Marcus Niklasson, Lead Studio Engineer

Trucks are big products to work on. They are powerful vehicles and designers can have a major influence on their appearance and the impression that they make. When you see the results of your work travelling along the road, it’s a fantastic feeling. You can spot the design from a long distance away.
Marcus Niklasson, Lead Studio Engineer

I’ve been working as a studio engineer at the Volvo Group’s design studio since September last year. Before that I was at Volvo Buses, where I was responsible for interior and exterior design. Here my role involves being the link between the engineers and the designers, so it’s helpful that I studied mechanical engineering specialising in design and that I’ve also worked as an engineer.

Both form and function
Because I am involved a whole series of different projects, it’s important for me to be able to keep all the balls in the air. I am almost like an intermediary between the different groups. I have to make sure that the form and appearance of components are as good they can possibly be and that the components function effectively in purely technical terms. Some designs can’t be used for legal reasons, while others are too complex to manufacture.
I love my job. It’s a challenge to identify and understand the different perspectives and requirements and to try to get everyone to work together to produce the best solutions.

The work environment here is great and enables everyone to be creative.

Spacious, light and airy
The work environment here is great. The building is spacious, light and airy and it has enough room to enable everyone to be creative. When we’re working on a project, we sit together for hours at a time and discuss solutions and ideas. We have full-scale clay models and we also create sketches that we pin up on the walls or look at on the computer. I think the atmosphere here is good. We all listen to one another and take note of everyone else’s opinions. I also really like the fact that the team is made up of people of so many nationalities with different backgrounds and experience. It adds something special to the creative process.

Don’t get locked into one solution
The projects are all different. They may involve a completely new truck with a new design or individual components that need modifying. Often we are working on three different tracks or variants. It’s important not to get locked into one solution which may not work. That’s why we analyse a variant carefully before we abandon it. The result is an excellent end product. Even off work, I think of trucks now and then. I always take a close look at competitors’ trucks to see how they have resolved different problems and to find out whether or not something has been a success. This is one of the things that give me the incentive to do a good job.