Simon focuses on the development of new attitude control algorithms for agile satellites
Simon Görries graduated from the master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering in 2017. He now works as Technical Leader for a research and development project at Airbus Space Systems in Germany.
Hi Simon, what have you been up to since leaving KTH?
Since I finished my master’s studies at KTH, I have been working at Airbus Space Systems in Germany in my current role as Technical Leader for a research and development project, where I work together with a young and dynamic team.
What does a regular day at your job look like?
I try to start my day with some exercise and if the weather is nice, I either go rowing before work or ride my bike to the company. Our site in Friedrichshafen is located at Lake Constance, which is the biggest lake in Germany, and I use the ferry every morning to cross this lake, which reminds me a lot of Sweden. The ferry is also the place where I usually first meet colleagues and we have a coffee together. When I arrive fresh and energized in my office, I usually start by preparing for upcoming meetings, sometimes with a second coffee at my desk (another thing I brought back home from Sweden: coffee addiction).
Around 9am I meet with the project team and we discuss the latest progress, successes and challenges and we plan our next steps together.
The morning is the time of the day when I can concentrate best. So, after meeting the team, I focus on implementing or testing algorithms or system models in Matlab/Simulink (so a lot of math and coding) or review some of the technical results and documentation from the team.
In the afternoon I continue with my work, and there are usually meetings with other projects and future missions to harmonize our R&D topics, or meetings between me and the project leader assessing the work and budget planning, or discussing our strategy for the future.
Why did you choose this programme at KTH?
First of all, I was attracted by the good reputation KTH has and, of course, the interesting courses in the Master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering.
Additionally, I had heard a lot of positive things about the Swedish education system in general as being very open-minded with lots of interaction between the students and the professors, as well as among the students through various group works and project assignments. During my studies at KTH I experienced all of that myself and can thus fully confirm what is being said about Sweden’s education system.
Also, I wanted to study abroad and being able to do it in a country where everyone speaks English, and all courses are held in English, definitely makes it much easier in the beginning, while offering the chance to learn another language and get to know a different culture. Stockholm is a beautiful city and Sweden is an amazing country. If you love nature, you will enjoy the amazing combination of a modern, vibrant and cool city with fascinating and pure nature all around you. For me, this provided the perfect surroundings to re-energize in between tough lectures and challenging assignments.
Are there any insights you brought with you from your time at KTH?
In particular, the various group assignments and projects in international teams with people from all over Europe and the world have stayed in my mind, and they have helped me to understand different cultures better. Today, this experience helps me a lot during my daily work in an international company like Airbus.
And what would you say were the best aspects of your studies?
The best thing about KTH for me was, that I always had the feeling that everyone really cared about the students and their learning experience. The lectures are organized in small groups and the professors have a good relationship and personal contact with their students. I felt like I really was more than just a number, and you could always ask questions and have discussion during the lecture or in the professor’s office hours, or when you met them during lunch or a Fika break (the Swedish coffee break you will get to know and love quite quickly when you come to KTH).
KTH offers you a variety of opportunities to spice up your studies even more. For example I joined a team building a small student satellite (https://mistsatellite.space/) first as a member and then as team leader, which was a great experience and added some more practical learning to my studies. In addition to that, I also had the opportunity for an exchange with the University of Texas in the United States for one semester.
Any special memories from your time here?
Definitely the long bright nights around midsummer, when the sun almost doesn’t set as well as the graduation ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall – the place, where the Nobel Prize is awarded. This was a very special experience to me.
What would you say to a student thinking of applying for this programme?
Do it! You will not regret it. If you have the chance, go to Stockholm for a few days for vacation, walk around the campus, get to know the city and enjoy the nature in the archipelago around Stockholm. Afterwards you will probably want to come back. Also, research the various student projects and other ways to get involved in your programme. For example, in the Aerospace programme, besides the student satellite team MIST, there is also the student rocket team REXUS, the high-altitude balloon BEXUS and the Formula Student racing team. KTH offers a large variety of opportunities - there is something for everyone. Find out what suits your personal interests and goals best, and look forward to an amazing time in your life with lots of experiences, learning and new friends.