LTH doctoral student is sought-after lecturer at Stanford University

Jerker Lessing is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) and has a burning interest in the subject of industrialised construction. Although his academic career is still in its early stages, he has already led two courses at Stanford University, California. And now, at the end of March, his latest students will visit Lund University to see how far Sweden has come in the field.

Jerker LessingJerker Lessing studied an engineering degree at LTH during the 90s and later worked as a consultant until 2004, when he returned as an industry-employed doctoral student. Two years later, he received a degree of licentiate of science with a degree project in industrialised construction.

After this, he continued working as a consultant and had, among other things, development projects financed by Vinnova, where the development of construction systems and developed processes were the area of focus. He returned to the department of building & environmental technology as an industry-employed doctoral student a couple of years ago, and now his goal is to write his doctoral thesis.

Jerker Lessing has met with Professor Martin Fischer of Stanford many times and was personally invited by the professor to conduct research and give a course at Stanford, California, as this is a field that has not yet been established at the university. The Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) at Stanford University brings together companies and researchers with the ambition to improve construction.

Jerker Lessing spent four months at CIFE last spring, which gave him many new impulses, not least through his teaching of the course, Industrialised Construction, to researchers and students.

“As part of the course, project work was carried out in collaboration with companies. I had 15 students who attended my lectures and six who carried out project work on two companies. Two of them were given employment immediately”, explains Lessing.

The course at Stanford was such a success that Jerker Lessing was asked to give it again this year. There was a huge interest in the course over the two weeks in February. More than 30 students took the course and 12 are carrying out project work in collaboration with four companies.

Jerker Lessing received a powerful response from the course participants and has been urged by the students and researchers to return next year.

“I received one comment stating that the course was an eye-opener. The students see new opportunities to develop construction with the help of industrial methods and move from project focus to a more developed systematic and process-oriented focus.”

The course is now being followed up by twelve students from Stanford who are coming to Sweden to further develop their knowledge through visiting leading companies and participating in seminars at LTH alongside some of our students who are working on degree projects.

There is not a lot of industrialised construction in the USA, but some very exciting companies have been founded on industrial principles, explains Lessing.

He is not the only one at LTH who shares this interest. Linus Malmgren recently defended his thesis with the same specialisation. Building Information Modelling, so-called BIM, is a neighbouring field attracting a lot of research interest.

Text and photo: Mats Nygren

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