Meet Oceanbird´s new Head of R&D

From the electrification of Scania trucks to the wind-powering of shipping. Oceanbird´s new Head of R&D, Magnus MackAldener has wide experience of introducing innovations to a wider market.
“It is an exciting challenge. To use wind in shipping once again really is a no-brainer” says Magnus MackAldener.

Magnus MackAldener holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Vehicle Engineering from KTH. With 27 years of experience at Scania and Traton AB, he has led large teams in developing powertrain and electrification solutions, driving innovation in sustainable transport. He played a pivotal role in transitioning Scania to a leader in Battery Electric Vehicles, holds several patents and received the Ferdinand Porsche award for his contributions to automotive development.

Magnus MackAldener
Magnus MackAldener
What sparked your interest for Oceanbird?

“I had decided to further contribute to the green transition and am convinced that the solution to climate change is technical. I´m also driven by building strong teams in research and development. Oceanbird is a growing company, a start-up, but is having back-up from long-term, key players in the shipping industry. This was a perfect match for me”, says Magnus MackAldener.

You have a background in leadership for creativity and innovation, and even wrote a book about it (“Kreativ när piskan viner”).
How are you as a leader?

“If I had a table of content, it would say: ‘Energetic, transparent, future-oriented strategic enabler’. I spot new trends early on. I believe in inclusion and being allowed to make mistakes – leaders too. The important thing is to not let prestige get in the way. I have high expectations on myself and people around me, and work with continuous improvement.”

What do you bring to the company?

“The experience of leading engineers in technical development and innovation. I have put many products into production and know that it is fantastic journey but also hard and filled of anxiety. To succeed, you need to have a social security in the team and pleasant atmosphere in the office. I want to influence those I spend time with every day in a positive direction, so that they leave with a little more energy than when they arrived”.

Why do you believe in wind?

“It would be crazy to not use the wind directly out on the sea for the vessel propulsion. Especially now with new regulations, increasing fuel prices and a lack of electricity needed for making sustainable fuels. But to succeed, I think it can´t be depended on just regulation and customer demand, it need to pay for itself to have a wide breakthrough. It is not just about having the best technology, you also need to have an attractive set-up with after service, optimization and being there for the customer on the entire journey.”

You recently wrote on LinkedIn about being mid-life and choose to leave your position as SVP and Head of Powertrain Development at Scania. And got a massive response. Why do you think this hit something?

“I think everyone should have a vision for their own second half in working life. To use the strengths that you got, to further develop as a human being. It was tough leaving people that I have grown old together with at work and loose one context for a new one. But I needed a new challenge that was worth my time and energy. I get the privilege of stepping into a new context, which feels fantastic, and I can´t wait to start in August!”


Perfect match for realization phase

Niclas Dahl
Niclas Dahl

Oceanbird’s Managing Director Niclas Dahl sees Magnus MackAldener as a strategically important addition to Oceanbird as the company is now entering a realization phase.
“Magnus brings positive energy, a strong leadership and experience of establishing new, pioneering products on the market. I am happy and proud that we managed to recruit him to Oceanbird. He is a perfect match for us as well”, says Niclas Dahl.

The first retrofitted vessel Tirranna travelled with the foundation for the Oceanbird wing sail to the planned docking, and is getting it welded on deck right now.

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