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Robert Larsson, CEO of Valutec and alumni at Luleå University of Technology.

"The road to success is the detour"

Published: 10 February 2015

Robert Larsson is CEO of Valutec in Skellefteå that manufactures wood dries. In 1997 he took a MSc degree in mechanical engineering at Luleå University of Technology including a two-year specialization in wood. That specialization corresponds to the current master's program in wood technology.

How did you experience the education?

– It corresponded to my interest in wood and gave me good opportunities for jobs afterwards.

What use have you had from the education?

– It was a good basic education although you learn most of skills when working. But I still, in my daily work, have  use of some courses I read.

What is your current work?

– I work as CEO of the Valutec Group, which manufactures wood dries to the sawmill industry. Valutec has grown into Europe's largest manufacturer of wood kilns with companies in Sweden, Finland and Russia.

Describe a good day at work for you.

– When my employees are happy and we have good relationships with our customers. New business is of course also a great part of my worklife.

What is the best with your work?

– Besides my job as CEO I also work a lot with sales which is both interesting and fun. My interest in development and in the drying process makes me happy to participate in such matters also, as far as I can. But the most fun is probably the fellowship with my co-workers. To put simply, we have fun at work.

Do you have any advice to students on the Masters prgamme in wood technology?

– The road to success is the detour. If something does not work, try again and do not give up.

What do you think of the future in your industry?

– The wood industry has great potential, not least because of the material's properties such as being renewable, climate friendly, light, strong and so forth. The industry has a great need of skilled workers and those who study wood, will probably have an easy task to find interesting employment after graduation.