How time flies. It will soon be a year since we, the graduates of 2021, started at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan. For some, it was an experience of moving to a new city and for others, to move back home. An eventful year with mixed levels of restrictionsas a result of the pandemic.
Despite that, we have had a lot of fun thanks to the graduate program and we look forward to what next year has to offer. A few weeks ago, I started my third rotation at the Space Program and had the opportunity to participate in Universuem’s Space Day on June 19th. I managed our VR experience with the Ariane 6 rocket together with Marcus Broberg. During the day, astronaut Jessica Meir visited Universeum, a Swedish-American astronaut who spent 205 days in space. In the middle of her hectic schedule, she got the chance to try our VR experience.
Before the summer holiday, us graduates got together to summarize the year and discuss how we can increase our commitment at the workplace. The day ended with a round of mini-golf where the girls dominated. Better luck next time boys. 😉
Now the blog will go on a summer break and when we return it is time to welcome the new graduates. We also want to take the opportunity to thank the graduates of 2020 for their posts about the abroad rotations, it has really inspired us and we cannot wait until we get to go.
As you already know, me and the other 2020/2022 graduates are all abroad for our last placements, where I as well as Emma ended up in Bristol. Maybe you remember the news about Eunice hitting UK, the worst storm in decades? That’s when I arrived. Luckily the weather have just gotten better ever since and we’ve finally good some nice warmer summer weather, even if it looks like we’re getting a bit of rain now for Midsummer. But hey, what is Midsummer without rain anyways?
Since I arrived here in UK I’ve been working in Human Recourses where I am part of the global Talent and Engagement team. I am based at the Global Technology Centre here in Bristol and the rest of the team is spread across England. Luckily we’ve learnt a lot about remote working and digital meetings lately! The work in HR is totally new and very different from any other work I’ve ever done but I’m learning so much. Since I arrived my time have been divided into two major topics, events and Learning & Development. With Learning & Development my work have been heavily focused on the “behind the scenes” in our Learning Management Systems, Wilbur and LinkedIn Learning.
The first event I got involved in was Recognition of Learning, a ceremony at the Aerospace Museum in Bristol. Under the wings of the Concorde we recognised colleagues within our company for their achievements during the past two years and as part of this celebration the 2019/2021 global graduates also had their graduation. During the same week the 2021/2023 global graduates also had their first development week, which Moa has already told you about, which made it a quite intense week and start of my placement but so much fun and a lot of good memories made!
After this big event in March it was a quieter month in April before me, Emma, Jens and Marcus went to Paris early May and then adding in Robin for our third development week in US just a few weeks later. First thing first, Paris and the JEC World. JEC World is an international composite show where we as graduates helped out in the GKN Aerospace stand as well as walking around the show getting inspired from all the other exhibitors. We gathered new knowledge around composites and our products and I am truly grateful for this network experience!
After a week of recharge back home in Bristol my graduate cohort met up for our third and final development week at our Newington site in Connecticut. During the week we developed skills and knowledge around coaching, presentations and negotiations and between the sessions we got the pleasure to meet the US recruitment team and Engines Talent team, and also throw some axes! Before leaving US we also took the opportunity to visit Pratt & Whitney’s Customer Training Centre where we got to see our products assembled on to the engines. Then of course we ended our trip with a visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in a sunny New York!
I can’t understand where time has gone. We’ve soon been here for two years which means that we’ll be graduating this autumn. I just want to take the opportunity to thank my cohort for everything, what a journey it’s been! But before ending the scheme and leaving UK I will end my placement with a last project, Farnborough International Airshow, one of the world’s biggest aerospace events! All the global graduates from both 2020/2022 and 2021/2023 are meeting up here in UK for this, so I bet you will hear more about it later on!
It’s time for an update from my abroad placement in Bristol, UK.
I’m at one of GKNs two manufacturing sites in Bristol, in addition to these two sites GKN also have a brand new Global technology center. The site where I’m at is part of the Civil Airframe business line and they manufacture products to the wings of the aircraft, unlike the site in Trollhättan which manufactures parts to the engine. The main products that’s produced here are Fixed Trailing Edge (FTE) to the Airbus A350 aircraft which is a long distance aircraft with a wide aisle. If you would travel from London to New York it’s likely that you will get the honor to board this aircraft.
The FTE are made out of carbon using Advanced Fibre Placement, it’s over 30 meters long and is made out of 3 shorter spars which are automatically assembled to the full FTE. The assembly process itself is the most complex automated large scale assembly undertaken by GKN. The total weight of the entire FTE is 1800 kg which corresponds to about 7% of the wings weight and it supports 10x its own weight. It runs from the fuselage all the way to the end of the wing. Below is a picture of the assembled FTE and a drawing to show where on the wing it’s placed. As I mentioned, the FTE carries a lot of weight but it has other functionalities as well. For example it’s used for attaching the landing gear onto the wing.
What about living in Bristol? Bristol is located on the west coast of England, about a 2 hour drive from London. It even has its own airport, which is very convenient. I flew to Paris a few weeks ago with a direct flight to Charles de Gauelle, and it took just about 1 hour. The city is filled with great pubs and restaurants and there’s also a lot of shopping and plenty of parks and green areas. The pictures below is from one of the biggest parks in town and a panorama view of the town from above.
So, Bristol is close to London but I’m even happier about the fact that it’s close to Wales. If you are into old castles, fortresses, cathedrals etc. then Wales is the place to be. It has more castles than any other area in Europe (might have found a somewhat biased source for that but anyways). Apart from the castles the countryside in Wales is absolutely beautiful. I tried to find a few pictures to show you what it looks like but as you know, it’s never the same in a picture as it is in reality. All pictures are from Wales, the top left one is from Little Haven on the southwest coast, top right is the St.Davids Cathedral in St.Davids. Bottom left is from Conwy castle on the north coast and bottom right is from Brecon Beacons National Park.