As far back as I can recall I’ve always had a fascination with figuring out how things work. As children, my friends and I enjoyed playing cops and robbers or firemen, but the best bit for me was making the props we needed, repairing anything that broke down, fixing our bikes, or building tree huts. We would often talk about what we wanted to be in the future and, although I never had a clear answer, I knew that it would involve solving problems or building things.
My childhood fascination still holds today.
The scale of human accomplishments that we interact with every day is often overlooked in our hectic lives but, if you stop to think about it, it’s quite astonishing. From the ingenious simplicity of a zipper or coffee maker, to the complexity of something like a car and the harvested energy it runs on, almost everything we encounter during our daily routines is the result of engineering.
Somebody made it. Somebody designed, engineered and manufactured it. The entrepreneurial spirit of the makers of the modern implements that we are surrounded by is truly inspiring.
Today, I count myself lucky that I get to spend most of my time solving problems which, to me, is the heart of engineering. The process of creating things that are useful to people, and solutions that work, is among the most meaningful ways to spend my time. The feeling of struggling with a difficult problem for a long time, and then finally breaking through and coming up with a working solution is a strong motivation to keep diving in to the next challenge.
My first encounter with actual engineering came during my studies in web design and data management. I was offered a part time job with a company called Norbit in Norway, where I was asked to implement radio drivers and control software for a maritime radio. Having no previous knowledge of signal processing or experience with C programming, I naturally accepted! The manager of course knew this, but he had a well proven strategy of presenting students with challenging tasks, and then providing the support and mentoring needed to achieve good results. Being able to deliver for the final product was a great motivation and inspiration to pursue a further career in engineering.
After my studies I entered full time employment with the same company, where I mainly worked with signal processing and communication technology on an FPGA platform. One major project I worked on was a powerline cable modem for a company called Sicom. After delivery I was offered a position at Sicom to continue developing the cable modem technology, which I accepted. Sicom was later acquired by Weatherford, and finally Weatherford’s subsea division was merged with Proserv. My main focus is still signal processing and FPGA programming, and our cable modem technology is at the core of most projects I’m involved with, whether it be integration into various control systems or further development of the platform itself.
Working as a software engineer for Proserv provides me with endless opportunities to create solutions. There is always a fresh challenge. Always a new project that needs new innovations, or previous accomplishment that needs improvements or expansions. I also have the privilege of working in an environment that encourages innovation and fosters teamwork, with people that are inspiring and serious about the service we provide. No man is an island, the best results are always achieved when we move forward as a team.
This, in the end, is what engineering is about. Creating and designing the future together, solving problems, building technology and innovations for the benefit of generations to come. We help, share and communicate our knowledge and solutions for the betterment of ourselves and our customers, and even society as a whole. Doing the right thing the right way.
As for what I want to be when I grow up? That’s a problem I’m still solving!