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Alexandros works as a function and software developer at Scania

Alexandros Asvestopoulos graduated from the master’s programme in Embedded Systems in 2015. He now works at Scania in Stockholm.

Alexandros Asvestopoulos
Master's programme in Embedded Systems

Hi Alexandros, what are you working with at the moment?

I am currently working at Scania as a function and software developer for the transmission system of electrified heavy vehicles. I get to take an idea all the way from the whiteboard to implementation and testing in the vehicle, and I am involved more or less in each step in between.

What does a regular day look like at your job?

My role is quite versatile, but the day usually starts with a stand-up meeting to check that everyone on the team has what they need to fulfil their tasks. After that, my day can be a mix of varying proportions of designing and discussing solutions in smaller or bigger fora, developing the designed functionality in Matlab, Simulink or C, and validating it in a software rig, a hardware rig, or even an actual heavy vehicle, meaning I get to test my own developed functionality on the test track, driving the vehicle myself. Having a C/CE/D driver’s license is standard for a developer’s working with parts of the product near the powertrain.

Have you worked with anything else since you graduated?

Scania is basically the only employer I really know here in Sweden. I spent my first two years at Scania working with testing and developing of test framework for high-voltage battery management in electrified vehicles, before switching to my current position in 2017.

Why did you choose this programme at KTH?

The Embedded Systems MSc programme was one of the top ranked in Europe when I was looking to apply back in 2012. The fact that KTH has such tight bonds with the industry and the work environment and career options in Sweden were some of the main factors in my decision making. Then, I have close relatives that have lived here a long time, and this alone can sometimes tip the scale when one is looking for a new home.

Are there any knowledge you acquired during your studies that have been extra useful for you in your career?

Both the in-depth theoretical knowledge and the hands-on experience I mention in the next question below. 

What were the best aspects of your studies at KTH?

I liked that I acquired a sound theoretical base on the unique issues of embedded systems plus in-depth knowledge of specific aspects of this. I felt like there was always a person with both the knowledge and the will to answer my questions on those matters. On the other hand, a good part of the programme was hands-on, and I am all for that. A good example was the semester project during the first half of the second year where we worked on teams of five or more and learned to cooperate while splitting duties and taking on roles. Quite like how it is done in the industry. That kind of experience is valuable when you start your career.

What is your best memory from your time at KTH?

Pancakes at the Brazilia restaurant on Thursdays! Jokes aside, I can easily put the semester project high up on the list together with all the afternoons trying to complete assignments with fellow students, inspiring discussions with other students and professors, even going beyond strictly academic issues and touching on ethical questions that embedded systems can raise. Then of course I have to put the people I met and the time we spent together at KTH high up on the same list. I still have contact and meet with some of them every now and then.

What are your plans for the future?

Electrification is one of the buzzwords of the last decade, and it is going to be relevant for years to come as the journey of making electrified vehicles as cost effective and convenient as traditional combustion engine vehicles has quite a few miles left. Range, infrastructure, and production volume are some of the challenges ahead, and I can easily see myself continuing on this career path. Moreover, developing embedded software is something I still find a pleasant challenge, so I would say I can see myself in the orbit of that for years to come.

What would you want to say to a student thinking of applying to this programme?

I would say go ahead without any hesitation! It is more than worth the time and effort because you acquire skills and knowledge that apply to the industry, so you come out as ready as you can be!