New organization prepares KTH for the future

Published Oct 02, 2017

“Now we can start to work specifically towards creating an even better educational environment at KTH, with a more efficient, clearer organisational structure.”
These are the comments of Sigbritt Karlsson, KTH’s President, following the decisions she has made about the new school organisation of KTH which will take effect in the new year.

From 1 January 2018, KTH will consist of five schools:

  • The School of Architecture and the Built Environment (Dean: Muriel Beser Hugosson)

  • The School of Industrial Engineering and Management (Dean: Jan Wikander)

  • The School of Engineering Sciences (Dean: Leif Kari)

  • A new school, which will be a merger of the School of Biotechnology, the School of Chemical Science and Engineering and the School of Technology and Health (Dean: Mikael Lindström)

  • A new school, which will be a merger of the School of Computer Science and Communication, the School of Information and Communication Technology and the School of Electrical Engineering (Dean: Jens Zander).

“Next year, we will have schools of roughly equal sizes and, when we have found good names for the two new schools that reflect the research and education carried out in these schools, we will be even better equipped for global competition and to meet the various challenges presented by society. In the new year, we begin our in-depth vision and structure work,” says Sigbritt Karlsson.

The development of the new organisation started in February, with working groups studying and analysing the consequences of and opportunities for the merged schools.

“Some people may think that things are moving too fast, but it is important for change to have momentum. Otherwise, there is a risk of commitment withering away and you give up with the feeling that nothing is happening if it takes too long. I would also like here to thank everyone who has done such a great job by being involved in various ways and working to lay the foundations for the new organisation during the year,” says Karlsson, adding:

“We have also received a many comments and ideas on how KTH can be developed further, and we will take these on board in the continuing process.”

Karlsson has also decided to appoint two experienced deans in Mikael Lindström, Dean of the School of Chemical Science and Engineering, and Jens Zander, Dean of the School of Information and Communication Technology, to lead the two new schools after consulting the schools’ teachers, students and other employees.

“It is a great asset that they are both so experienced and well-known in the organisation already,”

The two ‘new’ deans who will lead and implement the merger of the new schools next year were asked how they felt in an email interview.

Jens Zander:

“I certainly feel a degree of humility at having the President’s confidence to lead what will be the biggest school at KTH.”

And Mikael Lindström:

“It feels great, and I hope to be able to live up to the confidence shown in me during the nomination process. Over more than six years as Dean of the School of Chemical Science and Engineering, I have gained a certain amount of experience and it will be really exciting to get to know the operations at BIO and STH.”

Leading the merger of three schools will be a delicate job. According to Zander, one of the most important challenges will be:

“To create a good climate of cooperation in which we bridge the cultural differences between the disciplines which may not always be visible on the surface but are there nonetheless. And, of course, I need to gain my colleagues’ confidence to lead this integration process.”

Lindström seems to share his view:

“To create a new school that is an attractive place to work, with a strong community that makes use of all the expertise available and creates the framework for stimulating learning.”

As the new dean of the new school of biochemical engineering and health, Mikael Lindström sees many opportunities:

“The new school is a strong cluster for education and research in the broad subject areas̊ of heälth, the environmenẗ and materials. The school has great opportunities to carry out leading education and research in field̊s that address global social challenges, for example sustainable energy, health and ageing populations, sustainable working, food production, climatee change, sustainable production and clean water.”

“The new school also plays an important role in the development of SciLifeLab, which must continue to maintain its international competitiveness. It is important for KTH and SciLifeLab to continue to be at the cutting edge of development of new technologies in molecular life sciences. And other heavy research infrastructure built up in the schools must be developed further.”

Mikael Lindström also points out that the proximity to partners on the Flemingsberg campus will be made greater use of to create fruitful collaborations.

Jens Zander has his vision for what can be achieved at the new school of computer science and communication, information and communication technology and electrical engineering:

“KTH will be a leading international centre and an eminent ‘supplier’ of skilled engineers in the technology required for the digitisation of society. Many of the problems that current and future engineers will face have solutions that lie in the interface between the traditional disciplines of electrical engineering and computer science,” says Jens Zander, adding:

“During my many years as a teacher and researcher at KTH, I have inhabited this interface and seen how important this interdisciplinary collaboration is. I will also take with me my experience from my previous activities to continue to build strong alliances with the various players in society.”

Decisions and reports

Text: Jill Klackenberg

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