New year, new assignments!

Hello again blog lovers,

I have now left my project at the Quality department for a new project within Production. It’s so fun to gear up with steel hood shoes and safety glasses and to hang out with some machines! For the next 10ish weeks I’m going to run a project within Statistical Process Control (SPC) in one of our workshops. At Chalmers I did a Black Belt Lean Six Sigma training which reminds me, methodically, a lot of what I’m doing right now. It’s fun to see a real applicable connection between what I’ve learned at university and my actual job 😛

Besides the work I’m doing at my new department we graduates are in the middle of planning the spring with everything from company visits, internal meetings with managers to work fairs. A real mix of assignments!

Don’t forget to apply to the Graduate Program 🙂

Click here to apply to a Engineering position

Click here to apply to a Economist position

Applications for this years graduate program is finally open!

Dear blog readers.

Do you also want to be part of the exciting graduate program you’ve read about this last fall and winter? The applications for one of Sweden’s oldest, well reputed and prestigious graduate programs are now open.

As you’ve earlier read on this blog, GKN Aerospace Graduate Program offers an individual and special career path within an internationally respected company. The program lasts for 18 months starting in September 2018 where the first 12 months are performed at the Trollhättan site and the last 6 month somewhere else in the world. The time in Sweden is divided into 4-6 rotations within different departments of the company.

The graduates makes study visits, have their own “Graduate project” and attends various leadership courses. The last six months are sited somewhere abroad, at any of our own sites, suppliers or partners. The program requires strong motivation for the participants to plan and implement all activities themselves, while providing each graduate with a great opportunity to shape their future within the company. For more information about our activities, education and individual work, please read previous blog posts

As an applicant, you are:

  • Determined to one day have a key position within your area
  • Recently graduated from a masters program in mechanical engineering, engineering physics, industrial engineering or equivalent .
  • Recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, Finance or related majors.
  • Interested to work with product or production development, technology, purchasing, logistics or quality.
  • Fluent in Swedish and English.

Please apply to GKN Aerospace Graduate Program 2018 here. Good luck!

Click here to apply to a Engineering position

Click here to apply to a Economist position

Visit at Fokker Aerostructures

As you have read in previous blog posts we graduates had the opportunity to visit interesting companies around Europe before going on Christmas holidays. We have travelled countless miles together in our mini-van, closer to 4000 km (!), where our second stop was in Papendrecht, Netherlands.

Graduates visiting Fokker Aerostructures in Papendrecht, Netherlands. In the middle, Leo Mujis, who took well care of us.

Of course, we wanted to take the opportunity to visit Fokker Aerostructures which have been a part of GKN Aerospace since 2015. We were met by Leo Mujis, Senior Manufacturing Engineer and general go-to-guy, who has a long and impressive experience within Fokker. He told about the company and its history and showed us around the production area. Fokker are leaders in manufacturing of empennages for business jets which we also got to see, impressive!

Manufacturing of an empannage for business jets.

 Not to forget, Kasper and Signe also held a presentation about GKN Aerospace Sweden! Fokker wanted to hear about Engine Systems and what we do, which we more than happily did! They made a poster prior to our visit, look how dashing ;). We also got to meet Tim Jansen, Senior Engineer Specialist Stress, who very kindly had organized for the presentation. Around 30 engineers participated and asked a lot of curious questions. It was very much appreciated to meet colleagues from Fokker we must say!

Postor for our presentation at Fokker.

During this time, Netherlands got an unexpected winter and raised a red alert, which unfortunately meant that we could not meet our graduate colleague Andreas Åhwall, who works at Fokker in Papendrecht at the moment, since he was stuck elsewhere due to a cancelled flight. We had all looked forward to be his guests, but instead had to rent a small holiday house close by. Despite all, fun adventures!

/Lisa

Activity Week 2 – Visit to Safran

Hi again,

I have just returned to the office after Christmas, which I spent in my dear Norrland together with family and friends. Especially the snow was something I had longed for, since Trollhättan is a bit short of that product. Now I am at home, rested and excited for a new trainee rotation! Before I get started though, I will update you about our last activity week, and more particularly, the visit to Safran.

Visit to Safran

This was our last study visit for the week. The previous study visits during the week had been good, but the visit to Safran still met my expectations with a great deal! We had a packed day with schedule from 9-16 plus transportation around. We visited Safran’s site in Villeroche, which was amazing. Villeroche is quite close to Paris and by car it takes no more than about an hour. We like to think that our site in Trollhättan is quite large with our more than 2,000 employees and 3 major workshops, but it was nothing compared to Safran. Safran had about 5000 employees working on everything from the assembly of jet engines to customer relations with among others, Airbus.

As if that was not enough, Safran also had a large museum where the day’s tour started. The museum was run by retired employees from Safran who worked as volunteers with renovating engines and taking care of guided tours. We also happened to be lucky that the one who guided us was none other than the former CEO of the CFM56 engine, who had many exciting stories to tell about both his own career and the aerospace industry overall.

As mentioned before, the museum was very large and featured elements from the history of the entire aerospace industry, since Wright brothers flew their aircraft in 1903, to 2000 where Safran is working with their successful LEAP and CFM56 engines.

Safran’s Museum

After the museum visit, we met one of Safran’s commercial managers who had a full overview of Safran’s final assembly line, which we soon would get the opportunity to see in real life. He explained how they work with AR (Augmented reality) and effective assembly lines to cope with future production and high demands from customers. After the presentation and chat, we finally got to see the final assembly line where the big engines were assembled. There were different assembly processes for different engines which was exciting to see. What I was most impressed with was that it was so quiet, efficient and modern. I had expected a lot of noise and a bit of outdated industrial facilities, but Safran was quite the opposite, which was fun to see!

The whole group in front of a LEAP engine, excited to see Safran’s final assembly line

In the evening we all went out for a nice dinner together at Notre Dame. We tried escargots, foie gras and other French specialties which was delicious. After that, we went to the Eiffel Tower to do some nightly sightseeing. During the activity weeks, we work and learn more about the aerospace industry, so if you want to do some sightseeing in the cities you travel to, you sometimes get to do it at odd times. We entered the Eiffel Tower exactly two minutes before they closed the entrance and saw the whole tower lit in the dark night. It was a nice end to the day and our second activity week!

Tour d’Eiffel by night

That was all for now!

/Emma

Visit to ESTEC: European Space Research and Technology Center

Now are all of us graduates back in Sweden again after one week’s business trip around Europe. As you may understand, will the upcoming blog post be characterized by various travel memories, pictures, name dropping and interesting stories about all companies and places we have visited.

The first visit we made was to ESTEC which is operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and located about 1h southwest of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. ESA is responsible for the research and development of Europe’s space initiatives.

We started the day by meeting our guide Isabelle, a veteran at ESA, who showed us around all day. We also met on the ESA cat (yes they have a cat, something we should adapt at GKN). The day started with a guest lecture by Paul Spudis, an American lunar scientist, who lectured about his research on “the Value of the Moon” and talked about how we could use the moon as a resource. The subject was a little controversial and Spudis got many questions, but generally it was a very interesting lecture.

Guest lecutre about “the Value of the Moon” by Paul Spudis.

After the lecture, we met Joerg Wehner (Head of Institutional and Infrastructure Coordination Office at ESA) and Eike Kircher (Head of Basic Technology Research Program Section) who told us about ESA as an organization and how international cooperation works. We also got to visit ESA’s Material Lab where last year’s trainee Joel Larsson is doing his international rotation. We met Ana Brandão (Material Engineer) who showed us around ESA’s extremely impressive laboratory. I think many of us drooled when we got to see their equipment. We also got a visit to the Propulsion Lab by Jose Gonzalez del Amo (Head of the Electric Propulsion Section), who showed us the latest in ESA’s propulsion research.

The day ended with a 3D movie of the International Space Station and tour of ESA’s Space Exhibition Center. To sum up the visit, I have to say that we could notice that they receive over 8400 visitors a year because they were incredibly hospitable. We also met a lot of interesting people who gave us a good insight into the organization. And of course, the cat was a highlight! Certainly a very good visit!

Visit to ESA’s Space Exhibition Center. To the left is a 1:1 model of Columbus, ESA’s laboratory which is located at ISS, the International Space Station.

 

A coffee at Driveline

Andreas,

Have you ever wondered who’s making cars drive? Apparently it’s GKN! Like Aerospace is saying “making things fly”, Driveline’s slogan is “we make cars drive”. Can you guess GKN’s hypothetical vacuum cleaner company slogan?

“We make things suck!”

We visited GKN Driveline outside of Paris to learn more about our sister company. It was a great visit. Among others we met the site manager, a program manager, a commercial manager and an engineering manager. They told us about their business and showed us some of their contant velocity joints and drive shafts while providing advanced technical explanations for how they work. It was really fun to meet these inspiring people. We are forever grateful for their hospitality. I can recommend you go there.

You would recognize the atmosphere of the company well. Like Aerospace, Driveline emphasizes high quality, innovation and advanced technology. The biggest difference between companies, except the fact they make gadgets for cars and we for aircrafts, is the coffee. We were offered great coffee which was served with heavy cream. Be sure to get a cup when you are there.

Endings and future adventures

Dear readers,

Christmas is approaching, which also means that the time at our home departments starts to come to an end. Since this is the last week of our rotation, we have all got quite a lot to complete before we leave. In one way, it is nice to be able to finalize and tick off different projects but in other ways it is a bit sad to leave the department and all the colleagues I have come to know. “Time flies”, is a common saying, and so it has really been. Fortunately, this is not a “goodbye”, but rather an “until next time”, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are very excited for our next trainee rotations.

Before we start our next rotations, it is time for our second activity week which we have planned for the last couple of weeks. For our previous activity week, as you loyal readers surely remember, we went to Stockholm where we among other things got to visit OHB and SSC, two exciting space companies. For this activity week we have chosen to put the bar higher and push our budget to max. We will therefore go on a road trip in Europe, including Amsterdam and Paris as stops, which will be really exciting. Exciting partly because of the companies we will visit and partly because we will spend time with each other 24/7 for over a week, which can be intensive. But hopefully everything will be fine and make us an even tighter group!

On Friday morning we will begin our journey and for the coming week we will visit ESA, Fokker, Safran and GKN Driveline. It will be a hectic schedule, but we will surely learn a lot. I am especially interested in visiting Safran and to meet my contact person there, sine I am the one who have been responsible for organizing this particular visit. Of course I am also looking forward to visiting two beautiful European capitals: Amsterdam and Paris, and hope that we will have time for some sightseeing between business visits. I think that it is fun with other languages so I have already begun to repeat useful French phrases, hoping to be able to show off with them during the trip. You will hear more about our activity week next week when Maria and Alexander are going to update you about our lives as aerotrainees, so keep an eye out

À plus tard!

Emma

Supplier meeting – introduction to the Aerospace standard

Yesterday, Emma, Signe, Alexander and I participated in a networking event arranged by Aerospace Cluster Sweden. Potential suppliers were invited to learn more about how it is to work within the Aerospace industry. Two of our current suppliers told their story of how to become certified to AS9100 standard (the Aerospace industry’s answer to ISO 9001). To be able to be a player in the Aerospace industry you “have to” be certified to a specific standard due to strict requirements of quality and safety, for example traceability of documentation.

As a graduate, it’s really fun to learn more about the industry from different perspectives and to get the opportunity to network with other companies. This time it was by representing GKN as a customer, which was very educational. During lunch we talked to two men who are working at a processing company in Ulricehamn and they told us about their challenge of finding young people that want to work within the indsen ustry. We told them about our graduate project since one part of the project is to visit all the secondary schools in the area of Trollhättan and present how it is to work with technology and engineering. They invited us to their company in Ulricehman so hopefully we can learn more from each other.

This week we graduates are finishing our work at the home departments and looking forward to our trip to Europe that begins on Friday.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way
/Maria

A visit to Germany and delays

Beloved blog readers,

Here is another post about our international experiences. Last week, Philip and I were in Germany to visit GKN Driveline in Lohmar, which is a small town outside of Cologne. The aim of the trip was for me to meet my mentor face to face. As part of IGP, each participant get a mentor and from this year it’s a person placed abroad that will guide you through the program. However, the trip didn’t start as fortunate as we hoped since it was snow chaos in Gothenburg and the airport was closed the whole morning. We arrived three hours later than expected but in Germany the weather showed its best side and it was 13 degrees and sunshine.

During the day we spend at the site, we got to meet a couple of people who told us about their special areas and we got an overview of the work in Lohmar. They don’t have any production at their site and instead they are focusing on research and developing. It was very interesting to visit another GKN-site since there were a lot of differences compared to our site in Trollhättan. In the evening, we had dinner with my mentor and of course we ate schnitzel. It was very nice to get more time with my mentor, to get to know him better as well as discuss some ideas about my next placement.

On our way back to Sweden we were very unlucky since our flight in Copenhagen got cancelled due to technical problems and we got to spend one night there. The next day, the bad luck continued and there were more problems with the plane (important to point out that it was not a problem with our products) and in the end we had to change plane. 17 hours later than expected, we finally arrived in Sweden and even if we had a lot of flight related problems it was still a really nice trip.

Have a nice weekend!

A visit to GKN Newington

Hello there blog lovers Now I’m back again from a week’s vacation in the United States where I went to New York and Connecticut. Since I was in the area I took the opportunity to visit GKN Aerospace’s site in Newington, where last year’s graduate, Niclas Persson, is doing his international rotation (I’ve heard rumors that he will make a blog post shortly).
At Newington I was warmly welcomed by Oscar Höglund who has been working as the Engineering Manager for over a year now. Beside general information about their site I got a tour in the production area, which was interesting and informative. I have really got another perspective on our own site in Trollhättan. We are big. We have more than 10 times more employees and we have a lot of additional processes besides manufacturing, something that I’ve previously taken a little bit for granted.

Besides Oscar and Niclas there are about 2-3 other Swedes working at the site, and Newington is generally used to hosting Swedes. Joakim Andersson, Engine Systems CEO, worked as the General Manager in Newington for some years. Fun fact: there is an engraved stone under a tree in the area which says something like: “Thank you Joakim Andersson for everything you have done for us”.
Due to photo restrictions you will have to settle for a photo of the sign outside the entrance but I’ll make it up with a photo of Niclas and I in Central Park instead 😀

GKN Newington

Maria and Niclas in Central Park