A first adventure
Time to lose my virginity as a blog writer. As earlier years, the fourth week was an so called Activity Week. During the graduate program, we are suppose to visit different companies around Europe in order to strengthen our relations and get broader perspectives both inside and outside the aerospace industry. In the last couple of years, the graduates have visited everything from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse toTetra Pak (multinational food packaging company) in southern Sweden.
This years first trip was divided into two parts where Monday – Wednesday was spent on company visits in Stockholm and Thursday – Friday was spent on leadership training in the province of Bohuslän. Ouside all professional acitivies, the week offered a wide range of private activities such as a picknick at Ingarö in the Stockholm archipelago. Excellent week to get to know each other!
SSC Swedish Space Corporation
Our first visit of the week was the former “Rymdaktiebolaget” that fairly recently rebranded itself to SSC Swedish Space Corporation, in order to enhance their international relations. SSC is a government owned corporation, originally intended for space related research and maintenance of the Swedish space station on the outskirts of Kiruna, northern Sweden. The company mainly develops and produces different kind of space technology such as science experiment equipment for micro gravity. The research is carried out using sounding rockets, mainly due to the low price and high reliability they offer. Outside the science part of the space station Esrange, the station is one of the most active civil ground stations in the world. The reason is Esranges beneficial geographical position, above the arctic circle, which provides them with exceptional conditions for regular data transfer from both science equipped satellites as well as earth observation satellites.
SSC have recently extended their customer portfolio, outside Swedish National Space Board and ESA, to also include several international private actors. During the visit we met with Alf Vaerneus (Technical project manager, System Engineer) at SSC headquarters in Solna. Besides an splendid business presentation, Alf showed us parts of the company’s production and a case study of the Maxus 9 project. The first film below shows a shorter presentation of the project. The second video is a 360°-video of a Maxus 9 launch.
OBH Sweden AB
After the visit to SSC we continued towards OHB Sweden AB, which is another space oriented company, previously a part of SSC. The company produces satellite systems for various space craft with both governmental and private actors. Unlike SSC, OHB has a focus on space systems in orbit, both LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and GEO (Geostationary orbit). This includes satellites for data collection in everything from metrology to positioning systems such as GPS and Gelileo. During our stay we met Nils Pokrupa (Head of Spacecraft dept.), Desireé Brundin (Spacecraft Engineer) and Erik Clacey (Spacecraft Engineer) who gave a solid business presentation and showed us their production, clean rooms and mission control centers. Very exciting!
GKN Aerospace Governmental Relations Office
The last visit during our stay in Stockholm was spent at GKN’s office for Governmental relations, right next to the Swedish parliament. The small office, with only two employees, has the purpose of maintaining good political relations with the Swedish government and keep all affected politicians well informed. During the visit we met with Hannes Borg and Stefan Hjort that together deals with these kind of questions. For the moment they were working intensly on the smoking hot question of what country and company that will get the engine maintenance contract on the upcoming JAS 39E Gripen. It was very interesting to meet with people who work with these unusual questions.
The last days of the trip was dedicated for leadership training at Bohusgården outside Uddevall on the west coast of Sweden. Besides various well beinig activities, all graduates had to take part of the traditional “Graduate- baptism” in a eleven degrees Celcius cold Kattegatt. At least the weather was with us!