Oddbjørn Nødland: My time as a PhD student at The National IOR Centre of Norway

As the days are getting darker and yet another Christmas is on the horizon, I have recently entered my second year of working as a PhD student at The National IOR Centre.

Me at the yard test performed by Halliburton at IRIS in October. Me at the yard test performed by Halliburton at IRIS in October.

So far it has been very interesting, but also challenging. Coming from a pure mathematics background, I had not previously been exposed to much applied science nor attempted much 'serious' programming, so when I started working there were a lot of different things I had to learn just to get going.

So what have I been doing?

First of all, I have spent a rather tremendous amount of time reading/flipping through various scientific articles and books, trying to get a grasp of the basic ideas and concepts that I need for my research. Also, during the first two semesters I took course at the university on theoretical mathematics/physics. The course in question might not have been very relevant to my work at the IOR centre, but I guess time will show. At least I now know a little quantum mechanics, which is cool! *insert Sheldon Cooper joke here*

However, my main job will be perform computer simulations of core scale experiments, so I have also spent a lot of time implementing and testing various numerical routines, as well as trying out programs made by others. Many an hour have I been agonizing over stupid errors in my C++ code, but lately I feel the tide has turned in the fight against those pesky and evil little bugs!

Zooming forwards to the present moment, I am now working towards my first scientific article, which will be a simulation study where I look at combined effects of salt and polymer. In addition to this, me and some other PhD students have just started following a course on Geochemistry, a course which will be very relevant to later work.

All in all, there are a lot of things to do, so back to the office!


- Oddbjørn