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As Stefan tells it, Trondheim is heady combination of party town (25,000 students in a population of 161,000) and heavy-duty science playground. Whether helicopter labs or concerts, it was certainly an atmosphere that fuelled his interest in process technology.

Spark of interest

While Stefan’s father had worked for Hydro, his first real contact with the company came through a summer internship at the research center in Årdal during his third year. “What they were working on was really challenging. I got to know a lot of people and it really sparked my interest in the industry.”

After completing his degree and receiving job offers from both a sub-sea technology oil and gas business and from Hydro, he had a real dilemma on his hands, also in choosing between a job in the big city or one in small-town environs.

“The social life at work in Årdal made a big impression on me during my summer job there. Despite having family and friends in Oslo, my wife and I decided to try it out. Even though Årdal only has about 6,000 people, there are people from all over Norway and all over the world. It’s really a warm and welcoming place.”

After working there for a year, Stefan had a chance to gain some practical experience in Neuss, Germany, before going back to Årdal to work on several projects, including one related to emissions.

Helping the environment

“When I started in Hydro, I saw there was a lot of emphasis on environmental issues. I’m working on a project to reduce the ‘anode effect’ – emissions that happen through irregularities in production. This will have a positive effect on the environment as well as reducing cost of energy used. So it’s a double benefit. It’s a small part, but it’s important.”

A recent addition to Stefan’s family – a son – is taking up many waking (and non-waking) hours, but seems have strengthened his view of the importance of making the future more sustainable. “I’m proud of the fact that Hydro is acting responsibly to reduce its environmental impact. And I’m part of it!” We’re looking forward to more of his contribution.

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