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Month: April 2022

La vie en France

La vie en France

Suddenly it happened, covid-19 released us from its firm grip and we were finally able to go abroad on our international placements. It feels like it’s several years ago I wrote an entry on this blog considering how much we’ve done since handing the blog over to the current trainees. We, the trainees 2020/2022, have finished our final rotations in Trollhättan, visited most of our sites in England and now we’re all spread out on our international assignment which is the final step of the graduate program.

In my case, I got the opportunity to spend my six months in France with our customer ArianeGroup on their site in Vernon, along the Seine an hour west of Paris. ArianeGroup develops and manufactures the launchers Ariane 5 (and the coming Ariane 6) for which we develop and manufacture the main engine nozzle and turbines for both first and second stages. I am however part of preparing the upcoming hot-fire tests of the Prometheus engine where we’ve developed the turbine.

Prometheus is a very exciting project, partly because it is intended to be used in the Themis launcher which will the first European reusable launcher and also because it is to a large extent developed for additive manufacturing to drastically reduce cost and weight. On top of that, it’ll use methane as propellant! For our component, this means that we’ve been able to reduce the amount of components from around 100 to only two! Also, the hop tests (liftoff – flight to a couple hundred meters – landing) will be conducted in Kiruna, which is great news for Swedish space industry!

Tidsplan för Themis testkampanj.

Enough about technology! Vernon is a smaller town, around 23000 inhabitants, where ArianeGroup is the largest private employer and the history stretches way back to World War II where the site was used to develop and test the V2 rocket. The site includes development, manufacturing, assembly and testing of rocket engines.

Vernon is situated in Normandy, along the Seine River that runs through Paris and debouches into the English Channel. There are lots of renaissance castles through this valley and around Vernon that keeps me occupied during the weekends, as I have an interest in history. One of the highlights is a visit to the coastal town of Étretat and the cathedral in Rouen where Olaf II Haraldsson (King of Norway 1015-1028) was baptized and then played a vital role in the conversion of Norway from Norse Paganism to Christianity. Normandy has an incredible amount of history linked (as the name tells) to Scandinavian Vikings, so there’s plenty to discover!

I could keep writing for ages but this anecdote will conclude my post for this time.

Until next time, I wish you all a great spring!

CHARM at Chalmers

CHARM at Chalmers

Hi y’all,

During Tuesday and Wednesday (w. 14) CHARM took off, which is the student fair at Chalmers, and this year trainee gang was represented by Elias and Merim. As a trainee you’ll get the opportunity to go to these fairs, if it is something that you like to do. We got the chance to talk to many students, some of you may even be reading this blog right now, and talk about some nerdy stuff and cool facts about the SWAN-nozzle and so on.

On Tuesday it was me (Merim) who attended the fair together with Elamin, who started the trainee program in 2019 and is now a team-lead in our production. During the fair, we had leaders and experts from our engineering office and some HR representatives. We thought that the first fair day went smoothly and a lot of students came to our booth! We hope that you took the opportunity to come and speak to us and allow us to tell you more about what we do! It’s a unique chance to speak with leaders within our business and learn more about what we do, how we do it and what the future holds.

As Merim mentioned above, I (Elias) represented the trainee gang on Wednesday. Not only did we meet a lot of engaging students with an interest in Aerospace, I also got the chance to see Chalmers for the first time! As I studied in Linköping, I hadn’t really got the chance to see Chalmers. Student fairs is a great platform for recruitment, where we get to meet the students and advertise for both thesis jobs and the open positions we have at GKN Aerospace.

Thesis work

As a trainee you can help out to manage all the thesis works at the company as most of them eventually end up at our table and we post them on the trainee blog. Sometimes it happens that we hear something about a thesis that is not yet posted, which is why it is good for you as a student to contact us as we might have more in storage than what you see on the blog, however this is not guaranteed. In worst case, we will just make a note of your interest and area and we’ll reach out to you when something interesting comes up.

As I mentioned earlier, we publish all our thesis work on this site so take a look to see if you find anything interesting. We usually publish new work during autumn which is scheduled to start in spring, so the posted documents might be outdated and some of them might already have started. However, you can always contact the contact person to double check, maybe there will be a continuation on the current thesis work.

Looking for job?

We also got the chance to talk to you about how it is to work for GKN Aerospace and what opportunities there are right now. I would encourage you to take a look at our career page, which you can find HERE, and take a look and apply for any position that looks interesting!

A picture of three youngsters from day 1 at CHARM. Fr. left: Merim, Simon, Elamin.
A picture from day 2 with our experts, leaders and HR together with Elias.
Back from the States

Back from the States

It’s with mixed feelings I look out the window and see that it snows horizontally in Trollhättan right now, at least it’s not pitch black when you leave the office anymore… The past month rushed by with development week, recruitment of 2022 graduates and last week I had the opportunity to tag along my new department for a week of meetings at two of our US sites.

At the moment, I’m doing my third rotating at Supply Chain Engines, a global department who supports all Engines-sites across the globe, where I will work on further developing internal communications and knowledge sharing. As part of this project, I was invited to join the department for a gathering at our site in Newington to discuss Supply Chain and Procurement for three days.

The journey started in a turboprop plane to Copenhagen before boarding the A350-900 to Newark Liberty International Airport. The latter is propelled by the two Trent XWB engines where we manufacture the Intermediate Compressor Case at our site in Trollhättan.

Due to heavy winds we hade to use an alternative runway but I surely wasn’t complaining with Manhattan and Statue of Liberty as background during landing.

Once in place, the meetings were held in Newington at our Engines site that manufactures large Fan cases to GE90 and IMC to the smaller of the GTF engines, 24k. The frist day we talked about the expectations of the team, targets and inventory management. One of the lesser expected learnings were that Americans serve their coffee in boxes and if you expect seven Swedes to be present, one of those boxes will not be enough to get through the day.

During day two, we talked about engagement, communications and knowledge sharing. Together with my current manager I conducted a workshop regarding how the department wants to communicate, what meetings that should be held continuously and how they can be more effective.

Last day was spent talking about new Aerospace standards and how they affect and ease our daily work before the afternoon was free to meet each other and discuss common issues before going home.

Last evening I met up with Ludwig & Amy, two of our American graduates that are currently working at our site in Manchester. Approximately 20 minutes from Newington.

Before going home on Friday we visited our site in Manchester. It was great to see their workshop since it differs quite a lot from what we do in Trollhättan. In Manchester, they focus on manufacturing blades for the engines fan and compressor. For some programs, the process is quite similar to how we work in Trollhättan, a large forging that looks similar to the end product which is then processed to finished goods. However, they also produce really small compressor blades that is no more than 15cm long and is milled out of a block of aluminum. If you weren’t aware of the end product, you would have no clue what the raw material was supposed to become.

After the tour we headed back to Newark for the plane back home and the weekend. A short but intense trip to the US.

Interested in Aerospace? Right now we have a lot of interesting jobs on the GKN Aerospace career page, go have a look!