Offshore Wind Spin-off opportunities (Workshop June 3.)

On June 3. (9-11.30 CET), GCE Node in collaboration with WP7 of SFI Offshore Mechatronics invites to a digital seminar/workshop to explore opportunities within Offshore Wind. In the seminar regional companies such as Origo Engineering and Agder Energy will present their activity within the offshore wind market from a technology and investment perspective. Research results from some of the SFI mechatronics workpackages with an emphasis on results with current and future applications in offshore wind will also be presented.

The seminar will be closed with a discussion to identify opportunities for new spin-off projects and transfer of results, technology and knowledge from the centre to solve current and future challenges within offshore wind.

To view the program and register for the event visit this page.

The SFI Offshore Mechatronics, Annual Conference 2021

This year we expect to be able to have an In-Person conference. In the past, the conference has been hosted at University of Agder, Grimstad. This year we are exploring the opportunity to host it at Aalborg University. This will serve as a great opportunity to explore infrastructure, euipment and experiments in particular related to Work Package 1. This is also an opportunity to be introduced to other relevant research initiatives at AAU Department of Energy Technology and The Fluid Power & Mechatronic Sytems group. The tentative date is set to 24.November, however this is not yet final and it may be at an earlier date. The date and a preliminary program will be settled as soon as possible and most likely before the summer break.

Innovation in SFI Offshore Mechatronics

Unlocking the innovation potential in a centre for research-based innovation requires an equally important contributions from both the research partners and the industry partners. In an ideal world the research results are relevant and mature enough for the companies to directly apply it in their business. This is however rarely the case, which means that both push and pull efforts are needed to bring promising research results forward.

The path from a TRL3-4 (Technology Readiness Level) up to TRL7-9 which is expected for a company to make large investments into new concepts and technology is known to be challenging. To reach a higher TRL level and to shape new concepts we encourage the centre industry partners to establish industry-driven spin-off projects. A spin-of project is enabling more funding, a dedicated and closer collaboration and also other terms and conditions than what is possible within the scope of a centre.

In SFI Offshore Mechatronics we keep track of the spin-offs. They are categorized as either direct spin-offs or indirect spin-offs. Direct spin-offs from the centre are initiated in collaboration with the academic partners. Indirect spinoffs are within the thematic areas of the research in the centre but initiated independently by the industry partners. The total external funding for the spin-off projects is approaching 125MNOK counting 15 direct spin-offs and 18 indirect spin-offs.

Three companies has also been established as spin-offs from the centre activities and by people with affiliation to the centre. Motiontech AS (founded by SFI Offshore Mechatronics PhD alumni Sondre Sanden Tørdal and related to research in WP2), DropTech As (founded by Mechatronics master students Emil Mühlbradt Sveen and Jørn Folmar Nilsen), Machine Prognostics AS (spin-off from Teknova / Norce Research and related to research in WP5).

PhD Defense WP3.5 on May 25

Thilina Nuwan Weerasinghe of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «Enabling mMTC and URLLC in 5G: Initial Access, Traffic Prediction, and User Availability» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Tuesday 25 May 2021. 

The trial lecture at 10:15 hours
Public defence at 12:15 hours

More details are available here:

The disputation is open to the public, but to follow the trial lecture and the public defence, which is transmitted via the Zoom conferencing app, you have to register as an audience member.

New researcher WP4.5

Savin Viswanathan is defending his PhD on May 11th and he is now starting in a new position at NTNU as a Post.doc in WP4.5. His work in WP4.5 will be Modeling and simulation of the motion of ships, cranes and drilling systems in waves. Before pursuing the PhD in WP4.1, Savin worked as a university lecturer in India and he holds a MSc degree in Ocean Technology & Management from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Reference group meetings in 2021

The work-packages invite representatives from the industry partners to reference group meetings. The meetings are a great opportunity to disseminate results, to participate in discussions and to get valuable feedback from an industrial perspective. Below is a list of all reference group meetings scheduled in 2021.

WP1: May 19, tentative in Nov
WP2: Mar 25, tentative in Nov
WP3: Mar 25, tentative in Nov
WP4: Mar 25, tentative in Nov
WP5: Mar 16, Jun11, Oct 14
WP6: Apr 26, tentative in Nov
WP7: June 21, tentative in Nov

Phd Defence WP4.1 on May 11th

Savin Viswanathan has submitted the following academic thesis as a part of the doctoral work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering:

«Multiphysical Simulation of Ocean Engineering Systems»

The Faculty has appointed the following Assessment Committee to assess the thesis:       

  • Dr. Suresh Rajendran, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
  • Dr. Gerardo Imanuel de Nóbrega Rocha, National Oilwell Varco Norway AS
  • Associate Professor Lars Tingelstad, NTNU

Associate Professor Lars Tingelstad, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, NTNU, has been appointed Administrator of the Committee.

The Committee recommends that the thesis is worthy of being publicly defended for the PhD degree. 

The doctoral work has been carried out at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. 

The trial lecture will take place on 11th May at 09:15

on the following prescribed subject:

“Data-Driven Dynamical Systems: Modelling and Control of Offshore Windfarms”

The public defence of the thesis takes place on 11th May at 11:15.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the trial lecture and defence will be presented using online-based solutions.

A link to the online defence will be published shortly on this page:

Geir Grasmo is the new Centre Director from April 1st

Geir Hovland has served as the Centre Director as well as work-package leader in WP3 since the project started in 2015. SFI Offshore Mechatronics was the first project and centre hosted by University of Agder to be accepted into the competitive SFI program in Research Council Norway.

Geir has played a crucial role in building up the centre and have been successfully managing for nearly six years. The centre successfully passed the mid-term review in 2019 and the Research Council of Norway funded project is now 75% completed with only two years remaining to the end of the project period.

The partners and his colleagues in the centre are grateful for the great work and collaboration with Geir. We send all the best wishes to Geir in his new endeavor where he will devote his time and efforts in building a new industrial startup company.

The successor in the role as Centre Director is also Geir, Geir Grasmo that is. Geir Grasmo is professor in materials engineering and until recently Geir Grasmo has served as head of department at engineering sciences in University of Agder. Before joining University of Agder in 2015, he spent almost 18 years of his career in various positions in the materials industry in companies such as Alcoa and Elkem and before that as a researcher in Sintef and scholar in HiS (now UiS).

Professor Jing Zhou will take over as work-package leader in WP3. Jing Zhou is also Research Director at Top Research Centre Mechatronics (TRCM).

We are now in the final 2+ years of the project and the remaining period will have a twofold mission; 1. Successfully completion of the project 2. Using the results and achievements from the centre to leverage new opportunities and initiatives for the project partners.

It is expected that increased cooperation between SFI Offshore Mechatronics and TRCM will be beneficial to seize new opportunities and initiatives in the last period of the project.

Scientific Highlights in Q1-2021

Phd defences

WP1.3 Viktor Hristov Donkov (University of Aalborg) defended on January 15.

WP3.4 Thiago G. Monteiro (NTNU Aalesund) defended on February 3.

WP4.3 Lars Ivar Hatledal (NTNU Aalesund) defended on March 18.

Link to all completed Phd defences

Accepted scientific publications

Journal Papers:

J1: Thilina N. Weerasinghe, Vicente Casares-Giner, Indika A. M. Balapuwaduge, and Frank Y. Li, “Priority Enabled Grant-Free Access with Dynamic Slot Allocation for Heterogeneous mMTC Traffic in 5G NR Networks,” IEEE Transactions on Communications, accepted Jan. 2021 (Level 2).

J2: Bakht Zaman, Luis Miguel Lopez Ramos, Daniel Romero and Baltasar Beferull-Lozano, Online Topology Identification From Vector Autoregressive Time Series, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 69, pp. 210-225. (Level 2)

J3: Daniel Romero, Siavash Mollaebrahim, Baltasar Beferull-Lozano and César Asensio-Marco, Fast Graph Filters for Decentralized Subspace Projection, IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, vol. 69, pp. 150-164. (Level 2)

J4: S. Mollaebrahim, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Design of Asymmetric Shift Operators for Efficient Decentralized Subspace Projection” (Accepted), To appear in IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, 2021

Conference Papers:

C1: Yvonne Murray, David A. Anisi, Martin Sirevåg, Pedro Ribeiro and Rabah Saleh Hagag, “Safety Assurance of a High Voltage Controller for an Industrial Robotic System”, Brazilian Symposium on Formal Methods, SBMF 2020: Formal Methods: Foundations and Applications pp 45-63.

C2: L. M. Lopez, B. Beferull-Lozano, “Online hyperparameter search interleaved with proximal parameter updates”, European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO), 2021.

Link to all publications in 2021


During Q4-2020 and Q1-2021 SFI Offshore Mechatronics has hosted a be-weekly webinar. We hosted five webinars in Q4-2020 and five in Q1-2021.

During the first period of the webinars, we observed good attendance with an average of 15 attendees. In the last quarter we have seen more variable attendance and a slight decline. To better understand if this is a natural variance or the consequence of the topics of the presentations being less interesting, we have made an anonymous poll. The poll is intended to provide us with feedback on past webinars and preferences for future webinars. For the time being we are pausing the webinars, but we anticipate starting up again in the fall latest.

If you have attended one of our webinars or if you may want to attend a webinar in the future, please spend a few minutes to complete the poll. Your feedback on the previous topics/ presentations and preferences and suggestions for future webinars is highly appreciated. Link to poll.