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Month: October 2016

The first month at military engine performance.

The first month at military engine performance.

It’s been a while since we started here at GKN, and we graduate engineers have spent a few weeks at our respective home departments. At my department, which is military engines performance, we work with the performance of entire engine systems. The engine which is mainly considered is the RM12 engine – the engine powering the Gripen fighter jet, but we also work with other engines. I have personally not begun working with the RM12 engine and I probably won’t until I return from my time abroad, so by spring 2018.

The first time at the department consisted of a lot of reading up and learning about the basics of engine performance, but since a few weeks I have started working on more sharp tasks. Right now I work with a future engine. This engine is derived from an already existing jet engine. We work with a requirement specification of what this future engine must be able to handle in terms of for example thrust force and fuel consumption. We look at whether the requirements are attainable with todays technology and also how the performance of said engine might be a few years from now if materials and more keep developing in a rate similar to that of the past. My part so far has been to try to analyze the performance of the engine using this extrapolated future technology.

I’ve enjoyed this first time at the department a lot. Apart from my mentors and other colleagues being very including and pedagogical, they are also fun as individuals. Because of this it feels a bit melancholy, in a way, that I will be away for more than a year during the period as a graduate engineer. But on the other hand – what a year it will be!

Visit to the Air Force Museum

Visit to the Air Force Museum

Greetings everybody! It’s time for my (Joakim Åhman) first blog entry! My home department will be Engine Systems Performance in the military sector here at GKN. I’ve been at this department for a few weeks and so far I really like it here. More on this in an upcoming blog entry.

A few weeks ago was the first graduate engineer theme week for us. During the year we will have four of these weeks, during which we will be conducting study visits and doing team building exercises and more. During the first week we visited ACAB in Linköping and SAS in Stockholm. You can read more about these visits in a earlier blog entry from my colleague Emelie Roslund. We also made an interesting and inspiring visit to the Swedish air force museum in Linköping. There was a lot of interesting airplanes to behold, from the early 1900s to more modern fighter jets, such as the legendary JAS 39 Gripen (Gryphon).

JAS (or Gripen) is a name which rings a bell in the ears of most Swedish people. The letters in JAS stands for Jakt, Attack and Spaning. Translated into English this means Hunt (the actual English term is “Fighter”), Attack and Reconnaissance. A fighter is an aircraft designed to destroy other aircrafts. An attack aircraft is an aircraft designed to act as air support for ground troops, with more precision than common bomber aircrafts. A reconnaissance aircraft is an aircraft which carries surveillance intruments in order to carry out aerial reconnaissance. JAS 39 Gripen is, as the name suggests, an aircraft designed to be able to carry out all of these tasks. GKN Aerospace Engine Systems owns and has the responsibility of RM12, which is the engine powering the Gripen aircraft. As you might have guessed, my home department at GKN is very involved in service and developing of the RM12, which makes the Gripen aircraft a more interesting aircraft for me personally.

Other personal favorits to behold at the museum was among others:

  • SAAB 37 Viggen (Thunderbolt) – An earlier swedish fighter jet, in service the years 1972-2007.
  • SAAB 35 Draken (Dragon or Kite) – The first Swedish fighter jet using a delta wing.
  • P-51 Mustang – A legendary fighter aircraft developed and used by the Americans during the second world war.

If you ever go to Linköping then I highly recommend a visit to the air force museum!

Traineegruppen med Viggen på flygvapenmuseet.
The graduate engineers with SAAB 37 Viggen.
ME and trainee assignment

ME and trainee assignment

Hello again dear readers!

My thought is to shortly tell you about my home department, where I have been working for three weeks now, but to also tell you about our trainee assignment which Niclas so nicely left a teaser about last week.

My home department is with the manufacturing engineers working with the space and military production. Manufacturing engineers are called MEs for short, which greatly facilitates as manufacturing engineer is a long phrase. Anyway, as an ME you work very close with the production and the operators. The goal is to constantly improve the production by, for example, solving problems that arise – both urgent and more long-term matters and update the operation information material the operators have. I think it is very interesting and I am very happy that I get to spend another 7 weeks at this department!

Moving on to the cliffhanger – the trainee assignment. The essence of the project is to raise awareness and interest in the profession of engineering as well as technology in general. We are very interested and passionate about technology ourselves and we would love to inspire others to feel the same. What we hope is that we, through our project, will get in contact with high school students, who might have started to reflect upon over their future careers, and help them sort out the different paths there are to choose between in order to get to work with their interests and dreams in their professional life.

We believe many teenagers are nervous about their future (we were), that many teenagers are worried that university studies and the engineering profession might be too difficult or that the journey is perceived as too long and distant. Therefore, we want to use the project as a tool to reach the teenagers and help them sort out their questions about the future and perhaps also help them find and set goals in order to realize their dreams about future careers. An important part of the project is therefore to inspire and inform about the possible paths there is to take. Hopefully we can also spread enthusiasm and dedication to stimulate their interest in technology and take the first step towards successful careers.

It is a very exciting project and there is so much for us to do in this area. The whole group is eager to start and we truly hope that we will be able to make a difference, especially for the teenagers. I hope that we get the chance to meet at least some of you readers – and to hopefully get you as interested in the company and the aerospace industry as we are!

If this sounds intriguing – please keep following this blog as we will post more information about the project and different activities we will arrange, such as school visits and opportunities to discuss technology, education, engineering and other interesting topics. If you cannot wait to get more information or have any questions – contact us at and we can continue the discussion together!

A visit at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery in Finspång

A visit at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery in Finspång


During Thursday last week we had the great pleasure of visiting Siemens in Finspång. Our visit were both informative and fun. The Siemens Graduates showed us their business which was an extra plus. Just like us at GKN they are fairly new as Graduates and have a long and exiting journey ahead of them. As a consequence many interesting topics in relation to the separate program schedules were shared. However, most positive is the fact that both GKNs and Siemens graduate programs are well established within their organizations.

Our visit started with a lunch. At the same time all participants introduced them self and presented their way to become a participant in their Graduate program. After the introduction we were informed about the history of Siemens and there organization. A fun fact is that Siemens is the second largest private employer in the region.

So what are they producing in Finspång then? In Finspång they are producing gas turbines which offers effective power solutions for customer all over the world. Among the customer are hospitals, cities, gas- and oilrigs. As you may guess it is larges turbines they are dealing with. I can personally promise that the size of these turbines and the custom making of them is very impressive.

The similarity between gas turbines and jet engines are large. In a jet engine the power is used to push the engine forward. However in a gas turbine that power is used to power a generator. In that way electricity is created (extremely short explained). In fact Siemens planed on producing jet engines for the Swedish military in the mid-20th but, as you may know that business were acquired by us at GKN (At the time Volvo). As this placed the factory in Finspång out of work a smart person found that, “-aha, there is a market for turbines”.

Apart from a very interesting visit at the assembly line we also had the great pleasure of seeing Siemens latest research project, the AM-facility. For all of you who are unfamiliar with Additive Manufacturing (AM), myself included, there are several cool videos on Youtube ( ). In this facility Siemens are able, as one (maybe the only) of the few in the world to 3D-print parts in Inconel. At GKN we are also working with AM. More information about this will be presented in a later blog post. If you can´t wait to then take a look at .

A big thanks to our great hosts for the day Elin, Lisa and Mathilda. Great recruitments for Siemens!

*Pictures show all participants during the day. In the background Siemens head office called the castle. You may guess why..

Training Days

Training Days

During the current week Taining Days have been an ongoing event for many of the technical departments at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan. Training Days is a biannual event at which the employees get a chance to learn more about subjects which they perhaps don´t work with on a daily basis. The lectures have teached us about everything from our current strategies and ongoing research and development projects, thru negotiation techniques, lean strategies and Excel commands to employee involvement and mental stress reduction. Most of the educators have been local experts working at GKN here in Trollhättan, but guest lecturers from Volvo Trucks and our Dutch sister company Fokker have also visited us to share their knowledge and experiences.

As recently recruited graduate engineers we are especially encouraged to participate in the courses and learn as much as possible. Personally, I most of all appreciated the inspiring lecture in negotiation skills which gave us valuable instruments for coming negotiations with suppliers and customers regarding contracts and technical requirements. Even better, these strategies are equally useful at a personal level in debates with parents, partners and future children!

To be given the opportunity to participate in all the stimulating educations which GKN offer, also outside Training Days, is a privilege that proves that the company truly invests in our growth on both a professional and personal level!

The first period at Supply Chain

The first period at Supply Chain

Like the other trainees, I have just started my first internship at my home department, namely the Supply Chain. I work in a group called Supplier Quality Assurance, SQA. In brief, our work activities strive to handle suppliers and collaborate with them so that together we can achieve the right level of quality. For me personally, I have during my first two weeks instigated my work by diving into historical data with the aim of trying to analyze trends and synergies in the data in time series of a few years back. As an analytical person, and with a background in Lean Six Sigma, this has truly been a great way to get into the environment of Supply Chain and learn more about how we have reached the point where we are today. But this work is also support ourselves and our suppliers to raise our perspectives and be more long term in our way of working.

My biggest impression during these two weeks have primary been how amazing GKN and supply chain is as a workplace. As an SQA at GKN you operate to a large extent on a global market, with customers spread in many countries and continents. If you as a reader is an student and thinking about future professions, I really advise you to reflect on supply chain if you like to meet new people, want to work in a global market and enjoys to be in the middle of events.

The experienced blog readers may be aware that the young graduates every year conduct a side mission parallel with our trainee program. We have just been served the outline for this project, and I promise that it seems incredibly exciting! I eagerly look forward to get started on this project together with my colleagues, but right now i will not reveal anymore, but maybe by the missionwe will meet soon? Are you curious about what the mission is about, I advise you to continue to follow the blog for more information in the upcoming posts.


See you soon / Niclas Persson

Export control

Export control

The time has come for the last person in the graduate group to take the stage! Like for my fellow colleagues you can find out more about me and my background in the tab The young graduate program à Our young graduates.

I am the second graduate engineer belonging to the International Graduate Program (IGP), and I will, just like David, stay at my department for a consecutive 6 month period. GKN Aerospace consists of three branches, namely Military, Commercial and Space. I am employed at the Commercial Military department. It will be extremely interesting and exciting to get the possibility to be a part of a, to me, new field!

I am now part of project group together with some very eminent people. The purpose of this group is to work with something called export control. What is that you ask?

Export control means that we as a company knows WHAT is delivered to WHOM and that there exist relevant licenses for every export made. It is not only export of hardware in the form of actual details that are subject to export control rules but also things like drawings, knowledge and oral information. Everything subjected to export control regulations is given a class depending on how “secret” they are. The highest export class is given to military products whilst commercial products can be given a lower export class. A license requirement is put on every product based on the export classification. There is a plentitude of different licenses that can be applied for depending on the purpose of the export.

If GKN Aerospace for example wants to buy a military product from a company I the US and subsequently ship it forward to another country an ITAR license is needed. An ITAR license is the license given to the most secret military products in the US. This license must specify both that GKN Aerospace import this product and that we are allowed to ship it forward to the specific country. If we also want to be a part of future maintenance on the product a special license is needed for that as well. To further complicate things the US and Europe use different classification systems that have to be kept in mind.


During the next 6 month I will driving a project with the purpose of building a system support to how we handle export control. This will be done to simplify the process and to minimize the amount of manual work leading to a decreased risk of errors during the process.

This is a very complex but important area and I have so far only scratched the surface. I am very much looking forward to plunge right in to the exciting field of export control!

Safety & OMS

Safety & OMS

Hey everyone! I am among the last of the graduates to introduce myself, Joel Larsson is my name. If you want to know more about me click here. As the previous writers have indicated, there have been some really interesting weeks here at GKN Aerospace, with everything from study visits to leadership practices. Slowly, we are now starting to acclimatize to each of our own home departments, where we will start working after the graduate program finishes.

Currently, I am working in the Hot Structures department together with experts in the fields of aerodynamics, configuration and thermodynamics. As the name of the department indicates, the work here is focused around the hot parts of the engine. By hot parts we often mean critical engine components that are exposed to high pressures and temperatures, i.e. parts like the combustion chamber, turbine exhaust case and those parts in-between. (For some quick e-learning in the subject of jet-engines, click here) Critical components require, not too surprisingly, more thorough processing.

As mentioned before, GKN Aerospace are present in approximately 90 % of all aircrafts, and as a tier one supplier to the aerospace industry a wide range of requirements concerning product safety, production and organization need to be met. The review process to ensure robust processes throughout the organization are extensive, and leaves nothing to chance. So passengers around the world can feel safe when leaving ground.

To ensure that external and internal demands from authorities and customers are met, GKN have OMS (Operational Management System). OMS include descriptions of how to best operate in order to meet demands and satisfy customers. It covers everything from business development and sales, to engine maintenance and product development. To increase the effectiveness in all processes throughout the company, it is possible to change the operation descriptions. In this way, OMS becomes an empirical platform that helps GKN to optimize its processes, and at the same time, guarantee the satisfaction and safety of customers and passengers.

In my opinion, the possibility to safely, fast and with minimum environmental mark be able to travel is at the very core of human freedom. To be part of this process, i.e. to increase peoples freedom by enable safe and effective flight travels around the world, is both satisfying and exiting.

Company visits!

Company visits!

Now it is my turn to write a post – great! Our first activity week (which Andreas mentioned in the previous post) has just come to an end. It is during these activity weeks that we, among other things, can visit companies. In the beginning of this week we were in Linköping visiting ACAB (Applied Composites AB) and in Solna visiting SAS.

ACAB is owned by GKN and manufactures various products and components using composite materials. The composite materials produced at ACAB consists of long threads, so called fibers, made of carbon, kevlar or glass and are kept together by different types of plastic. A great advantage with composites is that they are light-weight and that they could well replace metal in many applications. It was fun to see a different type of production compared to what we have seen at GKN in Trollhättan. In particular, the material aspect of the visit was very interesting; to learn more about composite materials and its applications!

After the visit at ACAB, we drove our minibus to Solna where we met Kamran Chohan from the Lean office at SAS. He told us a lot about how SAS is working with Lean and how they are constantly striving towards fulfilling their customers’ demands and wishes. We found it very interesting to hear the thoughts and reasoning of an airline. Usually, you are on “the other side”, being a customer to the airline. Also, SAS is our end customer as they buy airplanes with engine components manufactured by GKN and so it was interesting to see what happens with the final product. By the way, did you know that in 90% of the world’s commercial flights, there are at least some component manufactured by GKN? I think that is really cool!

Traineegruppen tillsammans med representanter från SAS.
Together with representatives from SAS.

We are very happy with the first two company visits, we learned a whole lot and we look forward to getting to know more companies in the future! What we were up to during the remainder of our first activity week will Joakim tell you in the next post.