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  • May 13, 1941
    (b.) - ?


A Norwegian engineer, he was born in Karmøy in 1941 and grew up on a small farm in Rogaland. At the age of 13, he decided to study to become a civil engineer. He graduated from high school in Haugesund in 1960. Four years of study in low power and control engineering from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH) was supplemented with summer jobs abroad. In the summer of 1965 he married and worked as a programmer for NATO in La Spezia, Italy. He studied under Professor Jens Rate Glad Balchen, who influenced him both professionally in computer technology and personally. His studies were completed with a diploma in 1966, where he completed the draft by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI). The task was to develop an application system on digit group self-built computer SAM. His responsibility was for the software project SAM 2, which was launched under the leadership of Per Bjorge. After he completed military service he received a research position at FFI. After several months, work on SAM 2 was completed in April 1967 as the second minicomputer in the world based on integrated circuits (the first was the Apollo guidance computer). He was an engineer in Engineering Cybernetics at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1966 and came quickly into the early development of computers in Norway. He was a co-founder of the computer manufacturing company Norsk Data in 1967, which produced mini computers and software and was CEO of the company from 1978 to 1989. He was CEO of the Norwegian Space Centre from 1997 to 2006. He is quoted as saying, “One of the things I'm most proud of for my time in Norwegian Data is the important contract with CERN in 1972.” The contract saved Norwegian Data from bankruptcy and laid the foundation for the growth that followed for 14 years with 40% growth each year. In 1987 the company had a turnover of 2.8 billion and had more than 4,000 employees in Norway and abroad. In the 90s, he was Managing Director of the Norwegian Science Research before joining the Norconsult International as Managing Director. In NTNF he made major changes and introduced a user-driven research as a new tool. He went over to another part of the Norwegian environmental technology when he was Chairman of the Norwegian Space Centre in 1993. Five years later he was appointed Managing Director. He worked at the Norwegian Space Centre with an emphasis on industrial development and exploitation of Norway's geographical advantage to build a national infrastructure. Also in this context he showed himself as an entrepreneur with a flair for technological innovations. He was instrumental in the creation of Kongsberg Satellite Services A / S and the restructuring of the satellite business in Tromsø and Svalbard. He was instrumental in the fiber optic cable that connects Svalbard to mainland Norway. The fiber was put in place because he saw an opportunity for cooperation with the U.S. NASA and NOAA as needed and much more cost-effective data transfer capacity of Svalbard. Currently, he has two engagements in the European Space Agency: He is ESA's Ombudsman, a kind of mediator between industrial companies that have contracts with ESA and he chairs a working group to recommend how the ESA should develop their own centers and infrastructure. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences, Kungl. Engineering Sciences in Sweden and the International Academy of Aeronautics.
  • Date of Birth:

    May 13, 1941
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Researcher on the second minicomputer in the world based on integrated circuits (the first was the Apollo guidance computer) and was CEO of the Norwegian Space Centre from 1997 to 2006
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