I finished my combined geography and teacher master’s degree at the Department of Geography at NTNU in the spring of 2014. The topic of my master thesis was urban development and how economic and political processes’ influenced a property development project in my home town Moss, in Østfold county.
Just after finishing my master’s my daughter was born, and together with my fiancé I moved to Rindal, in Møre og Romsdal, to work as a teacher. After teaching a vast array of subjects, not one of them geography, in primary and lower secondary school for two years I applied for a PhD position at the Department of Geography in January 2016. I eventually got the position and started in mid-august.
Research area 3
The topic of my PhD thesis is industrial networks, learning systems, and cluster development. I am a part of the team working within the research area Innovative and sustainable organizations, where the Department of Geography is contributing to a work package titled Smart, dynamic and innovative cluster.
At the heart of innovation lies knowledge, which by many scholars has been deemed the most important factor in innovation. In the face of technological change within the manufacturing industry, e.g. adapting to Industry 4.0 and smart technology, firms are forced to improve their knowledge bases in all levels of manufacturing, from the floor up.
In my PhD project I will look at how the industrial clusters at Raufoss and Kongsberg plan to cope with the challenges posed by technological change, and how they work with actors on all levels, from local to global, to appropriate the knowledge needed in order to stay competitive and innovative.
Initially I plan to study the future role of skilled, vocationally trained workers in the manufacturing industry, and how actors both inside and outside the clusters approach the issue of retraining skilled workers in order to meet new knowledge demands posed by emerging technology.
First month as PhD candidate
The first month of my candidacy has been filled with new experiences and a steep learning curve. I have read a lot of literature within my field of interest, and the list of things that I do not know is getting longer and longer.
I have been introduced to a lot of new people, both at the Department of Geography and SINTEF, all of whom have met with sincere interest for me as a person and for my project. I am really looking forward to the next three years as a PhD candidate and I cannot wait to get into the field and do some research.