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Month: November 2016



As most of you probably already know, the universities around Sweden arrange career fairs every year where the students meet representatives from different companies. GKN is usually present at a lot of these fairs to attract students for summer jobs, master thesis projects, graduate employments and “regular” employments.

The first fair for this season is Armada, which is held at KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm today and tomorrow (22nd and 23rd of November). Linn and Sofie, who were graduates until this summer, are at the fair representing GKN. They can tell you a lot about the company and all the different roads you can take in order to work at a company in one of the coolest industries!

So – if you are in the neighborhood, I definitely think you should stay and talk to them. Just see how cheerful they look! 🙂




High quality standards, inducing an equally high safety, for manufactured parts is a self-evident aspect of the aerospace business. Just as essential is the safety for all employees within the company!


To raise an awareness of all conceivable risks, and to find which actions that should be taken to eliminate or mitigate these, GKN plc. uses a concept known as thinkSAFE!. This concept comprises everything from machinery in motion and how to perform heavy lifts safely, via chemical-, energy- and environment policies to ergonomics and social wellbeing. The information is spread on message boards and posters within the workshops as well as the offices, by e-brochures and educational videos and directly at unit meetings. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a behavior which leads us on the way to the vision of zero incidents at our workplace. Within the concept of thinkSAFE! there is a sub concept named don´t WALK BY! which encourages all co-workers to report so called near misses, which is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness or damage but had the potential to do so. Capturing these near misses is very important in order to take actions to proactively prevent injuries, which also is emphasized by a pay bonus given if a certain number of risks are reported at our site during this year.

Another important instrument to raise the safety awareness within the company are the many internal courses that we employees are educated by. As an example, it is a formal requirement for all staff working within production to, among many other courses, attend sessions in Safe machine stops and Safe heavy lifts. As I study to become a certified manufacturing engineer these courses are mandatory for me as well. Last week I took part in the Safe machine stops and next week I will attend Safe heavy lifts, which includes a practical section where we get to maneuver powered pallet trucks and stackers. Let´s just hope that I´ve got an at least slightly better safety awareness than poor Klaus does in this quite laughable German education movie!

Neil Irwin – The first guest post

Neil Irwin – The first guest post

Neil Irwin
Neil Irwin

Hello readers, my name is Neil and I am the third graduate engineer on the International Graduate Programmme (IGP), along with Malin and David. In this blog post I want to share my background, what I do here in Trollhättan, and my experience of living in Sweden!

A little background on how I got here: I am originally from London in the UK, and I completed a master’s degree in physics at the University of Southampton. After I graduated I moved to the Isle of Wight to work at GKN Cowes for a one-year internship. Here I worked at CTAL, a composites manufacturing partnership which was formed to create a carbon composite fan system for future Rolls-Royce turbofan engines, such as “Ultrafan”. My role in CTAL was in the Measurement and Inspection team, working on analysis and improvement of the measurement systems in the plant, as well as planning the inspection operations in the manufacturing sequence. I really enjoyed this role as I got to work directly with a lot of different people in CTAL, and I was lucky to be part of a great team.

I arrived in Sweden three weeks ago for my first 6 month IGP placement. I came here because I was keen to do my first placement as a technical placement within the space business unit of GKN, and it has also been a good opportunity for me to meet with some of the other GKN graduates and IGP engineers here in Trollhättan. My placement here is within the aerodynamics team, in the space rotors department. I am working with the Vinci project: an engine development program for ESA’s upcoming Ariane 6 launcher. My placement here involves improving some of our CAE tools for analysing space turbine design, as well as engine test analysis.

So far I have really enjoyed living in Sweden, so here are my top 10 Swedish highlights:

  1. Playing Innebandy
  2. Watching Frölunda v Skellefteå ice hockey in Gothenburg (next time I will learn the rules)
  3. Friday Fika time
  4. Swedish taco Friday – never saw this one coming
  5. Afterworks
  6. My first Swedish lesson
  7. Pea Soup and pancakes
  8. Walking around the locks and woods around Trollhättan
  9. Strong Swedish coffee
  10. Eating pepparkaka – I can’t stop!

And the lowlights:

  1. The incredibly expensive beer!

I’m really looking forward to the rest of my time here in Sweden. I will write another blog article to let you know how it’s going – maybe my next blog article can be in Swedish!


Internal meetings and the next period of internships

Internal meetings and the next period of internships

Hello Again

As Emelie mentioned in the previous post, the young graduates participated in the regional finals of the First Lego League this weekend as the role of judges in different fields. This was a very rewarding opportunity for us, as it was incredibly fun and exciting to see how talented and skilled these young students were. The winner was the team Oh Deer, who had an innovative and exciting solution for today’s problems with wildlife accidents in the traffic.

The young graduates at the First Lego League
The young graduates at the First Lego League


Now that we have become more custom and familiar to our roles at our home departments, it’s time for the next category of activities for the young graduates, namely the internal meetings. Although we already soft started this activity by several introductions and meetings in our first weeks at the company, we will now start a coherent set of meetings internally within the organization. These meetings will consist of brief informal meetings with different persons and functions within the organization, and the purpose is to create a broad overview of the organization, as well as a valuable future network. This set of activities will run for the next 4 months,

This opportunity is very valuable to us, as it provides us with a unique chance to get familiar with the company and gain deeper insight on a holistic level regarding how the company operates and function. We will have the oppertuntity to meet with approxiametly 30-40 persons in the next 3-4 monts here at GKN Aerospace Sweden in Trollhättan. At the end of this set of meetings, we will hopefully have sufficient insights which we can use for two exciting meetings for the trip later in Februari when we will meet GKN plc CEO Nigel Stein and GKN Aerospace CEO Kevin Cummings to talk about the organization from a holistic perspective. To us young graduates, this seems like a great prevlige and the start of an invaluable educational journey.

Finally, I would also like to mention that we as graduate has started to identify the location of our next internships. As you probably already know, the graduate program is divided in 4 internships, divided by 10 weeks for each period. When choosing the internship locations, it feels like the possibilities are endless here at GKN because we design, manufactures and conducts research in most things related to the aerospace industry. For me personally, this was a very attractive attribute when applying for the young graduate program, since it provides unique opportunities to try different roles that otherwise would be difficult to come in contact with. So where will I be you might wonder? Well right now, I’m looking into spending a period closer to manufacturing in the role of a CME (Chief Manufacturing Engineer). I discovered this function after visiting a very exiciting course at Training Days, where presented some of their work which consisted of two of my biggest intrests, namely quality and technology. So right now we are planning and evaluating if there are any interesting projects and objectives I could participate within at that department. That’s all for now!


See you soon

Niclas Persson

First Lego League

First Lego League

This Saturday (12th of November), a very fun competition will take place at Innovatum here in Trollhättan – the region finals of First Lego League! Teams of eight graders have during the fall been working with a project and on Saturday they will display their projects and compete against each other. The project is divided into three parts; one research part where they have defined and solved a problem, one marketing and cooperation part where they will show their marketing skills and ability to work together and lastly a technology part. The technology part entails a lego robot which the teams have been developing, building and programming. The robots will perform different tasks and compete against other robots in games during the competition day.


GKN Aerospace is taking a part in this and is sponsoring one of the competing teams; Team Cookies. Some of us trainees will be at the competition and we look forward to being impressed by the eight graders! It will be great fun and we will most probably tell you more about the event afterwards.

Now, during week 45, there is a special week called TOPP taking place at Innovatum. All ninth graders in the area are gathered and they will be given an insight into the working life in Trollhättan. One way to achieve this is by having several companies introduce themselves. We will be present at this event too, representing GKN and telling the students about the company. We hope to inspire the students and getting them interested in the technology at GKN. The TOPP week is a great initiative to bring students and work places together!

Yet another thing happens this week; the Sweden Robot Hack will take place at PTC here in Trollhättan on Saturday (12/11). It is a competition between several teams from, among others, Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg), University West (Trollhättan) and the Nils Ericson high school (Trollhättan).


As you notice it is a very eventful and fun week here in Trollhättan and we are very happy to be a part of this!

Classified military information

Classified military information

You can remain calm! No classified information will be revealed in this text (at the expense of the interest of some of you). I will on the other hand tell you about the handling of classified information and the processes around the people who in their daily life manage classified military information.

As I wrote in my last contribution to this blog, the text called Export control, products are given a class depending on their level of secrecy. These products would not exist if we don´t have the information telling us how to create them and haw to use them. The information is desirable and therefore at least as secret as the actual hardware. The level of secrecy of the information is classified according to the following scale:

  • Top Secret
  • Secret
  • Confidential
  • Restricted

SÄPO (the Swedish security police) performs a register control on people who manages classified military information according to the scale depending on the level of secrecy on the information. The information with a higher level of secrecy will have a bigger impact on national security if being leaked. As you can imagine this puts great requirements on the handling of the information as well as on the people knowing it.

In order to be allowed to handle classified military information in the job a person needs to be evaluated in a special security process involving several steps. One could argue that it would be simplest just to evaluate every employee according to this process to get rid of the problem of who is allowed to tell what to whom at work? Unfortunately it is not as simple as that. In fact, the company makes a mistake if it evaluates people who are not exposed to classified military information in their work.

In the Security protection regulation (1996:633) it is stated that the evaluation shall be based on

  • The personal knowledge existing about the person subjected to the evaluation.
  • Data appearing from grades, certificates, references etc.
  • Data appearing from register control.

So, what does it imply to be evaluated? The evaluation contains of three steps:

The personal conversation: during the conversation questions are asked about your living situation, background, friends and family, your alcohol habits as well as your travel habits. The moderator will also ask about narcotics, doping, your criminal record, your behavior online and on social media, your safety thinking and your loyalty. All of which is needed to evaluate the vulnerability of you and your surroundings as well as your loyalty and trustworthiness, which is the point of the conversation.

All of these questions can be found on the website of FMV (Swedish Defence Material Administration) in a document named “Underbilaga 8.3 till Industrisäkerhetsmanualen”.

After the personal conversation an opinion is formed on whether or not the employee is suitable for handling classified information.

Signing an NDA: The employee must also sign an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) promising not to reveal any classified information for at least 40 years.

Register control: A proposal to perform a register control according to the “safety protection law” is performed after the consent of the employee and subsequently sent to SÄPO. The register control delegation, working on permission of SÄPO, runs the employee against the criminal records. If there is anything in the records that hasn´t come up during the personal interview SÄPO will give you a call and give you a chance to explain. As long as the person manages this kind of information in his/her job the employee will remain in the record.

When all this I done and the employee has passed the evaluation, the company and the employee is notified.

To further decrease the vulnerability surrounding a specific person it is always made certain that no single person handle more classified information than is needed to do the assigned job. In that way no person possesses the entire puzzle, but just a piece of it.

When you leave your employment and no longer need to handle classified military information you will be removed from the register and all papers regarding your evaluation will be destroyed, except the NDA of course! That will be valid for at least 40 years..

To GAN and beyond

To GAN and beyond

Hey again! The weeks fly by and the working tasks involving both the trainee project and department issues are in full swing. I myself am involved in a project where a TEC (Turbine Exhaust Case) has been modified to increase its life expectancy and producibility. The project is now in a review phase where concerning parts and the production processes are examined. The review process is a way to ensure that the product characteristics meet design intent throughout the production process.

Through this project I together with other Engineers involved in the project received the honor of traveling to GKN in Norway, also called GAN (GKN Aerospace Norway). As we may have mentioned GKN Aerospace Engine System are located in four places, namely in Sweden, Norway, Mexico and the United States. Anyways, it was very educational to meet all the experienced Norwegians, even if it sometimes was really hard to hear what they were actually conversing about. You could probably imagine how hard it was trying to understand a design engineer talking Norwegian when you barely can make sense of the technical linguistic here at Trollhättan in Sweden.

Just as GAS (GKN Aerospace Sweden), GAN produces shafts, vanes and cases. With over 500 employees and 30 years of experience within the aviation industry GAN constitutes an important part of GKN. Otherwise, I need to add that Kongsberg gave me some good vibes. I could see myself live and work there for some time provided I received equal pay as the Norwegians. Norway is, as you may know, very expensive to live in.