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Royal Institute of Technology

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH; Swedish: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan) is a university in Stockholm, Sweden, specialized in Engineering and Technology, it ranks highest in northern mainland Europe in its academic fields.[3] The current King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf is its High Protector.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Kth logo.svg
Motto Vetenskap och konst
Motto in English
Science and Art
Type Public Research University
Established 1827
Budget SEK 4.124 billion[1]
Chairman Börje Ekholm
President Prof. Sigbritt Karlsson
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 14,500 (FTE, 2009)[2]
Location Stockholm, Sweden
Campus Urban
Colors Blue     
Affiliations CLUSTER, CESAER, EUA, TIME network et al., PEGASUS
Main building in winter
Main courtyard in summer
KTH "Courtyard" ("borggården") 2005
Kerberos guarding the entrance to the courtyard
Royal Institute of Technology 2012
Royal Institute of Technology 2012
Royal Institute of Technology 2012

The core of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology was the Laboratorium Mechanicum for research and teaching in mechanics, founded in Stockholm in 1697 by Christopher Polhem after his extensive trips, studies and research abroad. This core was later called the Mechanical School prior to its 1827 transformation into The Technological Institute, Sweden's first institute of technology (polytechnic) by decision of the King Charles XIV John of Sweden, also Marshal of France, modeled after École Polytechnique which was founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in Paris, France in 1794. The Technological Institute changed its name to the present Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH Royal Institute of Technology) in 1877 by decree of King Oscar II. The Laboratorium Mechanicum was itself in 1925 handed over from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to the Swedish Museum of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the highest ranked university of technology in northern mainland Europe, with the only two exceptions being the best technical universities of Germany and the Netherlands.[4]



Main campusEdit

The main campus buildings at Valhallavägen in Östermalm, by architect Erik Lallerstedt, were completed in 1917. The bells of the clock-tower was completed ten years later in 1927 at the 100 year anniversary of the transformation of the Mechanical School from to The Technological Institute, in 1827. The buildings and surroundings were decorated by prominent early 20th-century Swedish artists such as Carl Milles, Axel Törneman, Georg Pauli, Tore Strindberg and Ivar Johnsson. The older buildings on the campus were renovated heavily in 1994. While the original campus was large for its time, KTH very soon outgrew it, and the campus was expanded with new buildings. Today, KTH institutions and faculties are distributed across several campuses in Stockholm County, located in Flemingsberg, Haninge, Kista and Södertälje, beyond the ones in Östermalm.


KTH, School of ICT, Kista offers education and research in all the areas which today's information society is based upon – from nano scale physics and corn to the benefit of the end user. Kista is an educational environment with modern facilities, which are always open to the students. All courses are within ICT, creating a strong cohesion and an exchange over the educational programmes. Stockholm University’s computer science programmes are also located in Kista. Together, over 3000 students create a living educational environment and a vibrant student life. KTH Kista is an exciting international environment with teachers and students from all around the world. The Master's and postgraduate programmes offered by the school attracts students from the world's top universities. With companies such as Ericsson, Volvo, IBM, Tele2, TietoEnator, Microsoft, Intel and Oracle as neighbors, the cooperation between industry and KTH is widely known.


School of Technology and Health has a part of its activities in Flemingsberg. At KTH Flemingsberg the school offers courses in Medical Engineering and conducts research within the subject.

KTH's activities in Flemingsberg started in 2002. Since 2003, the school offers a Bachelor of Education in Medical Engineering, in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet. In autumn 2008, a master of science in Medical Engineering started. located here are undergraduate studies, most research departments, and the research center: Center for Technology in Medicine and Health (CTMH), which collaborates with Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council (SLL) to contribute to the development and growth of research in engineering, medicine and health.

Flemingsberg is an area of high academic "density" and one of northern Europe's most important areas within biotechnology – both terms of research and industrial activities. Here are also Södertörn University and the Karolinska Institutet with over 10 000 students and Novum Research Center, where 1000 people are involved in research.

Flemingsberg is an area of strong growth. To meet the need for student housing more apartments are planned.[5]


In Haninge, students from two schools at KTH receive education – the School of Architecture and the Built Environment, ABE, and the School of Technology and Health, STH. Here, students study at undergraduate and master level in fields such as building engineering (ABE), computer engineering, electrical engineering and foundation training. The School of Technology and Health also has a research centre i Haninge – Centre for Health and Building.

Just south of metropolitan Stockholm you will discover a modern campus with reputation for its nice campus area, safe atmosphere and the feeling of togetherness among staff and students.

KTH Haninge holds a large number of courses. For example, the international master programme Architectural Lighting Design is located here, with students from over 20 different countries.

KTH Haninge has a meeting point where the diverse worlds of culture, scientific research and business come together to experience and examine the significance of light and lighting in our daily lives. This is called the Lighting Laboratory.

The campus itself is located near the commuter train, which takes you to Stockholm in just 20 minutes. It is also close to a beautiful archipelago and enjoy the great outdoors in Tyresta National Park.[6]


KTH Södertälje is Södertälje’s university college campus. KTH Södertälje is a moderately large area with close and natural contacts between teachers and students.

KTH Södertälje’s education is being constantly developed via a close co-operation with the town’s business community and in particular major Södertälje companies such as Scania and AstraZeneca. Among other topics, university engineers in electronics and mechanical engineering are educated here. Also, KTH offer various Master's programmes in logistics, project management, and product development.

Since autumn 2007, the design studio Go Deep KTH at KTH Södertälje has been able to offer product development work via surveys, concept, visualisation and development through design. The idea with Go Deep KTH is to create realistic cooperation projects with companies, public administrations and institutions together with researchers in technology, medicine and health.

At KTH Södertälje, each year Tegelnatten is arranged, a competition where students in teams solve a 24-hour project assignment. The project assignment for design night 2008 was to provide proposals and ideas as to how future games and competitions will be designed to attract and entice the future generations.

Södertälje offers KTH's students who will be studying at KTH Södertälje a guaranteed apartment in Södertälje. Students who live and study in Södertälje also receive a computer via cooperation with the municipality which they are able to use during the time they spend as a student.[7]


KTH was 1827 transformed from the Mechanical School to the Technological Institute (Teknologiska institutet), following the establishment of polytechnical schools in many European countries the early years of the 19th century, often based on the model of École Polytechnique in Paris in 1794.

KTH's earliest Swedish predecessor was the Laboratorium mechanicum, a collection of mechanical models for teaching created in 1697 by Christopher Polhem, who is considered to be the father of mechanics in Sweden. The models were used intermittently for teaching practical mechanics by different masters until the School of Mechanics (Mekaniska skolan) was founded in 1798. This is the year from which there has been continuous teaching of technology in Sweden. The activities of the School of Mechanics was taken over by KTH when it was founded.

The institute had one professor of chemistry and one of physics, and one class in mechanical engineering and one in chemical engineering. During the first years, however, teaching was at a very elementary level, and more aimed at craftsmanship rather than engineering as such. The institute was also plagued by conflicts between the faculty and the founder and head of the institute, Gustaf Magnus Schwartz, who was responsible for the artisanal focus of the institute. A government committee was appointed in 1844 to solve the issues, which led to removing Schwartz in 1845. Instead, Joachim Åkerman, the head of the School of Mining in Falun and a former professor of chemistry at KTH, took over. He led a full reorganisation of the institute in 1846–1848, after which he returned to his post in Falun. An entrance test and a minimum age of 16 for students was introduced, which led to creating proper engineering training at the institute. In 1851, the course was extended from two years to three.

In the late 1850s, the institute entered a time of expansion. In 1863, it received its own purpose-built buildings on Drottninggatan. In 1867, its regulations were again overhauled, to state explicitly that the institute should provide scientific training to its students. In 1869, the School of Mining in Falun was moved to Stockholm and merged with the institute. In 1871, the institute took over the civil engineering course formerly arranged by the Higher Artillery College in Marieberg.

In 1877, the name was changed into the current one, which changed KTH's status from Institute (institut) to College (högskola), and some courses were extended from three years to four. Architecture was also added to the curriculum.

In 1915, the degree titles conferred by KTH received legal protection. In the late 19th century, it had become common to use the title civilingenjör (literally "civil engineer") for most KTH-trained engineers, and not just those who studied building and construction-related subjects. The only exception was the mining engineers, which called themselves bergsingenjör ("mountain engineer"). For a while, the title civilingenjör was equal to "KTH graduate" but in 1937, Chalmers in Gothenburg became the second Swedish engineering college which were allowed to confirm these titles.

In 1917, the first buildings of KTH's new campus on Valhallavägen were completed, and still constitute its main campus.

Although the engineering education of the late 19th and early 20th century were scientifically founded, up until the early 20th century, research as such was not seen as a central activity of an Institute of Technology. Those engineering graduates which went on to academic research had to earn their doctorates, typically in physics or chemistry, at a regular university. In 1927, KTH was finally granted the right to confer its own doctorates, under the designation Teknologie doktor (Doctor of Technology), and the first five doctors were created in 1929.

In 1984 the civilingenjör course at all Swedish universities was extended from four years to 4.5. From 1989, the shorter training in technology arranged by the municipal polytechnical schools in Sweden was gradually extended and moved into the university system, from 1989 as two-year courses and from 1995 alternatively as three-year courses. For KTH, this meant that additional campuses around the Stockholm area were added.

In present-day KTH continue to be Sweden's largest, oldest, highest ranked and most international technical university. The university provides one-third of Sweden's research and engineering education. In 2012, there were a total of 14,000 undergraduate students, 1,700 postgraduate students, and 4,600 members of staff at the university.[8]

R1 nuclear reactorEdit

The R1 nuclear reactor.

After the American deployment of nuclear weapons at the end of World War II, the Swedish military leadership recognized the need for nuclear weapons to be thoroughly investigated and researched to provide Sweden with the knowledge to defend itself from a nuclear attack. With the mission to "make something with neutrons", the Swedish team, with scientists like Rolf Maximilian Sievert, set out to research the subject and eventually build a nuclear reactor for testing.

After a few years of basic research, they started building a 300 kW (later expanded to 1 MW) reactor, named Reaktor 1 (R1), in a reactor hall 25 meters under the surface right underneath KTH. Today this might seem ill-considered, since approximately 40,000 people lived within a 1 km radius. It was risky, but was deemed tolerable since the reactor was an important research tool for scientists at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien).

At 18:59 on 13 July 1954, the reactor reached critical mass and sustained Sweden's first nuclear reaction. R1 was to be the main site for almost all Swedish nuclear research until 1970 when the reactor was finally decommissioned, mostly due to the increased awareness of the risks associated with operating a reactor in a densely populated area of Stockholm. The reactor hall remains an amusement to many as once it was next door to what used to be Sweden's first nuclear reactor. Close to the reactor hall is the restaurant Q.


From 2005 KTH is organized into nine schools each consisting of a number of departments:

In February 2017, the new president announced a new plan to review the schools organization. The reorganization will aim at reducing the number of schools by integrating them.[9]

International and national rankingEdit

University rankings
ARWU World[10] 201-300
Times World[12] 159
QS World[11] 97

In 2007, by government initiative, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education employed an international expert committee to find and award the top five highest quality education areas among all universities and colleges in Sweden. The Royal Institute of Technology received one such "Centre of Excellent Quality in Higher Education" (in Vehicle Engineering). It is the only higher education institution in the Stockholm/Uppsala region to receive an award.[13] In 2009, KTH was the only institute among all Sweden's universities to be awarded as a Centre of Excellent Quality in Higher Education (in computer science).[14]

In 2016 the university was ranked 97th in the world as a general university (not only technical) beaten in Sweden only by Lund University in its capacity as a general university by QS World University Rankings.[15] KTH Royal Institute of Technology is 2016 in the world ranked 33rd in engineering and technology and 74th in the natural sciences.[15] The Electrical Engineering subject was ranked as number 26 worldwide in terms of highest quality in the world. KTH Royal Institute of Technology is the highest ranked institute of technology in northern mainland Europe, only rivaled by Germany's and Netherlands' highest ranking institutes of technology.[15] As a comparison, Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg ranks at 133 by QS World University Rankings.[16] The other global ranking, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks KTH 159th in the world for 2016–17.[17] As a comparison, Times for instance ranks the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg at 251–300.[18]

Notable alumniEdit

Many prominent former students have attended KTH, including;

Notable facultyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "KTH in figures". KTH. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Swedish Higher Education Authority (Högskoleverket) – Annual report 2010 (Swedish), page 106ff Archived 31 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016". 25 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016". Top Universities. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2017-08-08. 
  5. ^ "KTH - KTH Flemingsberg". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "KTH - KTH Haninge". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "KTH - Södertälje - the county's best student town". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "KTH - This is KTH". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "KTH Intranet | Review of the KTH school organization". (in Swedish). Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  10. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017
  11. ^ QS World University Rankings 2018
  12. ^ World University Rankings 2018
  13. ^ "UKÄ och UHR". Archived from the original on 20 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "UKÄ och UHR". 
  15. ^ a b c "QS World University Rankings 2016". 
  16. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016". Retrieved 2017-08-06. 
  17. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2017-08-06. 
  18. ^ "World University Rankings 2016-17". Retrieved 2017-08-06. 

External linksEdit