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Month: January 2017

Work out at GKN!

Work out at GKN!

Just as at the university, GKN Aerospace offers a broad range of societies to engage in outside working hours. With activities reaching from arts and equites all the way to floorball and orienteering, there is something to explore in all fields of interest. Moreover, GKN promotes and supports all employees to exercise by the means of providing a gym and a sports hall at our premises free of charge, together with a number of group training sessions held every week.

As a GKN young graduate, and also a part of the Swedish national team in athletics, I of course want to take part in as well as contribute to this exercise culture. For that reason, I will during this spring lead a series of core strength session, with focus on muscle groups crucial for long distance running. The premiere session was held last week and became a great success! Over fifty GKN employees showed up to sweat and have a great time together after completing the day´s work. A perfect opportunity also for me to get some discipline into the very much important strength training which otherwise is far too easy to miss out on. Four graduate engineers attended the first class, but I’ll leave it out for now which other four the dodging second half consisted of. Tomorrow, a new chance is given to everyone to prove their commitment when the second session of the year is scheduled!

LARV 25 January 2017

LARV 25 January 2017

Do you know what day it is today? The day when the career fair at Luleå University of Technology takes place – LARV!

GKN Aerospace is of course represented. Former graduate engineers Claire and Hanna are present at the fair. GKN Driveline in Köping is represented by Johan and Pelle. Do not hesitate to talk to them, ask questions and be curious! They will help you with all your concerns and thoughts. They can also tell you lots about the company and all the different roads that leads to the possibility of working at a company active in one of the coolest industries!

ABB´s graduates visiting

ABB´s graduates visiting


Last Friday, we had an nice visit of the young graduates at ABB from Ludvika. It’s very fun to meet other young graduates that are in a similar situation as oneself, to discuss and exploit each other’s experiences and learnings.

ABB´s Graduates visiting

At their visit, we presented ourselves to each other, our companies and businesses, and also the scheme for our graduate programs. There were several similarities, but also some interesting differences which felt developing to discuss as it supported to develop a broader view of how we utilize the graduate programs in different ways. Afterwards, we got to participate in an interesting presentation about GKN Aerospace´s strategies and market we operate within. This was followed by a shop floor tour in the manufacturing facilities to present some of the products we manufacture here in Trollhättan.

To be a young graduate and have this possibility to meet different people feels very valuable, as one can continuously expand once national and international network. I am confident that this network will be highly valuable for my future career. Are you interested to also create one of these networks? Then you hopefully know that it’s time to apply for the young graduate program starting next autumn.

What happens this week you may wonder, and how does a regular week look for a young graduate? Well for me, this week starts with meeting and interacting with students in a junior high school here in Trollhättan to talk about technology driven occupations. This is followed with two courses I will attend within GKN, one about blisks and one of negotiation techniques. In addition I will also participate in a few internal interview meetings with some of interesting people within the organization. Furthermore I will meet with some people and try to plan the next intern period, and which learnings and assignments we hope to achieve. In parallel to this, I will continue to work with some of the projects I am involved within, so there is a lot to attend to – the pedometer in the mobile continues to tick on. It’s almost as if you don’t need to utilize the free fitness center available for all employees, but how can you pass out on that when some of the gym classes are held by our young graduate colleague and national team runner Andreas?

Keep following the blog, and I will promise you that soon it’s time for our British graduate colleague Neil to write another guest post.

Thesis work at GKN Aerospace!

Thesis work at GKN Aerospace!

All of the trainees each have a responsibility, something to keep an extra eye on, and mine is thesis works and career fairs. It is up to me to keep track of those things surrounding the fairs; making sure there is material to bring to the fairs and assist those who will represent GKN. The responsibility regarding the thesis works mainly concerns making sure the new thesis workers are welcomed to the company and providing them with the possibility to get to know each other (and the trainees). Every other week we all have lunch together and usually we are a big awesome group!

Many thesis workers have started now in January and it is going to be loads of fun getting to know them. Some of them may well be accepted to the trainee program and, in a few months, writing a blog post of their own to the trainee blog!

There are so many areas in which you can do your master’s thesis here at GKN. Just to mention a few there is design, quality and production. In addition, we have a materials laboratory where you can seek challenges as well as a research department located at PTC (Center of Production Technology) in Trollhättan. At PTC they, among other things, research and develop new production methods and especially Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an important part of their work.

As you might have noticed, we offer great opportunities to finding your area of interest – and it is not only applicable to thesis work but also when applying for a job! Thesis work can be a great way to a certain area of knowledge or a company, but it can also help you realise what you don’t find that interesting. Shortly, it is a chance for you to understand what type of job you want to apply for or which company you want to be a part of.

Will you be one of the chosen few?

Will you be one of the chosen few?

Do you want to work at the cutting edge of aerospace industry, with groundbreaking technologies in a global market? Do you wish to develop yourself in a grand and internationally renowned company, which at the same time is small enough for you as individual to make great impact?

If so, you should definitely apply for the GKN Aerospace Young Graduate Program in Trollhättan, a success ever since the start in 1986!

Have you been following the fortunate seven of us here on the trainee blog, and enviously wished you also were a part of such a wonderful group of young and enthusiastic engineers? Are you eager to test your skills in many different operational areas, to get to know an entire business from inside, to continuously grow and develop, to advance your leadership skills and last but definitely not the least go on exciting business trips where you get the chance to meet people from other companies within the aerospace business? Now is your chance to be one of the chosen few!

The application for the position as one of this fall’s young graduates is now open. Apply here!

We are looking for applicants who:

  • Are recently graduated Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Material Technologies, Engineering Physics, Industrial Engineering and Management or equivalent
  • Are fluent in English and Swedish, both spoken and written
  • Have a high level of interpersonal skills and an ambition to always strive forward
  • Previous leadership practices are meriting

The GKN Aerospace Young Graduate Program in Trollhättan started in 1986 and we now celebrate 30 years of success. During these years our graduates have continuously advanced to take management positions and key responsibilities within the organization. As you probably already have learnt by following this blog, the purpose of our graduate program is too give newly graduated engineers the best possibilities to grow both professionally and personally in a stimulating international business environment. As a graduate engineer you will be given the chance to work with product design, manufacturing engineering, material technologies, procurement, logistics and quality. The ultimate goal is to give you a broad range of experiences and the best possible preparation for a future position as a manager or specialist within you own area of interest and expertise.

Just as for us current young graduates, you will start your placement with 12 months at the Engine Systems headquarters here in Trollhättan. This first year will be equally divided among 4-6 work rotations within this facility. The individual placements are interspersed with so called activity weeks where the graduate group as a whole, on top of leadership training events, is given the chance to travel and connect with experts and managers from leading companies within the European aerospace industry. The graduate program is then completed with a 6 months placements at one of GKN Aerospace´s sites abroad, which gives you the chance to work throughout Europe, USA or Mexico.

We graduate engineers of today are highly delighted with the program so far, and we heartily recommend everyone interested in technology and leadership to apply. We are looking forward to receiving your application!

Scott Gearity held Export control education for the members of the organization

Scott Gearity held Export control education for the members of the organization


I have in earlier posts told you that I am currently working at the commercial military department at GKN Aerospace and since I am part of the International Graduate scheme I will be at this department until the end of March. That means that I am right in the middle of the export control project that I am currently managing. The project is going forward and we´re in a stage where the project team is mapping current state and future state of the processes, meaning that we look at how it is today and compare it with how we want it to be with a focus on export control and how the information flows through the company. This way we can identify holes in the processes that we need to fill, risks that we need to eliminate and unnecessary work that we can cut away. It is a great experience and sometimes a challenging task to manage a project.

Export control is a complex area that I am slowly beginning to navigate. On Monday the 9th of January the export control society had invited its members to attend a one day education held by Scott Gearity. Scott has worked within the field of export control for over 20 years and has during that time educated and helped many companies and many people to get a better understanding of the complex, but very important, regulations that surround us who work with export control. The education was held in Odd Fellow´s building in Stockholm, a very old and beautiful building constructed in the 1620´s. The education focused on EAR (the European regulation) and ITAR (the American regulation) within the fields of crypto and the licenses and agreements that exist.

He brought up many interesting questions like how to handle the fact the more and more information is being stored in cloud based storage options. Within the area of export control it is very important to keep full track of which piece of information ends up where and who handles it. A cloud can have servers in many countries and it is practically impossible to keep track on who handles the servers. If a person stores data in a cloud that has servers located in several countries, can this then be considered an export of information? And in that case, who is liable for that export?

The Commerce department in the US decided that the servers’ providers cannot be held responsible for that export just as a phone company cannot be held responsible if one person decides to call another person and reveal classified information over the phone. Commerce also stated that it cannot be considered an export if a person sends, takes or stores data that is:

  • Unclassified
  • Secured using end-to-end encryption
  • Secured using cryptographic modules
  • Not intentionally stored in a country listed in the D5 country group

The D5 list of countries contains the US Arms Embargoed Countries:

Afghanistan, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Congo, North Korea, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Belarus and Zimbabwe.


New department

New department

Now that our activity week, when we were out in Europe, has passed and the new year has begun it is time for most of us to make our first rotation and start at a new department. This only applies to the five of us that belong to the local program, and not Malin and David who belong to the global program. They will stay at the same department until they leave for their first assignment abroad.

I have been with the manufacturing engineers working with space and military during my first rotation (10 weeks). It has been lots of fun to be that close to production and I have seen and done quite a lot during this time. I have been a part of a development project developing the future generations of space nozzles and I have seen what the daily work with the production is like. I have made so-called JTDs. JTD is short for Job Training Document and is a kind of work instruction that can be used as a compliment for regular drawings and work instructions. A JTD has a lot of pictures and explicit explanations to facilitate for someone who has never performed these operations before. One of the JTDs I have made covers a welding operation and as I had no previous experience of welding, I found it very interesting!

The space nozzle we make at GKN in Trollhättan.
The space nozzle we make at GKN in Trollhättan.

My new department, where I started straight after coming home from our activity week, is with the design engineers. They are ones who makes the drawings and places requirements on products. They are also in contact with both the customer and people from production to make sure the things they do are aligned with the customer needs as well as possible to produce. It is a very exciting world and something I believe is very valuable to have insight into, especially later on when I am working with production. I will also learn the basics of the CAD program NX. I have not worked with CAD since my first year at Chalmers, which is now more than 5 years ago!

It is also time to say goodbye to 2016 and look forward to an exciting and eventful 2017. More experience within different areas at GKN, more company visits and meetings (especially those with the GKN leaders Kevin Cummings and Nigel Stein in February), my first “real” vacation and ending with the assignment abroad!

Happy New Years to you, dear readers!

New Department – New Projects

New Department – New Projects

Hi Again

Time flies and I have just started my next period on my next department, namely fabrication. Here I have got involved with an exciting improvement project involving welding. The manufacturing methodology of fabrication allows us to utilize lighter materials and exploit more suppliers to reduce the cost of their products and manufacture lighter products with reduced environmental impact. Although the usage of fabrication provides several benefits to stay competitive, it comes at the expense of handling a manufacturing process with increased complexity in terms of more advanced fixtures and additional numerous degrees of freedom for their assembling, compared to our historical methods of large castings. This concludes that the welding is an important process to optimize and sustain a statistical process control over. Those of you who have read my personal presentation here at the blog might be familiar with some of my previous experience at GKN within this field, in terms of master thesis, summer employments etc. It thereby feels like a welcome return to be part of these improvement projects again and continue the work of which we strive to continuously maintain zero deviations on all of our products and processes. It is even more exciting to return after almost 1,5 year and witness the outcome of the previous work I have participated with in the past. I look forward with enthusiasm towards the upcoming two months and what conclusions and improvements we will be able to achieve.

In addition to my assignments at the fabrication, there is much happening with the young graduate project in the short term future. During January, we will travel and visit several of the ninth grade classes in Trollhättan and talk about engineering and other ways of working with technology. Among other things, we will elaborate upon what an engineer is, what they do on a daily basis and which different paths there is to become an engineer. We will also host an inspirational event on the evening of the 17th January. Here, we will try to talk and inspire young adolescents more about studying at high school, college, university etc. But also how to think about future careers, tips on how to apply for summer employments etc. Are or someone you know studying in the 9th grade and might be interested? In that case, I think you should sign up for our inspirational event at Register name and number of visitors, and don’t forget that the application deadline is the 10th of January.

A fun last note, me and David recently had our first article published in the AES News, if you are interested to learn more about RRSP-contracts, I definitely think you should check it out!

/ Niclas

Visit at Snecma in Vernon

Visit at Snecma in Vernon

Happy New Year dear readers!

What an incredible and pleasurable journey we experienced. Exciting companies, fine views and new perspectives on both ourselves and the environment. Safran Aircraft Engines (Snecma S.A) in Vernon, France offered just this – perspective.

Snecma develops and produces engines for aircraft, satellites and launch rockets. They also offer MRO (Maintenance Repair & Overhaul) business. Snecma has about 15,700 employees at 35 production and MRO facilities throughout the world.

So, what to Snecma do in Vernon and how is this related to GKN in Trollhättan? Well, Snecma in Vernon is responsible for the final assembly of the Ariane 5 launcher engine, VULCAIN 2. As you probably know, the producer of the nozzle for this engine is actually GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan. GKN Aerospace is the European Space Agency’s “center of excellence” for the space nozzles and turbines for the Ariane rocket. In short, we are good at what we do here in Trollhättan which has paved the way for an effective and long-term cooperation with those involved in the Ariane rocket propulsion technology since its start-up in the 70’s.

At our visit we had the pleasure to meet a very charismatic and eloquent guide, and apart from the perceived language barrier we experienced a very instructive and interesting tour of the Snecma facilities. We got a closer insight into the engines of Ariane 5’s predecessor, Ariane 4 but also the future Ariane 6 rocket. We learned a lot of history surrounding rocket technology and we got to see both successful and less successful designs of the previous attempts of various rocket designs. After struggling to fit into various smocks and hairnets we had the pleasure go into the premises where the final assembly of the VULCAIN 2 took place, and more sterile premises than those one have to look a long time for.

On Snecma’s area in Vernon there is also a test facility for the final assembled motors. This test facility was about the size of an Ariane rocket (about 50 meters high). After seeing a movie of an earlier engine test we were certainly impressed by the fact that the forest behind the building still stood untouched. These incredible forces that are generated and channeled through GKN’s nozzles makes one feel small. The fact that the nozzle even holds is admirable considering that the exhaust temperature is approximately 30% of the sun’s surface temperature.

Humans may be small, but we can achieve great wonders!