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Gunnar Malm on the relocation of KTH Kista

Portrait picture of Gunnar Malm
Photo: Susanne Kronholm
Published Feb 22, 2024

In November 2023, the University Board decided to move the Kista campus, except for the Electrum Laboratory. Gunnar Malm, the project manager for the campus relocation, talks about what is happening now.

What has happened since the decision was made? What concrete plans are there now?

”Together with the Student Union of the School of Engineering (THS), a timetable has been created for when programmes will be moved from Kista. It will run over two academic years until all students study at the KTH Campus at Valhallavägen.”

What changes can employees expect in 2024?

”We are looking at the contract structure for our premises in Kista. We will need to use the premises more efficiently during the relocation period. The space will probably be reduced, including research space and operational support.”

What else?

”Teachers and directors of studies will be involved in an intensive schedule work for 2025 when the first groups of students are moving to KTH Campus . Flexible workplaces have been prepared on KTH Campus to make it work for people who move between two places, and there will be separate information on that.”

Will staff be moved already in 2024?

”No, no one will be moved during the year, but you are welcome to use the flexible workplaces prepared on KTH Campus en.”

Have you identified any problem areas that may be particularly difficult to manage?

”The relocation of the Kista campus will require negotiations with other schools to find the most suitable premises. We will also be looking at the organization of the school in parallel; whether this will affect placement after the move is too early to say.”

How will the relocation of lab environments be realized?

”It's too early to say because we must decide what happens to the Electrum Laboratory.”

What is required to succeed with the savings KTH wishes to implement?

”The schools need to cooperate; otherwise, we can't make the best use of the premises on Valhallavägen, and that's the potential biggest cost reduction.”

How has the dialogue with employees and students been since the decision was made in November 2023?

 ”After the initial reaction, there has been a positive dialogue now that the move is becoming more concrete.”

How will you continue to involve and engage staff and students?

”We have planned the most important activity with THS. As for other employees, teachers, researchers and doctoral students, we are now working on getting clear information at the departmental level, for example, through extra-departmental meetings.”

What are the most significant risks or challenges you identified with the move, and how will we solve them?

”According to the teachers, the most significant risk is that a move will interfere with teaching, and they want to try to synchronize with the term times. Doctoral students wish their studies not to be extended, and researchers see individual advantages and disadvantages.”

And the operational support?

 ”Here, we want to emphasize that those working in Kista today will continue to receive good support until the move is completed.”

What parts of the planning remain?

”The most significant part is the budgeting of the move itself. What can the cost be, and how will the cost be divided at different levels at KTH.”

Are there updated plans for the Electrum Laboratory?

“The President will set up a study for the Electrum Laboratory to be carried out in the spring.”

How does it feel being the project manager for one of KTH's most significant relocation projects?

”The cooperation between the three project managers at the EECS, ITM and CBH and the project coordinator, Helene Rune, has started well, and we are trying to make the right priorities. I want more time to talk to more people in the organization and get their wishes. The move from Kista affects 190 people, which makes it complex, but there are many good thoughts and ideas to capture. I am also available by email and for personal contact.”

Text: Emelie Smedslund