Honoured with the Rune Andersson Scholarship

Oskar Kvarnström, Jeanna Perman Sundelin and Ann-Sofie Hörlin have been awarded the Rune Andersson Scholarship 2014.
They received their awards of about half a million SEK each at a formal ceremony in the House of William Chalmers.

There is always a celebration when Chalmers is awarding the Rune Andersson Scholarship. The chandeliers are twinkle in the House of William Chalmers, there are lit candles on the tables, the scholarship recipients and their families are beaming and donor, Chalmers Alumni and industry legend Rune Andersson, is all smiles as he mingles.

The best students
Karin Markides, President and CEO of Chalmers, was the first speaker at the award ceremony.
– This is one of the finest celebrations at Chalmers, she said.
Markides thanked Rune Andersson for his generosity:
– It’s amazing that we have alumni who truly understand the value of what Chalmers students can contribute to society given the opportunity. Ever since I became the president in 2006, I have been very interested in how we can manage to deliver absolutely the best education and absolutely the best students.
The president pointed out that the scholarship is an important part of this effort.
– The understanding of what an engineer can accomplish in society by adding additional skills in leadership and economics is central. You know this and that honours you, she said as she expressed both hers and the University’s thanks to Rune Andersson.

Shared his long experience
As is his wont, the donor himself held a speech in which he talked about his 40 years at the top of Swedish industry.
– When I started, technology factors dominated basic industry. But much has happened since then and today marketing costs are completely dominating. Both areas have to work in balance. One disturbing trend I’ve noticed over the past 20 years is that venture capital firms have taken over many Swedish companies. A strange situation, and one I don’t think is particular healthy. Time now has to be spent on both short term marketing and long term technology development, said Rune Andersson.
According to him, venture capital firms are not interested in the long term, since they know before they even take over a company that they will sell it within a few years.
– This situation undermines any incentives to start long term projects. Nevertheless, I’m hoping we can manage to run a large percentage of long term oriented companies in Sweden.
Rune Andersson continued:
– Regardless of the industry you’re in, a two pronged attack is vital – comprising both commercial and  technical expertise. Both are equally important and that’s why I founded this scholarship. I believe the chance to supplement your education is important.

The three key persons of the day
This was followed by the award giving with focus on the three key persons of the day: Oskar Kvarnström, Ann-Sofie Hörlin and Jeanna Perman Sundelin. They received flowers and diplomas, which were handed out by Karin Markides and Rune Andersson.

Jeanna Perman Sundelin has a master’s degree in Biotechnology from 2005 and a Ph.D. from the University of Gothenburg. She works in the life science area and has now been awarded SEK 500,000 to complement her already excellent education with an MBA at the prestigious Cambridge University.
– I’ve always enjoyed studying. I enjoyed natural science and I had fun studying at Chalmers. I hope I will be able to pass that forward and be part of building up new life science companies. I want to thank you for this amazing opportunity that I now have, thanks this scholarship, said Jeanna Perman Sundelin.

Oskar Kvarnström (F11) was awarded a scholarship of SEK 466,000. He graduated in 2011 with a master’s degree in Engineering Physics and was active in various student associations during his time at Chalmers. Kvarnström is currently working as a consultant within process energy, energy policy and business development, and now aiming for a Global Energy MBA at Warwick Business School in the UK.
– I concentrated on sustainable energy during my last year at Chalmers and feel that it’s what I want to work with now, when the world needs to make the switch. I have very strong technical skills, but feel I’m missing out the marketing part and financial side, he explained.
Oskar Kvarnström started his MBA in May.
– I accept this scholarship with great gratitude and will do my very best to continue to be a good ambassador for Chalmers in the future.

Ann-Sofie Hörlin (V98) has a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and works as Sustainability Manager at Braathens Aviation, in a role with great emphasis on the environment, ethics and economics.
She was awarded SEK 498,000 to study for an MBA at Stockholm School of Economics.
– I’ve dreamt about an MBA for quite some time and thanks to the scholarship, that dream can now come true, said Ann-Sofie Hörlin in her acceptance speech.

The ceremony on September 3rd was led by Marianne Gyllensten, Development Officer at Chalmers, who took the opportunity to thank Sirpa Pöyhönen, who for many years have been an important cog in the machine for Friends of Chalmers and is now retiring.
– Without your “sisu” we will be feeling rather flat, said Marianne Gyllensten.

Awarded for the eighth time
Rune Andersson Scholarship was awarded for the eighth time this year. So far, Andersson has donated a total of SEK 13.5 million to the scholarship carrying his name at Chalmers. The scholarship is for continuing studies in economics or law and is open to people with a degree from Chalmers and some years of work experience.
The majority of those awarded the scholarship – now an exclusive group of 25 persons – have chosen to sharpen up their Chalmers degree with an MBA from abroad.
Each scholarship is worth approximately SEK 500,000.

Text: Michael Nystås
Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell

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