Background and activities

Jan Hovden, born 1943 Professor in safety management at Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management since 1986, full time since 1991.

Jan Hovden, b. 1943, Sør-Fron, Norway


Professor in safety management, NTNU (full time since 1991), at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management


Academic background

  • Graduated in political science at the University of Oslo, 1968. (Magistergrad)
  • Advanced courses in social science methods and applied statistics at the University of Cologne (1972) and at the University of Essex (1969).
  • The SINTEF school in research project management (1985)


Previous positions

2005-2008      senior research adviser (part-time) for the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB)

1997-2000      Adjunct professor at the Haugesund/Stord University College

2000-2003      Adjunct professor at Stavanger University College

1996-1997      Visiting professor at Delft Technical University (TU Delft)

1986-1991      Adjunct professor in safety management at NTH

1984-1985      Visiting researcher at the Royal University of Technology (KTH), Stockholm,

1979-1991      Senior research scientist within safety research at SINTEF

1973-1978      Assistant professor at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH)

1969-1973      Adviser in social science data analysis, Institute for social research, Oslo


Assignments (a selection)

  • Member of the editorial board of the journal “Safety Science”, Elsevier, 1994 -
  • Participation in a research project for the Council of Europe on major hazards management, 1995-97
  • Member of the project group on Co-operative Nordic Risk Research  (1998-1999) 
  • Head of the annual conference “Sikkerhetsdagene” at NTNU for more than 20 years ( , and for the international conference “WorkingOnSafety” 2010 (  
  • Member of the Government’s commission on the vulnerability and emergency preparedness of Norwegian society, 1999-2000 “The Willoch committee” – the white paper NOU 2000:24 “Det sårbare samfunn”.
  • Appointed team member for studying “decision-making under uncertainty” at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letter, Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo  (2000-2001)
  • Contributions to initiating and establishing a number of national research programmes: Committee for Risk Research, NTNF (1978-84), AURA “Analysis of occ. accidents” (1984-88), IK-EVA “Evaluation of the internal control reform” (1990-1994), Risk and uncertainty (1999-2002) which gave a basis for HMS-petroleum, RISIT, IKT-SOS , and finally  head of a committee of inquiry for establishing a new research programme on Societal Safety and Risk Research (SAMRISK)  (2005), and later member of the SAMRISK programme committee, 2007- 2011).
  • Member of an advisory board for risk and vulnerability analysis in NATO (2007-2009)
  • Dissertation supervisor for 12 PhD students, and opponent in numerous PhD disputations in Norway and abroad.
  • In commissions for assessing numerous professorships in Norway and abroad.