Written by Martin Teigen.
I have for the most part used this website as a blog, where most of the topics are on residual curvature installation. Many of these blog posts have been co-authored with Malik Ibrahim. Anyways, I thought I’d write a bit more about myself this time, further to the ABOUT page. It is going to take me quite a bit of time to write this article, so I have divided it into sections based on time, and I will update it as soon as I have written each section. Some pictures will also be added.
My name is Martin Teigen, I am from Norway, just outside of Oslo. I grew up in an idyllic place called Ingierstrand 20 min by car south of Oslo. Ingierstrand is located in a greater area called Svartskog, a picturesque place on the sunny east coast of the fjord. There were not many kids around, so I quickly adapted activities where I could entertain myself. These included fishing, making stuff, typically out of wood as we had a shed full of tools, and photography of the nature around us. I am close to the nature in this way, and I care a lot about the local wildlife the places I have traveled and lived, which for the most part is Norway and Australia.
I am proud having lived at this place. All the time for myself and also the endless hours I’ve spent watching waves gave me qualities that I appreciate. I consider myself reflected, and I also appreciate the details (such as RC!).
I also have a close connection to Skarnes outside of Oslo, because my father lived there and I visited him every second weekend together with my sister.
Finishing the high school at the age of 19 I applied for an engineering degree.I did not apply for anything else, Engineering seemed like a natural choice.
After 3 years of study in 2008, I was 22 years old when I started as a structural engineer in Multiconsult in Oslo. At this stage, I had gotten myself a nice car, an apartment, and a safe job. But something was missing. I felt as if I had settled too early, so I felt unsettled! At the same time I concluded that I wanted to pursue a masters, and also that I wanted to improve my English. I was not confident in English at the time.
Between my Bachelor and employment in Multiconsult, I had traveled for a holiday to Florida that summer of 2008. I immediately fell in love with Florida, so I started looking at universities in Florida, and Arizona. Pretty much all the warm places in the south of US. At the same time, I was more than fed up of Norway, not in a bad way but I think these feelings are quite normal at that age, so I wanted to continue living abroad after finishing my masters.
The problem with those locations in the US is the job market.
During the northern-hemisphere Autumn of 2009 I went to visit a friend in Australia, in Perth, and I discovered a place with:
- Good climate.
- Good educational institutions.
- A culture that I enjoyed.
- Possible to find work afterwards
The University of Western Australia made it seamless to apply from Norway. No English test needed, just pay the fee. apply and I was admitted. Getting the visa was as-simple, I did it online.
I was going to move to Australia in less than 6 months. Actually I let my boss in MC know this early, although I formally handed in the notice a few months later. At the same time I put my apartment out for sale, 9 months after I bought it, it was sold. Even with a gain. What a score! Next thing was to sell the car. When I think about it again I would have waited much longer with selling the car, as I was a pedestrian for many months, and I am a cars-person after all! Anyway, I was a free man and all I needed to do was to sit in for the wait. Time had to pass before I could move for the studies that started in August 2010.
I had quit Multiconsult, sold all my stuff, and sat on the plane to Australia. Arriving, it was cold. Actually much colder than the Norwegian summer. The first few months in Australia were harsh. I knew only a few people, the weather was bad, and I felt as if I had made the wrong choice. However, as soon as I started uni, I quickly made new friends, and also got into some quite interesting units. During the first semester, the one I enjoyed the most was CIVL7140 Civil Engineering Numerical Analysis. In this unit, we derived the mathematical background of FEM, then implemented in Matlab and Python. I enjoyed this so much!
This was just one of many FE-related units at UWA. Matter of fact, I did many other units learning how to use numerical methods to solve solid, geotechnical and fluid problems in civil engineering.
During this time I also got a car. A 1998 model Honda Prelude. Light and zippy. I drove 125000 km with that car.
Finishing my studies, I wanted to find a job in Perth. The times were good, and I got several offers. I want to comment on this. I remember amongst the masters students, the common opinion was that “it is impossible to get a job in Australia”. I did not accept that opinion, and tried. I got a job. Several of the others did not try, they did not get a job. So I guess they were right.
Anyways, my first proper engineering job in Australia was as a Graduate Pipeline Engineer with IKM Ocean Design Australia Pty Ltd. I loved it! Immediately I realised I got to apply my FEM skills, on a new field of engineering that was unknown to me: Pipeline Design. Well not entirely unknown, because I completed the DNV Training Course, Offshore Pipeline Design.
Soon after starting in IKM OD I got involved in lateral buckling. Actually I did lateral buckling for the most of my time in IKM. I soon got responsible for developing a tool that could convert inputs specified in Excel to FEA input files. We used SIMLA supplied by Marintek. I used Python to convert the data. This was so great, I really enjoyed this job. In this tool, I was given the task of incorporating an analysis methodology for residual curvature. A patented method, new technology, this immediately caught my attention.
Unfortunately, the work was cut short in IKM OD due to lack of local work in Perth. I had been supporting projects from the Norway office (Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen, Zidane, ++) full-time, but we had little local work in Perth. I was made redundant.
Luckily, I soon found a new job in a matter of weeks, in a local consultancy S2V Consulting Pty Ltd. The position was Pipeline Engineer, one step up from the graduate position. Oh man, what an impression this place gave. Everything that was produced was of 110 % top quality. The S2V quality management system and culture has fascinated me ever since. We used checklists and performed quality checks effortlessly, and nobody complained. It was a great system, and the reports we issued were simply beautiful.
Unfortunately again, I was made redundant! No, this was not a sustainable situation. I was on a 457 work visa, and it stressed me out keep getting made redundant, so I decided that I would move back to Norway. Was it a good decision, I don’t know. Because I have longed back to Australia ever since.
I had lived in Australia for 5 years, driven 125 000 km with my Honda Prelude, and designed 3 pipelines with RC!
It was May 2015. I stood at the Airport in Oslo. 29 years old. No job, but I had set up a Norwegian company from Australia. RCM Consulting AS. I could not find any pipeline engineering jobs in Norway, so I had the noble thought that I could set up a company, lease SIMLA, and take small specialized jobs related to residual curvature installation. In short, did not work. I did this for 6 months.
At the same time, I had gotten in touch with MC that I worked with 2008-2010. They were busy, and I accepted quite a good offer for a position as Structural Engineer. Not a good time. What I regret is not so much that I accepted the role, but the fact that I stayed for that long. Let’s fast forward.
I had applied for a role for Senior Engineer that I found on Finn.no a while before, and I accepted an offer in December 2019. I celebrated with a Christmas holiday in Kristiansand, where Seven Navica also was (coincidence?!) at the time. The future looked bright.
While working in MC, I still kept my pipeline skills up to date. I spent mush of my free time on writing technical papers and developing design tools. I also attended conferences and social events. I also treied to get MC interested in pipelines, but that is not their field. Fair enough. I created a lateral buckling pre-processor in C# that can convert inputs in Excel to SIMLA and ABAQUS. At some stage I travelled to many companies in Australia and Norway to present this tool, I thought that I could sell it together with Malik.
March / April 2020:
In the midst of Covid-19, I relocated from Oslo to Stavanger and started my new role in Subsea7. As of now I have gotten the opportunity of working with lateral buckling assessments and RC for many projects already! More to come, but in a separate article.