Background and activities

Tor Onshus (1951) is a professor at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics since 1987. He has a MSc in Engineering Cybernetics and a PhD in Electrical Engineering, NTNU. He has held the position as professor for Instrumentation at the same institute. Onshus is also a scientific advisor at SINTEF.

Main Fields of Competence

  • Instrumentation
  • Model based measuring and control
  • Process control
  • Real time systems
  • Industrial Communication
  • Distributed control and safety systems
  • IEC 61508/11
  •  OLF-070
  • Safety and Production regularity
  • Fire and gas systems and detectors
  • Fieldbus
  • Fault tolerance and redundancy in process control
  • Safety of machinery
  • High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems (HIPPS)
  • ISO10418
  • ISO13849
  • Oil and Gas Production and Processing

Professional activites

1998 Chairman of PDS-Forum a Joint Industry Project for Safety Systems

  • 1997-2003 Member of Scientific board for Norwegian National Metrology Laboratory
  • 1995-2004 Chairman and member of board NFA (norsk forening for automatisering), the NMO of IFAC
  • 1994-1996 Member of General Assembly for DeLab
  • 1993-1996 Member of General Assembly for SINTEF Group
  • 1992- Scientific Advisor to SINTEF Automatic Control (Applied Cybernetics)
  • 1989-1996 Vice Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, NTNU
  • 1989-1996 Head of Department of Engineering Cybernetics


  • 2005 Honorary member of Norsk forening for automatisering (NMO of IFAC – The International Federation of Automatic Control)
  • 2002 Highest distinction from IFEA (Industrien Forening for Elektro og Automatisering)


  • 1998 Hans Olav Nybø and Tor Onshus: Gas detection by use of cameras

Industrial activity

Excellent contact with industrial activity is maintained through extensive project activity. Projects are ranging from advice to governmental bodies, through verification of designs and assessment of operational procedures to participation in investigations of accidents. From the last years, the following projects are mentioned:

  • Member of advisory commity for NPD concerning the Y2K preparations
  • Assessment of the signalling system in conjunction with the Åsta train accident
  • Investigation of accidents in drilling operations on Njord A, and advice on compensating measures
  • Identifying regularity and safety problems for Aker Maritime RAM-Rigg, and validation of analysis and countermeasures
  • Recommended Guidelines for the Application of IEC61508 and IEC 61511 in the Petroleum Activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (OLF-070)
  • Verification of design and operations for HIPPS systems at Åsgård transport, Troll Kollsnes and Kårstø gas treatment plants.
  • Advisory and verification activities for the Kristin subsea HIPPS design
  • Assessment of the combination of procedures and technical measures to facilitate safe startup at Gullfaks A.

Even if most of the reports from such studies are confidential, and cannot be published, the activity ensures updated knowledge for cources, student projects and thesis. 

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database


  • Tinmannsvik, Ranveig Kviseth; Albrechtsen, Eirik; Bråtveit, Magne; Carlsen, Inge; Fylling, Ivar; Hauge, Stein; Haugen, Stein; Hynne, Håkon; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Moen, Bente Elisabeth; Okstad, Eivind; Onshus, Tor Engebret; Sandvik, P.C.; Øien, Knut. (2011) Deepwater Horizon-ulykken: Årsaker, lærepunkter og forbedringstiltak for norsk sokkel. 2011.
  • Hauge, Stein; Johnsen, Stig Ole; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2009) Uavhengighet av sikkerhetssystemer. 2009. ISBN 9788214044508. SINTEF Rapport (A12626).
  • Hokstad, Per; Håbrekke, Solfrid; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2009) Updated reliability calculations for the NSB-94 system. 2009.
  • Hokstad, Per; Håbrekke, Solfrid; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2009) Use of the PDS Method for Railway Applications. 2009.
  • Hauge, Stein; Onshus, Tor Engebret; Øien, Knut; Grøtan, Tor Olav; Holmstrøm, Sture; Lundteigen, Mary Ann. (2006) STF50 A0611 Uavhengighet av sikkerhetssystemer offshore – status og utfordringer. 2006.
  • Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Johansen, Gorm; Onshus, Tor Engebret; Bjertnes, Anne. (2005) STF90 F05048 Uavhengig 3dje parts verifikasjon av ESD Oseberg Feltsenter - DISCOS to SAS Project. 2005.
  • Aarø, Ragnar; Onshus, Tor Engebret; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Sæle, Hilde; Berntsen, Hans Jørgen. (2002) STF38 F04415 Evaluation of Kårstø Overpressure protection system. 2002.
  • Johansen, Gorm; Lundteigen, Mary Ann; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2002) STF72 F02315 Verification of the software-design process for the Al Shaheen Block 5 Field Development. 2002.
  • Lund, Berit Floor; Onshus, Tor Engebret; Hokstad, Per R.; Lundteigen, Mary Ann. (2002) STF72 F01310 Verifikasjon av nye ESD og PSD systemer for brønnstyring Statfjord B. 2002.
  • Berstad, Hans; Holmstrøm, Sture; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2000) Verifikasjon av sikkerhetssystemene på Snorre B. 2000. SINTEF Rapport.
  • Corneliussen, Kjell; Holmstrøm, Sture; Holand, Per; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2000) Verifikasjon av Ram Rig. 2000. SINTEF Rapport.
  • Hauge, Stein; Hokstad, Per; Holmstrøm, Sture; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2000) Tredjeparts verifikasjon av modifisert filosofi for overtrykksbeskyttelse på Kollsnes i henhold til IEC 61508. 2000. SINTEF Rapport.
  • Hauge, Stein; Holmstrøm, Sture; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2000) A guideline for the design and use of local instrumented safety functions. 2000. SINTEF Rapport.
  • Stavdahl, Øyvind; Berstad, Hans; Onshus, Tor Engebret. (2000) Vurdering av PROFIBUS-PA mot kravene til SIL1/SIL2. 2000. SINTEF Rapport.