Summer School 2018 – a place for knowledge and meetings

Friday, August 17, 2018

This year’s Summer School for PhD students was conducted during an intensive week in May. At Toftaholm’s mansion in Småland, Sweden, around 20 participants met in order to gain in-depth and broader technical knowledge in the field of e-mobility. And not least – to make contacts.

Swedish Electromobility Centre’s Summer School is primarily aimed at PhD students with interest and research in electromobility at Swedish universities. It gives an opportunity to meet, in one single place for a week, to study and discuss electromobility together. In addition, participants get the opportunity to get to know each other and establish contacts with other researchers in different aspects of electromobility.

“The course gives both overview and in-depth knowledge of key components such as batteries, fuel cells and electrical machines as well as tools for systems studies that will be used for evaluation, design and construction of vehicle drive systems”, said Professor Jonas Fredriksson about this year’s course.

Two of the participants during the course week were the Chalmers doctoral students Anton Klintberg and Lukas Wikander. Both are active in control technology and focus on the ageing and health of batteries. They have previously been to single events organised by the Centre. Now they got the advice to apply for the Summer School from their research colleagues.

“I saw it as an opportunity to get the full picture. Normally, you are so focused on your subject. Here you get an opportunity to see everything in a context”, says Anton Klintberg.

The week met their expectations, although it was also very intensive with a whole week of teaching and practical moments from the morning to evening.

“It’s good with an intensive course for a week. You get very focused and you do not think about anything else. It is a lot to learn in a short period of time”, says Lukas Wikander. “Therefore, it was good that many of the classes ended with practical exercises, like designing your own battery. It’s a great way to firmly embed your memory of the course. In particular, it forced us to discuss topics with the other participants. It was very good that we came from different research areas. This meant that you did not fall too much into details.”

“In the evening we had an Electric Car Challenge with a miniature car track. We would optimise an electric drivetrain to use as little energy as possible and complete the entire lap”, says Anton. “It was obviously best to drive as fast as possible – as long as you did not drive off the track!”

Both Anton and Lukas were very pleased with the course and the lecturers.

“The teachers were extremely good, both extremely knowledgeable as well as educative”, says Anton.

“There are not many other ways to learn these general things. You would have to discover them later, but it would certainly take three to four years. And by then it’s almost too late”, says Lukas.

In addition to all the new skills, it was also a great benefit to meet and get to know the other participants.

“One of the best things was to meet people from other places and other backgrounds. Both in the same area as ourselves, but also others. These contacts can be valuable for a long time”, concludes Anton.

After the week at Toftaholm, the course will be completed with a home assignment and final report after the summer.


Text: Daniel Karlsson, photo: Elna Holmberg & Chalmers