- During the fall we will continue to meet some of the PhD students of Produktion2030 Graduate School. First out is Erik Flores Garcia, who not only thinks the courses are a great way to network with people going through the same joys and struggles, but also an incredible investment of his time.
These courses have been invaluable for my development as a researcher
PhD student Erik Flores Garcia, who researches on simulation-based decision-making in production system design at Mälardalen University, has taken four different courses in the Produktion2030 Graduate School; International production, Production Innovation, Get Your Paper Published, and Research Methodology in Product Realisation.
Erik describes these courses as invaluable for his development as a researcher, and he thinks that they provided several direct benefits. First, the courses facilitated networking with researchers, managers, and PhD students from across Sweden. This led to publishing his studies with research groups from two different universities in the area of simulation at three international conferences. Also, these courses made him an active member of the PhD student network in the area of production.
– It was exciting to know that others were going through the same challenging process as myself. My interest in this was such that I became the coordinator of the Production Academy Student Network (PADOK). This level of interaction with the Swedish Production Academy and its PhD students would not have been possible without the courses, says Erik.
A valuable chance to interact with manufacturing companies
Moreover, Erik thinks that participating in these courses has been fun, which he considers to be fundamental when getting to love something you work with. During his studies, he had the chance to visit world renowned manufacturing sites, universities, and laboratories in Sweden and abroad. That gave him as a researcher the chance to interact with manufacturing companies. However, doing so through these courses and in company of 20 plus PhD students from different nationalities and universities was, according to Erik, a unique opportunity in itself. He got to learn a lot from his colleagues, and their specialist knowledge in areas unlike his own.
– Visiting companies within these courses was extraordinary. Not only do you get to experience the cutting edge of technology, and interact with it. In addition, I felt that firms were expectant, curious, and enormously welcoming. The interaction with companies facilitated through these courses made me feel that managers were deeply concerned about what we had to say, and that we could provide a benefit to them, explains Erik.
Paving the way for a long lasting commitment to continuous learning
Another direct benefit, Erik experiences, is that the courses have been advantageous when learning about the craft of research. The courses provided specialist insight about distinct aspects of the research process – from its industrial need to a publishable output providing a relevant contribution to science.
– The course facilitators are excellent researchers in their fields, and make a point on highlighting the importance of science to production and society at large. I have definitely seen an improvement in my understanding of science, and the quality of my work after attending these courses, says Erik.
From Eriks’ take on these courses is that they provide a long lasting commitment to continuous learning, and an awakening of curiosity towards others and their fields of study. Erik has also stayed in touch with PhD students and teachers. In that sense, he benefits from the courses way after the course ends.
– This is an incredible investment of your time, a valuable input to the skill set of PhD students, and a great way to network with people going through the same joys and struggles. I have recommend the Produktion2030 Graduate School to all PhD students in my department, finishes Erik.