Student stories

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Halmstad University Solar Team

What do you dream about doing in the future? Do you want to create a more sustainable world, meet new friends and make memories that will last you a life time? That is precisely what a group of engineering students at Halmstad University are doing right now!

Halmstad University Solar Team (HUST) consists of about thirty students working together to build a solar powered car. They are going to compete in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, the world’s largest race for solar cars. In the race, they will drive more than 1,800 miles across the Australian desert, from Darwin in the north to Adeleide in the south. Linn Persson is one of the drivers:

”There are four drivers, and I am the only woman. The car industry, as well as engineering in general, is male dominated. Because of that, we think that it’s extra important that at least one of our drivers is female. We want to show that engineership is for anyone, no matter gender”, says Linn Persson.

A streamlined race car driving through a desert. Illustration.

This is what the finished car might look like.

Aiming to change the world

The members of HUST, who are all students at the Programme in Innovation Engineering at Halmstad University, have their goals set high.

”We want to win the race, and our chances to do so are good, but we don’t settle for that. Our goal is to change the automotive industry, and through that contribute to a more sustainable future”, says Adam Jisland, project leader for HUST, and continues:

”In order to reach our long-term goals, we believe that HUST needs to live on, even after this year’s race. We strive towards making a lasting impression, and we hope that future students will feel motivated to keep developing new versions of the car. The race in Australia is held every two years, but there are also races in the USA, South Africa and Chile, so if you want to, it’s possible to compete at least once a year. I dream about bringing my future grandchildren to the University and showing them all the HUST cars.”

”We want to win the race, and our chances to do so are good, but we don’t settle for that. Our goals is to change the motor industry, and by that to contribute to a mor sustainable future.”

Adam Jisland

A large-scale project

The students put in a lot of hours, and they are very invested in the project.

”To be a part of HUST is very rewarding, both in the long and short term. We compare HUST to an extra education, because we learn so much from it. It’s also a big advantage that we are still students. The academic world is quite forgiving. We are allowed to try out ideas, and if we fail, we just try again. It’s a good platform for development”, says Adam Jisland.

A young man and a young woman, both wearing blue. Photo.

Adam Jisland and Linn Persson are students at the Programme in Innovation Engineering at Halmstad University.

Linn Persson agrees:

”HUST is our pet project. We live and breathe HUST. The project members have all become close friends, and we hang out almost constantly. We have been allowed to take a lot of responsibility for the project, and it has been a very interesting and awarding process. We are creating something that we believe in, and that will result in good things, both for us and for society. We are working with innovation and sustainability, and we apply all our university courses in this project. It’s leadership. It’s solidity. It’s mechanics. It’s everything. It’s very good to be allowed to test our wings in a safe environment”, she adds.

”HUST is our pet project. We live and breath HUST.”

Linn Persson

Bridgestone World Solar Challenge

The Bridgestone World Solar Challenge is the world’s biggest solar-powered car race. It started in 1987 and takes place every other year. In the competition, teams of students from universities all over the world are driving 3,022 kilometers from the north to the south of Australia – from Darwin to Adelaide.

The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge (GCDC)

At the end of May 2016, six students from Halmstad University competed in The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge. And they won! The students turned an ordinary car into one which is partly self-driving. It also has the ability to talk to and interact with other vehicles in traffic.

GCDC (The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge) 2016 was settled May 28–29 on the dual carriageway between Helmond and Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In all, ten teams participated, five of them from Sweden. The students from Halmstad University formed Team Halmstad and won the entire challenge.

GCDC is a part of the i-Game-project, a research project about cooperative and autonomous cars, supported by the EU-commission. Behind i-Game stands the Dutch research organisation TNO, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Spanish test environment IDIADA and the research institute Viktoria Swedish ICT.

The members of Team Halmstad studied the Master’s Programme in Embedded and Intelligent Systems. For most of them, the competition was a part of their thesis.

Team leaders for Team Halmstad was Wojciech Mostowski and Maytheewat Aramrattana.

September 2017, a year after the victory

The GCDC project was concluded with three IEEE publications:

”Team Halmstad Approach to Cooperative Driving in the Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge 2016”

”Modelling the Level of Trust in a Cooperative Automated Vehicle Control System”

”An Approach for Receiver-Side Awareness Control in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks”

IEEE står för Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, www.ieee.orgexternal link

From Master’s Programme in Electronics Design to developer at Ericsson

Bashar Arhayem studied our Master’s Programme in Electronics Design, and now has a successful career as a developer at Ericsson, after a successful thesis project in collaboration with the company. We asked him a few questions about his current job and the learnings from his master's studies.

A portrait of a man standing in front of a window with the Ericsson logotype. Photo.

”Working at Ericsson, from my point view, is like an incredible journey! Everyday I have something to learn and a new person to meet.”

How did you end up in your current position?

I did my Master's thesis, with focus on microwave filter for future 5G, in collaboration with Ericsson. After I finished the thesis project, I applied for a position at Ericsson. Later, I was selected for an interview and invited to talk to the hiring manager who offered me a job in my current position.

My strategy when looking for a job was simple, I focused on what I wanted to do and what areas I wanted to work with, and made active choices in that direction during my studies.

How is a regular day at work?

Working at Ericsson, from my point view, is like an incredible journey! Every day I have something to learn and new person to meet. I am surrounded by experienced colleagues who do not hesitate to provide support and share their knowledge. We are working on high band products such 5G radio, starting from initial design until final product where we are using advanced design and simulation tools and then test our products in sophisticated labs.

In what ways can you take advantage of the learnings from your education at Halmstad University in your current position?

While I was studying at Halmstad University, I sometimes found it difficult to see the connection between the theory we learned and the things I wanted to work with. Although, when I started my job I realised how well organised the entire master program was and all courses were important and had an impact to broaden my knowledge. Generally, in order to work with 5G radio, you need to have a solid background about high frequency domain and understand the math and theory behind it. In my case, I wouldn't have that understanding without the knowledge that I have got from Halmstad University.

An electronic laboratory environment. Photo.

The Electronics Centre in Halmstad (ECH) is a facility for EMC testing, which is used by both students, researchers and Halmstad University’s collaboration partners.

Give your top 3 advice for making the most out of your Master’s studies?

1. Spend your time wisely.

The Master's Pogramme in Electronics Design is a one-year programme, which means you can get your degree after one year! That is great, however you should have in mind that this means ýou have only one year to maximise your efforts to get the most out of your studies. I would recommend you to try to take part in as many lectures and events at the University as possible, including seminars and academic workshops as well as extra-curricular activities. This is your chance to deepen your knowledge and add important learnings to your resume.

2. Select your Master thesis project carefully.

Choosing the right thesis project and company to collaborate is one of the most important things to focus on in order to get a job as it gives you a great possibility to introduce yourself and let the others know what you are capable of.

3. Take the oppotunity to build a professional network.

During your time as a student you have a unique chance to meet interesting people that might cross your career path in the future. Make an effort to get to know master students and PhD students as well as external contacts via collaboration partners and your master thesis company.

What are your future career goals?

I am looking forward to developing my skills and become an expert designer.

Quick facts

Name: M Bashar Arhayem

From: Syria

Education at Halmstad University: Master's Programme in Electronics Design

Current company and position: Radio Developer at Ericsson

Professional background: Working for several years as RF Design Engineer, contributing to the design development and performing radio evaluation and optimization for 5G products.

From Master’s studies in strategic entrepreneurship to e-commerce specialist at AJ

Tatjana Richter studied our Master’s Programme in Strategic Entrepreneurship for International Growth, and now has a successful career as e-commerce specialist at AJ Products. We asked her a few questions about her current job and her learnings from Halmstad University.

A portrait of a woman in an office environment. Photo.

Tatjana in the office at the AJ Products headquarters in Halmstad.

How is a regular day at work?

My role includes many diverse tasks, and that is what I really like about my job. On a daily basis I am working with the company’s websites for Germany and Austria and also with SEO, social media and advertising on other digital marketing platforms.

”One of the best things about my Master's Programme, was the opportunity I got to work on projects with companies who needed help with real problems in their organisation.”

In what ways can you take advantage of the learnings from your education at Halmstad University in your current position?

One of the best things about my Master's Programme, was the opportunity I got to work on projects with companies who needed help with real problems in their organisation. This experience makes me more confident in a Swedish work place. I also participated in the SEEP programme which definitely helped me to learn more about the Swedish labour market as well as getting prepared for the job searching process and practicing my Swedish language skills.

Give your top 3 advice for making the most out of your Master’s studies?

1. Take the time to network

Getting to know professionals and local contacts is very helpful. In my case I benefitted a lot from the SEEP Programme by getting the chance to establish a professional network through the contacts we had with different companies.

2. Learn Swedish (if you want to work in Sweden)

At every job interview, I was asked if and how much Swedish I could understand and sometimes some questions were asked in Swedish. It’s clearly an advantage to show your motivation to learn the language in the country you would like to work in.

3. Find your field of expertise

Take every opportunity to learn more about the topics you are interested in. Become an expert in your field and find out how your skills can contribute to a company.

What are your future career goals?

I would like to learn more in the field of e-commerce and become an expert in digital marketing.

Quick facts

Name: Tatjana Richter

From: Germany

Education at Halmstad University: Master's Programme in Strategic Entrepreneurship for International Growth (with specialisation in International Marketing)

Current position and company: E-commerce and Digital Marketing Specialist at AJ Products

Professional background: Working in Brand Management and PR for a German fashion company, and as student job working in the big data team for a German car company.

From Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare to labour market integration consultant

Alexandra Oancea studied our Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare, and now works with labour market integration at the municipality of Örkelljunga. We asked her a few questions about her current job and how the learnings from the Master's programme is useful in her daily tasks.

A portrait of a smiling woman. Photo.

Alexandra was very proactive during her study time and started to look for jobs long before she graduated from the Master’s Programme in Nordic Welfare.

 I answered him very confidently,
'As Pippi Longstocking said, I've never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that'. The recruiter smiled, and I knew at that moment that I had convinced him that I was the right person for the job.

How did you end up in your current position?

I started to look for jobs long before I graduated from my master studies. I always knew I wanted to work in the public sector, working with and for people. I knew that I needed to start applying early to be able to gain that experience of an interview in Swedish. I did not expect to get a job before I graduated, but I thought being rejected was an important part of the process, to be able to learn and perform better at the next interview. After each interview I asked the recruiter for feedback and used this information to improve.

I actually applied for my current position at three different occasions – once in January, then in March and once again in May. The second time I applied, I got the chance to do an interview, but I was unfortunately rejected because of my lack of experience. They called me back for another interview in May and by that time I was much better prepared, due to up experience from several other interviews during the spring. During this third interview, the recruiter told me he was concerned about the fact that the job will involve challenging tasks such as working with people with different problematic backgrounds and asked me how I would deal with this without any previous experience in the area? I answered him very confidently:
'As Pippi Longstocking said, I've never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do that.' The recruiter smiled, and I knew at that moment that I had convinced him that I was the right person for the job.

How is a regular day at work?

I usually work with 10 to 20 people at a time, offering them coaching and helping them on their way to the Swedish labour market. At the moment I spend most of my time online and on the phone, since we are not allowed to meet people in person. Sometimes I get to visit a client who is doing an internship to see how it is going and how it can be improved. My work involves cooperation with different institutions in Sweden such as Arbetsförmedlingen, Försäkringskassan, Utbildningscentrum and different parts of the Örkelljunga Municipality. We all need to cooperate in order to ensure that my clients get the best possible help. My work is full of energy and challenges, and that is what I love about it. Working together with my colleagues, coming up with new ideas and sharing experiences and opinions are the highlights of the day. We are usually using our fika breaks to talk about what we can do better and how we can improve our work. I am very lucky to have such an amazing work place and great colleagues that I don’t really need a break from.

4 people standing up, two of them shaking hands and one of them looking into the camera smiling.Photo.

Alexandra took part in the extracurricular Student Experience and Employability Programme (SEEP), which helped her prepare for a career in Sweden.

In what ways can you take advantage of the learnings from your education at Halmstad University in your current position?

My Master's degree has given me the knowledge of how the Swedish welfare system works, which is key to be able to understand my job. During my education I got the chance to discover different ways of working in the public system, such as leading with equality and inclusivity, which I am trying to apply to my work routine everyday. All the theory of the programme is applicable to my job, and I see it as a sort of 'idea bank' when working with my daily tasks.

During my studies I also took part in the extra-curricular Student Experience and Employability Programme (SEEP), which opened up my eyes to different opportunities in Sweden and helped me prepare for a career in Sweden. The programme offered a forum where I could practice being 'a professional' as I got the opportunity to speak to different employers and learn how to build my personal brand. In addition to this, I recieved invaluable guidance and motivation from the project leaders of SEEP, which I'm very thankful for.

Give your top 3 advice for making the most out of your Master’s studies?

1. Spend your time wisely.

Start applying early for jobs. Even if there are limited chances to get a job before finishing your studies you will get a chance to practice your interview skills and how to reply to a phone call from an employer. You will find ways to improve your CV and personal letter and you will make your name known – When finding a company or position you want, don't be afraid to apply several times. The second time you apply the employer will hopefully remember your first application, and consider you as a motivated and determined candidate.

2. Select your Master thesis project carefully.

Use your Master thesis as a tool to build your career. Be open to different possibilities and be flexible when looking for companies or organisations to collaborate with. Perhaps this will be your future work place.

3. Take the oppotunity to build a professional network.

Create your own opportunities, do not wait for someone to give them to you. Start networking, be active on LinkedIn, contact employers and make a name for yourself. Show them who you are even if they do not have asked for that. It is about making your own success.

What are your future career goals?

I want to continue working with integration in the labout market, but my dream is to have my own business as a consultant within the public sector. I want to focus my work on integration of people with disabilities in the labour market, where my role would be to work as a bridge between the people, the public sector and the employers. I am aware this is a big dream, but I'm taking small steps torwards it every day.

Quick facts

Name: Alexandra Oancea

From: Romania

Education at Halmstad University: Master's Programme in Nordic Welfare

Current company and position: Örkelljunga Kommun, Labour market integration consultant

Professional background: Bachelor’s degree in political sciences, University of York, UK. Leader of a student organization – Model United Nations York (working with diplomacy, international politics, human rights). Work experience with children and adults with disabilities.

Five questions for alumnus Christoph Dyckmans

Christoph Dyckman, alumnus from the Master’s programme in Industrial Management and Innovation, now works as a Technology Innovation Manager for Adidas.

Black and white portrait of a smiling man with stubble, wearing a black t shirt. Photo.

Why did you choose to study at Halmstad University? Why did you choose your programme?

I was a big fan of having the opportunity to participate in a one year Master’s Programme. The programme offered a great fit in terms of content, location in Sweden, and benefits.

What is your current occupation?

I work as a Technology Innovation Manager at Adidas AGin Herzogenaurach, Germany.

What was the best thing about studying at Halmstad University?

The programme challenged me in terms of scientific work since my Bachelor was rather application orientated. Coming from Germany, I was surprised that the teaching staff always treated the students with highest respect, focusing on individual improvement.

What was the most important/interesting thing you learned during your time at the University?

Self-reflection and team work.

What tip would you like to give to new students at your programme?

Be open and try to experience Sweden as much as possible, also outside the university campus.

Facts

  • Name: Christoph Dyckmans
  • From: Stuttgart, Germany
  • Lives today: Nürnberg, Germany
  • Current occupation: Technology Innovation Manager

Five questions to student Adam Brass

Adam Brass, student in the Master’s programme in Network Forensics, gives us a little insight in his everyday life as a student and his goals and ambitions.

A male students smiles to the camera as he is standing in a bright white room.

Why did you choose to study this programme?

I chose this programme as an addition to the skills learned in the Network Design programme (previous studies at Halmstad University) as I wanted to challenge myself which I’ve succeeded at doing so given the opportunities of my coursework.

What do you think about your education?

I think my education here at Halmstad University has been brilliant and challenging at times. I believe education is sometimes seen as a one way transaction, but if the individual embraces the responsibility to take their learning further then your opportunities increase. This is what Halmstad University has afforded me to do whether it be networking, working within the ITE department, competitions, and projects from lecturers. For example, our programme had the chance this past week to take part in an automotive car hacking seminar where we learned how attacks against a car may happen.

A room pictures from above with an automotive roadmap on the floor.

The studies include many practical elements such as workshops and seminars organised in collaboration with external companies and organisations.

What do you like the most about studying at Halmstad University?

Studying at Halmstad University offers the ability to have a small class size which allows for better communication and a community feel for the learning experience with students from all over the world.

”...be open to new experiences which may not be commonplace for your background and be prepared to stay dynamic in that your plans may change for the better”

Do you have any advice for students who intend to study at Halmstad University?

My advice to prospective students at Halmstad University is to come with a plan of action for your studies, but to also be open to new experiences which may not be commonplace for your background and be prepared to stay dynamic in that your plans may change for the better.

What do you do in ten years from now?

In ten years from now, I’ll be a cybersecurity expert with the ability to give back to my community and domain through a sense of experience, confidence in my knowledge, and industry practice to be able to offer myself as a leader and consultant. I aim to grow exponentially in regards to my career aspirations as I have here at Halmstad University as in the field of cyber security and digital forensics learning is an ongoing, cyclical process. 

Facts

  • Name: Adam Lane Brass (though I mostly go by Adam Brass)
  • From: Houston, Texas, USA
  • Interest and hobbies: Reading, exercising, self-studies in cybersecurity and anything security related, learning about new cultures, and traveling.

Students in international drone competition

In May 2018, six students from three dfferent engineering programmes at Halmstad University participated in an international drone competition. The drone was a result of their Bachelor thesis project. The team from Halmstad came in second place in the competition and recieved a special award for best drone design.

The students Patrick Karlsson, Emil Johansson, Marcus Rodén, Jakob Carlsén, Anders Bogga and Emil Andersson designed an advanced autonomous drone that automatically could pick up another drone. The competition started a couple of months before the final and included several qualification rounds. The students from Halmstad were the only team outside of the United States to qualify for the final in May, 2018, in Arizona. The goal of the final competition was to search an area and identify another drone, pick it up and fly it to a drop-off point. The project was done as the students' final bachelor thesis project.

During the final in Arizona, the team from Halmstad competed against three American universities: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – who won the competition – as well as Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania.

During the competition, the Halmstad students received an award for the best drone design with the motivation: “Halmstad University came very close to finishing the mission autonomously, and given the complexity and sophistication of their UAV design, the near miss was a commendable achievement!”

”We had some challenging but very fun days in Arizona. It was great to meet students from other universities and see how they had designed their drones”

Marcus Rodén, electrical engineer and one of the students from the Halmstad University team

Three different engineering programmes

The drone project was part of the students' bachelor thesis projects. The six students graduated in the summer of 2018 from three different engineering programmes at Halmstad University. Patrick Karlsson and Emil Johansson are computer engineers, Marcus Rodén and Jakob Carlsén electrical engineers and Anders Bogga and Emil Andersson mechatronical engineers. The students' three different areas of expertise have all been required to create the drone. The computer engineers were responsible for the drone's ability to search, find and land through image analysis. The mechatronical students have been in charge of the design and construction of the drone and its gripping claw, and the sensor and navigation system was developed by the two electrical engineers.

A photo of six young men standing in two rows.

Top row from the left: Emil Andersson, Emil Johansson, Marcus Rodén and Jakob Carlsén. Bottom row from the left: Patrick Karlsson and Anders Bogga.

Students and companies in collaboration for internationalization

On December 17 and 18, the top floor of Trade Center was filled with nervous and expectant students. It was time to present the results in the course International Growth and Business Development. In addition to students from countries all around the world – representatives from the companies 365id and Micropol were also present.

”We have had to solve real problems. We will benefit greatly from in our future professional lives from the learnings from this course.”

Dang Hông Thái

The course, led by Hélène Laurell, senior lecturer in marketing, defines and problematises different types of business growth, and students get a scientific overview of growth processes and business models. The teaching consists of lectures, seminars and workshops, but also of a project carried out in close collaboration with industry.

”In the task presented today, the students have collaborated with two different companies – 365id and Micropol – developing proposals for how the companies can work with internationalization”, says Hélène Laurell.

World map with black silhouettes of women dressed in suits.

For the students participating in the workshop, the world is their playing field.

Satisfied students and companies

The students, some of whom attend the Study Programme in Business and Economics and others the University’s Master’s Programme in Strategic Entrepreneurship for International Growth, have worked hard but are very satisfied with the course. The international student Desislava Tsvetkova, who comes from Bulgaria, has benefited a lot from the project work:

”It has been very rewarding to work on a case together with a real company, instead of just having your nose in the books. It is more motivating, and the result is better when you have a chance to interact with the client.”

The company representatives are also satisfied with the course and with the students’ performance.

”Collaboration with the University is important to us. This is the second year we participate in this course. It is a way to build our company’s brand and to be visible to potential future employees. We have hired from this course before. We also hope that some of the projects can help us reach new markets. This year we have seen projects that we would like to continue working with”, says Anders Green, Sales and Marketing Manager at 365id.

”Our expectations have really been met. We have gained new insights, but also confirmed things that we ourselves have thought about.”

Magnus Sickeldal, Account Manager Telecom and Broadcast at Micropol

New angles important pieces of the puzzle

The other participating company – Micropol – has a well-established collaboration with the University. In addition, the request for participation came at just the right time.

”We have been talking about internationalisation for a long time, but we hesitated and had a hard time making a decision. Therefore, this came at a very opportune time. It is both fun and useful to see the issue from a new angle”, says Peter Ljungkvist, CEO of Micropol. Colleague Magnus Sickeldal, Account Manager for Telecom and Broadcast fills in:

”Our expectations have really been met. We have gained new insights, but also confirmed things that we ourselves have thought about.”

”This has been an important piece of the puzzle”, adds Peter Ljungkvist.

Knowledge for life

The project has given the students the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice, which has been both useful and instructive. At the final presentation, they also got to see the results of their fellow students, something that – according to student Dang Hông Thái – offered new perspectives.

”We have had to solve real problems. We will benefit greatly from in our future professional lives from the learnings from this course. We have not only learned a lot from our own projects. The other groups’ presentations have been very rewarding. By listening to the others, our understanding of the issues has expanded even more”, he concludes.

updated

2020-09-01

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