Once a year, the management of the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) invites members of the Swedish Parliament from Skåne to discuss and exchange ideas. Apparently, we once also had a tradition of inviting politicians from the Lund city council. Last autumn, we talked about reviving this tradition and finally we were able to sync our calendars and decide on a day to host such a meeting – Monday 23 May – to talk about LTH and what we have to offer. The meeting was also attended by the chair of the engineering students’ union (TLTH) Björn Sanders (who will soon become chair of the umbrella organisation Lund University students’ unions, LUS). These are some of the things we discussed:
A sustainable campus
I spoke a little about LTH and the things we are proud of, and pretty quickly we got into a discussion about the project Hållbart Campus (Sustainable Campus).
The politicians showed a lot of interest in the idea of making the campus a more vibrant and integral part of Lund.
Social democrat and former LTH student Anders Almgren, chair of the chief executive committee, is very familiar with the campus. Both he and others had a very positive response to the project, which is great, considering that the City of Lund is a member of the working group that we have created for this specific project.
LTH and Brunnshög
We also discussed LTH’s presence in the emerging Brunnshög area where MAX IV will soon be inaugurated and ESS is starting to take shape. To me it’s a no-brainer: LTH should be there! What and how are questions that remain to be answered. Transferring parts of LTH’s activities to Science Village Scandinavia is definitely not to be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration, for instance when it comes to teaching, but I believe this is the right path for us. For example, I believe that some of the more advanced courses could be transferred to Brunnshög, as well as some lab courses, but it’s hard to see that it would be possible to move undergraduate courses to this location. But let’s think about it and keep the discussion going.
We should not ignore the fact that the actual distance could be an obstacle – it is often easier when we meet and work closely together. However, we need to find new ways to overcome these obstacles. As I wrote in my previous blog post, we must become better at creating places where people can meet.
Those in favour of a transfer argue that Brunnshög is where development in Lund is happening; that this is where we will see a lot of the latest in science. I’m sure that many more than those who are aware of it today will benefit from the research conducted at Brunnshög, and not only those directly involved. It will include issues such as urban planning and sustainable cities, business start-ups in a new research environment, legal issues and not least what happens when a large number of researchers meet in a new environment.
I remember when I started at LTH in the 1980s, and it felt as if we were located in the outskirts of Lund. As Brunnshög continues to grow, we will increasingly feel that LTH is part of the city centre.
A foundation year programme in engineering is in the municipalities’ interest
A foundation year programme in engineering is a way to widen participation and it means a lot to students who perhaps chose the wrong track in upper secondary school. It’s great that the municipality representatives are prepared to address the issue of such a programme in their collaborative work with other neighbouring municipalities. There needs to be a discussion about who is to actually pay for this programme. Our position is that it is in fact an upper secondary school activity, and therefore the responsibility of the municipalities. Nevertheless, from a socio-economical perspective, we see this as a very positive initiative, and we’re happy to help. Therefore, this year we are expanding the programme to about 60 study places – twice the number we offered before, which feels great.
Assistant Dean of LTH, Per Warfvinge, has promoted the idea of us also using the foundation year programme for those who have arrived in Sweden as refugees, who have or have almost completed a degree. The programme could be a way for them to integrate in Swedish society and learn the language. The Lund officials seemed to like the idea.
I hope that something concrete will come out of this – wouldn’t it be nice if we could share the costs of offering a foundation year programme in engineering at LTH?
More Science and Innovation Talks?
We also talked about the Science and Innovation Talks – the pilot project in which our researchers hold breakfast seminars at Tetra Pak. They seemed interested in applying the same setup for a partnership with the City of Lund. There are many issues where exchanging experiences could be valuable.
This possibly ancient tradition has now been revived. Together we decided that it was a valuable experience and that we should continue with these meetings. If not sooner, we will welcome the City of Lund again in a year from now.
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH
”A university without research is a bad university. A university without teaching is no university at all!” This is a quote from the Rector Magnificus at Twente University in the Netherlands, during a discussion we had at their...
As two of Lund University’s deans, we react strongly to Thomas Frostberg’s column published 24 October. The column, entitled “The university’s innovation initiative back to the past”, gives an account of the university’s review...
September was a month full of travel. It started with a meeting about ESS in Bilbao, where I represented Lund University. There is plenty going on with ESS right now, and it’s high time for a strategic collaboration – not just at...
Last Friday Akademiska Hus hosted an opening ceremony for the new decks down at the campus lake “sjön Sjön”. I have to say it looks fantastic. Thank you! Along with Helsingkrona’s new building, it feels like the engineering...
It’s wonderful to see the engineering campus full of life again! Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming all of our new students at the Faculty of Engineering LTH. As I left for the Union Building shortly before 8am last...
We’ve just had a few weeks filled with celebrations – graduation ceremonies, the doctoral conferment ceremony, diploma presentations and a range of other events. I have also had the pleasure of opening the architects’ and...
I am now approaching the end of my first semester as Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH. It has been an exciting and intense period. I have experienced both fun and challenging times, and I am looking forward to (hopefully!)...
LTH’s new management team has now been in place for 100 days, as has the new LU management team. They have been interesting, stimulating and hectic days. The best part has been visiting different sections and departments and...
There have been discussions in social media outlets recently regarding our Bachelor level programmes. Let me put your mind at ease – the Faculty of Engineering’s Bachelor’s programmes are maintaining a high standard, and we will...
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post, not from lack of interest, but rather because I’ve been busy getting grips with my new role. One major difference between being a department head to being dean is that my time has...
I am not only the new Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH, I am also an LTH alumnus. I started my LTH journey as an ‘E:82’, but spent my first year serving the UN in Cyprus, so I ended up studying with the ‘E:83s’. After I...
Just over a month has gone by. It’s been a busy time with many new impressions and a fragmented existence. However, it has also been a lot of fun! Last Friday the LTH Board had its first meeting of 2015, and almost all of us are...
It has now been three weeks since I took on the role of dean of the Faculty of Engineering, LTH, and I suppose it is time to start my own dean’s blog, as many have encouraged me to do. I have previously managed to avoid this as...