Grabbing the Opportunity

For the two master students there was no doubt - a collaboration with the aquaculture industry was the most exciting choice

Although the construction industry has already hijacked the two students, they have no doubt that a collaboration with a company in the aquaculture industry is the most exciting thing they can now imagine in their work on the master's thesis.

- This is a very good opportunity that we may not get again, says Atle Andreassen.

Together with Vegard Olsen, he collaborates with SalMar to find out how they can increase the safety associated with escaping fish.

The two students are currently taking a master's in Health, Environment and Safety (HSE) at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU. The plan is to conduct a safety audit at SalMar's sites, and see if methods that have been used to prevent gas leaks at Statoil can also be transferred to prevent fish escaping.

First Choice

Previously, Atle and Vegard have conducted security audits for other companies. Both of them have also got a permanent job waiting for them when they finish their studies. But before they have completed their studies, they must submit a master's thesis, which they wanted to complete in the aquaculture industry.

- We had worked with similar topics before, and it was exciting. The aquaculture industry is very interesting and a growing industry, and so this was the first choice, Vegard says.

- In addition to being an exciting industry for us, the aquaculture industry is also important for Trøndelag, and this is a good opportunity that we may not be able to get again, adds Atle.

Through the tutor at the institute, the students got contact information for SalMar and agreed on a Skype meeting with them. Here they presented their ideas and clarified that there was great interest in the topic from SalMar's side as well.

- What aroused my interest was that they had a different and new angle than what we usually use for internal auditing of fish farms. It seemed very interesting, says Asgeir Johansen, quality manager at SalMar.


Atle and Vegard have already been to SalMar on Frøya several times. They have talked to operational, HSE responsible, reviewed safety routines and more. In addition, the plan is to return to interview a smoker at facilities to hear, among other things, how they experience training, safety measures and routines related to their work.

- We need to test out our audit type in practice, in order to get empirics. SalMar has been very helpful, so we have had interviews and investigations with them, says Vegard.

Asgeir at SalMar says they also think it's great to collaborate with students in this way.

- Companies need research and development. Receiving and facilitating students in this way is a form of extra work that we benefit greatly from over time. What these students are researching is very exciting, and I think we will benefit from the results of your assignment. In addition, the students we work with can be potential candidates for jobs later - so we look at this as well-invested time.

Not just nonsense 

Although Atle and Vegard have already found work elsewhere, they have no doubt that working with a company in an industry they are interested in is very rewarding for them in their work on the master's thesis.

- It is easier to be motivated to work on the task when working with a company. It is also more exciting because it is a real-life theme, says Atle.

- Yes, it is very rewarding to work with this when we know that the company thinks it is interesting. That it is not just nonsense what we are doing, Vegard concludes.

This article was originally posted in Norwegian at