Background and activities

Thomas Brandt is Associate Professor in History at NTNU. He is working within the history of science and technology, broadly defined.

Thomas Brandt (b. 1971) is an associate professor of History at the Department for Historcal Studies at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology. He received his doctoral degree from NTNU in 2006, where his dissertation examined the cultural production, mediation and consumption of the Italian 'Vespa' scooter in the 1950s and 1960s.

Brandt was project co-ordinator of the interdisciplinary research project 'The Factory' ('Fabrikken'), resulting in a series of working papers and the homonymous book of which he was co-editor, translator and contributor. In 2004 the book Fabrikken was awarded the annual best non-fiction book prize by the Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen.

Brandt have published several works ranging from military industrial history to media history and urban waterfront development history. He has also published works on design history, business history and university history. His most recent book is the history of his own alma mater NTNU, covering 250 years of science and higher education, written in collaboration with historian Ola Nordal.

Currently, Brandt is the project mangager for the project 'The history of the Norwegian Research Councils, 1946-2016'.

He is also part of the research project 'The High Seas and the Deep Oceans: Representations, Resources and Regulatory Practice (3ROceans).

Brandt is teaching courses in digital history, history of technology and cultural heritage studies. Apart from teaching and research, Brandt has also experience with creating innovative museum exhibitions through an engagement as researcher at the NTNU Faros Knowledge Park. He was part of the team behind the exhibition Klima X at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology in Oslo that received the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award in 2009.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database


  • Brandt, Thomas; Ingulstad, Mats; Mangset, Marte; Larsen, Eirinn; Schwach, Vera. (2019) Avhengig av forskning - De norske forskningsrådenes historie. Fagbokforlaget. 2019. ISBN 978-82-450-2132-5.



  • Brandt, Thomas. (2016) Capturing the Power of the Ocean Waves: The Rise and Demise of a Research and Development Project for Ocean Wave Energy Conversion in Norway, 1970s–1990s. SHOT 2016 Society for the history of Technology Annual Meeting . Society for the History of Technology; Singapore / Tembusu College NUS. 2016-06-22 - 2016-06-26.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2015) Building an Infrastructure for Industrial Research in Interwar Norway – Academic Entrepreneurship from Science Funds and Industry Laboratories to Research Councils. “Academic entrepreneurship in history. An international survey of current research” . University of Gent; Ghent. 2015-03-11 - 2015-03-13.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2014) 1968 as a turning point in Trondheim's university history. University Jubilees and University History Writing - A Challenging Relationship.
  • Brandt, Thomas. (2014) Forskningsrådenes historie 1946-2016 - et overblikk og en invitasjon. Forskningspolitikk.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2013) A Vehicle for 'Good Italians': User Design and the Vespa Clubs in Italy. Made in Italy: Rethinking a Century of Italian Design.


  • Ballal, Amritha; Brandt, Thomas; af Gijerstam, Jan; Joshi, Moulshri; Lagerqvist, Bosse; Walters, Diana. (2012) Contested heritage sites - rethinking methodology and practice. The case of the former Union Carbide site in Bhopal, India. Association of Critical Heritage Studies Inaugural Conference . Association of Critical Heritage Studies, Gøteborgs Univ; Gøteborg. 2012-06-05 - 2012-06-08.


  • Christophersen, Axel; Børresen, Anne Kristine; Brandt, Thomas; Overskaug, Kristian. (2011) Collecting scientific instruments – why and for whom?. XII Universeum network Meeting . Universeum + Universitetet i Padova; Padova. 2011-05-26 - 2011-05-29.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2010) Chemical Engineering versus Industrial Chemistry at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, 1930s-1950s. 4ESHS . European Society for the History of Science; Barcelona. 2010-11-18 - 2010-11-20.
  • Brandt, Thomas; Nordal, Ola. (2010) Turbulens og tankekraft. Historien om NTNU. Pax Forlag. 2010. ISBN 9788253033488.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2009) Skjult havn åpnes - et essay om havna og byen i utstillingskatalog til Elin Andreassens utstilling "Trondheim Verft". Trondheim Verft AS - Separatutstilling av Elin Andreassens arbeider [Kunstnerisk og museal presentasjon] . Elin Andreassen; Trondheim, Meråker, Szczecin, m.fl.. 2009-05-16.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2006) Frie hjerter og små motorer. Kulturell produksjon, formidling og bruk av den italienske Vespa-scooteren i Italia, 1946-1969. 2006. ISBN 82-471-7949-0.
  • Brandt, Thomas. (2006) La Vespa negli Stati Uniti: il trasporto culturale di una merce italiana. Memoria e Ricerca. Rivista di Storia Contemporanea.


  • Andersen, Håkon With; Borgersen, Terje; Brandt, Thomas; Eliassen, Knut Ove; Stugu, Ola Svein; Øfsti, Audun. (2004) Fabrikken. Spartacus. 2004. ISBN 823040004-0.


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2002) "Centaur, Venus or Centauress - Gendering the Vespa scooter in Italy in the 1940s-1960s.". Skriftserie fra prosjektet Fabrikken.