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2015 has arrived

2015-01-22

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 head of the Department of Electrical and Information Technology, by starting a book recommendation blog instead. But it now feels like I have to take the bull by the horns, especially as Lund University’s Vice-Chancellor, Torbjörn von Schantz, came out strong on 1 January with his blog, and has managed several posts since then. One of his posts was about the positive atmosphere at his first leadership team meeting, and I can attest to that. He stated that “the leadership team is in complete agreement regarding the importance of sticking to reporting lines in our decision making process”, and this is a principle I will implement at the Faculty of Engineering as well.

Yesterday we thanked Anders Axelsson for his seven years as dean, an event that also felt like a starting point for me. Anders and I have had a great handover period, which is not over yet, as Anders has promised to continue to provide information and advice when I need it. My first blog post is an edited version of the speech I gave to present the management team’s vision for the Faculty of Engineering. Here it is:

The Faculty of Engineering, LTH is amazing, and I am honoured to lead this organisation, even though I am still not entirely sure what I have let myself in for. Perhaps that is just as well – if I had known, I might not have taken the job.

The Faculty of Engineering is doing well on many fronts. We have plenty of applicants to our programmes, and plenty of research grants. But as I see it, we are not fully utilising our potential. To do so, we need to increase collaboration between teachers, administrators and students, to make sure we are all working together towards the same goal. We need to eliminate the ‘us and them’ culture that unfortunately exists in many places. We have to try to demolish our mental barriers. One way to accomplish this is to get a better understanding of each other’s situations. Let’s work on that!

Our research is largely very successful, but are we aware of that within the faculty? Are others at the university, or members of the public, aware of that? I spent November and December visiting with the department heads and heard about lots of exciting things I was not previously aware of. As a result of my visits, there are already discussions happening regarding a collaboration project between the Department of Electrical and Information Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Let’s get better at realising our full potential for future research collaborations. We will also get better at showcasing to the wider public all of our exciting research and the innovations and businesses it has led to.

Articles in the press over the past while have not given the public a particularly positive image of Lund University. We need to present the other side of the coin – all the amazing work that is being done within both education and research. We have to do this together!

We are also facing some big challenges, the most pressing of which is the financing of our undergraduate programmes. Education is, in my opinion, our most important mission. The management team and I will work tirelessly to solve this issue.

We have enormous potential, not least when it comes to the large research facilities ESS and Max IV. There are not many places in the world that can boast such world-class facilities on their doorstep. Let us make sure that Lund University and the Faculty of Engineering make the most of it!

The Faculty of Engineering’s management team and I are looking forward to working with you for a brighter future for the Faculty of Engineering, LTH and Lund University.

Viktor Öwall
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, LTH


2017-09-13

After a quiet summer in Lund and at LTH, it is full of life again. Students are everywhere and it is bursting with activity. Over the past two weeks, I have had the pleasure of welcoming LTH's new students in both Lund and...[more]


2017-06-28

Lund University hosted a seminar in conjunction with the state visit of the King and Queen of Sweden to Indonesia. [more]


2017-04-04

In the previous blog post, I discussed cooperation and earlier that LTH is training people for future professions. But within what fields are we cooperating and what exactly are we training people for? LTH recently approved its...[more]


2017-03-14

External engagement is part of the life-blood of LTH. We educate primarily for the business sector and wider society, although some of our students stay in academia. This provision of skills is, in my opinion, our most important...[more]


2017-02-22

It is time to get back to blogging after the weekend and a trip to the US. This year I will also try to post more frequently.  Both in California, where I was last week, and here at home you constantly hear how hard it is...[more]


2016-12-01

Today we see, hear and read a lot about fact-resistance, that is, the approach of not letting yourself be affected by information that goes against your own opinion. The clearest examples of this today are the campaigns before...[more]


2016-09-22

LTH is one of the faculties at Lund University that is considered to be single-gendered. This discussion focuses mainly on the number of female professors – a figure that at LTH is around 15 per cent, although the proportions...[more]


2016-09-14

Now all the students are back and the campus is fizzing with life. It feels great to get going again!Over the summer, there was a debate in Sydsvenskan about the fact that John E Franzén’s magnificent work “Cadillac Eldorado”,...[more]


2016-08-19

Today we held an introduction for nearly 600 international Master’s and exchange students from around 50 different countries. The vibe was extremely positive, and the auditorium was filled with expectations and hopes. The energy...[more]


2016-06-29

The time just before summer is a time for graduation ceremonies and various forms of festivities. We began with our graduation ceremony in the main University building on 20 May, where more than 110 Bachelor’s and Master’s...[more]


2016-06-01

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...[more]


2016-05-20

Almost a year ago to the day, I asked the question “Where were you?” in my blog. That was after the talks given by last year’s Honorary Doctors, which were very interesting but sadly not as well attended as I’d hoped. It got me...[more]


2016-05-04

As I once wrote in my blog, I think everyone who works at the Faculty of Engineering LTH can use the motto:  - Ask not what LTH can do for you, but what you can do for LTH. When the new organisation was presented the other...[more]


2016-03-11

In my last blog post I brought up the importance of the ‘open’ university and having an open dialogue with the surrounding community, and wrote: “We don’t know how the world will develop over the course of our students’ careers,...[more]


2016-02-29

Last week kicked off with the first Science and Innovation Talks event at Tetra Pak. It’s an initiative with the aim of creating new touch-points between private companies and the university’s researchers. Olaf Diegel, Professor...[more]


2016-02-05

”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...[more]


2015-10-30

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...[more]


2015-10-28

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...[more]


2015-09-21

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...[more]


2015-09-01

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...[more]


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Viktor Öwall
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH

Viktor's book recommendations