Study trip to the USA 1998 - visits to 6 universities
Edited book, 1998

This document has been created as an aid in the development of strategies for taking Chalmers University of Technology into the 21st century. It is a working document, the purpose of which is to provide input for the design and prioritization of our development activities. In this respect, it has already contributed to our work, both at the school/department levels and at the university as a whole. It is not meant to be a “final report”, but rather to remain a work in process. Each section reflects the strongest impressions made on the person responsible for that section. As a result, some overlap can be found between sections, as it can be essential to review these impressions from different perspectives. The intention has been to cover all subject areas; at the same time retaining the flavor of the individual or group contributions. In 1996, an exchange of experiences and ideas was initiated between the deans of the Schools of Architecture (A), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ED), Chemical Engineering (K) and Technology Management and Economics (I) and the President of Chalmers, concerning the strategic development of Chalmers and its schools. During these meetings, the need for an analysis of current developments in the world was recognized, aiming at improved positions for the individual schools as well as for Chalmers as a whole. In 1997, a trip to the USA was planned, the purpose of which was to harvest ideas and learn from the following prominent American universities: The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta (“Georgia Tech”, a state university that has climbed up the American ranking lists during the last decade), Motorola University in Schaumburg (a company “university”, an increasingly common phenomenon among major American companies), Northwestern University in Chicago (a private national university that has placed high on the ranking lists for an extended period of time), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.(the oldest university of technology in the USA-private), the University of Massachusetts Lowell (“UMass”- a regional state university that has undergone major transformation) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT- the leading private national university of technology in the United States). The basic idea was for several individuals from each school to be involved (a total of some 22 persons), since the knowledge and experience gained from the trip was to be put into practice. During the autumn of 1997, we therefore divided into four working groups responsible for: 1) development and leadership, 2) cooperation and focus in research and research education, 3) external and internal relations and 4) information technology in education. The different schools were represented in all groups and were assigned to prepare questions within their respective areas of responsibility. We visited the six universities between March 25 and April 5, 1998, and the four working groups were expected to cover the issues they had prepared. Three of the trip’s days were earmarked for exchange of experience and reflection, i.e. the groups described the most interesting or thought-provoking features, suggested which elements might be put to use at Chalmers, and presented these reflections to the other participants. After returning to Sweden, the groups have kept working on their analyses. Using notes from interviews and printed material, the groups have written reports on their observations and what they have learned in the United States. In these analyses, the groups’ learnings are related to the present reality and recommendations for the future at Chalmers. These reports were presented to the Board of Chalmers on June 4 1998, and have now been compiled in this document.


University development

PhD student education

alumni network

IT in education

academic cooperation


research focus

external relations

internal relations


Sverker Alänge

Chalmers, Department of Industrial Dynamics

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


Chemical Engineering


Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

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