Meet Erik: ‘I get to apply my studies in my daily work’
Erik Rønning, 26, gets to use his degree in mechanical engineering in one of Norway’s “most beautiful places.” Here’s what he has to say.
Born and raised in the town of Lillehammer in Norway. Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with focus on materials and product integrity.
Job and location
Project engineer in the technology and operational support (TOS) department in anode production in the small town of Årdal in Norway.
My day-to-day activities range from very detailed technical tasks, like mechanical design of prototype machinery or simulations of physical processes to more administrative duties where I have responsibility for my own project, where both economics and communication come in to play. Since we are located at the production site in Årdal, I also have the opportunity to follow up the projects from start to finish as well as getting insight in the daily operation of the plant.
So far, I am very pleased with what I do on a daily basis, first and foremost because it is so technical and I get to apply my studies in my daily work, which is not granted for all companies hiring mechanical engineers. The work environment is also very flexible in the sense that I have great influence in what I am going to work with and in what direction I want my career to go. The people in TOS are also fantastic, both socially and professionally, where we have experts from many different fields.
With the respect to the graduate program, I would suggest even more visits to plants and sites, even though there have been a few. I think this makes new employees adapt and understand what Hydro is doing fast and without much misunderstanding.
The social aspect of working in Hydro has been very good. I was worried in the beginning, since I was moving to a small town where I had no connections, but both the local community and my colleagues have been very inclusive. And since TOS and the Årdal Metal Plant have been hiring many young graduating students, there was no problem to establish a social network.
I feel learning and knowledge development have been prioritized in our department, where I always have gotten both the time and resources necessary to improve in fields useful in my daily work.
Well, with regards to my career, I want to become an expert in my field and work with technology development and technical problem solving, and this is something I feel I have the opportunity to do in TOS in Hydro.
That it is a company where you get a lot of opportunities and flexibility to form your own career. So far, I’m very pleased with what I get to work with every day and I would simply highly recommend it. And if you would like to work at a plant location, you get to live in Norway’s most beautiful places.