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.


– 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 

Engineer student

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.


– 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 

Engineer students

Work-Study Balance

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 
Engineer students

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While studying for an industry Master’s degree in systems engineering, it was an ongoing student project that introduced Pezhman to Optime, with the project being the building of ROCS. Now, some time later, he has become an employee at Optime Subsea, and continues to work with the system ROCS.

Optime hired him straight from his studies, with him only being halfway through. At that time he lived in Kongsberg. Now, he is renting a house at Notodden while searching for a home of his own. The once student that lived in Iran, is now becoming a resident of Notodden!

What brought the Iranian Pezhman to Norway

The Master’s studies at Kongsberg lured him to Norway in 2018. The moment he received his spot at the school, Pezhman accepted, packed his suitcase and headed for Norway. Originally, the electro engineer, Pezhman, is from a town in Iran with a population of over 2 million people. It was in his home country of Iran he finished his Bachelor’s degree, while also working with IT and automation for 10 years. This experience would prove itself useful when moving to a different country.

The link between school and Optime

The school project at Kongsberg, was building a new system for Optime – with the system being ROCS. This was a cooperation between Optime and the University of South-East Norway, also called USN. Trond Løkka at Optime was mentor for Pezhman and his study group. The task: The students would make small prototypes.

– Last year we started building the actual, real ROCS. The design was ready in April, and the production itself was finished by December 2020. In January 2021 we started testing, making sure it was ready for its premiere in February 2021! This month was the first time we tested ROCS in the field – this time in the North Sea with our customer Aker BP. The operation was successful from A to Z!

– Here, I got to see how the system truly worked with my own two eyes. Even though everything went smoothly and as planned the first time, we still improved for the next operation with ROCS. After the adjustments, the operation went even faster the second time around.

It is quite marvelous, that a student can follow the entire process – from an idea, through prototyping and to the finished system!

Optime cultivates the joy of creation

We ask Pezhman what he likes the most about working at Optime.

– The work culture – for sure! Here at Optime you can pitch the most bizarre idea, and it is still welcomed. No questions or ideas are “dumb”. The business structure is flat, and the CEO is like a good colleague. Everyone at Optime is curious about each other and gladly shares their experience and knowledge. We learn so much across our different educations and work tasks. We are not just colleagues – we are friends that care about each other.

What do you think is Optimes advantage?

– Big companies are less flexible than Optime. Processes often take much longer in big companies, and you rarely go directly to the CEOs with ideas and solutions, whereas in Optime there is a short distance from idea to implementation.

What do you think about your work tasks?

– My work is thrilling, and far from boring. You do have to be engaged, though. I was so lucky to be part of the first ROCS operation out at the North Sea. I have followed ROCS from the drawing board to the operation itself. That is really cool!

To see how the drawings and animations work in practice is pure magic. Watching every piece of work fall into place; that feeling can hardly be described. Oh, how I love my job!


Did you know that Iran has a lot of snow?

It is not just us Norwegians that are born with skis on our feet. Actually, Pezhman grew up with a passion for snowboard – a hobby he had for 8 years before moving from his home country.

– Yes, Iran also has snow, but you must climb up to a 2000 meters altitude. By moving to both Kongsberg and Notodden, it was amazing having easy access to both snow and slopes.

Even though the access to snow weighs up for some homesickness, Pezhman misses his family. Because of Covid-19, it is 15 months since he last saw his family.

It all started in a roundtrip in Europe

How come that one from west of Asia finds a study in the small country of Norway?

– After a longer time of just where it all was focused on work, I truly needed new impulses.

– I have quite a few friends in both France and Germany. Beginning in 2016, I started traveling for 2 years around Europe. Amongst the places I visited were Spain, Italy, and Germany. I wished to see the countries, their cultures, and how they lived there. For 75 days I traveled completely without a plan which resulted in lots of coincidences and exciting meetings that brought me to new places. I loved being a tourist without commitments. To discover new places and new people was thrilling. Now I look back at it as a journey I truly am glad that I prioritized.

Too many people dream but don’t carry that dream out. Opportunities like that rarely come around. Make sure to seize it while you can!


Why did you stay in Norway?

– Norway is a tranquil place to live, and Norwegians are very kind. I felt really welcomed and taken care of; you Norwegians show a form of sibling-love. Since I came here in 2018, I have gained good friends and colleagues.

– On that note, I want to highlight the flat structure within Optime – it is quite unique. You get an extra spark and energy when you meet and talk to “the people on the floor” the same way you talk to the CEO. The respect is mutual. It is truly amazing to be a part of that.

The contrast is big; moving from a town in Iran with 2 million people, all the way to Notodden with a little over 13.000 residents. Now Pezhman lives in the street with the pleasant name of Kjærlighetsstien, directly translated to the Love Lane.  

We cross our fingers that Pezhman soon can meet his family, in real life.

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Rubem Prandi has spent over 500 hours of his spare time building a robot. His plan was to start his own company producing robots.

Rather than start his own business, the mechanical engineer had several entrepreneurial conversations with Jan Fredrik Carlsen, CEO of Optime, before choosing to join Optime.

The conversations were about starting one’s own company, risks, dreams, the art of engineering and passion for electronics.

“Our mentality for development and corporate culture was similar. At some point in 2019, Optime needed more people, and the choice became easy for me,”

Rubem explains.

Educated and raised in Brazil

Optime’s own Gyro Gearloose was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His education as a mechanical engineer is from his country of birth. Today he has dual citizenship; Italian and Brazilian, and he is also now considering becoming a Norwegian citizen.

When you talk to Rubem, it is difficult to understand that he has lived in Norway for only 8 years.

The Brazilian speaks such good Norwegian! His ear for language must be in a league of its own, right? When we comment on this, we learn that Rubem speaks Italian, Portuguese, French, English and Norwegian.

Moved to the welfare state Norway

The reason Rubem moved to Norway was that he received a job offer.

“I worked for Technip FMC in Rio de Janeiro, and when Technip FMC offered me a job in Kongsberg, we moved to Norway. This was in 2013,” Rubem says.

At the time, the political situation in Brazil was difficult. Rubem and his wife also had a desire to start a family. Today, the couple have two children: a seven-year-old and a two-year-old.

Rubem, his wife and their two children are the only ones in their family living in Norway.

Rubem’s parents still live in Brazil. His father’s family is from Italy and his sister lives in Dublin. Rubem’s wife also has all her family in Brazil. They have chosen to live in Norway in order to give the children a safe upbringing.

“The biggest advantage of living here in Norway is that you can spend a lot of time with the children. Even if you work a lot, you have much more free time in Norway than in Brazil,” says the father-of-two.

Why do robots fascinate you?

“The combination of mechanics, engineering and electronics is incredibly exciting!

I love mathematics, and making robots is a great way to learn. Building a robot requires advanced programming and is very mechanical”, says the robot enthusiast who loves electronics.

The mechanical engineer has spent 500 hours building his own robot – just for fun.

“Yes, you could call it a passion. Because I am a mechanical engineer, there were many parallels between my job at Technip FMC and robot building in my free time.

“My hobby makes me a better engineer at work. I excercise theory and practice”

Rubem Prandi

“There are so many possibilities,” he continues enthusiastically. Coding of robots varies from industry to industry, and from person to person. Here, the answers are certainly not a given.

The user is right – not the technician

“I’ve been testing out smart home technology; more specifically, switching on and off light and heat automatically. My wife was the guinea pig, and she has little interest in technology.

I quickly realized that the technology had to be adapted to the user – not to me as a techno freak,” he explains.

“The question is, how can technology simplify everyday life for the user? What will the technology solve?”

Rubem Prandi

Giving back to the university in Brazil

In Brazil, the economic conditions are different from here in Norway. It is therefore difficult for schools to keep up with technology development. Rubem contacted a teacher at the university (UFRJ – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) and offered them a robot with all codes.

“This was a robot I had made affordable and simple. I want all students to learn about technology and development.

For me, this came at a low cost, but it is of high value for a school in Brazil,” says a moved Rubem, who has a warm heart for his home country.

Optime Subsea aims to “simplify subsea”. Read how here.

Companies will jointly commercialize and deploy subsea interventions and controls to improve safety and efficiency.

HOUSTON– March 7th, 2021– Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) and Optime Subsea today announced they formed a global strategic alliance to apply Optime’s innovative Remotely Operated Controls System (ROCS) to Halliburton’s completion landing string services.

The companies will also collaborate and offer

  • intervention and workover control system (IWOCS)
  • services leveraging Optime’s Subsea Controls and Intervention Light System (SCILS) technology, a new system that compliments Halliburton’s subsea intervention expertise.
Jan-Fredrik Carlsen with SCILS

Increased Operational Efficiencies

The alliance will provide umbilical-less operations and subsea controls for deepwater completions and interventions delivering increased operational efficiencies while minimizing safety risk through a smaller offshore footprint and lower cost.

Both companies will work to advance subsea technologies and Halliburton will offer Optime’s technologies as a service across its global portfolio.

“We are excited to work with Optime and leverage their technologies within our existing subsea and intervention solutions,”

Daniel Casale, Vice President of Testing and Subsea

“This alliance will provide operators with previously unavailable capabilities that can be mobilized quickly and reliably to reduce operational time, cost, and safety risk.”

Strong Mutual Alliances

“We believe that strong mutual alliances across the vertical supply chain drives continuous improvements needed in our industry.”

Jan-Fredrik Carlsen, CEO of Optime Subsea

“By solidifying this relationship with Halliburton and combining their well-established, reputable service and technology capabilities with Optime’s innovative controls and intervention technology,  more customers will have access to these cost-efficient subsea solutions.”


Discover the System ROCS: Do you want to ROCS Subsea?

About Halliburton

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry.

With approximately 50,000 employees, representing 140 nationalities in more than 80 countries, the company helps its customers maximize value throughout the lifecycle of the reservoir – from locating hydrocarbons and managing geological data, to drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production throughout the life of the asset.

Visit the company’s website at Connect with Halliburton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About Optime Subsea

Founded in 2015, Optime is an innovative and globally leading technological provider of subsea controls and intervention systems.

With its headquarter in Notodden, Norway, and international office in Houston, TX, USA, it is a fully integrated system and services provider with all of the capabilities to optimize subsea well interventions and completions operations.

Within this segment, their capabilities are delivering quick to market solutions, further reducing cost, size and improving operational efficiency – simplifying subsea.

Discover the System SCILS: SCILS and the Creation of a Unique Company Culture

For additional information, please reach out to the following:

For Halliburton  
Investors: Abu Zeya Halliburton, Investor Relations 281-871-2633  
Media: William Fitzgerald Halliburton, External Affairs 713-876-0105  
For Optime Subsea
Investor relations Jan-Fredrik Carlsen Optime, Notodden, Norway +47 414 60 996  
Media relations Thor Lovland Optime, Houston, TX +1 832 904 6842