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A sabbatical widens the horizons

Published May 14, 2019

After three international exchanges, Professor Martin Törngren has part of his heart - and a plethora of useful contacts - in the USA.

Every year, teachers at ITM use the opportunity to get out to universities abroad, so-called sabbatical periods, funded by KTH. Martin Törngren, professor at the Department of Machine Design, has taken up the opportunity. Several times.

– The first trip was to Berkeley in California in 2011. KTH had no sabbatical concept at the time, so I had to fix it myself. I was able to bring a somewhat reluctant family where the kids were to go to high school. After the ten months in the United States, nobody wanted to go home.

Good for the career

Martin Törngren

He mainly devoted his time in the USA to research but also had some teaching and held many guest lectures at various institutions and spent some time at NASA Ames and several Silicon Valley companies. And Martin says it does your career no harm to be associated with renowned universities. He has met people in the business world who have an eye on him precisely because of the connection to Berkeley University.

– These universities are good at marketing themselves and spreading information. If you write articles with someone from there, it is not only interesting and instructive, but also probably increases your citations drastically.

He says that the sabbatical period is a great opportunity to gain insight into how leading universities in the world work.

– And of course to get inspired and perhaps above all: to have time to improve. Usually we are so booked up, not least through the teaching, that it is difficult to get away to attend seminar series, for example.

New collaboration

It also leads to new contacts and collaboration, both personally and for KTH. In August, a research leader came to Sweden from the Stevens Institute of Technology on the American east coast, where Martin spent a two-month period in 2018, and Professor Edward Lee, who was Martin's host in 2011, has subsequently visited KTH on several occasions.

But KTH also has its reputation abroad. As Martin added:

– At Berkeley they think that everyone at KTH can juggle now.

Text: Anna Gullers

Belongs to: Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM)
Last changed: May 14, 2019