Claes Mattsson is head of the department of Electronics Design (EKS). He has been involved in The SANDAS project (Sensor AND Automations Systems), which aims to develop a specialisation for the new master’s programme in electronics.
Can you tell us more about SANDAS?
The project will run for two years and is financed by The Knowledge Foundation through their AVANS project that focuses on new advanced training programs as well as the development of previous similar programmes in collaboration with industry and commerce. The SANDAS project started in March 2016 and is co-financed by the Department of Electronics Design (EKS) at the Mid Sweden University through study programme funding. A number of industrial partners as well as regional and national interest groups support the project (ÅF AB, SenseAir AB, Eurocon AB, Combitech AB, Svensk Elektronik and Fiber Optic valley).
What is the difference between this new master's programme and the previous?
The previous electronics master's programme was originally developed ten years ago. Since then, the internal and external development have affected the relevancy of the project. At the present, our research has an increased system focus as we witness a number of technology trends and incentives that strive for competence within the fields of sensors and sensor systems. The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to open the door for innovations that—through new business models—can effectively transform several markets. IoT will require the embedding of numerous electronic components and sensors in a multitude of products in order to create interfaces between the physical and digital world. The smart industry of the future will be founded on automation where all parts of the value chain communicate. This requires a multitude of built-in sensor systems that can feed valuable information back to the industrial process, thereby allowing for maximum utilisation of the source material with minimal negative environmental impact.
The starting point of the development was the components of a built-in sensor system as well as the requirements and limitations set by the function and production of the system. The surrounding environment was also taken into consideration. Based on these aspects, the courses of the programme have been developed with the intention of creating a theme throughout the education. Additionally, the new programme also includes a new active learning-based educational approach where the students partake actively in their education rather than passively attending traditional lectures. As part of this approach, new informal study environments have been built. These environments are intended to further collaborative group efforts.
Through the new programme, we also wish to increase the presence of industry and commerce in the education. This will be achieved by, for example, guest lectures as well as projects and degree projects supervised by partners from these sectors.
What is the purpose behind the change?
To create a programme that meets the challenges of the future that are apparent within the development of IoT in smart cities and smart industry. To increase the incentive for the students to attend the programme as well as the attractiveness of the students post-programme. To strengthen the connection to the research being conducted at the department.
What is unique about this master's programme?
At the present, we are not aware of any other master's programme with the same development starting point. The programme has a hardware-oriented approach that not only focuses on the electrical components included and the control of these, but also the physical parameters that might affect system performance and design.