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Oscar works as a Life Science consultant at ÅF

Oscar Frisell graduated from the master’s programme in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology in 2018. He now works at ÅF, one of Sweden’s largest and best-reputed engineering and design companies.

Oscar Frisell
Master's programme in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology

At what company and with what are you working at the moment?

I'm currently employed at ÅF as a Life Science consultant and since November 2018 have been assigned to Octapharma AB as a Validation Technician. That means that I’m hired by ÅF as a Future consultant, and they pay my salary; however, ÅF is a consulting company and I am therefore assigned to another company, in this case Octapharma AB.

My current assignment is at a pharmaceutical company where the group I'm working with performs cleaning and sterilisation validation. This means that a regular working day can be four hours of sampling production equipment to make sure it’s viable for pharmaceutical production, and four hours of reports and data work. Some days it's all data and reports work where the sampling is to take place, and some days it’s eight hours in production, sampling equipment they want to use and making sure the CIP/SIP (Cleaning in Place/Sterilization in Place) system works as it should.

Why did you choose this programme at KTH?

I chose biotechnology because I really liked maths, chemistry and biology and wanted a deeper understanding in each field. Now after having studied it for 5 years, it’s even more fascinating since biotechnology is everywhere, all the time. It’s resulted in a wide understanding of the processes in the human body, what genes are made of and how the energy system in the body works. Biotechnology is also the knowledge of how you can use baking yeast to produce pharmaceutical insulin to treat diabetes, how to produce biogas from bacteria or why bread ferments much more slowly at cold temperatures.

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

It’s impossible to remember every single detail, but the methods I've learned during my studies to help remember stuff and to organize information are something I use on a weekly basis in new tasks at work.

What were the best aspects of your studies at KTH?

Those five years (as I also did my bachelor’s at KTH) offered lots of personal development. The things you go through together with your study friends is a fantastic experience, and I would say yes anytime if I got the chance to do it again.

What is your best memory from your time at university?

I do not have a single best memory, but the feeling of passing a tough exam sure was difficult to beat.

What are your plans for the future?

My master’s focused on industrial and environmental biotechnology, and I want to explore further what the pharmaceutical industry has to offer, but also work more towards the environment. Since biotechnology is quite a young industry compared to many others, it’s interesting to follow what it has to offer in the future.

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

Study something you consider interesting, because when it gets really difficult it is much easier to continue if you at least think it’s interesting!