Category: Nytt om Chalmers

From Bangalore India to Chalmers Sweden: This is Poornima Joshi!


Joshi

It’s close to two years since she made her journey from India to Sweden for her studies at Chalmers University of Technology. Poornima Joshi is now in her final semester pursuing a Master’s Programme in Software Engineering. She is always actively involved in a number of events besides her busy class schedules at the University. This week I had an opportunity for a one-on-one interview with her to find out more about her reflections at Chalmers and her next plans. This is what she told me.

Introduce yourself and what are you studying at Chalmers?

My name is Poornima Joshi. I come from Bangalore, an IT city in India, and I am studying Software Engineering Master’s Programme.

Why did you choose to come for studies in Sweden and Chalmers, in particular?

Typically, an IT student’s dream is to go to Silicon Valley, California. But I chose to come to Chalmers when I met an interesting Swedish lady, a representative of Chalmers in Bangalore. She told me that in Sweden people always follow their heart and give themselves chances. And Chalmers University of Technology was the chance given to me. I followed my passion to study exactly what I was looking for in the Software Engineering Master’s Programme. And of course Volvo, a Swedish company having a strong base in India was a big part of it too.

You have three months to complete your Master’s studies, what are your next plans after Chalmers?

I plan to look for a challenging job that suits my profile and passion. I believe it will open me to the beautiful world of flat structures and its brilliant contributions to science and technology.

Could you please tell us a few of your memorable experiences at Chalmers?

The student union and course structure is the most influential part of my studies. The course is designed in a shockingly surprising structure where the class projects and assignments including open exams and presentations ensure that every student in the class becomes a master of the subject. And the student union just complements the course work bringing out the best in every student.

Any experience from student events?

I had been the Vice President for Public Relations on the Board of European Students of Technology at Chalmers. It is an association that exists under the student union to collaborate and learn to work in an international environment. Well, the most interesting thing I had to deal with; in my mandate was to build a strategy for sustainability keeping in mind the future of the association on a long term basis. At my age and experience, it seemed like a herculean task. However, it was a great learning experience. I also learned to deal with fluctuations of peoples’ motivations and commitments as I fought with them myself. It was a truly multicultural international environment with more than ten nationalities. We had to bridge a gap between them all to achieve a common goal.

What advice would you give to candidates who are considering coming to study at Chalmers?

A typical thing that every student would do before coming to any university is to check ranking. But trust me – once you’re at Chalmers it doesn’t matter. What if there exist high ranks universities? You would already be in a top class education. Chalmers does not just give you a degree – it gives you an education! A lifetime experience!

Text: Ben
Photo: Private(Joshi)

GöteborgsVarvet


This week, I would like to get the attention of my readers to an extravaganza that Göteborg hosts every year. It is the world’s largest half-marathon and is called GöteborgsVarvet. In comparison to the city I come from, Göteborg is very small but the fact that this city hosts something as big and as celebrated as this marathon speaks volumes about the active and spirited live style here.

The map

The map

As one can judge from the name of the event, the race is a standard 21 km long. There are around 64,000 participants and over 200,000 spectators each year. It will be held on the on 23rd May this year; this itself is a huge catch of the event, summers in Sweden are in full flow around that time which makes outdoor activities twice as fun. Huge crowds and bands are seen by the sidelines trying to cheer and buck up the budding participants. I myself was standing by the side lines last year, cheering up a friend who participated. This year I decided to step up my game, and participate myself. If you feel like part of being this memorable event, then sign up and join in on the fun!

 

Avenyn: would never see it like that other times of the year

Avenyn: would never see it like that other times of the year

One, two, three and off we go!

One, two, three and off we go!

Each participant is handed out a medal as a souvenir at the end of the run. The most inspiring aspect,  by some stretch is that people of all age groups are a part of this marathon. I felt very spirited when I saw people thrice my age crossing the finishing line last year! Commendable indeed! So if you think you can not do it then think again!

Doing your Master Thesis at Chalmers


The task of writing your Master Thesis is both an exciting and a daunting one. It is xciting since it is possibly your first interaction with actual and pratical implementation of class room knowledge. The fact that you can exploit your knowledge to learn and to create something new is very inspiring. But at the same time, the possibility to excel brings with itself challenges and hardships and so one has to remain steady through the phase of Master thesis to make it through with flying colors.

I would strongly recommend all students to burn the midnight oil in searching for a thesis with a company. Especially international students who are aspiring to stay in Sweden would not find a better chance to get a taste of Swedish work culture and possibly create a place as an employee at the company they do their thesis for. This is a unique luxury in Sweden, where companies are very eager to hand out students thesis projects, in a bid to attract promising talent and also to find smart solutions to problems in different projects. Use the oppurutnity you get at the career fares like VARM and CHARM, to get contacts and then follow up with queries about Master thesis and other interests that you might have.

Coffe machines

Coffe machines

The kitchen for staff is also open to students writing their master thesis

The kitchen for staff is also open to students writing their master thesis

My office!

My office!

I am currently pursuing my thesis with the Department of Civil and Enviornmental engineering. The topic I am working on is something of keen interest to me and is therefore fun to work on. You can do your thesis individually or as a group of two; being in a group though is preferred by the administration. Each group has a supervisor and an examiner to guide you through. As a requirement to complete your thesis you must oppose one other thesis project and also attent the thesis seminar of two other projects. The process might seem a bit intricate but there is continous support from faculty and department, ensuring you are always taken care off.

While working with the department, we have been alotted an office which we share with another group. We are provided with a computer that has all the relevant softwares that we will need and ofcourse we are entitled to free coffee. So far things have been falling into place, courtesy some fine guidance by both the department and our supervisors. Prior to the start of the thesis we had an introductory lecture about rules, regulations and things to take particular care about like time managment and plagirism. As a support for students, three workshops will be held before the end of term, with each workshop being an interactive session helping students to outline what exactly will they do at each stage of their thesis. I have already been to one workshop and found it mighty effective.

First workshop: help us thinking clearly about our action plan for master thesis

First workshop: help us thinking clearly about our action plan for master thesis

Hope that serves as a useful overview of what you would be doing soon!

 

Finally it snows!


For all the new students that joined Chalmers in Spring 2015, the last weekend was the first instance they saw some real snowfall in Gothenburg. Since my arrival in this city, the winters have been relatively warmer than they generally are. There have not been nearly as low temperatures and as much snow as one would expect from a Scandinavian country. But nonetheless, each time it has snowed it has meant heaps of joy for me. So understandably, I did not let the awesome weather last week slip by without doing anything!

I went out for a stroll in the city that was carpeted in a glowing layer of snow! What a refreshing sight and it is just mesmerising to be walking around with snowflakes falling from the sky.

IMG_20150125_121610 IMG_20150125_121043 IMG_20150125_121040 IMG_20150124_124449

I walked down to an open area, which is a popular picnic spot otherwise, and started the rather fruitful excercise of making the first snowman ever in my life!

Meet my buddy; Mr. Snowman turned out pretty well

Meet my buddy; Mr. Snowman turned out pretty well

Another first: snow angel!

Another first: snow angel!

The following day turned out to be even more incredible. Bright sun shine glittered off from the clean soft snow all over the city. This time around I walked down to Botaniska, and hiked up to a hill top. Me and a friend took some fika with us, to give the afternoon a more traditional Swedish touch. We sat there for almost an hour, soaking the sun which is a rarity in Sweden at this time of the year, and did some chit-chat about our lives and narrating some funny incidents to each other. Memorable indeed!

 

Fika to add some more flavor to the day!

Fika to add some more flavor to the day!

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

IMG_20150125_124239 IMG_20150125_124242IMG_20150125_124309

 

I am sure for those of you who were outdoors, you can relate to my excitement and fascination with the glory of the weather last weekend. For those who missed it, do not forget to be outdoors next time; it is certainly one of the best memories and feelings you will take back with you from Sweden!

 

Supertalang, innovationsexpert och nu prefekt


Hon utsågs av Veckans affärer till en av Sveriges största supertalanger 2012, har mångårig erfarenhet inom akademin och ett nära samarbete med näringslivet där hon hjälper storföretag att utveckla innovationsförmåga. I somras blev hon biträdande professor med inriktning på innovation management och nu axlar hon rollen som prefekt för Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, en av Chalmers institutioner. Möt den glada och positiva ”doern” Maria Elmquist som under 2015 kommer att satsa fullt ut på strategiarbete.

Maria Elmqvist, CBI/Innovationsteknik

Hur var känslan när du fick beskedet att du blir prefekt?
– Jag blev jätteglad! Det är ett oerhört förtroende att få.

Vad lockade dig till att söka tjänsten?
– Jag blev nominerad och uppmanad att söka av flera kollegor på institutionen som jag har djupt förtroende för. Funderingarna gick mycket fram och tillbaka innan jag till slut lämnade in en ansökan. Jag har stor respekt för uppdraget men jag har egenskaper som jag tror kan bidra till arbetet med att utveckla vår institution. Jag vet att jag också kommer att lära mig mycket och jag gillar att utvecklas och drivs av att ta mig an nya utmaningar.

Vad ser du allra mest fram emot?
– Att få bidra till institutionens utveckling och att få lära känna många nya personer. Jag tycker också det ska bli roligt att driva det strategiska arbetet och ser fram emot att diskutera våra utmaningar med nya kontakter i näringslivet och i akademin.

Och vad tror du blir den största utmaningen?
– Min största utmaning är alltid att få tiden att räcka till! Som tvåbarnsmamma är jag rädd om min tid så jag måste bli ännu bättre på att fokusera och prioritera, speciellt eftersom min ambition är att fortsätta forska parallellt. Jag är involverad i två spännande projekt som jag inte vill släppa!

Hur är du som ledare?
– Jag är rak och säger vad jag tycker, men också lyssnande och empatisk.

Har du redan nu identifierat några viktiga satsningsområden?
– Nej, det är ett arbete vi behöver göra tillsammans på institutionen, även om jag såklart har några tidiga tankar. Vår största satsning under 2015 blir att arbeta mer uttalat med att utveckla en strategisk riktning för institutionen som helhet.

Vad har du gjort tidigare?
– Jag studerade industriell ekonomi här på Chalmers med start 1995. När studierna var klara spenderade jag en kort tid på ett startup-bolag innan jag återvände som doktorand. Jag disputerade 2007 och gjorde sedan en post doc på Ecole de Mines i Paris. Sedan fick jag Wallanderstipendium för min avhandling och fick möjlighet att fortsätta forska på Chalmers. Våren 2010 blev jag docent och i somras befordrades jag till biträdande professor med inriktning på innovation management. Min forskning fokuserar främst på att förstå hur stora etablerade företag kan arbeta för att möjliggöra innovation, bland annat är jag intresserad av hur man kan använda kunskap från designområdet i traditionella industrier.

Visste du tidigt att det var en akademisk karriär som gällde?
– Jag trodde alltid att jag skulle arbeta på ett större internationellt företag men allt eftersom jag fått nya roller inom akademin har jag upptäckt att jag har ett av de bästa jobb som finns. Jag har ännu inte träffat på någon i industrin som verkar ha ett mer utvecklande jobb än det jag har! Kanske beror det på att min forskning alltid varit väldigt industrinära och att jag har fått arbeta med strategiska frågor inom organisationer och i ledningsgrupper på många stora företag. Jag har haft förmånen att vara involverad i flera forskningsprojekt med många olika kollegor, vilket har lett till oerhört spännande forskning, i alla fall i mina ögon.

Hur inledde du din första arbetsdag som prefekt?
– Jag påbörjade tjänsten den 1 januari men tjuvstartade lite innan jul genom att prata en hel del med min företrädare Per Svensson. Det är mycket som ska överlämnas och mycket att sätta sig in i. Men steg ett var nog ändå att utse viceprefekter och prata med alla avdelningschefer. Det jag lagt mest tankekraft på nu i början är hur vi praktiskt kan bedriva strategiarbetet under 2015.

Beskriv dig själv med tre ord!
– Glad, positiv, doer!

Maria Elmquist

Foto: Jan Olof Yxell

New year, new aspirations!


It has been an intensive few weeks with much happening both on and off the campus. This year was the first time that there was a new schedule adopted for the exams; unlike previous years the exams for the second study period in Autumn were held after Christmas. It was not very amusing for many students, like my self, who went back home for the Christmas break. It took a lot of effort and determination to set the wheels into motion again after Christmas, and head straight into the exam week. I wish all the very best for your results.

I had the good fortune of celebrating New Years’s eve in Gothenburg. The glorious start to the evening was with the fireworks organised by the newspaper company GP. They can be viewed from many points in the city, but the most celebrated location is behind the Gothenburg Opera. The show dose not by any stretch match the stature of fireworks exhibition in other parts of the world like Dubai, but lit a spark of energy in the otherwise calm and serene Gothenburg city life. It was nonetheless a commendable show, one for which hundreds and hundreds of people thronged the city streets, and for once you could see the streets deluged with people.

A glimpse of the fireworks, from the Opera house

A glimpse of the fireworks, from the Opera house

The fireworks show was followed by a stroll down the Avenyn with a friend; it was refreshing to be weaving our way through streets that were, for a change, abuzz with people. We took a coffee at a local coffee shop and then got on our way to have a dinner together with some other friends. Personally, it was my first attempt at having a formal dinner on New years eve; although it was never really formal, but fun and memorable nonetheless.

My "formal" dressing

My ”formal” dressing

 

All set for the dinner at New Year's Eve

All set for the dinner at New Year’s Eve

At Gotaplatsen

At Gotaplatsen

I got a bit too excited may be

I got a bit too excited may be

We concluded the evening by going down to Gotaplatsen, to see the light show and the final countdown to midnight. We celebrated with hundreds of other people as the clock struck twelve and the sky glittered with never ending series of fireworks again!

With the New year, comes the old chit and chat about having new resolutions. Altough more and more people are growing alienated to the idea, but I still feel it gives me a kick to think that I will wipe the slate clean now and start building up towards my goal with a rejuvenated spirit. So, for now my aim is to improve my Swedish and buy myself a bicycle; yes!, you heard it right, buying a bi-cycle has been evading me for over a year now and this time I hope I will get the monkey of my back and finally buy one.

For the new exchange students that just came in 2015 promises to be the ever so much awaited start to their lives as an exchange student! I wish you guys have a blast and enjoy every moment as a Chalemerist! Lycka till!

Stefan Bengtsson blir ny rektor för Chalmers


Stefan Bengtsson

Stefan Bengtsson blir ny rektor och vd för Chalmers tekniska högskola i Göteborg. Det beslutade högskolestyrelsen under ett extra styrelsemöte den 21 januari.

Stefan Bengtsson är 53 år gammal och rektor för Malmö högskola sedan 2011.

Han är civilingenjör i teknisk fysik och tog sin chalmersexamen 1985. Han disputerade i fasta tillståndets elektronik vid Chalmers 1992 och blev professor i samma ämne tio år senare. 2007 utsågs Stefan Bengtsson till prorektor och sedemera vice vd för Chalmers, en position Stefan hade när han rekryterades till Malmö högskola.

– Otroligt roligt. Jag tackar för förtroendet och tar mig an den här uppgiften med stor ödmjukhet. Det innebär att jag kommer att lämna Malmö högskola tidigare än jag hade planerat, trots att jag har ett fantastiskt spännande och roligt jobb i Malmö, säger Stefan Bengtsson.

Rekryteringen av ny rektor och vd för Chalmers inleddes i september, efter att Karin Markides meddelat att hon inte står till förfogande för en tredje period som rektor. Till sommaren kommer hon att lämna sin tjänst efter nio framgångsrika år på posten.

Under hösten granskades ett femtiotal sökande och nominerade personer. En dryg handfull kallades till intervju.

Vid dagens styrelsemöte presenterade valberedningen sina två slutkandidater till tjänsten, Stefan Bengtsson och Sigbritt Karlsson, rektor vid Högskolan i Skövde. Valberedningen förordade båda två som väl lämpade att leda Chalmers. Stefan Bengtsson prioriterades. Styrelsen beslöt att utse Stefan Bengtsson till ny rektor och vd för Chalmers.

– Valet stod mellan två toppkandidater som med råge svarar mot styrelsens förväntningar. Det som fällde avgörandet var Stefans starka ledaregenskaper, säger styrelsens ordförande Lena Treschow Torell.

Valförsamlingen – där fakultetsrådet, facken och studentkåren är representerade – har tidigare i veckan redovisat en liknande ståndpunkt som styrelsen. Man fann att båda slutkandidaterna skulle vara utmärkta som rektorer för Chalmers, men prioriterade Stefan Bengtsson.

Stefan Bengtsson tillträder under sommaren 2015.

Text: Christian Borg