World-class R&D is needed for LKAB’s high-tech products. Here you will find career opportunities ranging from degree projects for students to industry-employed doctoral students and senior researchers.
– Research is in LKAB’s DNA. It is completely central and substantial resources are invested, says Director of Research Monica Bellgran.
LKAB is currently in a very expansive phase. New deposits couple with a strong global demand for LKAB’s high-quality products mean that the company is recruiting a large number of new employees. This is true not least as regards R&D. Focus areas for R&D are mining engineering, production development, minerals engineering, pelletisation, metallurgy and environmental technology.
– LKAB’s pellets and our other products are enormously knowledge-intensive. Our competitiveness lies in the further refinement of the iron ore into custom-designed pellets and R&D is therefore extremely critical,says Monica Bellgran, who also holds a professorship in production development at Mälardalen University.
Many career openings
Some 120 people work at LKAB’s research department, spread over the new research centre at Malmberget, the more customer-oriented research conducted in Luleå, with among other things a unique experimental furnace to optimise the product in the customer’s processes, and the research centre in Luleå. Anna Eriksson, who holds an M.Eng. from Luleå University of Technology, LTU, first came in contact with LKAB as a summer replacement and then did her degree project at the R&D department. Now she has been permanently employed since last year in minerals engineering at Malmberget.
– There are an enormous number of different career opportunities and career paths in R&D and a well-developed career ladder. The company structure is extremely supportive and I was given personal responsibilities and possibilities to influence things very early on. There is also an ambition to share knowledge between generations, she goes on.
Anders Dahlin, who holds an M.Eng. and Tech. Lic. from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), has worked at LKAB’s R&D department for three years and researches in pelletisation.
– The aim of the research is to create more innovative products. It is an incredibly interesting area to study more deeply and LKAB is at the very forefront. The company has enormous expertise and substantial resources, says Anders, who intends to become a specialist in this particular field.
Anna and Anders say that it is very rewarding to work with research that can be applied so quickly. For those who want to work more with implementation of the research they have the possibility to see what it is like to work as a process engineer for example.
– At LKAB you can really see that the research is put to use. There is a direct connection to the business and you can follow the whole chain, they say.
Knowledge cluster in the north
LKAB produces 90% of the EU’s iron ore and is renowned around the world for its cutting-edge research and innovative strength. Working in R&D at LKAB means that you are part of a growing cluster of innovative and knowledge-intensive players. Norrbotten has become a centre for mining research and development for the whole of Europe and LKAB collaborates highly actively with LTU, which is one of the world's leading universities in mining research. Among other things, LKAB funds the Hjalmar Lundbohm Research Centre and the LKAB Excellence Centre for mining and metallurgical research at the university.
– A lot is going on in the region, new constellations are forming and vast sums are being invested in R&D. It really is an exciting and dynamic area to be involved in. The enormous social transformation also brings challenges that create new opportunities for those municipalities that are visionaries, says Monica Bellgran.
There are almost 250 different occupational categories at LKAB and the people working in R&D also have a broad spectrum of different backgrounds. We need both junior and senior researchers and LKAB sets great store by cooperation and mobility between academia and industry, for example in the form of doctoral students employed in industry, says Monica Bellgran.
– We are looking for driven, competent engineers and researchers of various kinds. The mining industry is extremely complex and demands many different kinds of competence. Here you will find fantastic career opportunities for engineering graduates who enjoy challenges and problem-solving.