Jakob Axelsson

I work as a researcher at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) in Stockholm, where I lead the Software & Systems Engineering Laboratory, and as a professor in Computer Science at Mälardalen University in Västerås.

Jakob writing on glassPhoto: Joel Höglund.

Over the last 25 years or so, I have been involved in different capacities in development of complex systems, both in industry and as an academic researcher. After completing my MSc in Computer Science at Linköping University and at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in 1992, I started my career as a software developer in the power systems sector at ABB in Baden, Switzerland. After about a year, I returned to Sweden and Linköping University to do a PhD thesis in Computer Systems. The topic was on system architecture for hard real-time systems, and in particular how to select what hardware elements to include in the architecture, and how to distribute the software elements on it, while meeting timing requirements and minimizing cost.

In 1997, I returned to industry, and started at Volvo Technological Development Corporation in Göteborg, which was then the research center of the Volvo Group. There, I worked as a project leader for various projects related to automotive system architecture, and was also deeply involved in systems engineering methodology in general, and model-based systems engineering in particular.

After a brief period at the IT consultancy Carlstedt Research & Technology in 2001, I moved on to Volvo Car Corporation, where I was for almost 10 years responsible for the research and advanced engineering program within electrical and electronic systems. This was an exciting period, where many advanced technologies were introduced into the vehicle electronics, including new architecture and software standards; a very rapid development in active safety systems and in particular remote sensing; new HMI solutions; and telematics and infotainment systems. At Volvo Cars, I also got introduced to the 6 sigma methodology and became a Black belt. I also continued to be engaged in systems engineering issues, and served on a few years on the board of the Swedish Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), including one year as chairman.

In 2004, I became a part time professor in Computer Science at Mälardalen University, a position I have held since then. My main role there has been to supervise PhD students, doing research in systems architecture and autonomous and automated systems, particularly in the automotive domain.

After over 10 years in Göteborg, we decided to move to Stockholm, and I took up a position at the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), where I formed a new research group in the area of Software and Systems Engineering. The group is primarily concerned with methods for successful development of software-based systems in the digital society. The focus is on cyber-physical systems, and in particular systems-of-systems, and we study aspects such as architecture, processes, software ecosystems, and system qualities.

Apart from my work in engineering and systems, I have always also had an interest in the humanities. In part, this has been realized through academic studies, spending about two years on studies in Art history, History, and French. This also contributes to my view on engineering, as a human and social activity that cannot fully be understood by only studying technology.