Interviews with alumni

Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm

Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm

 

Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm was on a trip in South East Asia, where he had a life-changing experience.

Oddbjørn started his Master in Industrial Ecology in 2009, and graduated in 2011. He had a BSc as Science Logistics Engineer. He told us about why he chose to study Industrial Ecology at NTNU:

 

 

Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm

– "A unique 2-year master programme"
Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm

 

Oddbjørn Dahlstrøm was on a trip in South East Asia, where he had a life-changing experience.

Oddbjørn started his Master in Industrial Ecology in 2009, and graduated in 2011. He had a BSc as Science Logistics Engineer. He told us about why he chose to study Industrial Ecology at NTNU:

 

 

“During a backpackers trip to South East Asia in spring 2009 I became aware of all the waste that was in many places. On a ferry trip between two islands in Indonesia, the crew finally collected the waste in big plastic bags. But at the end of the trip they threw all the bags overboard into the water. That experience did something to me, and I knew from then on that I wanted to combine my background from logistics and engineering with environmental studies. I remember that I was thinking: How can we use technology and science to reduce our resource consumption and environmental impact?”

Exciting Discussions

About the programme, he praises the high academic level, the quality of the publications of our professors and their participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He also appreciated the opportunity he had to study beside students from all over the world and with different backgrounds: “…here you have people from all over the world, and some with non-technological backgrounds as well. This is very exciting and makes the discussions lively!”

International Acknowkledgement

Oddbjørn works now as an Energy and Environment Advisor at Asplan Viak AS, where he applies the skills he learnt during his master studies and a holistic way of thinking. In 2012, one of the railway infrastructure projects he was involved in, was awarded a “highly commended” during the 12th Sustainability Conference of the International Union of Railways in Venezia, Italy. “To see that the projects you are involved in gets acknowledgment internationally gives a great satisfaction”, says Oddbjørn.

Enjoy Trondheim!

He finalizes the interview with some words from his experience for the future students of the Master in Industrial Ecology at NTNU: ”Enjoy your time in Trondheim!Trondheim overall has a reputation for being a great city for students. In addition to Symbiosis (the association for industrial ecology students), I recommend everybody to be active at Samfundet and Samfundet is the common name of the Student Association of Trondheim, which aims to create an environment for students in the city, and Isfit is the International Student Festival of Trondheim, which is the world’s largest student festival.

Rachel Spiegel

 

Before joining the Master in Industrial Ecology, Rachel, from the US, was an exchange student at NTNU during her bachelor studies in Environmental Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. We asked her to go a little back in time and tell us why she chose to study Industrial Ecology.

Rachel Spiegel

– A life-changing two years that taught me the tools to make systematic changes in our world”

 

Before joining the Master in Industrial Ecology, Rachel, from the US, was an exchange student at NTNU during her bachelor studies in Environmental Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. We asked her to go a little back in time and tell us why she chose to study Industrial Ecology.

“My bachelor in Environmental Economics was too focused on how to make money from the environment, rather than sustaining it. I was on exchange at NTNU when I attended Miljødagen 2011 and heard about Industrial Ecology, and it had all the things I was missing. I wanted to learn about how we can work within our industrial system to incrementally change unsustainable processes.”

Best thinkers

We asked her what she liked best about the programme of Industrial Ecology at NTNU. Among the many things she liked she mentions the technical and thinking skills she learnt during the programme, the small classes and the ease to befriend other master and PhD students, researchers, and professors, as well as the international and multidisciplinary atmosphere, which Rachel describes as unique. She adds: “My biggest take-away from the program was the top-notch community. I think Norway is at the forefront of environmental sustainability and it attracts the best thinkers to the program, so I learned a lot from the other students and the faculty.” 

Consultant in Norway

Rachel knew she wanted to stay in Norway after her Master. She learnt about Norwegian companies working on environmental issues, as well as the Norwegian language. In her second year of the master and by the time she was taking a course called Energy Management in Buildings, she attended a company presentation in which she met the company Hjellnes Consult for which she decided to write her master thesis. After graduating, she received a job offer from them in Oslo as a Consulting Engineer. (Congrats, Rachel!) We asked Rachel how she applies her Industrial Ecology baggage to her daily work: “I am using life cycle assessment, energy simulations of buildings, and environmental certification regularly in my job, and I learned those tools at NTNU. I use systems thinking by applying cradle to cradle thinking, closing loops, and design for reuse as much as possible in the building sector.”

Finally, we asked Rachel to describe her Master in Industrial Ecology at NTNU experience in one sentence: “A life-changing two years that taught me the tools to make systematic changes in our world.”

L. Felipe Vásquez

L. Felipe Vásquez

 

After finishing his undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering and working for some years in Colombia, Luis Felipe enrolled in the master programme of industrial ecology at NTNU in 2011. Talking with him about the programme, he mentions how important the professors are and how they make the programme of industrial ecology at NTNU different from other programmes around the globe. He also addressed the knowledge in the field of the professors and the learning outcome as a student.

L. Felipe Vásquez

– "The best Industrial Ecology programme in the world"
L. Felipe Vásquez

 

After finishing his undergraduate studies in Environmental Engineering and working for some years in Colombia, Luis Felipe enrolled in the master programme of industrial ecology at NTNU in 2011. Talking with him about the programme, he mentions how important the professors are and how they make the programme of industrial ecology at NTNU different from other programmes around the globe. He also addressed the knowledge in the field of the professors and the learning outcome as a student.

“I am pretty convinced that this is the best programme of industrial ecology in the world because of the professors we have in the master programme. Most of our professors and some research staff are already worldwide recognized, particularly due to their active participation in climate change mitigation and their contributions to the latest IPCC report.  This is quite significant for a single university. That means that the courses are highly demanding, that you work a lot, but it also means that you are getting the newest knowledge available in industrial ecology”.

Diversity of perspectives

The Master programme in Industrial Ecology at NTNU is an international programme, and he talked to us about his cultural and academic experiences during his studies. “We are so diverse that it makes you rich in many ways. Not only we have a variety of academic backgrounds, but we come from different countries and we share our visions of world problems”.

Working next to researchers and professors

In 2013, Felipe started as a PhD student in the industrial ecology programme. He is working on a research project about social metabolism, which he describes as investigating how we relate to the environment and how we provide for our needs as humans. He likes the fact that he works next to researchers and professors, to whom he refers as “big names” that work on internationally relevant projects. We are sure that this is something only a few programmes worldwide can offer.

Marta Baltruszewicz

Marta Baltruszcevicz

 

"It is like your knowledge before Industrial Ecology is like a highway and after you finish it, you also include all the local roads and see the connection between them and how they are connected to this highway" - Marta Baltruszevic.

As a multidisciplinary programme, candidates with different backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the Master in Industrial Ecology at NTNU. Every year, we have students with previous studies in several fields like Engineering, Industrial Design, Psychology, Economics, and Sociology, just like Marta. Marta studied a Master in Sociology in the University of Warsaw. Before she finished her first degree she knew she wanted to study Industrial Ecology to complement her education in Sociology.

 

 

Marta Baltruszewicz

– "A bigger picture"
Marta Baltruszcevicz

 

"It is like your knowledge before Industrial Ecology is like a highway and after you finish it, you also include all the local roads and see the connection between them and how they are connected to this highway" - Marta Baltruszevic.

As a multidisciplinary programme, candidates with different backgrounds are encouraged to apply to the Master in Industrial Ecology at NTNU. Every year, we have students with previous studies in several fields like Engineering, Industrial Design, Psychology, Economics, and Sociology, just like Marta. Marta studied a Master in Sociology in the University of Warsaw. Before she finished her first degree she knew she wanted to study Industrial Ecology to complement her education in Sociology.

 

 

“I decided to study Industrial Ecology already when I was finishing my first degree. I believe that social sciences are useful, but I was lacking more substantial skills. In Sociology much is based on theory and I wanted to have more practical tools. Industrial Ecology was a very special program because it gave me the opportunity to study more technical subjects and combine them with what I learned in social sciences.”

The multidisciplinary experience

The multidisciplinary approach of the programme leverages knowledge in many different levels. Marta says that she has learnt a lot not only from the professors and the courses, but also from her classmates, “people with passion and the same hunger for knowledge”. She adds: “Sharing experiences, knowledge, sources of information, ways of perceiving things, what a kind of chain of logical people have -This was the most valuable lesson I had during my studies.”

New challenges, bigger picture

Marta described for us how she feels about the learning outcome of the programme: “I feel like I have knowledge that covers many areas and I'm not afraid on taking new tasks, new ways of thinking, new challenges. This program challenges you, but the outcome is that you gain totally new perspective on things, how to connect knowledge you had from before with new things that you learn every day, and it helps to see a bigger picture to it (systems thinking). It is like your knowledge before Industrial Ecology is like a highway and after you finish it, you also include all the local roads and see the connection between them and how they are connected to this highway.”

Social Sciences and Industrial Ecology in action

Marta works now for Vestlandsforsking in the Local Environmental and Climate Policy Group, which emphasizes on special challenges related to sustainable development. She is working in different projects where she uses her skills in Sociology making interviews to municipal authorities, as well as performing life-cycle assessments.