As of today we are no longer the only trainees at the company and with that said I would like to give the new trainees a warm welcome! You will get the opportunity to get to know them better in a near future.
Two weeks ago we got a visit from some of ABB’s trainees.
We hosted them for an afternoon where they got an introduction to our company, a tour of one of our product’s work flow and a presentation by our very own Kasper Janehag about digitalisation and Industry 4.0. We ended the afternoon with an after work with some good food and drinks! It is always fun to meet other trainees and exchange experiences.
Now I would like to promote another exiting thing. As an employee with still one foot in the trainee world I will now use the trainee blog platform to promote a new initiative at GKN Aerospace Sweden (GAS). We are a small group of happy individuals that are creating a network for young professionals on both a local and a global level in GKN. The purpose of Young@GAS is to inspire, encourage creative thinking, create possibilities for both personal and professional development as well as increase the collaboration between the young employees and the company.
If you are a GAS employee and you think, as we do, that this is an awesome initiative we would very much like for you to come to an information meeting on Thursday the 6th of September at 11.15 in Aulan. Come and get inspired to be involved and join our events the coming year!
I have just arrived home from a visit to the Farnborough airshow. Lisa mentioned in our last post that Lisa, Signe and I got the opportunity to visit the show for a marketing analysis to scout for new technologies and cool companies. And I can tell you, there is a lot of them! The event was held by no other than Chris Gear, Chief Technology Officer GKN Aerospace. It was a great opportunity to meet with him and exchange ideas.
We also got the chance to network with some of GKN’s British and American graduates. It is always fun to meet and exchange experience. We also took the opportunity to do some other fun things, but one day was way too short to explore the whole area. Here is some of the stuff we got to do.
As a supplier to Boeing we got a private tour and try to pilot seat in their 737 and 787 plans.
The US army invited us to both their fighter helicopter Apache and their military aircrafts, the Hercules, where we also got to try the cockpit.
We also got the chance to see the complete PW 1100G engine in real life (FINALLY). The three of us has in some way all worked with the engine.
The blog will take some summer holiday a couple of weeks but is back in the end of august. We also will be leaving the blog in the hands of our new graduate colleagues who starts in September.
We have just got home from one of our notorious activity weeks (we actually do more than just travel, I promise). The destination was Italy with several eventful company visits.
GKN Sinter Metals Milano
We opened the week strong with a visit to GKN Sinter Metals Milano. We were welcomed by Massimo Sala, Production & Plant Engineering Manager, who offered us everything from candy to stories from all his years within the company. This was our first visit to a Sinter Metals site, so some of us (myself included) had what you might call “a limited knowledge” of the sintering process. This was no match for the experienced Massimo who really gave us a comprehensive yet very detailed overview of the entire Powder Metallurgy Division and sintering process. Sinter Metals Milano has more than 50 customers in more than 20 countries and delivers metal parts to e.g. the automotive industry. For those who are not familiar with sintering it is, very simplified, a process of forming metal parts from powder with the help from pressure and heat. First, you squeeze metal powder into a mold, then “bake” the part in an oven to lock the material properties.
After the presentation we got a tour of the factory where we in true LEAN spirit followed the flow of the product; from mixing of metal powder to shipment of finished details. In addition to compression molding and heat treatment, the details can go through milling operations, tumbling and seizing. Massimo also showed their interactive touch-TV screens which they have in production. You can check everything from the weather to who is working in production to machine capacity. Something we graduates think we should introduce at our site. The white board era is over!
Avio Aero Turin
On Tuesday we drove about two hours west of Milan to a rainy Turin to visit our customer Avio Aero, one of General Electric’s Aerospace companies. We met with Guilia Marti who works as a buyer where GKN Aerospace Sweden is one of her customers. We received a presentation of the entire Avio Aero and we discussed customer-supplier relations. Guilia who, in comparison to many other hosts we met, was quite young, and she told us how it is to work at GE. She told us that a big difference since GE bought Avio Aero is that it has become a more transparent business environment which promotes rotations within the company to spread knowledge. A very interesting meeting which put our own company in relation to a complete-engine manufacturer.
My name is Wesley Episcopo and I am New England’s Rotational Grad/Trainee. I live in Connecticut now and this is my first time experiencing winter… I am 25 years old and I grew up in San Diego, where it rains maybe twice a year and the only season we have is summer. I know… why move? Well before I answer that, I’d like to share a little about myself first.
I am a learner. I studied Mechanical Engineering and Entrepreneurship at San Diego State University. I boast a diverse background in hard skills from engineering and soft skills from entrepreneurship. I regard education as one of the essential elements of a well-lived life. Gathering knowledge enables me to lead by example and assist others whenever the opportunity presents itself. I practiced this while studying in school as an executive member of my fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon. My drive to achieve results through reason and logic gave fruit to much success during my term. The love and care I invested into my fraternity was returned ten-fold from my brothers. Thus, being a part of a community is engrained in my being. So to be accepted as part of the Global Rotation Program is a great honor. I look forward to the opportunity to meet all of you involved and strengthen the bonds of this program.
I am an optimist. I think in terms of possibilities and I often find myself thinking about what my life could be in the future. These thoughts motivate and energize me to meet my goals, which I meticulously plan ahead and then pinpoint the order I need to accomplish them in. As focused as I may sound, I keep an open mind and welcome many people, culture, and ideas into my life. My family has hosted foreign students in our home since I was four years old. I have many friends around the world and have had the opportunity to visit a number of them. I have also studied robotics abroad in Singapore and traveled much of Southeast Asia. My interest in culture, language, and people leads me to new and fascinating discoveries that help me create new possibilities and paths for the future. If you happen to have the same visionary mindset, I welcome you to join me for a drink sometime. I am always open to discuss the ideas of the future and bring them into reality.
So considering everything I have told so far, it should be clear that I am comfortable travelling to new places. Even if it means leaving San Diego to live in the cold, cold East Coast. I can only imagine how much colder it will be in Sweden… Luckily I will have had a year in Connecticut to get used to the lower temperatures and collect some warmer clothes too!
My time as a Global Graduate is coming to an end. I will be finished with my assignment in Trollhättan this week and will be going back to Cincinnati to start in my new position as a manufacturing engineer. It is a bittersweet end to my time as a trainee and my time in Sweden. All I can say is that the past 18 months as a trainee and 6 months in Sweden have gone by so fast but will be unforgettable.
The end to the trainee program is an end to 18 months of hard work, adapting to new situations, and working with all new people. The first year in Cincinnati was filled with demanding positions and great learning opportunities. The last 6 months in Sweden has been filled with learning experiences and adventures. Returning to my home site I have so much to share from my experiences as a trainee.
For me, besides one other activity week trip to the United Kingdom, I had never traveled outside the United States, so going to live in another country was a brand new experience. Despite being in Sweden during winter, which I have been told by multiple people over my time here is the worst time to be here, I have really enjoyed my time living here. It has been interesting from the culture experiences of the kräftskiva and Julfest, to the travel around the country to places such as Kiruna, Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Fjällbacka. It has been delicious getting to try the Swedish food from meatballs, lingonberries, and reindeer to Swedish pancakes. I always look forward to fika since moving to Sweden, especially Fredagsfika. It has also been a lot of fun learning how to play innebandy. I have never played before (or even a similar sport) but I enjoyed getting to play as many times as I could with my co-workers at the GKN gym.
The best part of being a trainee for me has been the friendships with all of the other trainees I have met. The GKN Global Graduate program has been full of great memories with my fellow trainees from work to vacations, and from the activity weeks to after works. I will forever remember the experiences such as jumping into the freezing cold sea while in Stockholm, traveling around Europe during our activity week with all kinds of crazy weather, my ski weekend in Hemsedal, my trip up to Kiruna to see the Northern Lights, and so many other memories this past 6 months. The time I have spent with all the trainees is truly memorable and I look forward to any opportunities to work with them in the future.
Then you shouldn’t forget to send in your application for GKN Aerospace graduate program. The application closes on Wednesday 28/2. If you have any questions regarding the graduate program do not hesitate to ask us graduates at email@example.com
On Monday it was once again time for some cultural exchange with our American graduates and this time Super Bowl was in focus. To not ruin our beauty sleep when the game was aired on Sunday night we saw it on Monday at Nick’s place instead. It was a chill evening with food, drinks and top class company. Maybe it was good that Philadelphia Eagles won the game since Nick would probably have thrown us out otherwise 😀
GKN was this week part of the work fair CHARM which is held at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg. Next week on Tuesday are we going to be part of Linköping University’s equivalent, LARM. Come by and say hi if you are in the neighborhood! We will also visit GKN Driveline in Köping and the graduates at ABB and SAAB, but more on that next week.
Now it’s time to go out to the machines and listen to the Friday song!
Have a good weekend!
I have now left my project at the Quality department for a new project within Production. It’s so fun to gear up with steel hood shoes and safety glasses and to hang out with some machines! For the next 10ish weeks I’m going to run a project within Statistical Process Control (SPC) in one of our workshops. At Chalmers I did a Black Belt Lean Six Sigma training which reminds me, methodically, a lot of what I’m doing right now. It’s fun to see a real applicable connection between what I’ve learned at university and my actual job 😛
Besides the work I’m doing at my new department we graduates are in the middle of planning the spring with everything from company visits, internal meetings with managers to work fairs. A real mix of assignments!
Now are all of us graduates back in Sweden again after one week’s business trip around Europe. As you may understand, will the upcoming blog post be characterized by various travel memories, pictures, name dropping and interesting stories about all companies and places we have visited.
The first visit we made was to ESTEC which is operated by the European Space Agency (ESA) and located about 1h southwest of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. ESA is responsible for the research and development of Europe’s space initiatives.
We started the day by meeting our guide Isabelle, a veteran at ESA, who showed us around all day. We also met on the ESA cat (yes they have a cat, something we should adapt at GKN). The day started with a guest lecture by Paul Spudis, an American lunar scientist, who lectured about his research on “the Value of the Moon” and talked about how we could use the moon as a resource. The subject was a little controversial and Spudis got many questions, but generally it was a very interesting lecture.
After the lecture, we met Joerg Wehner (Head of Institutional and Infrastructure Coordination Office at ESA) and Eike Kircher (Head of Basic Technology Research Program Section) who told us about ESA as an organization and how international cooperation works. We also got to visit ESA’s Material Lab where last year’s trainee Joel Larsson is doing his international rotation. We met Ana Brandão (Material Engineer) who showed us around ESA’s extremely impressive laboratory. I think many of us drooled when we got to see their equipment. We also got a visit to the Propulsion Lab by Jose Gonzalez del Amo (Head of the Electric Propulsion Section), who showed us the latest in ESA’s propulsion research.
The day ended with a 3D movie of the International Space Station and tour of ESA’s Space Exhibition Center. To sum up the visit, I have to say that we could notice that they receive over 8400 visitors a year because they were incredibly hospitable. We also met a lot of interesting people who gave us a good insight into the organization. And of course, the cat was a highlight! Certainly a very good visit!
Supplier meeting – introduction to the Aerospace standard
Yesterday, Emma, Signe, Alexander and I participated in a networking event arranged by Aerospace Cluster Sweden. Potential suppliers were invited to learn more about how it is to work within the Aerospace industry. Two of our current suppliers told their story of how to become certified to AS9100 standard (the Aerospace industry’s answer to ISO 9001). To be able to be a player in the Aerospace industry you “have to” be certified to a specific standard due to strict requirements of quality and safety, for example traceability of documentation.
As a graduate, it’s really fun to learn more about the industry from different perspectives and to get the opportunity to network with other companies. This time it was by representing GKN as a customer, which was very educational. During lunch we talked to two men who are working at a processing company in Ulricehamn and they told us about their challenge of finding young people that want to work within the indsen ustry. We told them about our graduate project since one part of the project is to visit all the secondary schools in the area of Trollhättan and present how it is to work with technology and engineering. They invited us to their company in Ulricehman so hopefully we can learn more from each other.
This week we graduates are finishing our work at the home departments and looking forward to our trip to Europe that begins on Friday.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way /Maria