Workshop for PhD students

The PhD group within SOAF will organize a workshop for PhD students in operations research. It will take place October 25th in Norrköping and the topic is ”What can I work with as a PhD?”. The workshop will consist of three presentations by invited speakers and some activity to get to know each other. We will meet at 12:00 and start with lunch and then the workshop program will continue until about 17:00.

We are very happy to have the following three as our invited speakers:

Mattias Grönkvist, Jeppesen
Mattias Grönkvist completed his PhD in computing science at Chalmers University of Technology and Carmen Systems AB (now Jeppesen) in 2005. He works as an optimization expert at Jeppesen, developing software for optimization of aircraft routes and crew schedules for many of the world’s largest airlines.

Mattias will talk about what working at Jeppesen is like, what an optimization expert at Jeppesen does, and what the differences and similarities between his current job and academic work are.

Kristofer Hallgren, FOI
Kristofer Hallgren started his academic career studying space engineering at Luleå University of Technology which led to a master’s thesis on methane plumes on Titan at NASA Ames Research Center. His PhD on water vapour in the upper earth atmosphere was conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Physics in Göttingen in collaboration with the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Kühlungsborn where he also did a Post Doc. In 2012 Kristoffer left academia and moved back to Sweden to start as an operations analyst for the Swedish Defence Research Agency. Since then he has primarily been embedded in the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters working with topics ranging from analysis, concept and strategy development to planning.

Our society is driven by (scientific) analysis, in business as well as in public affairs. It seems that anyone is an analyst today, but what does it take to be a good analyst? During this talk he will briefly address how an atmospheric physicist and space engineer ends up in the defence research industry, but perhaps more importantly what he brings to the table and in what way his PhD has helped him become a good analyst.

Christiane Schmidt, Linköping University
Christiane Schmidt studied (mathematics for finance and business) at TU Braunschweig and received her PhD in algorithms from the same university in 2011. After that she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in various places:
– TU Braunschweig (Algorithms group), Germany
– SUNY Stony Brook (Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics), USA
– The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (the Rachel and Selim Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering), Israel
– Linköping University (Communications and Transport Systems Division), Sweden
Since November 2017 Christiane is a ”biträdande universitetslektor” at LiU.

During her postdoctoral studies she experienced various countries, and also various form of financing for her position (from a scholarship from the German academic exchange service, over a fellowship with an Israeli research center, to a ”normal” employment situation). In this talk Christiane will try to give an overview on the pros and cons of doing one (or several) postdocs, what might help to do so, what could finance such a stay, and, of course, why she thinks is a good idea to integrate a postdoctoral time abroad in an academic career.

For the registration; you can sign up at

The last day for the registration is September 25th but it is very appreciated if you register earlier! There is no registration fee and lunch and coffee are included. In addition, SOAF will pay for travel expenses of train-tickets, 2nd class, or equivalent. Please send an email to for more information. In the registration, if you want lunch, please inform us about your allergies in the registration.

To take part in this workshop you need to be a member in SOAF. If you are not sure if you’re already a member, check if your organisation is a member. Otherwise it is free for PhD students to become a member. In that case, send an email to to apply for membership.

You can also sign up for the mailing list of the PhD group by sending an email to