Meet Tore Løkka and Andreas Tørre Haugen, engineering students at the University of South-Eastern Norway and interns at Optime Subsea AS.
Over the next three years, the pair will complete master’s degrees in Systems Engineering, with Andreas specializing in software, and Tore in mechanics.
Only in their 20’s, they are wasting no time putting theory to practice, and are already eight months into their work-internship programs.
The University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) is the fourth largest higher learning institution in Norway. And Optime Subsea AS (Optime), headquartered in Notodden Norway, with international offices in Houston Texas USA, is a rising star in the subsea oil and gas industry.
It’s a great opportunity to work at a company that is innovating their industry from Notodden Norway.Andreas and Tore
Theory to Practice
We asked the two students what they liked most about their work-study program, and got the following observations.
– Combining theory from USN with practice at Optime, gets us the best platform possible to become great engineers. Andreas
The best way of learning is using our knowledge on real world problems in the workplace.Andreas
– At school we learn the basics, but at work, we can use this knowledge in real work situations. Working as an engineer on a project team gives us valuable training that reinforces our learning, plus we get to see the results of our efforts at once. Andreas
– It is especially useful to be part of the workshop team, working side by side with our technicians. As interns, we gain an incredible amount of knowledge by being in the field solving problems. Tore
– In production, technical teams are easily accessible to us as engineers. We can get immediate feedback for product- and system designs and innovation, directly from workshop technicians, even before products are produced. Andreas
– As students working in a high-tech company, we have the chance to collaborate across disciplines which makes it easier to see the big picture, and all of its underlying connections. This way of working and learning helps us understand our studies better and get higher marks on exams. A little extra money does not hurt either. Tore
Foundations of Learning
We then asked the rising engineers what have you learned most from your studies so far?
– The Systems Engineering methodology and way of thinking has been most enlightening for product design. Andreas
– In our studies, we get a general understanding of mechanics and systems, and learn to look at things through a critical eye. This sets a good context for our work activities. Tore
Getting it Right the First Time
Structure and systematic practices are vital for success in the subsea oil and gas industry. Both students agree.
– Doing the job right the first time is essential. Optime delivers systems that facilitate subsea well-access operations. This means it is crucial that the systems perform correctly every time, without failure, to prevent costly downtime to operators. Andreas
– Spending time on the right tasks at the right time is important. While there is much to learn, it is important to prioritize and choose your work selectively. As engineers, we are accountable for the results of our work. Using the Systems Engineering approach helps to structure our efforts to get the results that we have planned. Tore
The Culture of Simplifying Subsea
Andreas and Tore reflect on their experience at Optime.
– What we have achieved so far is hugely impressive. Many who work here are industry experts that have disrupted the industry with Optime’s leading-edge technology. Tore
The slogan “We simplify subsea” is rooted deeply in every employee’s DNA.Tore
– Working with such a close-knit team of skilled people is both motivating and inspiring. It makes you want to step up your game. In times of uncertainty, it is easy to ask for help. Not only is there a wide range of expertise, but colleagues are eager to share their knowledge. Tore
– There is a strong sense of unity amongst “Optimers.” The company is preserving its good culture, even throughout its fast growth. The atmosphere is trusting, playful, and positive. The benefits of a cup of coffee and a casual chat are well recognized, and often how new ideas are seeded. To us the Optime culture makes for a “one of a kind” workplace, that is not easily duplicated elsewhere. Andreas and Tore
Drawn to Making a Difference
Andreas and Tore were drawn to making a difference in the oil and gas industry.
– When USN sent out my CV to several companies, for options to work with for my industry master’s program, I found that Optime was the most synergistic to my software background and focus. Andreas
– Optime is a high-tech company that draws parallels to NASA, and technology development programs in the space industry. Its systems must operate in extreme environments and withstand the harshest conditions deep beneath the sea, at extreme pressures. Examples are the ROCS and SCILS products. Andreas and Tore
– New ideas are always welcome at Optime. It is easy to pitch them, and even if they are out of the ordinary, they are always well received and given due consideration. Andreas
– The company is not afraid to go big. Being a part of a growing company with ambitious intentions and resolute skilled people, is very rewarding. Tore
As students, structure in your everyday life is essential.
– How tasks are prioritized for work differs from how studies are prioritized for school. At work, others are relying on you to get their work done. Whereas at school you are accountable only for getting your own work done. Finding the right balance is crucial to ensure the best results for work without compromising our ability to get our industrial master’s degree diplomas. Andreas and Tore
Start by Studying ― A Path Worth Taking
Upon completion of their master’s degrees, Andreas and Tore will be considered eligible for developing large complex systems and products, that may require multi-disciplinary work across domains.
At the end of three years, Optime will have invested significant resources and training into the interns. Andreas and Tore will undoubtedly be the better for it, with the benefit of entering the workforce already equipped with impressive, real-world work experience in engineering on their CV’s.
Any company would benefit from hiring them at this point and should pursue similar “start by studying” programs with universities such as that offered by USN through its industrial master’s degree program.Jan-Fredrik Carlsen, CEO Optime Subsea AS
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