Erlend is now working as a full-time project engineer at Optime Subsea. He started his career at Optime Subsea during his studies at USN Kongsberg. Erlend studied Systems Engineering, specialized in Software. The young engineer has already been a key contributor to the development of the mSHPU, SCILS and ROCS products. He has lent his talent over the whole stack, from driver-development, through controls-engineering, and to the top layer of human machine interface.

I was wrong.

– In 2011 I was offered to play for NFK – Notodden Fotball Club. I lived in Trondheim, one of Norway`s biggest cities and I saw myself as a city boy. I hesitated and was slightly negative when I moved to Notodden. My opinion of this small town was that there was nothing to do. My initial plan was, therefore, to return to Trondheim, Trøndelag.

Can you tell us what made you change your mind?

– After a while I realized that Notodden had the whole package. The city is surrounded by astonishing nature and had a lot of activities. Notodden is simply an idyllic place to live with its good reach to more central areas like Drammen, Oslo, Skien and Porsgrunn. Since my partner is from Notodden and I now work at Optime Subsea, I find my life here enjoyable.

As you enter the door at Optime, you get the opportunity to set your mark.

Erlend

Why did you want to work at Optime Subsea?

– When I got hired as a software engineer, Optime was smaller than today. I immediately experienced the Optime spirit, drive and commitment that has brought us to where we are today. My ambitions were heard and acknowledged from the first day, and I was given room for creativity. Optime is intentional when hiring, and it is all about finding just the right people. In this way Optime takes care of the culture, that which contributes to the success of the company. With Optime, you have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to its further development. 

Freedom and creativity

– In my role as a software engineer at Optime I work closely with other people and disciplines. From start to finish, you gain essential knowledge as a participating part in different projects. It is the opportunity to develop myself and the company that keeps me thriving. Optime does not put you in chains, but instead gives you flexibility and freedom.

  • Optime Subsea`s mission is to be the market leader in subsea intervention and control systems. Our mission is to be the leading provider of systems for subsea intervention and control, within the oil and gas industry. We will accomplish this by continuous innovation, with focus on productivity, modularity, and optimization – always to and for our customers.

As a Software Engineer, you might have prejudiced thoughts of the industry

The oil – and gas industry is not known for being a forward – leaning industry within software.

In Optime we want to be innovative in everything we do. Our slogan “We simplify subsea” permeates everything we work with, and together as a company we strive to break limits continuously. It is evident in our projects like ROCS and SCILS where this is demonstrated. Both projects that needed electronics, and software knowledge to make the control system.

If you are a software engineer and thinking about working at Optime – I have one advice; leave an application!

Optime are innovators in the industry, and I can guarantee you will find this journey an enriching one to be a part of.

Erlend

Exciting Projects as a Software Engineer

– NUI was exciting because it was my first project. The responsibility I was given from the beginning made me have to trust myself and believe in my decisions. These projects leave you with experience and pride. By taking part in processes like these and working through them from start to finish, you gain an understanding of planning, execution, and the context.  

ROCS is high-level innovation within oil and gas. I got to be a part of this project from start to finish. Out on operation, it was amazing to see the result of every hour and day of work.

Using the new technology was a real success!

Your attitude is important!

– The only thing I look for when hiring is attitude. For us, this means being eager to learn and not shying away from responsibility.

Optime will further innovate the industry with its disruptive technology. If we are to innovate the industry and maintain the pressure with new ideas, we also have to innovate ourselves – become better. It is a prerequisite that we hire different types of people; To ensure diversity and good questions.

Are we too similar, then we will not be innovative enough.

Erlend

Erlend – Outside Optime

– I am very fond of staying active. Before covid hit, I played football, as well as skiing. I am always active, no matter what the season is. Having moved to Notodden, we now have access to a lot of great opportunities and offers throughout the year.

– The fact that Optime able to dissuade me of moving back makes my partner very happy. As am I to this day. And as a father I am not interested to live anywhere else but right here. We are very happy, and we are looking forward to establishing at Notodden.

Optime became the anchorage for Notodden and the reason why we have established ourselves here.

Erlend

«Optime Subsea has proven that they are capable of “simplifying subsea” with their disruptive technology. I am looking forward to continue our mission in developing technology, and focus on delivery to our customers worldwide. I am excited and humble to join this great team.

Kjetil Andre Dalheim

Optime Subsea continues to grow and we are further strengthen the management team in Norway. We are excited to introduce our new Chief Operations Officer, Kjetil Andre.

Optime Subsea mission is to be the market leader in subsea intervention and control systems. Our mission is to be the leading provider of systems for subsea intervention and control, within oil and gas industry. We will accomplish this by continuous innovation, with focus on productivity, modularit, and optimization – always to and for our customers.

Kjetil Andre has a broad and diverse background, starting within banking and finance before moving into Oil & Gas and project management. He brings with him more than 10 years of experience within Oil & Gas as Project Manager and Portfolio Manager. Main area has been Well access tooling. His last position involved Merger and Acquisitions work in addition to Project Management. 

We look forward to the continued growth our team will see under this new leadership. We hired Kjetil Andre with careful consideration in protecting our culture and we believe he will be a great addition to our team. His main drive is to develop people and organization. Kjetil Andre`s strenght is his ability to make decisions and create motion. Core value is integrity and people first. 

Jan-Fredrik Carlsen

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.

Andreas 

– 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 

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 

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 

Andreas

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.

Tore 

– 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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Curious about studying for a master’s degree in Systems Engineering? Click here.

All Chief Financial Officers do not just look at numbers. Optime’s CFO, Linn Bjørhuus Sevre, is just as concerned with the people and their well-being.  

The employees play an important role in a technology company like Optime, the people who work here are industry experts that work to change the oil and gas industry with Optime’s leading-edge technology.  

A good working environment fosters good job performance which eventually are seen in the company’s financial performance.   

Linn has been employed as the CFO of Optime for just under a year. Her husband sees a positive change in his wife Linn, as this position allows her to use knowledge from all her previous jobs and her personal qualities get to emerge.  He tells Linn:    

Since you started in Optime, you have started to reflect more objectively on matters, which in turn seems to have been given you a more balanced mindset on life in general.

Linn’s husband

– At Optime, I use many aspects of my education, work experience, and personal qualities. Compared to previous jobs; I now work closer to the operations and to the people who are responsible for the value creation in the company. This is valuable for me as a person, and for my professional development. 

– In my first 11 months in Optime I have gained many new experiences. I have an MSc in Economics and Business and MSc in Accounting, and all my professional experience before Optime has been within finance and auditing. 

– In Optime, I have had the pleasure to be responsible for our HR function as well. Preparing a new HR strategy, together with our HR manager, has given me valuable insights into what is important for running a good business. Exploring the HR subject has been a personal development for me – simply a bonus of this position.

The culture at Optime

What do you think impresses Linn the most about Optime? When we ask her, she answers determined – the collective mindset. 

It is great to see how everyone at Optime goes the extra mile to achieve common goals and wish success upon each other.

Linn

– There is no opposition to new initiatives and changes in Optime. Everyone understands that changes are necessary to achieve growth and the goals we have set for ourselves. Everyone wants the best for the company. You never get a no if you ask for help, or ask for someone to participate. It feels great to be a part of a working environment where everyone wants to contribute.

– I am very impressed by the technology Optime has developed. How the engineers at Optime transforms ideas and drawings into physical objects, almost appears like magic to me. The expertise that lies within this company; how people continuously work to innovate and improve the oil industry is impressive.

Optime’s magic formula  

Throughout the conversation with Linn, she talks a lot about HR strategy and the people at Optime. -Why are you so concerned about this when you are employed as the CFO?   

– To be an industry leader in our field, everyone in the company must think of improvements and new solutions. The people and the positivity that greets you every day at Optime is amazing.

Nothing is impossible – is Optimes mantra.

Linn

As the company grows, it is important to preserve the collective mindset and collaboration across disciplines – this has been Optime’s magic formula.                    

How to grow without losing our advantage – having a short distance from idea to production?

Openness, trust, and diversity are key factors that are important to maintaining a good Optime culture.  Innovation often takes place when people with different perspectives and backgrounds work together. This is where the magic happens – you intensify curiosity and see new opportunities.  

We walk the extra mile together  

Everyone at Optime is eager to revolutionize the industry. The more familiar you become with Optime, the more you understand and love the company’s slogan: “We Simplify Subsea”.  

Structure and processes become important as the company grows. However, diversified teams consisting of people with different backgrounds and qualities will still be the key strength for Optime. At the same time, it is important to utilize everyone’s potential. Where does the individual thrive and perform best?   

We must maintain the collective mindset and the desire to succeed – no matter how big our company becomes.

Linn

What is good leadership to you?   

You said you never had personnel responsibilities, until now. What do you think makes a great leader?

– Being a good role model through integrity and standing up for what you believe in, Linn answers.

– As a leader, you shall aim to get the best out of all employees. Get to know them, make sure that you see their strengths and potentials, and understand what motivates them. 

The employees are Optimes most valuable asset – we must take good care of everyone and never take anyone for granted.

Linn

Reason, emotions and inner peace  

Linn, we have now talked a lot about the culture within Optime, HR, leadership, and the values of the company. We’re curious – who are you?   

Linn likes planning, structure, and routines, which are stereotypical characteristics of people with her background. She is of course concerned with having good control over financial development – that is her job.  

Even though Linn is a very outgoing and social person, that is probably not always the first impression everyone gets of her. She knows that other people may see her as busy and a little stressed, as she is very focused on delivering on her responsibilities.

Her goal for 2022 is to get to know more of the people at Optime, and to get more out of her office. She is eager to learn more about the subsea industry and Optimes technology. Linn enjoys teamwork and open discussions.  

I believe that discussion and teamwork create basis for better decisions.

Linn

Linn has a strong need to be ahead of schedule because she hates the feeling of falling behind on her responsibilities, both at work and at home. Luckily, she knows how to lower her shoulders in between deadlines. So how does she find balance and peace in a busy life?

Running, cross-country skiing, family, friends, cabin trips and trips abroad are things that help Linn unwind.  

Linn likes to spend her time wisely and prefers to go for a run, rather than spending time on the couch. She might easily get restless and impatient when she feels she is wasting her time. 

– My children are getting older and there are more “me-time” again – I need to remind myself that I am a human being and not a human doing – and also allow myself to relax without planning my next task, Linn concludes.

What is her softest side? Family means much to her, she is easily touched and finds it difficult to hold back tears whenever her children make her proud.  

Sharing stories is a part of our success. Read more stories here.

Hans-Paul Carlsen is a trained engineer and has passed the age of 70. In fact, he is retired. Nevertheless, you see Hans-Paul at Optime every single day. He has been an engineer “all his life”. Still, he is as curious in his field as when he once started. That’s what keeps him young, we think.

Diversity is the key to success, it is said. What does that mean, do you think? Theories become obsolete, as development happens faster and faster. New truths arise. Combining experienced staff with new graduates gives most the forward-looking companies. Then you are well on your way to success.

Then add interdisciplinarity. Today, the greatest value creation takes place in the area between the fields. Each of you has knowledge of many fields – together you create the big picture. Good interdisciplinary examples from Optime are the systems SCILS and ROCS.

If you are too similar, you lose the challenging questions – and your business stagnates sooner or later.

The pensioner who works every day

He calls himself an old engineer with experience. He loves working with young dynamic engineers and emphasizes that learning goes both ways.

– It is the young people who are the value at Optime, says Hans-Paul.

Yes, Hans-Paul is the father of CEO Jan-Fredrik and CTO Tor-Øystein. The “guys’ ” curiosity and strong creative urge probably stem from their father. According to those who know Hans-Paul, he has studied three times; first himself and twice as a mentor – both when Jan-Fredrik studied and finally when Tor-Øystein studied 2 years after Jan-Fredrik.

Hans-Paul is described as playful, curious, and “one of the guys”. He is interested in lifelong learning. There is always something new to learn – and teach to others. Furthermore, he is described as someone who gets the job done – far from “an old father who knows best”. He enjoys all tasks and has no problem with getting his hands dirty.

Wants to contribute with his life experience

– As a grown man, I help to push, give young people self-confidence and courage. I like to create an environment where young people dare to trust themselves. For me, it is important that the dialogue is simple and open. I like to contribute in my own way with my life experience.

– The “programming”-subject that I studied, has been discontinued a long time ago. That is why it is important to constantly follow developments. Renewal is key. I am curious and follow developments closely. That’s probably why I enjoy the environment here at Optime – I learn something new every day about technology development. At the same time, I can share my life experience, both in terms of subjects and life in general.

– When you get older, you have a lot of experience on what is both important and less important in life. What I thought was vital in my youth, I see now in retrospect were trifles. At the time, it seemed big and all-consuming. – Eventually, it is the people who are the most interesting.

Balancing risk and doubt

There are commonalities between how humans behave and technology. The biggest choices we make in life are based on emotions. The choices we make often balance between doubt and faith – do we have faith in what we do or not? We also ask the same questions all the time in technology.

The textbooks change over time. Life is not always what we think it will be. You have to accept that life, work and education are different than you imagined. Then it is important to listen to others, who can make your path better or more exciting.

Good engineers are not only optimists, they must also have doubts. A correction factor is important. You must have faith in what you do, but at the same time doubt whether it will work. Do we have control over all parameters, or is there something we have overlooked? When we mix different materials, these will affect each other – in a positive or negative direction.

We balance success by minimizing losses. Pessimism must not prevail. It is then we stifle innovation and development. For companies to succeed, it is healthy with counter-perceptions – to have the right balance between the positives and doubt.

Sharing stories is a part of our success. Read more stories here.

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!

Pezhman

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!

Pezhman

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.

Sharing stories is a part of our success. Read more stories here.

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.

Every Thursday, the girls at Optime Subsea meet for a training session after work. Project Manager and Fitness Instructor Stine Therese Timland is the initiator of the vigorous and social gathering point.

“There is a very unique culture at Optime Subsea, in a positive way, but there are not that many girls in our company. Therefore, it is terrific that we girls can meet and strengthen our great environment, and at the same time be active together,” says Timland.

An active life is a lifestyle

In addition to the job at Optime Subsea, Stine Therese spends a lot of time on training and family. With a five-year-old in the house, a baby on its way and an instructor job at the local fitness centre Spenst, her days are busy and active. The fact that Stine Therese is structured, tidy and good at keeping track is thus useful both at work and at home.

Stine Therese Timland

“Training and activity is not really about structure for me. An active life is a lifestyle that I enjoy.”

Stine Therese Timland

“At the same time, exercise and activity help to improve health, both physically and mentally. It is an advantage for the employer that employees are active because training causes less ailments and lower sick leave,” says the engaged Optime employee.

The latter is one of the reasons why the fitness group Optime Girls is of great value to Optime. The resourceful Project Manager gets to use her training skills for the benefit of her employer.

Stine Therese Timland og Optime Girls

A sporty working environment

“We do various activities in Optime Girls. Sometimes we do strength training at a gym we have here, other times we go hiking. We have also been on several summits and ski trips,” explains Stine Therese.

The active girl from Notodden is happy to work in a place where employees are encouraged to stay active, and that they have the opportunity to make it something social. She is one of several taking initiative for vigorous social activities in the company.

“Both ski trips and summits have been arranged for all Optime employees on several occasions, and we have had an altitude competition at Strava. If it hadn’t been for the corona we would have been a good bunch at the Birken race last spring and the Birkebeiner race now in March,” she says.

See Optime Girls in the video below.

A business with clear ambitions

Stine Therese started as a purchaser at Optime Subsea in December 2018.

“I submitted an interest application to Optime, because it seemed that they had a very good working environment. It also seemed like a business with clear ambitions, which dared to think outside the box. Based on their needs at the time and my experience, I was offered the position of purchaser,” explains Stine Therese.

As a newly hired purchaser, Stine Therese became an important piece in the launch of SCILS. Read how the work of SCILS helped create the unique corporate culture here.

Stine Therese Timland at Optime Subsea

When asked what the best thing about her job is Stine Therese replies that it is difficult to say anything other than the working environment.

“There is a very special culture here. We may disagree on procedures, and there is absolutely room for that here. Yet the distance between the departments is short, and we all have great respect for each other. We all want Optime to succeed and we are one team.”

Stine Therese Timland

New challenges as a Project Manager

As employee number 18 in the expanding company Optime, the 35-year-old was not allowed to remain among the “new” for very long. In little more than two years, the company has grown from 18 to over 50 employees.

Recently, Stine Therese started a new position as Project Manager. In this position, she will lead a project from order to delivery, which involves a lot of administration and coordination.

“It is exciting to get to try a completely different type of position than the one I had before. I am very happy to get this opportunity,” Timland says.

She appreciates the opportunity for, and the encouragement to, personal and professional development and new challenges.

“It provides an exciting and varied workday where you can grow. I have no trouble seeing myself working at Optime 10 years from now,” says Stine Therese.

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

When Thor Øystein Finborud Tovsrud heard about Optime Subsea for the first time, he instantly knew that he wanted to be a part of the adventure.

– We were living and working in Trondheim when my wife found employment as a doctor in Notodden. This gave us the opportunity to move back to the farm where I grew up, Thor Øystein explains.

The farm in question had been in the family for more than one hundred years, and is situated only few minutes away from Optime Subsea’s headquarter in Notodden.

Going home to the family farm

Moving back to Notodden and the family farm meant that Thor Øystein would have to leave his job in Interwell in Trondheim.

– After quitting my safe job with Interwell I found myself unemployed. Optime Subsea had only recently started as a company, but I was in contact with the CEO, Jan-Fredrik Carlsen, about a position there. However, Optime’s economic situation at the time made it impossible for them to employ anyone, Thor Øystein recalls.

Thor Øystein Finborud Tovsrud moved back to the idyllic family farm in Notodden.

Instead, Optime and Thor Øystein found a solution through NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration). The result was that Thor Øystein started to work at Optime without a salary, but with economic support from NAV, for a set period of time in a scheme known as work training.

Just before the 2016 merger between Optime and Telemark Technologies, Thor Øystein was formally employed as a system engineer at Optime and began working on SCILS.

Find out more about SCILS here.

As Optime has grown, so have the responsibilities of Thor Øystein Finborud Tovsrud. The engineer is now Service Manager for Optime and works in close collaboration with Optime Subsea’s customers in the offshore segment.

A natural born problem solver

Thor Øystein has always had an interest in mechanical and technical solutions. At the age of sixteen he acquired his first moped and started fixing on it. Since then it has escalated. Today Thor Øystein has his own 150 square meters workshop at the farm. Here he builds a veteran car and maintains the family cars, an ATV and a tractor.

– I like problem solving, either it is technical or in other areas, both at work and at home, he says.

At their idyllic and well-maintained farm in Heddal, lives Thor Øystein along with his wife and two young daughters.

– I spend a lot of time with my daughters, who are 3 and 4 years old, but I have also made sure to retain my hobbies. Be it fixing cars or going hunting or fishing, I use these activities to reset and re-energise, the busy family father explains.

At the farm he has 4 buildings and 1100 square meters to take care of, and describes it as both fun and demanding.

– A lot of my spare time goes towards maintaining the farm. It is quite a contrast to when we lived in a small apartment in Trondheim. But we really like it here and we could not imagine moving somewhere else with our small family.

Why the nickname Toffen?

Early in his Optime career Thor Øystein was given the nickname “Toffen”.

– One of the founders of Optime Subsea also holds the name Tor-Øystein, so the name was already taken when I started working here. I believe Trond, Jan-Fredrik and Thor Arne, the three other founders, were the ones who came up with “Toffen”. Ever since then it has been my nickname at work, Toffen says with a smile.

The name was occupied: Toffen together with Tor-Øystein Carlsen, CTO of Optime (left) and Kristen Stenstad (right).

Engaging leadership at Optime Subsea

At Optime Subsea Thor Øystein is part of a working environment which he describes as very good.

– We have a fantastic leader in Jan-Fredrik Carlsen, who is amazingly enthusiastic and engaging. He really represents the culture here and is an important part of creating an environment where we encourage each other, Thor Øystein says.

For Thor Øystein, the work environment is the number one reason why he likes working at Optime Subsea.

– I think all the employees here will agree that the working environment in our company is very motivating. In addition, of course, the jobs at Optime Subsea are meaningful, innovative and interesting, the skilled engineer explains.