Ingela Bäckström

Works as: Professor of quality engineering.
Comes from: Ånge/Sundsvall.
Employed since: 2002.

Please tell us about your background

– Before coming to the university, I worked within the industry for five years as a team leader, project manager, supervisor for leading and directing objectives at a large production facility, and in customer relations.

How did you end up at Mid Sweden University?

– What was then the Mitthögskolan University had a job listing for an instructor in quality engineering. I applied and got the position.

What is it like to be a professor here?

– It is fun to be a professor in quality engineering. We are a good group in our discipline, and we work together and support one another. We try to see the discipline as a whole, in which education, research and collaboration all support and affect each other. I supervise students in their degree projects, doctoral students in their third-cycle education, and personally participate in several research projects.

– Based on the results in the research projects, I write articles together with other researchers, including those from the group as well as from other disciplines. The downside of being a professor is having to constantly write research applications to try and get research funding for myself and the others.

What do you like most about your work?

– Getting to see other people grow, and the fact that I can develop personally and immerse myself in what I feel is important. I am also able to be involved in our research projects and influence developments in society and the environment by means of students, doctoral students and individuals and leaders from various organisations. In this way, I am able to call into question and demonstrate how we can improve, simplify and create possibilities for all people.

What do you do in your free time?

– I am married and have three grown-up children and a grandchild. Right now, we all live together (8 people) in a building with four flats. So we have a sort of multi-generational house, which means we also spend a lot of time together. We also have quite a large plot of land and a big greenhouse.

– In the summer season, I spend a lot of my free time in the garden, and by March we are already growing seeds indoors and in the cellar. I have taken a few courses in ceramics and watercolour painting, but right now, in the spring of 2021, these have been cancelled. I still try to do a little watercolour painting anyway at home during the winter season. During the winter, I like to go cross-country and downhill skiing, and in the summer, I enjoy walking in the forest and hiking in the mountains. Travelling is also one of my big interests.

What do you do to find a balance between work and time off?

– I try to completely disconnect from work when I am free, and I do not work evenings or weekends. It is not always easy, but when I "work" in the garden, paint or spend time with the children and grandchildren, it is easier to relax and be in the here and now.