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Successful course worth millions

Published: 8 June 2015

In the successful integration course at Luleå University of Technology have students conducted real projects in close cooperation with the business sector – and new companies are queuing up to be involved. This time, the students of Industrial and Management Engineering helped Älvsbyhus to develop their business.

The integration course is given in the programs Industrial and Management Engineering and Business and Economics at Luleå University of Technology. The students get the opportunity to implement a project in close cooperation with a company – a job that requires a lot of drive, independence and to use all knowledge they have gained during their education.

– The students' effort was valued to ten million in a previous project. If only ten per cent of the outcome is seen as useful, it´s still much, says Håkan Perzon, course coordinator and lecturer in Industrial Marketing.

This time was Älvsbyhus in focus. The students had to define their task by themselves. Creativity is encouraged and can lead to ideas with conceptual heights. Or as Håkan Perzon puts it: "The students have not yet learned what can and can not be done."

Sees potential in digitized house demonstrations

Anton Flygare, Felix Johansson, Johan Rülcker, Jonathan Ryen och Samir Uppugunduri are on their third year in Industrial Engineering and Management. They came up with an idea, which according to them, could revolutionize Älvsbyhus way to showcase and sell their products.

Today have Älvsbyhus show houses only in a few of cities. Through Virtual Reality can potential customers visit a house in the digital realm. This allows Älvsbyhus to reach more customers. The technique can be likened to a pair of ski goggles with a display inside and a projection of a house. To show that it can work have a programming student at Luleå University of Technology made a demo of a house on behalf of the project team.

– Prior to this, Älvsbyhus had no other way than to build more show houses, or to show a customer's existing home. And it is not economically viable to build a show house in every city. This is a cheap solution. Financial data we have received shows that the cost to program all 16 house models are as large as building two physical show houses. Then you can see all the options too. In a physical house can for example only a few floor be shown, says Felix Johansson.

All are winners in the integration course

The popular course is in its eighth year, and the success continues. Håkan Perzon describes it as a tremendous resource for companies. Stefan Johansson, Vice President of Älvsbyhus, agree.

– The students contribute with new perspectives which broadens our outlook. It is a little painful when they point on our weaknesses. Many of their suggestions are in line with the work we have already started. When we read the reports and get some more knowledge about the details we will certainly be able to pick out a lot of goodies, says Stefan Johansson, who welcome the continuing fruitful cooperation between Älvsbyhus and the university.