Industrial Collaboration

The Mechatronics and Embedded Systems division at KTH provides excellent opportunities for industrial collaboration - from student projects, BSc and MSc thesis projects to PhD projects.

Information for companies interested in offering Advanced Course (team) projects (MSc level)

The two project courses:

The Mechatronics Advanced Course (“HK”) runs from late March to December, and the Embedded Systems Advanced Course (“ES HK”) from September to December. In these courses, between 50 and 70 students work with industrial development in collaboration with companies.

The project courses should result in a demonstrator or prototype built in collaboration with the client company. Following a pitch from the company, student teams will consider the problem in an initial meeting with the company rep(s). Thereafter, the teams are encouraged to get regular feedback from the company and maintain discussion about how the project should proceed.

The student teams:

Our students are nearing the end of their studies and are recruited from various 5-year degree programmes at KTH: Mechanical Engineering; Vehicle Engineering; Industrial Engineering, Design and Product Development; and Electrical Engineering. Some come from foreign universities to take our 2-year Masters programme in Engineering Design. All Masters level courses at KTH are given in English.

In a typical HK project, we team up 8-10 students from different engineering programs and a subject-relevant supervisor from KTH. All teams have access to professional workspaces, tools and materials for the prototype development. Whilst the students work mostly at KTH, we do prefer projects where some relevant work can be performed locally at the company. The student teams are responsible for their own budget and for ensuring close collaboration with their company representative(s).

What collaboration entails:

In addition to a relevant and challenging problem, we look for projects with as much involvement from the company as possible. During term time, we like the company to appoint at least one fully informed representative to be on hand as the product owner for the students to have contact with. We ask that all companies involved in a project send at least one company representative to the student presentations to provide valuable “real industry” feedback to their ideas. Whilst your main detailed feedback is to your own team, your input on the other projects is of great value to the students.

There are no KTH fees payable by a company involved in a HK project, but it is assumed the company will pay the costs of prototyping - materials, components, workshop costs, etc. Normally a budget of 50 KSEK is enough for a mechatronics project and 25 KSEK for an embedded systems project.

Other well-received contributions from a collaborating company could include a site visit, a guest lecture / workshop from a specialist engineer, Master thesis project work and so forth. Companies will also have the opportunity to take part in recruitment events targetting Mechatronics and Embedded Systems MSc students.

Please contact us if you have a project idea for one of the HKs:

Mechatronics:  Björn Möller <bjornm@md.kth.se> , 08-790 8072
Embedded Systems:   Lei Feng (lfeng@kth.se) , 08-790 7649

[ Frequently Asked Questions  eg Typical Timeline, Intellectual Property Rights etc]

Information for companies interested in offering Master Thesis projects

The Master Thesis Project (known as “exjobb” in Swedish) is an individual project undertaken by all MSc students in their last term, usually in collaboration with industry or sometimes with an academic research group. The total amount of work per student should be equivalent to 20 weeks / 4.5 months full-time work and gives 30 credits.

What is involved in being the Industrial Supervisor for a Masters thesis?

A thesis is an independent effort and the student is expected to shoulder the informal project manager role during the work. However, being an Industrial Supervisor will take some time. You should have close contact with the Student to ensure that work is progressing as it should. The Student may also need to use your knowledge and your network of contacts to carry out the work. Regular contact between you is very important for the Student to be able to do a good job.

Normally, the company will provide work space for the student for the duration of the project.

Three weeks after starting the thesis work, the student submits a planning report to their Industrial Supervisor and their KTH Supervisor. This report should include an account of the thesis project background, purpose and boundaries. The report should also show an activity plan for the project and when these should fall and may well also include a risk analysis of the project.

When the thesis work is finished, students should submit their report to their KTH and Industrial supervisors in good time in advance of the final deadline. When the report is sufficiently complete, it will be put forward for presentation and grading.

All theses will be presented orally at a publicly announced seminar at the department of Machine Design.. Industrial supervisors are very welcome to attend the presentation that takes place at KTH. It's always interesting to hear the company’s views in connection with the presentation. Typically, the Student will also present his/her thesis work at the company.

IP rights and patents: According to Swedish university regulations, students have the right to their intellectual property and result from any project performed within the context of a course or a university project. In many industrially related thesis projects, the company sometimes require that the student sign a declaration waiving the right to the intellectual property and results of the project. In these cases, the recommendation from KTH Machine Design is that the student is treated as an employee of the company, for example being registered as an inventor on the patent application and financially rewarded.

Before offering a project, it is important that the company understands that MSc theses are public documents. If sensitive information is required for the Student to cope with their thesis work, and/or if you suspect that the report may contain sensitive information about your company, this must be discussed with KTH before work begins. In general, KTH policy is that confidential reports are inappropriate, but exceptions can of course be made.

Insurance & Costs: Typically, students are not employed or paid by a company during their Master Thesis work. Some rewards, financial or otherwise, can be given but are not compulsory. The Student is insured by KTH Royal Institute of Technology's accident insurance if the Student is registered for the project and if the damage occurs in Sweden. Where an employment relationship is deemed to exist, the student is no longer covered by KTH accident insurance.

KTH has comprehensive rules and guidelines for the thesis, which are available at: www.kth.se/en/itm/inst/energiteknik/utbildning/examensarbeten/instruktioner-vad-nar-och-hur-1

If you have a Master Thesis project idea, or would like students to contact you with their own ideas within your field, please contact Damir Nesic <damirn@kth.se>  in the first instance.

You can also advertise for project students through the KTH Exjobb Portal: www.kth.se/samverkan/exjobb