From gardener at KTH to workshop manager
Hi, Tomas Östberg, technician and responsible for the workshop at MMK, retiring after 48 years at KTH. What have you done all this time at KTH?
"I started as a gardener at” the park administration” (Parkförvaltningen) during the summer I was 16. At 18 I got a job in the workshop at the department of chemistry and stayed there until 2011 when I moved to the department and Machine Design."
What made you stay at KTH all your work life?
"Well, in the beginning I was concidering doing something else, since there was little room for my own initiatives at that time. We had a foreman telling us exactly what to do, and he was impossible to talk to talk to until lunchtime. In the afternoons he was a different person."
"But I’ve alwas liked working at KTH and as the years havee gone by the amount of freedom has increased. I’ve liked it the best when I have run my own workshops – first at the School of Chemistry and thereafter Machine design at ITM. I like to keep things in order and to be frank – it hasn’t always been easy to coopåerate with everyone."
What’s the biggest difference you see between KTH today and when you started 48 years ago?
"The work in itself is pretty similar, but nowadays people are more dependent of me. But when I’ve worked more independent, I’ve worked more directly with students and researchers – cooperation is more fun."
What have you enjoyed the most in your job?
"It’s fun to manufacture things – I like that. I’ve enjoyed the workmates and it is a good place to work. For me, who doesn’t want to sit still, along with being in charge over my own time, it’s been ideal."
What’s your feeling about leaving KTH today?
"It feels wired, mixed feelings."
What will you do in your free time now?
"There’s plenty of work to do at home, with the house for example. Hopefully we will be able to travel in by the autumn/winter, if and when the pandemic eases. I will spend more time with my family and grandchildren. But first of all I will see to my motorbike and get it inspected."