Matti Kaulio new Head of Department at INDEK
Interview with Matti Kaulio recently appointed as the new Head of Department at INDEK
Tell us about yourself, your background and how you came to INDEK
In short, I hold a Master of Science and a Ph.D. both from Chalmers. I moved to KTH in 2002 and I am driven by a will to create an international environment at INDEK as well as an increased cooperation between industry and academia
You were earlier at the unit Industrial Management (Head of Unit amongst others), is there something from your time there you want to take with you in to your new work as Head of Department?
We started a process of improving our research activities at the unit of Industrial Management (IM). No radical ideas, rather minor coordinated incremental improvements. For example, we started “Writing Thursday’s”, which refers to a writing day organized by the Ph.D. students themselves.
We held an intensive Case Methods course and we initiated what we called Retrospect and Prospect, seminars looking backwards and forwards. None of these activities where very formal but the overall goal was to create a spring board for focusing future research.
Other activities that has influenced me is the EDIM (European Doctorate in Industrial Management) research school and my period as visiting professor at POLIMI (Technical University of Milan). EDIM is probably the most important change that have encountered INDEK during the last five or ten years. Due to EDIM INDEK has moved from a typical Swedish university institution to an in the international department. A challenge for the future for INDEK is how to keep, develop and exploit EDIM in order to be a true player in the “European league”.
How do you look on the future for INDEK, do you already have a plan for research or teaching etc.?
At POLIMI I had the pleasure of getting insight into a research environment that was strongly geared toward publication as well as much more internationally oriented than ours. To some extent you could almost talk about the environment as a “paper machine” with a high focus on output and a few professors who had publications in Nature. The culture, rather than formal structures was generating the drive. This is something we need to learn from. At INDEK our quality of what we publish is good, however, the quantity of what we produce is far too low.
INDEK is a Department with much teaching and this is another area where we cannot relax. We need constantly discuss priorities, re-structure programs and courses. An area I see as important in the short term is to focus on our largest courses. This is an activity were the Management Team of INDEK already have initiated work.
Yet another area where INDEK can improve is our presence on the Web and e-learning. This is one of our weakest areas, and yet crucial for the future. The Management Team of the Department has already this on the agenda but much more is needed.
What are you doing outside the work?
Family, cooking, and travelling are some areas which I like. In addition, I have an emerging interest for cycling, both as mean for transportation and as exercise, and a newborn interest for skiing. I hope to develop both these areas more in the future.
Anything else to add?
I am looking forward to continue develop INDEK together with all colleagues.