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Month: February 2017

New trip, new rotation

New trip, new rotation

As Niclas wrote, we had the honor of experiencing some exciting and instructive days in Linköping last week. It was especially rewarding and interesting to meet some of SAAB’s young graduates. After an informative and interesting day at SAAB we had the chance to test out their advanced JAS-simulator, and apart from causing nausea and dizziness to most of the graduates, it was a pleasant experience. By the way, a bird whispered that Niclas forgot to pull up the landing gear when performing an emergency landing on the road E4 outside Linköping, but it’s probably just rumors. Now, our second rotations is turning to an end, therefore, I take this opportunity to comment on my time here at the R&T (Research & Technology) department. However, this time I was more assigned a project rather than a specific department, which of course, has been very exciting. I have no previous project management experience whatsoever, and therefore my time here has been very rewarding in terms of experience. The project I lead extends over a few years and I will therefore keep some focus on that particular project during the continuation of the graduate program. Project management is extremely fun and I can see myself working as a project manager in the future. I also want to praise my colleagues at PTC (”Production-Technology Center” a part of the R&T department) as incredibly nice and competent, and I will miss the wonderful atmosphere there.

Activity week 3 is soon upon us, and I will now hint a little about what we are embarking and which sites we will visit. Joining us for this trip will also our American graduate colleagues, and the goal is to establish a close and personal contact with them. The underlying aim of the study visits are to connect with people on site, increase the overall picture of what GKN do and how we operate globally, and at the same time, act as ambassadors for GAS. Described below are some of the sites that we will visit, all of them in England this time.

GKN Aerospace Luton is a world leader of electro-thermal ice protection system for military and civilian application. The goal is to learn more about this product portfolio from design to application.

GKN Western Approach manufacture wing structures in composite materials and there we will get an insight into the latest composite technology for aircraft structures from design to production.

GKN Aerospace Filton is the “center of excellence” for EBW (Electron Beam Welding). The main focus of this study visit will be to find out as much as possible about this additive manufacturing-technology, as well as to get an insight into the preparations for a large-scale industrialization of additive manufacturing.

GKN Driveline Birmingham is a part of GKN plc, unlike GKN Aerospace that focuses on technologies that operates in and above the atmosphere, GKN Driveline focuses on the manufacturing and developing of technologies that move on the ground, i.e. cars. Surely, it will be interesting to find out how GKN Driveline differ from us in strategic and operational management.

GKN´s Graduate program is looking for a graduate in Finance and Business control

GKN´s Graduate program is looking for a graduate in Finance and Business control

Hi again

Hopefully no one has missed that the application for the next years graduate program still is open, until the 28th of Febraury. An exciting addition for this year is that we are looking for an individual with a masters degree in business administration, economics or equivalent.

You can find the ad by following this link

To program is designed in the exact same way as the regular graduate program, which implies that you will be a member of the graduate group, participate in the same trainings, internships and a 6 month period abroad. The only difference is that your future role will be within business administration and business control.

If this sounds interesting and you´re eager to know more, then I recommend that you read some of the post from former graduate Gustav Söderberg, who made this journey last year.

An exciting time and future

An exciting time and future

Hi again

As mentioned by Emelie in the previous post, the graduates just had a few eventful days in Linköping. This was three very exciting and educative days with several highlights. For me personally, I really appreciated the discussions with Saab regarding their long term negotiations and agreements with their customers. In addition, we also meet some very talented students at the career fair Larm, who showed genuine interest in GKN Aerospace and GKN Driveline. One of the last highlights was the visit at the Swedish military base for helicopters, were we got to see some of the helicopters, but most interesting got a thorough review of the engine to an Black Hawk helicopter.

GKN och Saab Graduates
Graduates at the Swedish military helicopter base
GKN at Larm

Time is starting to reach its end at my second department, fabrication. The most developing has been a project I’ve been driving to enhance the way we work with process control and quality improvements of our processes. Simplified, this project has consisted of different adjustments in our way of working to visualize data to highlight the variation in our processes in order to illuminate the causing root causes. This simplifies the work for us to identify and eliminate variation on our processes, resulting in predictable robust processes. A fun observation I have made after working with this is that those lessons I gained through the acquisition of a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma is just as useful and applicable if you work in Supply chain with suppliers, or in production with wide improvement projects. The beauty of this is in my opinion that one doesn’t need to be a detailed expert in a specific area to be able to work with improvements, the key to success is rather to follow certain universal methodologies to systematically break down and visualize the problem in a way that allows the problem to be less intangible.

To finalize this post, I give you a few examples of some of the things that will happen in the upcoming weeks, perhaps fun for you readers who right now consider to apply for the graduate program, whose application is open until February 28. Today, me and Emelie will conduct a lecture for all thesis workers within the company about how it is to be a graduate, followed by a dinner later in the evening. There will also be a longer meeting with CEO Mike McCann and the graduates. Next week will be the last at my current department, so I will try to close all lose ends and start to hand over tasks and projects to my colleagues. This is followed by the England trip with exciting company visits, as well as the first meeting with our American graduate colleagues. After returning from England, the Swedish graduates will have a two-day leadership training before I start my new period of Materials Lab. That week ends with a school visit here at the company when Lyrfågel-school’s 6th grade will visit.

See you soon!


Inspirational evening

Inspirational evening

How do you know what you want to work with? Which way should you choose? If you have chosen a path, it is too late to repent? These were just some of the many exciting and difficult issues we trainees lectured about during the inspirational evening. At the event, food and drinks were on GKN’s treat and the participants got the chance to talk to some of GKN’s many engineers, operators and ITU-students.
The evening was organized for all ninth graders who are now faced with the choice of choosing high school, and was one of our many tasks within the framework of our trainee assignments “Raise Awareness of Engineering to Adolescences” (RAEA).
The inspirational evening was meant to serve as a source of inspiration and information. We wanted to mediate how one could start a career in an easy and understandable way. At the same time, we wanted to take the opportunity to give some well-weighted advice. Advice that can make the road to a dream job a little bit easier and more fun. To conclude the evening we here present a summary of the lecture targeting ninth graders and their parents.

Why an education?
First of all, an education gives you knowledge and knowledge is all about applying and understand information. Secondly, an education gives you the tools necessary to critically examine and absorb information, tools that are becoming increasingly important in a world where misinformation has become everyday food. Knowledge also makes you sought and more independent, both of which are prerequisites for a greater freedom.

Freedom do not just mean having a lot of options to choose from, it also means having the option to choose or not to choose between available options depending on one’s wants or needs, and an education gives you just that. It gives you professional freedom, i.e. it makes it easier for you to change job or industry, or, for example, to choose where and what to work with. The professional freedom also affects your financial and private freedom, and together they constitute the three degrees of freedom that are the very foundation for a more varied, exciting and enjoyable life.
An education also gives you the chance to meet fun and interesting people, people who might become your friends for life, and who knows, someone might offer you a way to your dream job?

How do you know what you want to work with?
Finding an answer to that question can be very difficult. Maybe you will never really know what you really want to work with. However, an interest can be born and grown over time, therefore, you should not be afraid to try new things and new ways. It is also true that the better you become of something the more fun it becomes. To master a profession or a school subject is no different from mastering for example an instrument or a sport, it requires a great deal of time, patience and perseverance. So maybe you will find an interest where you now experience boredom, so take the chance, try to struggle, be persevere and give it a fair chance!

Aiming for very high goals can sometimes be difficult as it becomes hard to see which optimal way to choose right now. So a tip could be to set targets, it makes the trip a little easier. Since almost all employers today require their employees to have a high school education, which is also a necessity for studies at colleges and universities, a high school diploma is a good first milestone on your way to an exciting future with many exciting options.

If you really do not know what you want then?
Well, then you may want to choose an education that is as broad as possible, for example, an education that is both practical and theoretical. This increases the chance that you will find something you are really interested in. A good option can be the ITU program at GKN Aerospace which is conducted in collaboration with the Nils Ericson High School. The program is both work preparatory and simultaneously gives you the competence and access needed for higher studies. In other words, the ITU-program gives students a unique chance to create their own future.

With that said, we trainees want to express sincere thanks to all of those who attended the inspiration evening. For more information and inspiration please go to

What’s next?

What’s next?

There are not that many days left of our second rotation. We will start at our new departments at the beginning of March but we have loads of fun stuff to do until then. On Monday we are going up to Linköping to make a visit at Saab. It will be very interesting as I do not have much knowledge of their work there. I actually did my master’s thesis at Saab, but in Gothenburg, and in a completely different division. I am sure we will be well taken care of by their graduate engineers and hopefully learn lots of new things.

We will stay the night in Linköping because on Tuesday LARM is taking place, which is Linköping’s Techology Students Career Fair. We will be representing GKN at the fair and I know it will be much fun. Especially for Andreas who studied there. Of course, we hope that many of you readers will come talk to us, maybe we will recruit new blog readers but most of all we hope that many of you guys will be introduced to GKN and tempted to apply for a job here (as a graduate engineer, thesis worker or something else)!

Linköping will be honored by our presence for one more night as we are making a study visit to the helicopter fleet in Linköping on Wednesday! I am not sure what we are doing there (as I haven’t been in charge of arranging this visit), so I will not say anything about that. However, I am sure it will be highly informative and fun!

When we get back from Linköping we have a few days to breathe and relax (and work of course) before leaving for England and our great adventure. The trip will be amazing in every way, I am sure, and you will read several posts about this later so I will not tell you anything further right now.

Once we are back from England we will have our final days of group dynamics and self-development. This will be the last thing we do before the work at our new departments starts. I will do my third rotation at a quality department and I hope that I get to try a bit of everything but that I also get to work with long-term development of the production. Once the work is started I will definitely tell you more about what the department (and I) are doing!

Until then – keep reading the blog and come visit us at LARM!

Charm 7-8 February 2017

Charm 7-8 February 2017

Hopefully, nobody has missed that GKN Aerospace is visiting Chalmers career fair – Charm!

Its high time to apply for the next year graduate program, so come and visit us and bring as much questions as you can. On place, we have both current and old graduates who will help you to answer all your questions. They will try to help you with all your thoughts and concerns. They can also tell you a lot about the company and all the different ways that are going to be working at a company in one of the coolest industries!

See you there!




My placement here in Trollhättan is quickly coming to an end my next placement got confirmed last week! I´m going to Shanghai in the beginning of April! 😀

My international graduate colleague David has already fled the country and kick started his placement in the UK were he seems to be settling in well. And soon it is my turn to start the same exciting journey!

In Shanghai I will be working at an IPO (International Purchasing Office) office in the city center. As an international graduate at GKN I get the opportunity to work at the four different divisions of GKN. The site located in Trollhättan belongs to the Aerospace division whilst in Shanghai I will be working in the Driveline division. It will be incredibly exciting and educational to get to work within the driveline industry which has a much higher tempo than the aerospace industry. The job will be focused on the forging industry in Asia and on how we can get Europe and America to choose Asian suppliers. I will be working within purchasing and business development where I will be digging into understanding the Chinese and Korean markets. A bit of focus on Japan and Thailand will also be within my job description. There will be a big focus on investigating and visiting suppliers as well as building and maintaining already existing contact networks, which I think is a very rewarding part of the job and I am looking forward to it a lot! Now the bureaucratic part of the process begins, namely applying for a working visa, finding a place to stay etc. I really excited! To be continued in future posts 🙂

Inspiring the youth!

Inspiring the youth!

Hello world!

I was thinking I should write a blog entry about the lectures that we’ve held for the ninth graders of Trollhättan during January. As we’ve mentioned before on this blog, each year the graduate engineers has a specific assignment. This year the purpose of that assignment is to increase the number of applications to the ITU-program, a high school program which is held in part here at GKN in Trollhättan. The ninth graders are currently choosing which high school they will go to so as a part of our project we’ve been visiting the schools of Trollhättan. During these lectures we have been trying to inspire the youth to choose a path towards a profession in engineering or technology. A great start on such a path is the ITU-program.

There has been groups of students who are very interested in what we have to say. These people are already considering studying to become engineers when they are grown up and this is very nice to see. There are of course also students who are completely uninterested in engineering and technology. These students are very hard to reach and to sway. However, there is also a group which is un-sure of what they would like to do. Some of these people show some interest and it is that group of people which we are trying to reach out to and inspire. We want to help them become more confident in trying out a path towards working with some kind of technology, for example engineering. We want them to apply to the ITU-program, which is a great start on such a path.

Yesterday a colleague pointed out that the statistics concerning the applications can be followed live and that you thereby can see how many has applied to the ITU program. One can then compare that number to that of the same period last year. The number of applications is currently doubled compared to last year. It pleases me to see that what we have done is reaching through to the youths and to know that we’ve succeeded in inspiring quite a lot of them to enter a path towards working with technology. We hope the number of applications will continue on the forecast that the number will be doubled. If the total number will be doubled compared to previous years we can be really proud of what we have accomplished!


Over and out


Blog Post 2 – Neil Irwin 21st January 2017

Blog Post 2 – Neil Irwin 21st January 2017

Hello again readers, in my second guest blog post I want to share a bit more about what my current work, as well as reflect a little on the past few months, and look to the future for where I might be going next.

The present:

So, to business: what is it that I actually do here? I work in the engineering function, space rotors department, aerodynamics team. If I had to give my placement a title, I would call it something like “Product development of computational design tools”.

The first of my two primary objectives is to create a design tool to rapidly evaluate the robustness of concept turbine designs. To do this, I am automating the turbine design evaluation process in multi-objective optimization software. This involves building an automated workflow, which integrates our turbine performance analysis code with various processing scripts I have written. The idea is that the user can choose a base turbine design, and the tool will run a large number of slight variations on this base design through the performance analysis code to establish how robust the base design is (i.e. how sensitive the performance of the base design is to variation). This should greatly improve our ability to select robust concept designs, and should help GKN respond to our customers’ design questions faster.

My second main objective is to create a platform-independent gas state data processing program. This program can then be integrated into various other design tools and methods we have. For example, we could call the data processing program during an aerodynamics CFD simulation to analyse the gas state properties over time.

I have enjoyed these main objectives a lot over the last few months, as they have involved a great deal of problem solving and learning new things – skills that I love to use and make me excited to get up in the morning! The rest of my time is taken up with admin, graduate development tasks, and preparing for an upcoming new objective of running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations on one of our components.

The past:

A lot of interesting things have happened over the last few months, the most interesting being the graduate visit to Europe in December. During this trip, we visited Fokker, ESA, and ASL in the Netherlands and France. I greatly enjoyed these visits, as well as the team building aspect of spending a week on the road with my fellow graduates. Perhaps surprisingly, we managed not to kill each other despite spending a full 9 days with 8 people in a minivan driving across Europe. I think I speak for the whole group in saying that we had a very positive experience and are grateful to Magnus Hallberg and others in GKN Sweden for facilitating this week.

The future:

We are very fortunate to be planning a second visit week in late February, this time to the UK. Here we will meet Nigel Stein and Kevin Cummings for Q and A sessions, which I think will be an invaluable insight to the top flight leadership of the company. We will also visit various GKN plants across the country. Furthermore, we are being joined by our American counterparts on the graduate scheme, a good opportunity for networking and hearing about GKN across the pond.

I’ve now crossed the half way point of my time in Sweden, which has led me to turn my attention to placement number two. There are some interesting options being discussed, including joining the legal team, communications and marketing, or moving into the driveline side of the business. Last week I had a really positive discussion with our director of intellectual property in Redditch, so I could be working on protecting our inventions and overcoming patent infringement issues soon – watch this space!