My name is Thomas and I come from a small town on the coast of Norway called Kristiansund.
I worked two years as an electrical apprentice and then 6 months in my home town after I complete that. I wanted to further my skills and develop so I decided to go to Trondheim technical college to study High Voltage electrics for 2 years.
How did you find out about the CERN TTE programme?
It was while I was in Trondheim that we had a visit from a CERN member of staff, Jens Vigen who was visiting Norwegian universities, and he dropped by out college on his tour where he presented the TTE programme to us. I was very excited when I heard about it, I had been reading a lot about CERN since the LHC start up in 2008, seen videos and documentaries and was very curious as I find particle physics very interesting.
Of the 30 people in my class, 3 applied as it was all in English and two of us are here at CERN now: the other TTE who made it is my roommate!
So what do you do here at CERN?
I am currently working with planning and coordination concerning the removal of obsolete water cooled cables in the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS), during the Year End Technical Stop. We're Working out ways through schematics and technical drawings.
I had no experience of such schematics before, only basic layouts.
I arrived just two months ago and already I have my own project, which is great.
What were the challenges when you arrived?
The formalities upon arrival were quite heavy but the integration process was really well organised. I found a flat easily, after staying onsite in the CERN hostel for 2 weeks. The French language is clearly an obstacle in meetings with contractors and my section but I had my first French class yesterday and will soon learn I’m sure.
What are the highlights of working here?
Living here is great, a bit of a long commute to work but that is because I haven’t bought a car yet. The diversity of cultures and people is enriching and we have such a variety of tasks in our work.
Any particular messages to other aspiring technicians out there?
Apply right away! It’s a great opportunity. The diversity, the community, you can further develop yourself and your skills.
For me it seems it was meant to be. It feels surreal to be here, I have to pinch myself to realise I’m actually here.
How cool is that?
If you're interested in the programme and want to apply, find out more on the programme page.