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For me, Saab is more than our products – it’s about the people who develop them.

6 min read

According to Johanna, aircraft are the coolest systems you can work with as an engineer. In her role as technical leader, she gets to work with the integration between many different subsystems and has an opportunity to see the whole. There's a lot of focus on technology while she leads people every day – but best of all are her colleagues, who give her energy and who motivate her to perform even better.

It all started four years ago when Johanna did her master thesis at Saab, a start that led to a summer job at Saab in Linköping. After this experience, Johanna knew what she wanted to do, and where she wanted to work after earning her M.Sc.Eng. degree in mechanical engineering from Lund University.

"Over the course a year, I was given the opportunity to see several different parts of Saab."

Johanna started as a designer within Gripen E/F (the next generation fighter aircraft) and the GlobalEye project (a multi-domain Airborne Early Warning & Control solution). One year later, she was admitted to Saab Graduate Leadership Programme (trainee programme).

"Over the course a year, I've had the opportunity to see several different parts of Saab, both in Sweden and internationally."

Among other things, she spent two months in Brazil, where the Brazilian Air Force have ordered 36 Gripen fighter aircraft. Then she had the opportunity to work in the T-7 programme and on the new American trainer aircraft, which is where she works today as a team leader and systems engineer, or technical leader, as the position is also called.

I've always thought that aircraft are among the coolest things you can work with as an engineer, Johanna at Saab says.
"I've always thought that aircraft are among the coolest things you can work with as an engineer. But the best thing about working at Saab is definitely all the fantastic colleagues who give me energy and motivate me to perform at my best."

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"I've always thought that aircraft are among the coolest things you can work with as an engineer. Working with systems as complex as an aircraft is probably quite unique, at least in Sweden. In my role, I get the opportunity to work in the integration between several different subsystems and see the big picture in a way that is quite unique compared to other companies. But the best thing about working at Saab is definitely all the fantastic colleagues who give me energy and motivate me to perform at my best."

 

Working across the Atlantic Ocean

The T-7 programme is a collaboration between Saab and Boeing in which they are jointly designing, developing and manufacturing a brand-new advanced trainer aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. Working in T-7 together with colleagues in Linköping and the US and with a partner as Boeing means being part of a culture in a large international project with a large international customer. Cultural differences between the countries become apparent, as well as differences in corporate culture. Johanna describes it is a challenge but, above all, it’s something that makes the work fun and inspiring.

"What is most exciting about my job is that it is a large international project."

"What is most exciting about my job is that it is a large international project. Because it’s a large international project, with different cultures – communication is a central element. And that means that I’m learning a lot."


The best from two worlds: technology and people

Johanna appreciate the fact that Saab has a strong focus on both professional and personal development. But on top of the list, working at Saab Johanna puts all the fantastic colleagues who give her energy and motivation to perform at her very best.

“I believe that it often comes down to your personal will and drive to want to take more responsibility or try new things. If you do, there are a great many opportunities within Saab, as long as you are willing to seek them out.”

If you have a drive and take on responsibility, there are a great many opportunities within Saab, as long as you are willing to seek them out, Johanna, Engineer at Saab says.
“I believe that it often comes down to your personal will and drive to want to take more responsibility or try new things. If you do, there are a great many opportunities within Saab, as long as you are willing to seek them out.”

Johanna means that working at Saab she get to work with the best of both worlds! There’s a lot of focus on technology while she also lead people every day and get to be part of the collaboration between different parts of the project.

“The job feels most meaningful when we together in the group solve technical barriers and add value to our product.”

When the job offers a mix of ice hockey and diversity

In addition to her interest in technology, Johanna also has an interest in cooking and working out. Offering friends & family a good home cooked meal is always appreciated. When Johanna was a teenager, she played hockey – that is something she has gotten the chance to pick up again working at Saab. Together with a group of Saab colleagues, Johanna plays ice hockey every week.

"I think we have a very good community and there is a lot to do with our colleagues outside of work. For example, there are associations for female leadership, for increased diversity, for playing football or badminton in – the list can be made long!"

Johanna is also a member of Aeronautics' Diversity and Inclusion team and serves as a Saab ambassador. More recently, she has been involved in the planning and implementation of several events, mainly geared towards female students.

“What appeals to me most is being able to affect and call attention to how we in Saab can get better at diversity and inclusion. Together we help people understand why these are so important – not least of all in order to be able to attract new skills and employees. They may sound like buzzwords, but an inclusive culture is something that both Saab's management and future engineers value. In addition, all the research shows that having more perspectives in a team make a business more successful and profitable.”

What appeals to me most is being able to affect and call attention to how we in Saab can get better at diversity and inclusion, says Johanna, Engineer and Technical leader at Saab.
“What appeals to me most is being able to affect and call attention to how we in Saab can get better at diversity and inclusion."

3 questions

Most inspiring with Saab: Our ability to develop products that not many other companies in the world are able to.

How would you define hard work?
I do not think anyone has escaped seeing how our healthcare staff has struggled during the pandemic. I have a huge respect for all these heroes, and their work is really about saving lives. Therefore, it makes me happy that Saab has actually encouraged its employees with the right experience to help in the care with retained salary.

Finish the sentence, “For me Saab is…”
…more than our products; it’s about the people that develop them.