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Month: June 2023

Letter home

Letter home

Alex here, just like Merim and Moa have told, the beginning of 2023 meant it was time to pack my bags and head on a 6 month adventure. I have been working on the US rollout of our in-house developed machine visualization software, and therefore my international placement has been in Newington, CT. The tool extracts real-time data from the machines without user interaction and helps operators by visualizing if the machine is running and predicts how long it is until next time it will need help from a human. The rollout also included visits to our sites in North Charlestown and El Cajon, helping them set the system up. It’s been a lot of fun working with people from all parts of the business while developing new functionalities for the software and it feels great to say that it is now live on all US Engines sites.

While the project was a big part of deciding where to go, the US have always been the goal for my international placement. I visited Newington during 2022 as part of my rotation in Supply Chain and really enjoyed the area and the site. Climate wise it is pretty close to Trollhättan but the seasons have more distinct roles and avoid taking each other’s jobs (looking at you +10 midsummer and Christmas eve). The site is only ~100 people, compared to the ~2000 in Sweden, which calls for a lot more cross-functional work and it is easier to understand the big picture, which I enjoy.

Work aside, I have spent my weekends exploring the area and trying the maxed out US experience with things like getting your own sofa at the cinema and 24/7 shooting ranges. There has also been a lot of bucket list hunting with New York City, Boston, Niagara Falls and Toronto ticked off the list.

A large benefit from the global graduate program is the network we build from day one. During my site visit to El Cajon I met up with the 2022 graduates for lunch and share experiences and I have spent a lot of time with the Newington graduate Jerin during the spring. Having someone on site to share experiences with and to hang out with after work have really enhanced the time in the US and I really appreciate everyone in Newington that helped out

Until next time,


SMS, tulips and good friends

SMS, tulips and good friends

Hi dear readers!

As Merim described in his post, I am also on my last rotation of the graduate program, my abroad assignment. I am on a site located in Papendrecht, a small town in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands,  the products GKN manufacture are categorized into three different segments; Lightweight Aerostructures, Electrical Wiring Interconnections and Landing Gear Systems. These capabilities are distributed over four different sites, but there is currently a project of moving operations from two sites to Papendrecht to create a multi-technology center.

I am at the quality department in Papendrecht, working as the project lead for implementing new production requirements. These requirements are usually called SMS-requirements, where SMS is short for Safety Management System, and are a part of the regulation to obtain a Production of Approval (POA) certificate. To obtain a POA certificate means that the products produced are “approved of airworthiness” and the requirements are focused on introducing a proactive way of working to increase safety of products produced. The period for implementing these requirements is two years and my goal has thus been to gain momentum in the project.

In Papendrecht I am not the only graduate from our cohort, Amy and Erica from USA are doing their abroad assignment here as well. I have really appreciated them being here and it has been a lot of fun getting to know them better. About a month ago, we gave a presentation about the opportunities at GKN Aerospace and our experience of the graduate program to students from the university TU Delft during an on-site visit. Erica and I also went to TU Delft for a career event the other week where we had speed dating with several students and got to review their CVs. It is great fun to mix such activities into your work schedule.

A lot of fun happens outside of work as well. Since the flight from Sweden only takes about an hour, I have had the luxury of friends and family visiting regularly during the spring. Together with them, I have visited several different parts of the Netherlands, and of course seen TULIPS in abundance. Now there are only a few weeks left and even though it has been a lot of fun to experience all this, I am excited to go home to Sweden.

Until next time.



The time came for the year 21 to go on their abroad rotation. It was a while ago I wrote a blog post here, and I assume that you may be wondering what has happened since last time? Well, we have managed to do our last domestic rotation in Trollhättan, we’ve had our last development week which was in the US, we’ve managed to visit quite some sites around the world, examples such as US, UK and the Netherlands, but we’ve also got the chance to visit Farnborough Air show last year. When I think about it, quite a lot has actually happened during the two years at GKN, and after our abroad rotations which ends end of June, we return to Sweden and begin our post-graduate positions.

For my abroad rotation, my bags were packed onboard a direct flight to Münich where I’m to work six months with/at our customer ArianeGroup in Ottobrunn. If you read previous posts from last year, you would know that Jens, a graduate before me, went to Vernon in France on his abroad trip, and when I heard about it I just knew I wanted to go there. So when I got the chance, I gladly took it.

GKN has been a partner with ArianeGroup since the dawn of time (the 80s) and we have been part of every major launcher since then. The last renowned launch you might have heard about was the James Webb Telescope, launched by an Ariane 5. The successor for A5 is the Ariane 6, which is still in development, and for the future, we have the Prometheus project.

So for my abroad rotation, I’ve been involved in precisely that, the Prometheus project, where I’ve had to work with conceptual design on parts of the engine, which has meant a lot of CFD and design iterations. The people here at Ottobrunn are experts within the field of combustion chambers so I’ve situated myself pretty well here. It is a very exiting assignment, and being a space nerd, I feel that I have found the correct spot to be.

Ariane 6 – Where GKN are to manufacture nozzles and turbines
Depiction of the Prometheus launcher engine being developed.

Except for working, I am also accompanied here by Elias, who is doing his abroad assignment at GKN Aerospace in Münich, where we are experiencing Bavaria. I really do enjoy hiking so I have forced Elias with me on some trips, pictures are below. To be in Münich is golden, you are very close to some pretty nice destinations. You have Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France and so on very close by but you also have the Alps very near, and of course the food here is not so bad. Golden to say the least.

The lake Eibsee with Zugspitze behind (The higest peak in Germany).

I could talk longer about my experiences here, but I think this sums it up pretty well. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Until we meet!