"I was hired to continue with my project, aiming at launching a product"
Georgios Apostolou is a graduate of the master's programme in Electric Power Engineering, and got hired by electrical test equipment company Megger while working on his degree project for the company.
How did you go from being KTH student to an employee of Megger?
While I was searching for an industrial thesis project in the field of power electronics, a classmate notified me that Megger was looking for a candidate to work on a new thesis project in the same area. I contacted the manager of the department, had an interview and got the position. Subsequently, with the completion of the thesis, I had a new interview after which I was hired!
What are you working on at Megger?
The subject of my thesis was to design, implement, test and verify a prototype DC-DC power converter, which would operate as a voltage regulation unit intended to be used for testing the voltage level of industrial tripping coils.
The project was challenging, multidisciplinary and fascinating at the same time, focusing on the field of power electronics. All subsystems of the voltage regulating unit had to be designed as well, including designing, building, testing and verifying all the auxiliary circuits such as the sensors, the auxiliary power supplies, the microcontroller unit and as well as the PCB layout. I also designed and implemented a digital controller and other lab tasks related to these subjects. The contribution of my colleagues was of vital importance.
After submitting a functional prototype and the corresponding documentation, my thesis project was completed, and I was hired by the hardware department of Megger to continue with the project and proceed with the development, aiming at launching a product.
What did you learn at KTH that you found most useful?
Given the multidisciplinary nature of the tasks, I could identify that KTH has shaped my problem-solving approach. During the last two years, I put great focus on how to structure and disassemble complicated problems into sub-problems, and then solve them from the bottom up.
I remember a KTH professor asking in his lecture “What distinguishes a technician from an engineer?”. The answer is that an engineer should be qualified to solve problems that she/he has never confronted before.
Do you have any recommendations for prospective students?
I believe that addressing the following suggestions might help the students who are aiming at working in the industry, especially in Sweden:
1. Pursue your project thesis in the industry. You will collect experience on how the industry works, while the company has the opportunity to test your skills. Given that the result of your thesis satisfies the company, your chances of being hired significantly increases.
2. Sweden is a country in which the attitude and social skills play a fundamental role, both in a business environment and during the hiring process as well. Showing professionalism and adapting yourself to the corporate spirit of each company would boost your chances of being hired.
3. Learn Swedish. Undoubtedly, you can survive in Sweden by using only English, though being able to speak Swedish is a highly appreciated skill. Sometimes showing the willingness to learn the national language could help you more than you would expect.
Any additional thoughts on the studies at KTH you would like to share?
Regarding the academic level of the studies, I firmly believe that KTH verifies its placement among the top-ranked universities in the world. Electric Power Engineering is a demanding programme that prepares the students for work in the industrial sector, or for continued studies and a PhD. Do apply!