Background and activities

I am Professor in History at NTNU. I am working within the history of science and technology, broadly defined. I have published several works ranging from military-industrial history to media history and urban waterfront development history. I have also published works on design history, business history, and university history.

I am teaching courses in digital history, historiography, history of science and technology, and cultural heritage studies. Apart from teaching, supervising, and research, I also have experience with creating innovative museum exhibitions through an engagement as a researcher at the NTNU Faros Knowledge Park. I 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.

I received my doctoral degree from NTNU in 2006, where my dissertation examined the cultural production, mediation, and consumption of the Italian 'Vespa' scooter in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 2002, I was a visiting scholar at the Zentralinstitut für Geschichte der Technik, at TU Munich.

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

In 2010 I published a book on the history of my own alma mater NTNU, covering 250 years of science, scholarship, engineering, and higher education, in collaboration with historian Ola Nordal.

Between 2014-2019, I was PI for the project 'The history of the Norwegian Research Councils, 1946-2016'.

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

I am PI for a pilot project exploring the significance of the office room in academic knowledge production, 'The Office as a Mileu for Ideas and a Theatre of Memory'. 

I am/have been part of the supervising team for the following doctoral candidates:

Frode Weium (Thesis defended 2017)
Tirza Meyer (Thesis defended 2018)
Christina Næss
Kim K. Ménage
Widar Aa. Kristoffersen
Ingebjørg Eidhammer
Dag Andreassen



Scientific, academic and artistic work

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


  • Brandt, Thomas. (2019) "Fremragende" som ledeord i norsk kunnskapspolitikk. Opplysninger. Festskrift til Knut Ove Eliassen på 60-årsdagen 26. oktober 2019.
  • 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.