections will be taking place.

This event, that is still going on and that will count with second post, was over the top! One of my favourite presentation during the was from the London born award-winning composer, artist and beatboxer, Reeps One. To be honest I have never considered myself a fan of beatboxing, but hey! look at this guy’s job! it’s amazing! Even though this isn’t one of his most viewed videos (and trust me, he has some with over 2 million views), I found the song incredible.

This event was amazing and would totally recommend it if you are into music and/or technology. MTF had not only talks or presentations, but Labs with performances, AI, blockchain talks, etc! But you want to know more of what happened during this festival? Stay tuned for Oluchi’s 2º part! Don’t forget to comment!

My Summer at Scania and AVL

Hello friends,

The school is now open for Autumn term and I think it’s time to write about what I had been during my summer. Three months of no classes is definitely a time every student looks forward to, every year, besides its summer and this was one of the best summers in the history of Stockholm. Well, some might call it bad and some might call it the best, it all really depends on how much sun one has been used to in the past. For me, personally, the summer was too warm. Thanks to the fan I had at home.

Europe is a land of possibilities to travel because of the powerful resident permit that we have, and summer is indeed the best time for those travel enthusiasts. But then, I didn’t spend my time on travels this summer, rather I was working as a summer intern throughout the entire time. While some of my friends chose to just chill around enjoying the sun at Stockholm, many traveled across Europe or went home, which is why I thought that it would be nice to share my experiences being a summer intern so that others could also get a quick sneak peek into the world of summer interns.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work for two big companies in Stockholm this summer. I know that it is definitely difficult to find two summer internships, but then, as I always say, Sweden is a country in which talents never go unrecognized, and for those with interest and some experience, opportunities just keep pouring in. I am not exaggerating this any bit, trust me. So, I ended up working for Scania and AVL during this summer. Initially, the plan was to work only for Scania but then Scania had a mandatory vacation in-between for a month, during which AVL welcomed me with open arms and a great project.

                    

Apart from the decent money one can make, I value summer intern positions mainly for the learning one can have during this time of the year. Understanding the industry needs, and being in touch with current happenings and technologies in the industry is definitely something very invaluable. It gives a great perspective to plan your courses ahead and of course, it does look good on your CV.

So at Scania, I was working in the global Purchasing department for Sheet metals and Chassis. I know, this is indeed way out of my stream. But then, why not! I really wanted to explore things other than pure technical stuff. It was only when I actually started working there, I realized that it is a world of its own. I got great insights about how purchasing works, the processes involved, how communication is done with a supplier, be it from getting the quotation to negotiating the price, to quality control and delivery. I had the opportunity to thoroughly understand the entire process. It was a great opportunity for me to understand The Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), which is a standardized process in the automotive and aerospace industries that helps manufacturers and suppliers communicate and approve production designs and processes before, during, and after the manufacturing process. These are definitely not something I would learn from my courses. The work was not at all demanding, it was very leisurely paced and was extremely fun.

The summer intern gang!

I made really amazing friends at Scania. The summer interns also had the opportunity to visit Scania’s production line. Do you know that it only takes 6 mins to assemble an entire Scania truck? I was awestruck to see it all in action. What amazed me even more, was when the truck was done, they put the key in and it started immediately. It almost never ever happens in the garage. It really motivated me as to where I should aim and reach with respect to quality as an engineer. The awesome family like colleagues, Friday Fikas and afterworks are definitely something that I would Cherish forever.

Fika time with colleagues!

Well, to talk about my AVL experience, it was a solid technical work that I always enjoy. I consider myself really lucky to have gotten the opportunity to experience both technical and non-technical worlds in the automotive industry. At AVL, I had the chance to work with Hardware in Loop( HIL). It was a concrete project description that I was working at AVL. We were two summer interns, both from KTH who were involved in this project. Our task was to get this HIL up and running. While my specific task was to figure out the HIL with respect to AVL’s implementational needs. I was involved in interfacing a sensor and an actuator via HIL and worked with CAN communication protocol. I also played around with implementing a motor model on HIL and a model of a hybrid vehicle. It was extremely fun. I really enjoy doing hands-on technical work. And, AVL quenched that thirst of mine during the summer.

This was my Facebook status a while ago

The everyday lunches, the badminton day out with colleagues, and the amazing industry contacts I had acquired, sure made my AVL experience unforgettable.

I kinda do have a feeling in my heart that I missed my chance to take a vacation to enjoy the summer. But, then, when I think about all the amazing experiences and the learning, vacation feels like something that can surely wait. These two jobs really boosted my interest in my courses and made me gear up with an extra fascination towards my stream. It’s always fun to know more, learn more and do more. I only wish I had the same enthusiasm towards my exams. I am working on it now 😉

I hope this post inspired you or at least gave you a little experience of my summer. I am gonna go travel during the next one for sure!

See ya!

Sindhu