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ITM looks over its premises

More efficient spaces - Many employees relocate

Portrait of Björn Laumert outside the machine quarters.
Björn Laumert, head of EGI department, in front of the Machine Quarters.
Published Sep 14, 2022

During the past year, parts of the ITM school have cut down on workspace and given up premises. And more relocations lie ahead. Björn Laumert, head of the EGI department, leads a major overhaul of ITM's premises and here he explains why, and what’s in the pipeline.

Why has ITM initiated this project?

"The costs for our premises make up a large part of the ITM school's finances. At the same time, many office rooms, classrooms, and labs have low occupancy. After the pandemic, we have also started to work remotely to a greater extent. This means that we see efficiency opportunities for the school's premises and need to review how we use them and eliminate redundant areas. It saves a lot of money, which we can invest in the core business, namely research and education. But it is a difficult puzzle.”

What has happened so far?

"We have reviewed the needs and mapped out how to integrate the school in a better way. We have focused on the Machine Quarter (Maskinkvarteren) and are looking into the possibilities of moving the Department of Learning here. We do this through workshops with the concerned departments and with support from the VhCs. The possibilities we see here are that the Department of Learning can be gathered in a functional building and integrated with the activities in this area. There is excellent access to classrooms that can be equipped according to the institution's needs. We also see that the teacher education/technical education can improve and be more applied by utilizing our experimental environments that MMK, IPU (IIP) and EGI have built up in Maskinkvarteret."

"Then, the head of departments must discuss those proposals with their staff. At the same time, we talk with the union representatives and the safety officer to ensure that the working environments are functional and appropriate based on our financial and locational conditions."

Which departments have already moved?

"The premises in Sing-Sing and the library building have been reviewed, which has resulted in the school management and Digital learning leaving the library and moving to Sing-Sing. In Maskinkvarteret, MMK has adapted its spaces for new needs when the unit for combustion engines and its lab has closed down, and more functional work environments have been created."

“The lab environments are also under scrutiny, why is that?”
"The experimental environments are very important for our school and we need to protect and develop them to attract both student and research activities. Our vision is for the ITM school to become the KTH students' Makerspace.”
"A new working group reviews and coordinates our experimental environments. Jens Fridh, the chief safety officer at ITM and lab manager in the unit of Power and Heating Technology, leads it. This group includes head of departments and lab and workshop managers from all departments.”

When is the relocation process expected to be finished?

"It naturally depends on the plan we are developing right now and the need for modernization and change. We want to avoid moving into a construction site and will try to plan accordingly.”

What do employees think about the changes?

"We have received positive feedback on our intention to gather the Department of Learning, integrate our activities better, and strengthen our lab environments through teacher training, student activities, and research. At the same time, employees have understandable concerns about relocation plans and our future work environment. We are aware of this and it is vital to take care of feedback from employees, unions and safety representatives. At the same time, we all need to understand that we are doing this to prepare for the future. We adapt to new ways of working, varying presence in the workplace, financial conditions and the need to have an integrated school with a vivid experimental environment. We try to create an understanding of this by transparently conveying the background and purpose of why we are inspecting the premises.

Are there other schools at KTH doing the same thing?
“In KTH's operational plan, "review premises" is one of the assignments from KTH's board. This is an important agenda in the school head council (skolchefsrådet) and several schools are reviewing their premises needs now.”

Interview: Anna Gullers


Belongs to: Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM)
Last changed: Sep 14, 2022