The design and product development engineers of the future will be at the fair

Future graduate engineers in design and product development are taking part in the fair this spring, thanks to a collaboration with the Institute of Technology at Linköping University. The brief: to suggest new product ideas with the help of exhibitors at the fair. The event is in the form of a competition, but the main aim is to create a meeting-place between the industry and university.

For several years the industry has found it hard to find personnel with the right expertise, and engineers are one professional category where there is a shortage.
“The collaboration with the Institute of Technology at Linköping University is a way for us to help build bridges between the academic world and an exciting industry,” says Karla Eklund, Project Manager for Elmia Polymer.

The Institute of Technology at Linköping University is one of the institutes in Sweden that offers an engineering programme focusing on design and product development. The programme is new in Linköping – the first generation of student engineers will graduate this spring.
“Our involvement with Elmia enables the industry to meet a different type of engineering student to the ‘usual’. From a lecturer’s perspective, the collaboration is of interest because it’s important for us to know what the industry needs from our programmes,” says Kerstin Johansen, a doctor of engineering and university lecturer in production engineering/wood technology.

The students’ brief during the fair will be to develop a new product idea based on certain set conditions, regarding for example polymer materials and production methods. The students will work in groups and obtain help from the materials, tools and machinery suppliers at the parallel fairs Elmia Polymer and Elmia Automation. The arrangement will also be an interesting addition to the programme for all the visitors to the fair, who will be able to vote for their favourite suggestion.