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Month: October 2017

GAS 5 years, bowling and Quality

GAS 5 years, bowling and Quality

On Wednesday GAS (GKN Aerospace Sweden) celebrated 5 years and everyone got treated to the Swedish desert semla. Semla is traditionally eaten on Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) which is celebrated in February/March. Eating semla in October is something new to me but considering the strong fika culture here at GKN I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s almost like Friday fika should get its own blog post someday. In our graduate group Lisa is the one that has, without a doubt, the department with the best Friday fika and every week they outperform us all.

Anyway, it was GAS celebrating five years that I was going to write about. It’s been 5 years since Volvo Aero was acquired by GKN. GKN doesn’t have as strong brand name in Sweden as Volvo has, for example, my mom explains to friends and family that I got a job at “old Volvo Aero”. However, GKN is a large global company with over 58 000 employees, where GAS is actually a very prominent business unit in GKN Engine Systems. We have gone from being a rather unknown part of Volvo to contribute with ‘best practice’ in GKN, something I find super cool! However, marketing GKN is important and it is something that we graduates get to be a part of through both our graduate project where we meet primary school students and through attending career fairs at universities.

Being a graduate at GKN is very varying, we get to experience many different things from rotations at different department and working abroad to different graduate assignments. A varied job with many possibilities was exactly what I was looking for when I was applying for jobs this spring, and I really feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. Besides the work and graduate assignments we graduates do a lot of social activities which really contribute to a great sense of belonging and commitment. On Tuesday we were eight graduates who spontaneously went into town after work to bowl and eat. Sarah, an American graduate within IGP, won this time 🙂

Emma and Philip bowling

Right now I’m at my home department, Quality, where I manage a project in Requirement Management. I get to learn a lot, from EU environmental laws to IT security. It’s both challenging and exciting, a perfect mix! Check out my profile if you want to know more about me and my background.

In my next blog post I will hopefully tell you about my visit to Newington, one of our American Engine System sites, where I will be visiting in three weeks.


Joy and sorrow

Joy and sorrow

I have spent the past 20 years of my life in school. I have learned a little bit about anything: everything between heaven and earth. “Knowledge is Bliss” as you know.

I completed my engineering studies a few months ago, marking the end of my formal education. However, it does not mean that I stopped developing. First of all, I’m still attending school of life, which I’ll never escape. Secondly, I learn new things every day here at GKN. Imagine the privilege of learning at work by working on fun and challenging projects. That possibility is one of the reasons I’m doing this trainee program. (As you know, the biggest reason is that I can kickstart my blog career through the program.)

This week I have been thinking very much about my personal development. This is partly due to the fact that over the past two weeks we have had Training Days here at the company. This means that we have attended a variety of courses and lectures. You can read more about that in Philippo’s blog posts a few days ago.

The second and more important reason why I was thinking about my development this week is that my dear fellow, Andreas Åhwall, left us yesterday. He has moved on to Fokker and will be gone for six months. It made me reflect on the wise advice Andreas has conveyed. He helped and supported me during my first time at GKN, and trained me to become a better runner (Andreas is professional runner. You can read more about Andreas here).

It’s always hard to say goodbye to a good friend.

Andreas, we miss you. Good luck in Holland!

Hot weeks at Hot Structures

Hot weeks at Hot Structures

Hello there blog readers,

My name is Philip and now I finally have the opportunity to put my enthusiastic thoughts on paper, or out across the internet rather, by writing my first blogpost about my initial weeks at GKN Aerospace Engine Systems here in Trollhättan, Sweden. If you would like to know more about who I am, and my background, please feel free to have a closer look here. Regardless, I can introduce myself as a global trainee in GKNs International Graduate Program (IGP) and thus far the possibilities as a trainee in a global company seems great.

As an International Graduate I have currently landed at the department of Hot Structures for civilian jet engines, which means that I will spend the following six months here participating in differing projects and learning about the organization. For those of you not sure of what the department entails; the department name is Hot Structures because we design, analyze and participate in the entire chain for the products related to the hottest parts of a jet engine – that can go upwards temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius. The entire business area and organization of civilian jet engines is fascinating, and also plays a huge role for the entirety of GKN Aerospace.

So, what have I been doing these past weeks? A lot! Mostly, I have been working on a project that I unfortunately cannot write about, but it is as interesting as it is secretive. However, I am also apart of other projects that involves the responsibility of analysis and verification of differing components in several civilian jet engines during redesign and testing. Thus far, it has been a very enriching experience. Besides my department work, I am also involved in a trainee project working with younger students – please read Signe’s post below for more information.

The past two weeks, there have also been something called “Training Days” here at the site, where anyone can sign up for different educational courses related to the organization, aerospace industry or processes and products. Personally, I have signed up for a lot of courses, and to this point it has been really interesting throughout the sessions; where an expert within their field can explain what they do and in which direction the company is moving towards. Anything from how people work in teams to how our products actually work. Both educational and fun!

I can actually also briefly mention the International Graduate Program and how it is different from others, in case some of you readers completely confused regarding the different graduate schemes. IGP is GKNs international program that includes the entire GKN plc, across all of the divisions globally where Aerospace is one of the divisions within GKN plc. The program consists of three six-month placements followed by two more extensive placements that are 22 months each. Here, the main selling-point for me, is that you get the opportunity to travel, work with very different projects and simultaneously meet engaging and interesting people from around the globe. Signe and I is then this year’s international graduates with our first placement here in Trollhättan. In case you have more questions, just add a comment below, or contact me and/or Signe and we will be glad to respond.

Finally, I am excited about continuing my current projects here in Trollhättan, as well as stepping into new ones and further explore the possibilities within IGP. I have started looking into my coming placements abroad, however, as I already feel at home here in my department – I am in no hurry to plan my departure.

Philip signing out!

Signe signing in

Signe signing in

Dear blog readers,

It’s time for my first blog post! My name is Signe and I’m one of the international graduate engineers which means that I will spend my first six months in Trollhättan before I leave for the next adventure within GKN. Please click here if you want to read more about me. I will spend these months at the same department, which is Military commercial. This department is very exciting since it is a lot of politics involved. At the moment, I’m involved in one project about the standard parts in RM12 and the work with the strategic plan. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal more but a lot of the information within the military is confidential. Instead, I will tell you more about this year’s graduate project.

Each year, the new graduates get a mission to conduct a social project. This year, the project is a development from last year’s project, which was to inspire youths in 7th-9th grade to science and engineering. One of the activities within the project is to visit the students in the 9th grade in Trollhättan and Vänersborg and talk about what an engineer works with.

Last week, two school classes from Norway came to visit Trollhättan and to spend their day at Innovatum. The aim with this trip was to collaborate between the two countries to secure the demand of engineers in the future. GKN was invited to talk about its business and therefore Philip and I went there. We presented about GKN, how it is working as an engineer, and how we were thinking when we were in the same age as the students. This visit resulted in a journal article in Ttela and Philip and I got a moment of fame. You can click here to read the article.

Das war alles, see you!



First weeks at purchasing

First weeks at purchasing

Hello, dear blog readers!

My name is Emma Winblad von Walter and just like two of my trainee colleagues, I have my educational background from LTU (If you want to read more about us, check out our personal presentations HERE). I have studied M.Sc. Industrial and management engineering where I have been taught to view problems from a wider perspective and having a holistic view, this is probably the reason why a young graduate program felt appealing to me in the first place.

I had no relation at all to GKN or the aerospace industry before I started working here, so it is mainly my interest and passion for technology that led me to this position. During my first weeks, I have had a lot of new impressions, especially since my knowledge about the technical parts is limited. But at the same time I am learning a lot and having great fun while doing it!

I am selected for the local trainee program at GKN with Purchasing as my home department. Each one of us trainees are employed under different home departments, where we also have our home department manager. This is my second week at purchasing and so far I have gotten a good impression! I am now mainly working with two different projects, both of which are linked to the handling of spare parts at the company, we can call them: • Project Dropship • Project Balken

For my first project, I am investigating the possibility of taking spare parts from supplier to company and then to customer instead of sending them directly from supplier to customer (so-called dropship). In my second project, I am investigating so-called “unclean spare parts” (spare parts used partly in production and partly as pure spare parts) to see if the current logistics solution can be optimized. I will tell you more about this in my next blog post.

I will be at my home department now for 10 weeks, after that we will have an activity week and then start a second trainee rotation, and so on. The other rotations are done in consultation with the home department manager who can recommend people to talk to or which areas are beneficial for a future role at the home department, which, in my case, is as a buyer.

After a bit of struggling, we are now up and running with the blog. We are aiming to upload posts approximately twice a week in order for you to get to know us as trainees and hear what we actually do at GKN, so keep your eyes open!

Until next time!


A quality workplace

A quality workplace

My home department work with operational quality. We make sure we achieve and exceed our customers’ demands and expectations. It’s fun work! Therefore many of the employees at the department have been working at GKN for several decades.

There are many reasons why we stay that long at GKN. One major factor is the work itself. Everyone I talked to think their work is stimulating and varied; two days are never the same. In addition, the work is challenging, which means they continually develop and learning new things. This means the work is never boring.

An important aspect for a good workplace is the leadership. The leader supports and delegates us in our work. This is possible because we are competent; in most cases, a co-worker is better at his or her job than the boss. Instead, the role of the leader includes communicating vision and strategy, as well as coaching and motivating us.

Last but not least, we enjoy working together! Our corporate culture permeates all interaction between us. We share a strong trust that enables us to collaborate efficiently and deliver good results.

I am the newest addition to the department and have been welcomed with open arms. I really enjoy it and look forward to my coming decades here on quality!

A first adventure

A first adventure

Time to lose my virginity as a blog writer. As earlier years, the fourth week was an so called Activity Week. During the graduate program, we are suppose to visit different companies around Europe in order to strengthen our relations and get broader perspectives both inside and outside the aerospace industry. In the last couple of years, the graduates have visited everything from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse toTetra Pak (multinational food packaging company) in southern Sweden.

This years first trip was divided into two parts where Monday – Wednesday was spent on company visits in Stockholm and Thursday – Friday was spent on leadership training in the province of Bohuslän. Ouside all professional acitivies, the week offered a wide range of private activities such as a picknick at Ingarö in the Stockholm archipelago. Excellent week to get to know each other!

Private activity in the Stockholm archipelago.

SSC Swedish Space Corporation
Our first visit of the week was the former “Rymdaktiebolaget” that fairly recently rebranded itself to SSC Swedish Space Corporation, in order to enhance their international relations. SSC is a government owned corporation, originally intended for space related research and maintenance of the Swedish space station on the outskirts of Kiruna, northern Sweden. The company mainly develops and produces different kind of space technology such as science experiment equipment for micro gravity. The research is carried out using sounding rockets, mainly due to the low price and high reliability they offer. Outside the science part of the space station Esrange, the station is one of the most active civil ground stations in the world. The reason is Esranges beneficial geographical position, above the arctic circle, which provides them with exceptional conditions for regular data transfer from both science equipped satellites as well as earth observation satellites.

Visit to SSC headquarters in Solna.

SSC have recently extended their customer portfolio, outside Swedish National Space Board and ESA, to also include several international private actors. During the visit we met with Alf Vaerneus (Technical project manager, System Engineer) at SSC headquarters in Solna. Besides an splendid business presentation, Alf showed us parts of the company’s production and a case study of the Maxus 9 project. The first film below shows a shorter presentation of the project. The second video is a 360°-video of a Maxus 9 launch.

OBH Sweden AB
After the visit to SSC we continued towards OHB Sweden AB, which is another space oriented company, previously a part of SSC. The company produces satellite systems for various space craft with both governmental and private actors. Unlike SSC, OHB has a focus on space systems in orbit, both LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and GEO (Geostationary orbit). This includes satellites for data collection in everything from metrology to positioning systems such as GPS and Gelileo. During our stay we met Nils Pokrupa (Head of Spacecraft dept.), Desireé Brundin (Spacecraft Engineer) and Erik Clacey (Spacecraft Engineer) who gave a solid business presentation and showed us their production, clean rooms and mission control centers. Very exciting!

Visit to OHB Sweden AB

GKN Aerospace Governmental Relations Office
The last visit during our stay in Stockholm was spent at GKN’s office for Governmental relations, right next to the Swedish parliament. The small office, with only two employees, has the purpose of maintaining good political relations with the Swedish government and keep all affected politicians well informed. During the visit we met with Hannes Borg and Stefan Hjort that together deals with these kind of questions. For the moment they were working intensly on the smoking hot question of what country and company that will get the engine maintenance contract on the upcoming JAS 39E Gripen. It was very interesting to meet with people who work with these unusual questions.

The last days of the trip was dedicated for leadership training at Bohusgården outside Uddevall on the west coast of Sweden. Besides various well beinig activities, all graduates had to take part of the traditional “Graduate- baptism” in a eleven degrees Celcius cold Kattegatt. At least the weather was with us!

The traditional “graduate-baptism” at Bohusgården.
An exciting first year and more to come

An exciting first year and more to come

Hello blog!

My name is Lisa Markusson and this is my first post as an new local graduate engineer here at GKN in Trollhättan. My educational background is Materials Science and Engineering at Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and this is where I heard of GKN Aerospace as a company. Luleå University of Technology and its Department of Materials Science have a long and strong collaboration with GKN in Trollhättan due to their use of exciting and high-performing material like titanium and super alloys. Therefore, by the end of my education I applied to GKN and was given the chance to carry out my thesis work within additive manufacturing (AM) during the fall of 2016. Additive manufacturing is an area which GKN is fully committed to in order to be competitive in present and future businesses, but also for a more effective and environmentally conscious production with less waste of material. Please read more at

During the thesis work I was placed at GKN’s department for process development which foremost operates from Innovatum and its Production Technology Centre (PTC). Innovatum and PTC is a collaboration between industry and academia in order to push production development forward. My work was focused on characterization of powder for the method of direct deposition of the additive, Laser Metal Deposition (LMD), as well as to find a second source supplier of powder for GKN. The work was great in terms of building a good basic understanding for development of AM which also gave me a continued position as an Process Engineer at the company. This has given me a full year of experience at GKN within process development of AM before I started my new position as an Graduate Engineer.

Additive Manufacturing – A picture taken by myself of tests performed in Germany!

To those readers who are still in the world of academia and thinking of the way forward, I want to say that GKN is an amazing company with cool materials and products, and an exciting business category. Keep a lookout at our website for thrilling thesis works and take the opportunity for an excellent entrance to the company.

My new challenge as an Graduate Engineer will be to broaden my knowledge by rotations at various departments where I will have AM as a common thread. My view on the future is to be a part of the implementation of the process on more products, to continue on what we already have accomplished. Exciting times are to come!

Until next time!

*Additive Manufacturing – Collective term for various fabrication techniques whereby material is joined with a layer-on-layer approach to produce a preprogrammed 3D data model.

My first month in Trollhättan

My first month in Trollhättan


My namn is Josh and I am one of the graduates from America that is starting my international rotation here in Trollhättan. It has been 4 weeks now since Nick, the other American´, and I started here at GKN Sweden with this year’s new trainees. We started our first week learning about the company here in Trollhättan as well as a brief experience in the apprentice school they have here at GKN. This school is designed for high school students to get an opportunity to learn to manufacturing processes and machines using manual and CNC mills and lathes. It was a great few days of learning and hands on work. This is a great opportunity they have available to the high school students in the area that provides useful skills and even an opportunity to work on the shop floor. In America students do not have an opportunity to go do this type of school/training, yet there is a large demand for operators with these skills. If you have interest in the school, take advantage of this opportunity. There are graduates from that program that work on the shop floor and decide to go to university and come back in engineering or even into the Trainee program they have here at GKN.

While the new trainees have been learning about a variety of products out on the shop floor, I have started my position for the 6 months in Trollhättan. I am working in the shop on a new program for GE’s LM9000 in new product introduction (NPI) management. Bringing on a new product involves much development, testing, engineering, and collaboration. I am working with all the members of our LM9000 team to meet our schedule to deliver the part. It can be a challenge to manage the many facets to developing a new program and it also presents many obstacles that I have to adapt to overcome. For GE the LM, which stands for land and marine, products use the jet engine design for non-aviation products such as ships or power generation. The LM9000 is designed for power generation and will be designed to generate 65 Megawatts of energy or enough to power around 6,500 homes. This engine will be an aeroderivative of the GE90-115B, the world’s most powerful jet engine.

I will also be working on an Industry 4.0 initiative here at Trollhättan. Industry 4.0 is considered the next industrial revolution with the integration of modern technology such as computers and the internet to improve different areas of companies. One of the major issues in a manufacturing facility is machine breakdowns. If the machine is not functioning properly, GKN will not be able to produce parts. The concept I will be exploring will revolve around predictive maintenance in order to reduce the downtime of machines. With modern technology, data can be collected and analyzed to determine if a machine is about to fail.   This information allows GKN to be proactive and limit the downtime of the machines. Industry 4.0 opens the door for many improvements for companies like GKN and will open opportunities for those who are interested in studying the skills to implement these improvements.

Last week the trainees were traveling to Stockholm to visit companies in the aviation and space industries! We will be sharing our experiences on this blog so make sure you look out for the posts!


First time in Sweden

First time in Sweden

Hello again readers! I’ve now started the last leg of my rotation, 6 months here in Trollhättan.  I landed in Sweden on September 1st and went to a traditional Swedish crayfish party on my first day, a perfect start to my stay here!

Traditional Swedish crayfish party

The first few weeks I’ve been getting orientated to the facility and the local program with the other trainees, as well as learning about what my assignment will be while I’m here.  I’ll be working on a couple initiatives we have involving additive manufacturing (AM).  Both involve the technique called Laser Wire Deposition with wire (LWD-w) where weld wire and a laser is used to deposit material.  The plan is that we utilize this technology at my home site in El Cajon, so I will gain experience by working on the initiatives they have here in Sweden.

My main task is to work on initiatives with titanium casings where we currently use a forging or casting in a weld fabrication.  Instead, we want to research the possibility of using LMD-w to deposit material right onto the piece to avoid welding, saving money and time while also improving quality.

One thing that makes this facility much different than my home facility in El Cajon is the existence of Innovatum, a research facility here in Trollhättan that works in conjunction with the local university (Högskolan Väst) and other local companies.  Innovatum allows GKN to test new processes (like LWD) for production readiness.  In short, you wouldn’t want to invest money in a process unless you knew it was going to work.  Especially when expensive machines are involved!

I look forward to sharing more about what I’m working on here at Trollhättan, and my life in Sweden.  But it’s been a blast so far!

-Nick, American graduate