The John Ericsson Medal

The prestigious John Ericsson Medal is awarded to the best students in each educational area with a degree in Engineering or Architecture from Chalmers in the year preceding the awarding of the medal. The winners will receive a solid silver medal with their name engraved on it, a diploma and a book about John Ericsson at a ceremony in the “Chalmerska Huset” (William Chalmers’ House).

Background to the John Ericsson Medal

John Ericsson was born in Värmland in 1803 and began working as an engineering apprentice on the construction of the Göta Canal when he was 13 years old. At the age of 24, he settled in England and then in the United States, where he remained until his death in 1889. During the years he spent in England and the United States, John Ericsson achieved enormous success as an inventor. Some of his most famous inventions include a tube steam boiler used on the Novelty locomotive, a propeller and the warship Monitor.

The medal was established in memory of John Ericsson in 1897 through a collection of SEK 4,317. The initiative was taken by Chalmers student Claes Adolf Adelsköld. Most of the proceeds were to be used for scholarships and “a small proportion for medals with John Ericsson's image on them, to be awarded at graduation to ‘deserving pupils of the educational institution’”.

The medal is awarded to the best in each educational area

Since 2012, six John Ericsson medals have been awarded annually to students who have obtained a degree in Engineering or Architecture at Chalmers in the year preceding the awarding of the medal. The medal is awarded to three students in the educational areas of MATS and ASAM and three students in EDIT-I and KFM. All graduates from the previous year are included in the selection of results. To be included in the selection, at least 210 of the credits included in the degree must have been completed at Chalmers, a weighted grade point average of at least 4.75 and a study rate compared to full-time studies of at least 0.9 (excluding study breaks), all within the degree certificate awarded.

Only credits achieved in Chalmers examinations within the degree awarded are included in the calculation of the weighted grade point average; in other words, courses credited from other higher education institutions and courses taken at Chalmers outwith the degree are not included. Of the six medals awarded, three will go to students from the MATS and ASAM educational areas and three to students from the KFM and EDIT-I educational areas. An additional medal may be awarded in exceptional circumstances. A maximum of two medals can be awarded to students in the same undergraduate programme, and a maximum of one medal to students in the same Master's programme. As graded marks are less common in the Architecture and Architecture and Technology programmes, it is less appropriate to designate recipients of the John Ericsson Medal based on weighted grade point average in those programmes. The programme management teams of these programmes should therefore be allowed to propose a recipient instead. The candidate must have qualifications equivalent to the criteria for other programmes. In the event of a tie, lots are drawn for a decision to be reached. Decisions to award the John Ericsson Medal cannot be appealed.

Picture of the medalists
The John Ericsson Medalists for 2023, Jacob Eriksson was unable to attend the ceremony due to work commitments and is therefore also missing from the photo.

John Ericsson medalists 2023

During a ceremony at Chalmersska huset on May 10th, Jörgen Blennow, Vice President for Education and Lifelong Learning, awarded five out of this year's six John Ericsson Medals. The medalists for 2023 are presented below.