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Students Smita and Celine are excited about the possibilities that Volvo and Northvolt's new battery manufacturing offers when it comes to employability. 
​Phot​o: Volvo/Northvolt and private

The future is electric

With a master’s degree from Chalmers University of Technology, maybe your next job will be at the forefront of the electrification field? 
By 2025, Volvo Cars will establish a new battery manufacturing plant in Gothenburg that will create 3 000 new job opportunities and support Volvo’s strategy of only producing electric cars by 2030. The rapid progression in battery research and electrification of the transport sector in Sweden has brought forth collaboration between Chalmers University of Technology and two other Swedish universities. The aim is to contribute with more research, more engineers and continuous competence development in battery technology and power electronics.

”Chalmers has a key role to play here, in the form of newly graduated engineers from our strong selection of foundational education programmes, but also through our alumni and others at different stages of their professional lives, who are looking to sharpen their skills”, Chalmers president Stefan Bengtsson has said in a previous statement. 

A master’s programme related to this subject area is Sustainable electric power engineering and electromobility​ at Chalmers. Here is a conversation between Chalmers students Smita and Celine who are currently students in the programme. 

What was your initial reaction when you heard about this battery plant being built in Gothenburg? 
Smita: I am excited about more opportunities and innovation in the city. I recently attended an event called “Elkraftdagen” at Chalmers where the representatives from both companies were present and they talked about the various job opportunities and the growing market for battery systems. It was very encouraging to learn about the upcoming industries and the roles we could play in them in the very near future.

Celine: It is good to know that they would have lots of thesis opportunities as such a big venture would require people from all domains and interests. An expected boom in the market also translates to multiple jobs and innovative technologies which as a master’s student in electrical engineering is always relieving to hear.

Why is it a place where you might be interested in working in the future? 
Smita: I see myself working in the battery applications, control systems and system management and connections area. It is very close to my field of interest and study, and I think it would be a good career move considering the rise in electrical vehicles.

Celine: I definitely see myself working in battery management, particularly in software development and control systems.  

How do you work with the subject of electrification and batteries in your programme at Chalmers?  
Smita: We have elective courses on battery system management and projects in the same area as well which helps us prepare for the industries and the real-life challenges faced in the plants. The control systems are also a huge part of our master’s programme which are super useful in batter management systems. There is the Chalmers Formula Student which has a whole unit dedicated to battery management systems and its integration with the electric vehicle which makes up for a very exciting, industry-related, learning experience.

Celine: We learn about the control systems, electrical drive systems and batteries in our programme. The software support is also an elective which makes it easy to combine the knowledge.

Why is it important for you to work in the area of electrification in the future? 
Smita: I think we can all agree that the future of transport is fully electrical vehicles. There are already fully functioning electrical cars, planes and even ships that perform their functions with ease, sometimes more so than those running on conventional fuels. It provides us better control over the system in general, saving a lot of money with excellent drive efficiencies and is the need of the hour when the environment is concerned. The systems are recyclable, reducing their carbon footprints by a huge value, and are developed using materials that are commonly available and way less polluting than conventional fuels. Even without considering the climatic impact, these fuels are limited, and we have been facing a shortage for quite some time. Thus, changing the system and decreasing our dependence, will be very useful soon as we move towards a fully electrified, more dependable, and controlled technology.

Celine: The fossil fuels are limited resources and thus long-term dependence on them was never a good idea. It’s also incredibly polluting and has long term impacts on the environment that we are struggling to deal with even today.

Page manager Published: Mon 09 May 2022.