This was the 31st presentation of the award, and the seventh time it had been presented to a SINTEF scientist. The award ceremony took place at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters’ house in Oslo.
Founded in Paris in 1921, CIGRÉ is a global network consisting of 60 National Committees in 90+ countries, and is dedicated to sharing and cultivating power system expertise.
The Scientific Award (“Elkraftprisen”) was created by the Norwegian National Committee in 1990 as a means of highlighting Norwegian expertise in the power sector. Recipients are chosen every year based on the high quality of their work, either theoretical or practical, within the Committee’s fields of interest.
Hallvard attended the award ceremony for the first Scientific Award – but did he think then that he would one day receive the award himself?
“I have to admit that I didn’t think so, no. But it feels good – it’s a great honour,” said Hallvard.
Hallvard’s career started at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) – now the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – where he also received his master’s degree in electrical power engineering in 1977. In 1979, he joined the company that later became SINTEF Energy Research, and became a senior research scientist in 1991.
Hallvard specialises in high voltage cable insulation, with a particular focus on the testing and development of subterranean and submarine cables. He’s most interested in the long-term properties of cables in wet environments. He has been involved in large offshore projects on the Norwegian continental shelf, including the Hywind Tampen project as a cable expert.
“If you’re going to lay a submarine cable, you need a system that can operate for more than 30 to 40 years with moisture directly in the system – that is the challenge I work on the most,” said Hallvard. “Our goal is to achieve a good lifetime of the cable, at as low a cost as possible. This becomes extremely challenging if the metal on the outside of the cable is removed.”
Hallvard has been an active member of CIGRÉ since 1986, and has participated in a number of working groups related to various aspects of cable technology. Through this work, he has, among other things, contributed to increased knowledge and standardised routines for testing, and quality assurance of new cable designs, which are absolutely central to obtaining reliable components in the power supply.
This is also what Hallvard finds most exciting about his job – when they are sent a malfunctioning cable and asked with finding out why it has failed.
“This is what we call “cable CSI”; where you look for little hints as to why things have gone wrong. It’s very exciting,” he said.
“Hallvard has an absolutely central role in the cable technology research community in Norway, and has made important contributions to the international community – not least in CIGRÉ. He is a recognised and sought-after resource in his daily work, and I am proud of what he does for our customers and partners – particularly in his interactions with the rest of us in the department,” said Dag Eirik Nordgård, research director at SINTEF.
A big congratulations to Hallvard for this well-deserved recognition of his efforts over the years. We’re looking forward to watching the next episode of “Cable CSI”.