Cooperation Gives a Gain

Sondre Sanden Tørdal and Philipp Schubert are among the PhD candidates who use the motion-laboratory at UiA in their research work and when working on problems relevant for industry.

By Siri Andresen


For two weeks the PhD candidates Sondre Sanden Tørdal (UiA) and Philipp Schubert (RWTH Achen) have worked intensively in UiAs Motion Lab at Campus Grimstad, before Schubert returned to Achen. The solution the PhD candidates are developing can very likely become integrated in a future product for one or more of the partner companies in the research centre SFI Offshore Mechatronics.

Benefits at several levels
The centre for research-driven innovation, SFI Offshore Mechatronics, works on developing tools and methods which are relevant for industry. The centre leader Geir Hovland sees a large value in this type of cooperation.

– It results in benefits at several levels. The PhD candidates get to exchange ideas and experiences, UiA gets a joint publication with RWTH Achen, and the industry gets to see the potensial in a potential new product, says Hovland.

The aim with the study is to dampen out oscillations in a swinging load in a crane because this can increase the so-called weather window when transfering loads between two vessels in offshore operations. Swinging loads is one of several problems which need to be researched to meet a future with increased leves of autonomous offshore operations. Solutions for damping out oscillations in loads can, in addition to increasing the weather window, also increase safety and efficiency. Sondre Tørdal, who also holds a 20% position in the SFI partner company MacGregor in parallel with his PhD studies, hopes to see the developed solution in a future product one day.

– The research which is done here has a direct transfer value for the industry. They can potentially make use of the research and develop products where the developed technology could be incorporated, he says.



Tørdal and Schubert are both PhD candidates through the SFI. The plan, as a first step, a joint publication based on this work – and see possibilities for future collaboration afterwards. Geir Hovland would like to see more of this type of collaboration, both with international and Norwegian partners.

World-Class Equipment

The Motion Laboratory at UiA is unique in the academic world, and consists of among other equipment two Stewart platforms which are used to simulate ship motions. I additions to these machines, we have an industrial robot with an open controller and advanced measurement equipment based on laser and camera technologies. The robot is currently used to simulate a crane mounted on a vessel. The laboratory was opened at the end of 2013 with the goal of increased collaboration between UiA and industry. Phillipp Schubert has visited UiAs Motion Lab before and has looked forward to working here.

PhD candidate Philipp Schubert (RWTH Achen)

– What is cool with this system is that “real” data is used, not only data from a simulation, and I think the companies see this as more “authentic”. Here you have a truly unique test facility which can give you more realistic parameters for your study compared to simulations only. The experiments and measurements we do are perhaps the closest we could do compared to an actual implementation on two vessels.

Sondre Tørdal agrees;

– If you want to the motion compensation experiments this is the place to do it. We have a unique test facility and we are working on realistic constraints. In a simulation a mathematical model is used to simulate the problem. This model is then used to develop potential solutions to the problem. In other words, the solution will often match well with what has been simulated, but you will normally not be able to include all realistic parameters in your model compared to data from the test facility. And the missing of some realistic parameters may affect the results in your study.



Internationalisation through the PhD candidates

Strengthening of our international networks is a significant priority in UiAs strategy for 2016-2020, and increased mobility of our PhD candidates is one of the concrete measures which we encourage. RWTH Aachen participates in SFI Offshore Mechatronics with two institutes. Philipp Schubert is satisfied with the research stay in Grimstad and encourages others to do the same.

WP5 December Reference Group Meeting in Boxtel, Netherlands


Dear all,

The 14th SFIWP5 reference group meeting on the 13th of December 2018 will take place at Bosch Rexroth cylinder factory. This is an all-day event and the perfect place to start the new subtask 5.6, monitoring of cylinders.

For the one wanting to attend please take your plane tickets as soon as possible. There is a KRS-AMS flight at 0620 retuning back the same day at 2030 for 3000 NOK. Driving distance from the AMS airport to Boxtel is about 1.5 hours.

All the best,
Thomas Meyer.
WP5 Leader

New PhD Position in WP3 Advertised


Title: PhD Research Fellow in Instrumentation and real-time control of long-reach, light-weight arm intended for use offshore
Affiliation: University of Agder
Application deadline: May 31, 2018.

The successful candidate will join the rest of the team in WP3 Robotics and Autonomy, see

Candidates from industry as well as candidates with a fresh Masters degree in Robotics, Mechatronics or related field are encouraged to apply.

Guest Lecture on GPU Voxels


Date: March 13, 2018
Time: 15-16
Place: Campus Grimstad, Room C4-043

Guest Speaker: Andreas Hermann from the FZI Research Centre Informatics at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

A general talk about GPU-Voxels and the application scenarios from his PhD thesis, including some background info about parallel computing.

On the following day (March 14) there will be a small internal workshop on the use of GPU Voxels at UiA. Partners in the SFI Offshore Mechatronics centre are welcome to attend also this workshop.

GPU Voxels at GitHub:

NFEA Autonomy Conference + Ardor/Ignis Workshop


March 20-21, The Autonomy Conference 2018, Scandic Bystranda Hotel, Kristiansand, Norway
Go to the Registration Site for the conference (in Norwegian).

March 20:
09:50 Karin Sundsvik, Norwegian Association of Electric and Automatic Control: Welcome Speech
10:00 Brage Baklien, Ministry of Transportation and Communications: Opening Speech (in Norwegian)
10:30 Arne Rinnan, Kongsberg Seatex AS: Sensing Autonomy
11:30 Kristian Knausgård and Morten Ottestad, University of Agder: Mobile Robotics from an Educational Point of View
12:00 Aksel A. Transeth, SINTEF Digital: Delivering goods with drones
13:30 Pål Johan From, Norwegian University of Life Sciences: Autonomous Robots for Agriculture
14:00 Peter Due, Kongsberg Maritime AS
15:00 Bjørn Rudshaug, Statoil ASA: Automatic drilling control
15:30 Liv Almås Carlsen, International Research Institute of Stavanger: Autonomous Drilling: Optimization of drilling parameters and handling of drilling related problems
16:00 Alexey Pavlov, Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Robotic drilling rig for research and education
16:45-18:00 Geir Hovland, University of Agder: Introduction to Blockchain Technologies and Practical Exercise using the NXT API (bring your own laptop)

March 21:
09:00 Harald Martens, Norwegian University of Science and Technology: Artificial Intelligence, analysis of big data sets
09:30 Jeppe Sverdrup, Kongsberg Digital: Kognifai
10:30 Lior Yaffe, Jelurida B.V: State-of-the-art within blockchain technology
11:20 Harald Wesenberg, Statoil ASA: Blockchain is the answer, what was the question again?
12:50 Sven Edgren, DNV GL – Business Assurance: Blockchain as enabler to solidify supply chain integrity in food & beverage sector/with use case example(s).
13:30 – 16:00 Blockchain Practical Excercises, Part 2. How to set up and use the Ardor/Ignis wallet.


March 22, Ardor Hackaton, Scandic Bystranda Hotel, Kristiansand, Norway
Go to the Registration Site for the hackaton. This event is sponsored by SFI Offshore Mechatronics and is free for the participants, but the number of seats is limited to 50.

Program for the hackaton event:
08:00 – 08:30 Coffee/tee
08:30 – 10:00 Ardor API programming, test page, account creation, node JS module, security considerations
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee/tee
10:30 – 11:30 Using the Ardor API exercises (Javascript skills recommended)
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 14:00 Ardor server side add-ons, custom bundlers, dbshell
14:00 – 14:30 Coffee/tee
14:30 – 16:30 Building Ardor add-ons exercises (Java skills required)

SFI Offshore Mechatronics Calendar 2018


SFI Offshore Mechatronics Calendar 2018:
January 25: WP-Leader Meeting (GRM)
February 8: Steering Board Meeting (GRM)
March 15: WP-Leader Meeting (GRM)
April 12: Steering Board (KRS)
April 26: WP-Leaders Meeting (GRM)
May 23-24: Annual Conference (GRM)
June 21: WP-Leader Meeting (GRM)
August 23: WP-Leader Meeting (GRM)
September 14: Steering Board Meeting (GRM)
September 20: WP-Leader Meeting
October 18: WP-Leader Meeting
November 1: WP-Leader Meeting
November 15: Steering Board + General Assembly (KRS)


SFI Offshore Mechatronics, 4th Annual Conference


Below is the preliminary program for the 4th Annual Conference of the centre SFI Offshore Mechatronics, taking place in Grimstad on May 23-24, 2018. Here is the registration link for the conference. 20 rooms have been reserved at Scandic Hotel, Grimstad. Booking code for the hotel: UNI220518

Wednesday May 23, Campus Grimstad C2-042
09:00 – 09:50 Registration + Poster Session
09:50 – 09:55 Welcome and Introduction
09:55 – 10:25 Keynote Speaker 1
10:25 – 10:35 WP1 Introduction by M.K. Ebbesen / T.O. Andersen
10:35 – 10:50 WP1.2 Sondre Nordås
10:50 – 11:05 WP1.4 Daniel Hagen
11:05 – 11:20 WP1.5 Søren Ketelsen
11:20 – 11:30 Summary WP1 by M.K. Ebbesen / T.O. Andersen
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch + Poster Session
12:30 – 12:40 WP2 Introduction by Olav Egeland
12:40 – 12:55 WP2.1 Geir Ole Tysse
12:55 – 13:10 WP2.2 Torstein A. Myhre
13:10 – 13:25 WP2.3 Andrej Cibicik
13:25 – 13:50 Break + Poster Session
13:50 – 14:05 WP2.4 Alexander Meyer Sjøberg
14:05 – 14:20 WP2.5 Sondre Sanden Tørdal
14:20 – 14:35 WP2.6 Philipp Schubert
14:35 – 14:45 Summary WP2 by Olav Egeland
14:45 – 15:10 Break + Poster Session
15:10 – 15:20 WP3 Introduction by Geir Hovland
15:20 – 15:35 WP3.1 Joacim Dybedal
15:35 – 15:50 WP3.2 Atle Aalerud
15:50 – 16:05 WP3.3 Aksel Sveier
16:05 – 16:20 WP3.4 Thiago G. Monteiro
16:20 – 16:30 Summary WP3 by Geir Hovland
17:00 – Dinner on Campus

Thursday May 24, Campus Grimstad C2-042
09:00 – 09:10 WP4 Introduction by Olav Egeland
09:10 – 09:25 WP4.1 Savin Viswanathan
09:25 – 09:40 WP4.2 Njål Tengesdal
09:40 – 09:55 WP4.3 Lars Ivar Hatledal
09:55 – 10:10 WP4.4 Gaute Fotland
10:10 – 10:30 Break + Poster Session
10:30 – 11:00 Keynote Speaker 2
11:00 – 11:10 WP5 Introduction by Thomas Meyer
11:10 – 11:25 WP5.1 Martin Hemmer
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch + Poster Session
12:30 – 12:45 WP5.2 Rune Schlanbusch
12:45 – 13:00 WP5.3 Shaun Falconer
13:00 – 13:15 WP5.4 Lothar Wöll
13:15 – 13:30 WP5.5 Zbigniew Mikulski
13:30 – 14:00 Break + Poster Session
14:00 – 14:10 WP6 Introduction by Baltasar Beferull Lozano
14:10 – 14:25 WP6.1 Luis Miguel Lopez
14:25 – 14:35 Summary WP6 by Baltasar Beferull Lozano
14:35 – 16:00 Lab Demonstrators
16:15 Common Bus Transport to Kjevik Airport

HP-Foreningen: Digital Hydraulikk


Fagtema med HP-Foreningen – Foredrag om Digital Hydraulikk – Felix Konferansesenter 14.februar, 2018 kl.17:30

HPF inviterer til et spennende foredrag om Digital Hydraulikk med SFI Offshore Mechatronics (Aalborg Universitet / Universitetet i Agder). Vi avslutter med litt enkel fingermat/Tapas.

Sted: Felix Konferansesenter, Aker Brygge

17:30 Velkommen
17:45 Presentasjon av SFI Offshore Mechatronics (AAU)
18:15 Digital Hydraulikk (AAU)
19:00 Mat og hygge

Påmelding gjøres til og påmeldingsfrist er 9.februar.

Call for Papers, MIC 3rd Special Issue on Offshore Mechatronics


The research centre SFI Offshore Mechatronics is organising its 4th annual conference on May 23-24, 2018. In connection with this conference the journal MIC will organise the 3rd special edition on offshore technology within the fields of Modeling,

Identification and Control. The fields of primary emphasis by MIC are:
• Modeling: General methodology of modeling including choice of structure, model reduction, numerical aspects, systems for computer aided modeling, etc.
• Identification: General methodology including system structure, identifiability, convergence, numerical aspects, systems for computer aided identification, etc.
• Control: General methodology including system specification, derivation of control strategies, analysis of system properties such as stability, sensitivity, etc.
• Applications: Demonstration, by simulations or experiments, of applications of theory within the above fields to engineering, biological, economic, ecological, social, geophysical, agricultural systems and others.

MIC counts as publication level 1 in Norway, see
All papers published in MIC are peer-reviewed. All papers will receive a permanent DOI number and a printed edition will be handed out at the conference. An example of a previous printed special edition of MIC is available here:

Submit papers to: The submission deadline is March 16, 2018. Manuscripts must be prepared using the MIC template available at