Royal Institute of Technology: Wikis

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Royal Institute of Technology
Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Motto Vetenskap och Konst ("Science and Art")
Established 1827
Type Public University
Chairman Dr. Cecilia Schelin Seidegård
Rector Prof. Peter Gudmundson
Faculty 500
Staff 3,100
Students 11,700 (FTE, 2008)[1]
Doctoral students 1,500
Location Stockholm, Sweden
Campus Urban
Affiliations CLUSTER, CESAER, EUA, TIME network et al.
Website www.kth.se
Main building in winter
Main courtyard in summer
KTH "Courtyard" ("borggården")
Kerberos guarding the entrance to the courtyard

The Royal Institute of Technology (Swedish: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, abbreviated KTH) is a university in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH was founded in 1827 as Sweden's first polytechnic and is with Aalto University School of Science and Technology in Espoo, depending on definition, Scandinavia's largest institution of higher education in technology and one of the leading technical universities in Europe [2].

Contents

Campus

The main campus buildings at Valhallavägen in Östermalm, by architect Erik Lallerstedt, was completed in 1917. The buildings and surroundings were decorated by prominent early 20th century Swedish artists such as Carl Milles, Axel Törneman, Georg Pauli, Tore Strindberg and Ivar Johnsson. The older buildings on the campus went through a complete renovation in 1994. While the original campus was large for its time, KTH very soon outgrew it and the campus was expanded with new buildings. Today KTH institutions and faculties are distributed across several campuses in Stockholm County, located in Flemingsberg, Haninge, Kista and Södertälje in addition to the ones in Östermalm.

History

KTH was founded in 1827 under the name Technological Institute (Teknologiska institutet), following the establishment of polytechnical schools in many European countries the early years of the 19th century, often based on the model of École Polytechnique in Paris in 1794.

KTH's earliest Swedish predecessor was the Laboratorium mechanicum, a collection of mechanical models for teaching created in 1697 by Christopher Polhem, who is considered to be the father of mechanics in Sweden. The models were used intermittently for teaching practical mechanics by different masters until the School of Mechanics (Mekaniska skolan) was founded in 1798. This is the year from which there has been continuous teaching of technology in Sweden. The activities of the School of Mechanics was taken over by KTH when it was founded.

The institute had one professor of chemistry and one of physics, and one class in mechanical engineering and one in chemical engineering. During the first years, however, teaching was at a very elementary level, and more aimed at craftsmanship rather than engineering as such. The institute was also plagued by conflicts between the faculty and the founder and head of the institute, Gustaf Magnus Schwartz, who was responsible for the artisanal focus of the institute. A governmental committee was appointed in 1844 to solve the issues, which lead to the removal of Schwartz in 1845. Instead, Joachim Åkerman, the head of the School of Mining in Falun and a former professor of chemistry at KTH, took over. He led a complete reorganisation of the institute in 1846-1848, after which he returned to his post in Falun. An entrance test and a minimum age of 16 for students was introduced, which lead to the creation of a proper engineering training at the institute. In 1851 the course was extended from two to three years.

In the late 1850s, the institute entered a period of expansion. In 1863 the institute received its own purpose-built buildings on Drottninggatan. In 1867 the regulations of the institute were again overhauled, and now explicitly stated that the institute should provide scientific training to its students. In 1869, the School of Mining in Falun was moved to Stockholm and merged with the institute, and in 1871 the institute took over the civil engineering course previously arranged by the Higher Artillery College in Marieberg.

In 1877 the name was changed into the current one, which changed KTH's status from Institute (institut) to College (högskola), and some courses were extended from three to four years. Architecture was also added to the course programme.

In 1915, the degree titles conferred by KTH received legal protection. In the late 19th century, it had become common to use the title civilingenjör (literally "civil engineer") for most KTH-trained engineers, and not just those who studied building and construction-related subjects. The only exception was the mining engineers, which called themselves bergsingenjör ("mountain engineer"). For a while, the title civilingenjör was equal to "KTH graduate" but in 1937, Chalmers in Gothenburg became the second Swedish engineering college which were allowed to confirm these titles.

In 1917, the first buildings of KTH's new campus on Valhallavägen were completed, and still constitute its main campus.

Although the engineering education of the late 19th and early 20th century were scientifically founded, up until the early 20th century, research as such was not seen as a central activity of an Institute of Technology. Those engineering graduates which went on to academic research had to earn their doctorates, typically in physics or chemistry, at a regular university. In 1927, KTH was finally granted the right to confer its own doctorates, under the designation Teknologie doktor (Doctor of Technology), and the first five doctors were created in 1929.

In 1984 the civilingenjör course at all Swedish universities was extended from four to 4.5 years. From 1989, the shorter training in technology arranged by the municipal polytechnical schools in Sweden was gradually extended and moved in to the university system, from 1989 as two-year courses and from 1995 alternatively as three-year courses. For KTH, this meant that additional campuses around the Stockholm area were added.

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R1 nuclear reactor

After the American deployment of nuclear weapons at the end of World War II, the Swedish military leadership recognized the need for nuclear weapons to be thoroughly investigated and researched to provide Sweden with the knowledge to defend itself from a nuclear attack. At that time, Sweden knew virtually nothing about nuclear physics, as all information and research around were kept strictly confidential by the United States. With the mission to "make something with neutrons", the Swedish team, with scientists like Rolf Maximilian Sievert, set out to research the subject and eventually build a nuclear reactor for testing.

After a few years of basic research, they started building a 300 kW (later expanded to 1 MW) reactor, named Reaktor 1, R1 for short, in a reactor hall 25 meters under the surface right underneath KTH. Today this might seem ill-considered, since approximately 40,000 people lived within a 1 km radius. It was risky, but were deemed tolerable since the reactor was an important research tool for scientists at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien).

At 18:59, 13 July 1954, the reactor reached critical mass and sustained Sweden's first nuclear reaction. R1 was to be the main site for almost all Swedish nuclear research until 1970 when the reactor was finally decommissioned, mostly due to the increased awareness of the risks associated with operating a reactor in a densely populated area of Stockholm. The reactor hall remains an amusement to many as once it was next door to what used to be Sweden's first nuclear reactor. Close to the reactor hall is the restaurant Q.

Organization

From 2005 KTH is organized into nine schools each consisting of a number of departments:

Quality of education

In 2007, by government initiative, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education employed an international expert committee to find and award the top five highest quality education areas among all universities and colleges in Sweden. The Royal Institute of Technology received one such "Centre of Excellent Quality in Higher Education" (in Vehicle Engineering). It is the only higher education institution in the Stockholm/Uppsala region to receive an award.[3] In 2009,KTH is the only institution among all Sweden's universities to be awarded "Centre of Excellent Quality in Higher Education"(in Computer Science).[4]

Notable alumni

Many Swedish industrial leaders have graduated from KTH.

Notable faculty

See also

Footnotes

External links

Higher education in Stockholm County
Universities and University Colleges in Stockholm County:
Ersta Sköndal University College | Karolinska Institutet | Red Cross University College of Nursing | Royal College of Music
Royal Institute of Technology | Royal University College of Fine Arts | Sophiahemmet University College
Stockholm School of Economics | Stockholm School of Theology | Stockholm University
Swedish National Academy of Mime and Acting | Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences
Södertörn University College | University College of Arts, Crafts and Design | University College of Dance
University College of Music Education | University college of Opera

Coordinates: 59°20′50″N 18°04′22″E / 59.34722°N 18.07278°E / 59.34722; 18.07278


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