Shreyas stayed in Sweden to analyse propulsion systems for satellites
Shreyas Chandrashekar graduated from the master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering in 2017. He now works as a Mechanical engineer at Gomspace Sweden.
Hi Shreyas, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working as a Mechanical engineer at Gomspace Sweden, which is located in Uppsala. My work deals with design and analysis of propulsion systems for satellites. As a subsidiary of Gomspace, we manufacture cold gas propulsion systems for customers in academic, government and commercial markets.
What is a regular day like at your job?
I find it really exciting to work at Gomspace Sweden because I encounter challenging tasks every single day, which keep me motivated and enthusiastic about my work. On a typical day I arrive at work at 08.30. The first thing I do is to grab a cup of tea, start my laptop and get set for the day. I kick start by listing all the tasks that should be completed for the day, based on their level of urgency and importance. I then check my emails and calendar in order to plan my meetings for the day. I try to schedule the meetings for the latter half of the day as I like spending the effective morning hours completing tasks from my to-do list.
I use software tools in my work such as SolidWorks for design-related work and COMSOL for analysis work. I develop and modify new or existing designs for the projects I’m currently working on. As a part of the analysis work, I analyse whether the designs are structurally or thermally stable enough to be used for the space missions. Some of the tasks also involve me going into the lab and inspecting components or parts that I have designed. I sometimes also help with assembly and integration-related tasks inside the lab, when required.
In the post-lunch hours I attend meetings that I have scheduled for the day to discuss project status, results from my analysis or design work with my colleagues. I believe meetings are a great way of getting a sense of direction in the work that I do.
Why did you choose this programme at KTH?
My passion since my school days was to pursue a career relating to space technology and KTH had just the right courses for me to get started on this track. Before deciding to move to Sweden, I made sure to carry out an in-depth check of the programme, the course, research work, the faculties and the environment. I contacted some of the students who were already studying at KTH and I got really good feedback from them about how the education system works.
I was very attracted to the programme’s structure. The first semester involved basic and fundamental courses that would really help me build a solid foundation. The second and third semester contained a wide range of courses to choose from based on my interests. I was free to choose the courses that were in line with my career goals and I could also drop courses that weren’t relevant to me. This kind of flexibility was something that made me comfortable with the university.
The final semester of the programme required thesis work to be completed at the university or at a company. This is an extremely important aspect of the programme because this is where you can
showcase your skills and expertise on the subject to future employers. Also, it gives you an opportunity to specialize in one of the subject areas of the programme. All of these aspects led me to choose this programme at KTH.
Are there any insights or knowledge you acquired during your studies that have been particularly useful for you in your career?
I cultivated many skills during my studies at KTH that are still helping me in my career. In my second year I was involved in multiple satellite projects and courses, as well as being a teaching assistant. My involvement in these areas not only helped me build a strong foundation on a technical level, these diverse experiences also helped to enhance my skills in planning, organizing, team management and delivering results on time. While I was a teaching assistant on one of the courses, I helped guide students with their projects, thus improving my communication and interpersonal skills.
These skills are necessary to build as an individual and I’m glad I was given these opportunities at KTH.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now I plan to stay in Sweden and continue working here in order to develop my expertise in propulsion systems, which I’m quite excited to be doing at Gomspace Sweden. In the near future I would like to be given more responsibilities and develop in this area.
I also wish to travel as much as I can within the EU to explore the many cultures and beautiful landscapes. There are so many places to visit and so many stories to be told.
What would you want to say to a student who was thinking of applying for this programme?
It’s going to be a lot of fun here with different courses and amazing teachers. I can guarantee that it’s going to be a wild ride.
On a more serious note, I would definitely tell them to be strong in their pursuits and never give up. Keep looking out for opportunities everywhere; they are always there! Other things that might come in handy are staying focused and planning things well ahead. Gain as much experience as you possibly can because everything is going to add up and work out in the end.
I would like to wish good luck (lycka till!) to everyone out there and really hope that you get to create some interesting chapters of your lives while you are here.