Utexpo 40 years: innovation and scholarships

The sun, a DJ and an ice cream truck brought that early summer feeling to Halmstad University when Utexpo took place, for the fortieth year in a row. For the first time in three years, campus was once again filled with innovation driven students – eager to display their thesis projects. This year, as tradition has it, the innovative students were showered with scholarships and awards – to a value of SEK 300,000.

Overview picture of a large fair in a bright building

The fair was held in the S building on the University campus with many people visiting.

“It is thanks to people like you who can think outside the box that humans are what we are today.”

Jan Rademaekers, alumnus

The preparations have been many and long. During the pandemic, the University’s graduation fair, Utexpo, was digital, and curious visitors got to take part of the event by visiting the University’s website. This year, nicely timed with the fair’s fortieth anniversary, we were finally able to welcome visitors back to campus, this time to the S building, the University’s newest building, were the students’ projects filled three floors.

”We are happy to show the setting that we are in and where all the projects are created”, says Matilda Ahlgren, one of the members of this year’s student project group for Utexpo, which every year arranges the fair.

In addition to Matilda Ahlgren, Chairman Erik Lesand Ranhög and Martin Jernberg from the Programme in Innovation Engineering are part of the group, as well as Emma Skoglund from the Construction Engineer programme.

Four people standing next to each other in matching t-shirts in a bright building. Foto.

The Utexpo Council, from the left: Erik Lesand Ranhög, Martin Jernberg, Matilda Ahlgren and Emma Skoglund.

Opening ceremony more magnificent than ever

Just as previous years, Vice-Chancellor Stephen Hwang was present to open the fair. Additionally, the approximately 200 participating students, together with the visitors, got to see alumni Jan Rademaekers and Sten-Harald Söderström return to Utexpo – 36 years after having participated themselves – to open the fair. The two fellow students graduated from the Programme in Innovation Engineering in 1986, and during an inspiring speech they shared many fun memories from their time as students.

“It is thanks to people like you who can think outside the box that humans are what we are today. That is why it is very important what you and the coming generations contribute with”, said Jan Rademaekers, who today is the CEO at the company PeLift AB.

Two people are holding a pair of scissors cutting a yellow and blue ribbon. Photo.

Alumni Sten-Harald Söderström and Jan Rademaekers participated in the Utexpo graduation fair 36 years ago.

Scholarships worth more than SEK 300,000

At Utexpo, the University’s collaboration partners, as well as Sten Fåhré’s Foundation, hands out scholarships. This year is the first that Getinge Sterilization awards scholarships for thesis projects within Health Innovation. There are three scholarships, in total worth SEK 100,000. This year, Pooriya Khorramyar, student at the Master’s Programme in Embedded and Intelligent systems, receives SEK 50,000 for his Master’s thesis project Visual Transformers for 3D Medical Images Classification: Use-Case Neurodegenerative Disorders.

“I did it! I tried so hard to have a high-quality degree project within the medical field, with the ambition of improving society's well-being. Winning this scholarship motivates me to try even harder”, Pooriya Khorramyar says.

Scholarships are also awarded by Halmstad Energi och Miljö AB, Orange Cyberdefense, Combitech, Chalmerska Ingenjörsföreningen Hallandsavdelningen, Byggföretagen, HMS Industrial Networks AB, Devoteam, EMTW, SeeU AB, Markland Solutions AB and Leap for Life/Hälsoteknikalliansen.

Two people looking into the camera.

Ida Bengtsson and Julia Johansson, both from the Programme in Innovation Engineering, received scholarships from Chalmerska Ingenjörsföreningen Hallandsavdelningen and Leap for Life.

The fair has found its way back home

Vivian Violin Lönnersjö, Event Coordinator and Project Manager for the annual graduation fair for the past five years, is one of the masterminds behind this year’s success. To her, arranging the fair on campus again, and to be able to actually see all the prototypes and talk to the students, feels momentous.

“Previous years we have held the fair in the University Hall, but the move to the S building has brought the fair to a whole new level. The top modern building really goes with the advanced projects the students have created. It is like taking a step into the future”, says Vivian Violin Lönnersjö.

Text: Katarina Tran
Translation: Linnéa Andersson
Photo: Dan Bergmark

About Utexpo

Utexpo is a platform where graduating students get to express their innovative abilities and show off what they have learned during their studies – the start of new ideas for a sustainable future. It is a fantastic tradition which will come back in the summer of 2023.

Did you miss the fortieth anniversary of Utexpo? In the Utexpo brochure you can read about the students’ projects in Swedish. Some of the projects are in English.

Utexpokatalogen (Swedish) Pdf, 3.8 MB, opens in new window.