My Job

FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Sveinung Liavaag (26) from Hareid is studying for a master’s in Systems Engineering at the University of South-Eastern Norway - while also working in Kongsberg Maritime’s LNG department.

  • Text:Helene Strøm Bergset

    Photo:Helene Strøm Bergset

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?

- First, I qualified as an industrial mechanic, and then I decided to go on to do a bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering at NTNU in Ålesund. After that, I spent two years working at Kleven Verft in Ulsteinvik as Commissioning Coordinator, where I was involved in building vessels needed for anchor management, cable laying and fishing, as well as luxury yachts. That was where I became interested in working in the maritime industry.

- For the master’s in Systems Engineering, you get the opportunity to work in a relevant company as part of your studies. It was a major motivating factor for me that I would be able to gain relevant work experience while I was studying. When I saw Kongsberg Maritime on the list of potential employers, I had no doubts about which direction I wanted to go!

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO APPLY FOR A JOB AT KONGSBERG?

- I got to know the company in my last job. Kongsberg Maritime was one of Kleven Verft’s subcontractors, and I got a good impression of the company. Kongsberg Maritime seemed to have highly qualified staff who delivered quality equipment within the agreed deadlines — these are some of the most important qualities you’re looking for in an equipment supplier in the maritime industry. I wanted to be a part of that, and I also thought that the company would have some great development opportunities for me. It was also a big plus that the company would allow me to take a master’s degree in parallel with working for them!

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WHAT WAS IMPORTANT FOR YOU WHEN YOU STARTED APPLYING FOR JOBS?

- The most important thing for me was getting into an environment where I would be able to develop the theoretical skills I had learned on my Automation Engineering course. It was also important for me to be able to put the theory I had learned into practice.

- Because I had two years’ experience in verification testing, system integration and production coordination on new builds from Kleven Verft, I wanted a job where I would be able to carry on using these skills. So, it was absolutely perfect for me to start in Kongsberg Maritime’s LNG department, because here I get to work with the same ship-related equipment and systems as in my last job — just from a different angle.

WHAT IS YOUR AVERAGE WORKING DAY LIKE?

- I spend my average working day developing and configuring software for deliveries and integrated automation systems for LNG ships. Since a project tends to last for several months, the tasks can vary depending on where you are in the project cycle, which means that I get to tackle new and interesting problems every day. For example, day-to-day tasks involve documenting the function of various sub-systems in a delivery, configuring logical functions, writing verification test procedures, communicating with customers and verification testing software deliveries before start-up on a vessel.

- We are constantly implementing changes while in dialogue with customers and other suppliers. No two projects are the same, which means that we never stop making evaluations and changes through a project cycle. This gives us varied working days and makes them tremendously exciting and fun.

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WHICH TOOLS OR QUALITIES DO YOU FIND MOST USEFUL AT WORK?

­- The tool I use most is probably Kongsberg Maritime’s own software to configure and run operations on automation systems. I also use Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel a lot. These are important tools for communicating with other people in the team and with customers or writing reports during a project.

- I have also found that my previous work experience, as well as the theory from my automation studies have been invaluable for this job. The master’s programme has also taught me to work with a systematic approach, which makes me more efficient.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?

- My first goal is to finish my master’s at USN and build on my skill set within Kongsberg Maritime’s automation systems. From a longer-term perspective, I would like to move into project management for relevant projects in the maritime sector. I would also like to work with international projects. 

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WHAT IS YOUR BEST WORK MEMORY SO FAR?

- My most significant work memory in my career so far is the delivery of the vessel NKT Victoria from Kleven Verft in 2017. The vessel was later voted Ship of the Year 2017 by Skipsrevyen magazine; this is an achievement that I am proud to have been a part of. I haven’t worked at Kongsberg Maritime long enough to have been involved in anything similar here, but I am quite sure that I will get to experience a lot of exciting things with this company in the future.

DO YOU HAVE ANY HIDDEN TALENTS?

- I’m quite good at playing the piano!

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