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Pontus hult
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"For many students, project work leads to both summer and thesis work"

Published: 8 March 2022

Pontus Hult, is 24 years old and originally comes from Västerås. He is studying the last semester of a master's degree in mechanical engineering at Luleå University of Technology and is now completing his dissertation at home at ABB. It felt natural to return because he had already tested many roles at ABB during his studies. Over the years, it has been both fun and educational to be able to test tasks more aimed at the education, as a student, to finally finish with a dissertation. Where he now has more free hands.

– I started as a fitter and since then I have gradually had the opportunity to work more broadly with, among other things, business development and production development. You get to steer your own path, but you also get guidance if they see that you are heading in the wrong direction. You work close to both industry and academia, says Pontus.

Did you receive help from Sirius project courses when you studied at Luleå University of Technology?
– Yes! Luleå University of Technology's project courses are very unique, long, independent and above all sharp. For many students, the Sirius project leads to both summer and dissertations. At the company where my group carried out project work, all participants were later offered to do their dissertations at the company.
Working in project form is something you really take straight into working life.

Why did you choose to do your master thesis at ABB?
– It's a company I'm familiar with for a long time. There is always someone you know who works at ABB if you are from Västerås. I went to an internship there already in high school. It started with me already in high school getting in touch with them and I also got the opportunity to do my internship at their facility just outside Bangkok. After that, as I said, I have had the opportunity to both work full time during my sabbatical year and summer job and now finally do my dissertation.

How does it work with thesis work?
– During the dissertation, which is the final part of the education in mechanical engineering, we study 30 higher education credits from January to June. Many people choose a dissertation based on their focus and what they want to work with and I did that. My focus is construction technology.

What do you do on your master thesis?
– I work at ABB Robotics where we make industrial robots, in my department Production Technology, we work with developing and developing processes to facilitate the work in production. This may mean that we design fixtures and tools, among other things.

It is quite common for you to sit and construct something when you study construction technology, but I have worked with a focus on the construction processes themselves instead. I then work with how we can integrate AR and VR, as well as 3D printing in the design process. The reason for this is to be able to previously ensure that what we deliver is what is desired, but it can also be to increase the degree of maturity of the end product itself.

What opportunities are there within ABB if you studied at Luleå University of Technology?
– As a student at Luleå University of Technology, there are many opportunities within ABB, even if you have not had contact with them before. As long as you are curious to get to know the company and its products.

There are a lot of jobs for newly graduated students because they are a larger company and especially in northern Sweden there are major changes where there is a great demand for trained engineers. If you want to stay in Luleå after your studies, there is an opportunity to do so and if you want to move south or work abroad, you can also do so.

For current students, there are both dissertations and summer jobs that are advertised via their job portal, which is a perfect opportunity for students in various educations who want to test whether ABB is a company for them.

In addition to the opportunity to try out three different roles within the company, ABB's trainee program also includes work abroad, which attracts many. Here you do not need to be employed abroad, but you keep your employment in Sweden. They also have a Sustainable Talent Program (STP), which is aimed at female engineers who are in their third or fourth year. They meet together a little now and then and they get to know ABB as a company while they test on fun activities and study visits.

I recommend everyone to apply for one of these programs because it gives a very good feeling for the company and of course a network for the whole working life!

What plans do you have for the future?
– I have accepted a trainee position at Hitachi Energi, which a couple of years ago was also part of ABB. I applied for the same job at both ABB and Hitachi, received an offer from both companies, but chose to try something new. I want to try to identify new opportunities, learn new things and challenge myself as much as possible.

At the moment, I do not know exactly what I will work with in my role, because you do (just like in ABB's trainee program) three rotations that are six months each. In the rotations you can test everything from production support activities to research and development or sales, the opportunity is also here to work abroad, which attracts me.