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Students move 'classroom' to Hydro's aluminium plant

Students from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) moved their classroom to Hydro’s Primary Metal plant in Årdal this week.

For the third time, engineers in Primary Metal Technology’s Anode Production discipline took over the teaching of the Carbon Material Technology course.

One of the students this year is Bernardo Pontes Guimaraes from Brazil. He is an exchange student from Universidade de Brasilia (UnB).

Bernardo Pontes Guimaraes.

"The teaching in Hydro is really a good learning for me," he says. "We get in-depth knowledge connected to the industry and business aspect, so this is really useful. And what I also like with Hydro is the friendly environment where we have open discussions, can ask questions and interact during the lectures. This is very nice and a good way of learning."

Bernardo is studying Chemical Technology and he wants to work in the industry when his master's studies are done.

Long-term competence building

The initiator and program manager in Primary Metal Technology, Hogne Linga, sees the cooperation with NTNU as an important part of long-term competence building.

Program Manager Hogne Linga and professor Ann Mari Svensson

"Variable and poor quality of raw materials is the challenge now and for the future, and Hydro must systematically build competence to master these challenges," he says.

To build competence in cooperation with academia is an important activity for Hydro, and this decentralized teaching is a good example of how to connect to students in a good way, giving them experience from the industry, sharing competence and helping them to learn and develop.

Increased knowledge

Professor Ann Mari Svensson from NTNU is happy about this cooperation.

"The students get both material knowledge as well as the industrial perspective, which is important," she says.

"It is very inspiring for the students that Hydro’s employees so eagerly share their expertise. To come out and see the plant and laboratory is also a good input to understanding the subject. I think Hydro as a company has been very clever in long-term research and cooperation with universities," Svensson adds.