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Students improve steel company

Students and teachers in a restaurant, singing.
KTH shares its singing traditions by thanking the hosts at Alleima for the food with the song "En liten blå förgätmigej" which is customary at KTH.
Published Aug 14, 2023

KTH students solve problems and improve processes for steel company Alleima. The tasks are part of the students' learning, and an exam takes place in Sandviken with Alleima employees as examiners.

Students who study the Advanced Course in Process Science  in the master's programme get to use their theoretical knowledge faster than they might have thought.

For a few years, steel manufacturer Alleima  in Sandviken has been providing KTH students with challenges and problems they want to solve at the company. These tasks become part of the students' learning.

At the beginning of the semester, the students are divided into groups, and each is assigned a problem. The groups go to Sandviken to understand the task, collect data and samples and meet the supervisor they have at Alleima.

People working in the Alleima factory
Alleima develops and manufactures advanced stainless steels and special alloys.

“The challenges that the students take on can be about projects that aim to bring about more sustainable processes, for example, creating valuable products from residual products or improving the quality of steel by reducing the content of impurity elements. It can also be about improving the existing production processes to reduce energy and materials consumption,” says Björn Glaser , examiner on the Advanced course in Process Science at KTH.

The rest of the work takes place from KTH, with a supervisor from the course. At KTH, the students receive lectures on measurement methods, simulation processes, and other things they benefit from in their work with the industrial challenge. The examination of the theoretical part takes place at KTH, but when it is time to take the examination for the industrial problem, it is off to Sandviken again.

"Twelve people from Alleima assess and grade each group's oral presentation and written report. They pose questions and add valuable comments. This group would have been difficult to get down to Stockholm for an examination," says Pär Jönsson , one of the KTH teachers on the course.

The concept of problem-based learning has developed together with Alleima for a long time and has been rewarding for all parties.

"In addition to getting qualified resources who look over problems we don't have time to devote to in our daily work, we get a chance to get to know tomorrow's metallurgists. And they, in turn, get a better insight into our company than a normal company presentation can give," says Olle Sundqvist, senior researcher at Alleima.

Text: Anna Gullers

Belongs to: Materials Science and Engineering
Last changed: Aug 14, 2023