Aina Nilsson Ström

BW Aina Nilsson Ström

Professor of practice


After graduation from Gothenburg Academy of Design and Crafts 1976, I started my career as industrial designer at the Swedish car manufacturer Saab. I held different positions at the design department at Saab and was also assigned as chairman of the Swedish Industrial Design foundation among other appointments for the Swedish Government as an expert in the area of design.

When GM acquired Saab Automobile, I became part of the GM´s International
Executive Management. After 18 years at Saab, I got the assignment to build a design organisation at Volvo Trucks. During the years the responsibility grow due to acquisitions. During the last 15 years I was responsible for the design of several truck
brands e.g Mack Trucks, Renault Trucks, UD Trucks , as well as Volvo buses,
construction equipment and Penta. The design group was operating from 5
places in the world, Japan, China, France, US and Sweden. The design department received many global design awards during the 20 years I held the position as responsible for Product Design at AB Volvo. I feel very happy to have become a Honorary Doctor at Umeå University. In 2002 I received the Gold Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, and are now also a member of that academy.
Except the 20% assignment at UID I today run my own company as Senior
Advisor and hold several board assignments.

What I do at UID

 After a long experience from working as a designer and being a design
manager a contribute with my experience to help promote the integration of
academic scholarship with practical experience. After having hired design
students from all over the world, I know what the industri expect from a
graduated designer not only transportation designers but also interaction
designers and product designers. My aim is to support the teachers and program directors in securing UID´s continues excellence in educating the best designers.

Talk to me about

• Product and vehicle design, B2B as well as B2C
• Expectation on students in business and industri environment
• Design management
• Design Thinking process
• Brand management and storytelling
• Responsibility and critical thinking
• Aesthetics and people/life focused design