One night, when the thermometer crept below minus ten, Linnéa Jämtner was close to breaking point. She was fed up with having spiders for company in bed, and with the idea of spending any more time in primitive and freezing barracks 5,400 metres above sea level without either a toilet or shower.
“Is this how we are going to celebrate our honeymoon?”, she thought. One year on Jämtner laughs at the memories of her honeymoon at Mount Everest Base Camp.
“It was a really thrilling experience. I’d never have wanted to exchange it for a traditional honeymoon with cocktails. Michael and I got engaged at the top of Kebnekaise and that gave us a taste for more.”
Thanks to Jämtner, a Combitech flag is now fluttering in the wind on what is known as the “roof of the world”. “It was a way for me to market my workplace,” she explains.
From studies to submersibles
Since 2012 Jämtner has been working as an ILS and system safety consultant. It is her job to go out and ensure that a system keeps operating as long as possible by optimising maintenance and spare parts. For example, she is currently involved in a mid-term modification on the submarine HMS Halland.
“When I was studying (for a Master of Science in industrial engineering) I didn’t think I would work on such technical things as submarines and torpedoes. But it’s really interesting, the systems are highly complex and fascinating.”
When she started working in the sector which is often described as heavy on technology and male-dominated, she felt that she was not always taken seriously.
“It’s not that easy to come in as a young woman without a great deal of experience and start to question things, but sometimes you have to feel a little uncomfortable. It’s useful to see things from different perspectives,” says Jämtner.
Then she gives a concrete example.
“If the submarine manual states that you need to access a valve once a month, and then it turns out that it takes five days to gain access to it, it doesn’t meet the maintainability requirements. It’s then my job to pass this on and make sure that design engineering finds a better solution that meets the requirements in all respects.”
It’s not a man’s world
Jämtner strongly believes more women are needed in the defence industry. “The defence industry is generally a male-dominated sector, but you don’t need to be a man in order to have the required skillset.”
Outside her job, Jämtner makes sure she has time for training. She does road cycling, she is a spinning and bodypump instructor and once completed a Swedish Classic Circuit (combining cross-country skiing, cycling, swimming and cross-country running).
“I can tell immediately that my concentration is affected if I don’t do enough training. I need to move around in order to “be able” to sit still during the day!”