On the 14th of October, SKF hosted a one-day event in which PhD students from the SKF University Technology Centres (UTC) in France, the UK, Sweden and Belgium presented their doctoral work in tribology, lubrication and prognostic maintenance. In the audience were UTC university professors and SKF employees from Innovation & Business Development, research, product engineering and product development. All in all, there were 60 participants, 22 of which were University guests.
A two-way street
The event that took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, offered UTC researchers a chance to meet, exchange ideas and present their work to people from the industry. “We do a lot of good work with universities, and the knowledge needs to be transferred into SKF internal research projects and then into product development projects,” Dr. Kenred Stadler, SKF Manager Research Collaborations and organizer of the event, explains.
The UTC day is not only meant to update SKF with the current status of ongoing research. It’s also a chance for the UTC researchers to meet and learn from people in the industry. “We at SKF can give recognition to the PhD students, allowing them to meet the actual recipients of their work as well as other SKF colleagues. And by having them present their research, we can also provide valuable input”, Dr. Stadler says.
Dr. Stadler also points to the important networking aspect. “It is always good when people meet, talk and share ideas. It can boost innovation.”
Bridging the gap to the academic world
Today, SKF has around 13 activities running at the university technology centres. At these centres, SKF draws on academic expertise in areas such as tribology, lubrication, condition monitoring, sensor technology and product life cycles. Many of SKF’s collaborations are structured around specific projects, often in the form of PhD dissertations, graduate theses or post-graduate research projects.