– It was in my senior years in high school that I really developed an interest in programming. Both my parents, who are engineers, encouraged me to choose that path instead of pursuing a more insecure career as a musician, he says.
Ole Martin was nearly finished with his bachelor’s degree in computer science at the University in Gjøvik when he was introduced to Argos Solutions at a career day. – The Argos team was so passionate about their company and products, so it was easy to convince me that it was a good place to work. However, as a young engineer I was skeptical of moving to Kongsberg without any network and I was not completely sure if I felt finished with studying.
He was presented with the opportunity to complete an industry master’s degree at the University in South-Eastern Norway alongside of work.
– For me, it was a unique possibility. It gave me the chance to start working in a highly exciting company, increase my competence and experience and to top it all; I could earn a master’s degree whilst having a steady income.
Now Ole Martin is combining work and studies, with intervals of being in office and at campus. – I have my designated work tasks in Argos, and the intention is that I can apply what I learn at university in those tasks. However, what will be most relevant for both me and Argos is the final Master thesis.
– I really enjoy being a part of Argos, and it is great to know that I have a permanent position here when I finish my studies. I get involved in all parts of the process, from development to production and final installation of the systems. It is extremely motivating to see the results of my coding and programming in the final production phase, he says.
Using artificial intelligence to improve the systems.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is key in developing more innovative, intuitive, and efficient grading and panel repair systems. Ole Martin is fascinated by this field, and naturally this is what he is focusing on in his work and possibly also his thesis in the upcoming year.
– How far can it take us? Which technologies can be replaced? How can AI improve the Argos systems? That is what triggers me, he says enthusiastically.
Specifically, Ole Martin is using AI to improve our detection algorithms. By leaning on state-of-the-art science and technology within the field, we can use AI to learn new features of defects and hence more reliably detect and classify faults. – What is a defect in the panel, and what is a natural part of the wood? Traditionally, it is me as a programmer that tells the system how to recognize a twig or a resin pocket. This requires immense domain expertise and is highly time consuming. Our new utilization of machine learning will enable our systems to detect and recognize the variations, increasing the efficiency and quality of the system. The potential is enormous.
Previously, Ole Martin had worked some with machine learning, but not so much with image processing. He needed to get an overview of current knowledge and technologies in the field, before starting to develop a prototype system. – It is no understatement to say that it has been very time consuming but rewarding. I strongly believe this will provide even better systems for our customers.
The industry master is a win-win for both Argos and the students.
Tor Nordseth is Director for R&D in Argos solutions. – We are very fortunate to have Ole Martin as part of our team. In addition to being a genuinely nice guy, he is skilled and is doing a tremendous job.
A master’s degree not a prerequisite to get a job in Argos, but as a company it is most definitively an advantage to be able to offer the industry master program in combination with a job offer.
Qualified software engineers are in demand, and being in a technology hub as Kongsberg, there are many companies looking to recruit.
– The possibility to offer the combination of work and studies, gives us an advantage when hiring and is a great opportunity for the right candidate. The Master thesis enables both us and the candidate a deeper insight in relevant topics, and it helps us a as a company to allocate resources to further development. As a company and people, we must always innovate and develop, and we encourage our team to increase their competence, Tor says.
Being a part of the Industry Master program at the South-Eastern University of Norway has been a positive experience for Argos Solutions. The close relationship to academia and other participating technology companies gives Tor and his team the chance to exchange experiences and further develop the program, benefitting both the students and the employers.
When he Ole Martin is not working, he explores the city and its scenic surroundings, either by kayak, mountain bike or hiking in the mountains. Kongsberg is close to Oslo, so when yearning for bigger concerts and the “big city pulse”, it is only a short train ride away.
– I have no regrets when it comes to becoming an engineer instead of a musician. For me, this has been a great way to start my career. Without being a student, it would have been harder for me establishing a network, but now I am truly enjoying all the aspects of what Kongsberg has to offer, says Ole Martin.
Interested in more information about the Industry Master program?