Meet Charlie Sjödin, the newly enlightened environmentalist
Charlie Sjödin, our new South-East asia travel guide, is back at the Gothenburg office after a leave of absence. He is currently awaiting his next assignment, but was previously working at the connected safety project at Zenuity. He studied the Automation and Mechatronics Master’s at Chalmers with a goal to become the next “Oppfinnarjocke”. Maybe he will be one day!
Who are you?
My name is Charlie Sjödin. After working for two years at a large consultancy firm I felt that something was missing. When I started looking for new opportunities and I came across Combine, where Thomas (former group manager for Control Systems Solutions Gothenburg) was lurking in the shadows. It was in April 2017 when I started working at Combine and have since worked on an assignment in connected safety at Zenuity.
You have just recently arrived back from a leave of absence. How have the past months been?
Yes, that is correct. I arrived back to Sweden in the beginning of April after a long and well needed leave of absence during which I have been travelling abroad in Southeast Asia. During the 5 months of travelling through Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia I saw both beautiful nature, crazy traffic and tasted a lot of amazing food. Everything from excellent curries (and cricket-snacks) in Thailand and Cambodia, Sambal-infused dishes in Indonesia to crispy spring rolls in Vietnam.
The plan for the trip from the beginning was to have time to experience the countries as they are; their rich culture, people and nature. Unfortunately, the reality caught up to me quickly as the infrastructure was poor and travelling by public transport took much more time as anticipated. However, I was still able to visit all the countries, got to know the people and indulge in their culture, even though a bit more touristy than planned.
Some of the most memorable experiences from the trip were the karst limestone cliffs in Bai Tu Long Bay (Vietnam) and the Bayon temple in Angor area (Cambodia). Just search on the interwebs and be wowed.
With so much new experiences and time to think, is there a reflection that you find especially interesting that you want to share?
Absolutely. One reflection I made from the trip is the responsibility for us engineers in making conscious moral choices. Maybe this is not valid on on a daily basis, but in our overall contributions to the development of the world certainly plays a role. Just think about the importance of the complete lifecycle of a product. A main issue I saw during my trip was the negative impact of neglecting the lifecycle of different products and its impact on nature, where plastic waste is undoubtedly one of the more extreme example. Also the accident of the Boeing 737 plane, crashing in Indonesia, illustrates the important role of an engineer for delivering safe and well-tested software black on white.
So, you are back with new experiences. Where do you see yourself taking the next step in your professional life?
As a newly enlightened environmentalist, I would like to contribute to the sustainability of this world. Whether this will be within the automotive industry or another industry, is for now shrouded in mystery as we are looking for a new assignment.