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NIS NONBOE ANDERSEN, DESIGN ENGINEER & NIELS ERIK MORTENSEN, DESIGN MANAGER, PORTALS, RAMPS & LANDWORKS

Apprenticeship: experience and new insights

It needs experience to steer a mega project like the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel safely to completion. It is also important to gain new knowledge and ask the right questions. The young engineer, Nis, and the very experienced Niels Erik agree on this – and both of them have enjoyed and learned from their mentor-apprentice relationship.

Starting your career in a client organisation is unusual for a newly qualified engineer. But for Nis it was a dream job when Niels Erik asked him to be a permanent member of the Femern team:

”The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will be the longest immersed tunnel in the world. It’s extremely exciting to be part of the project, and there’s a very special spirit attached to it. And for me to have a really experienced and talented boss, who has taken me under his wing on top of all that … well, I can’t ask for more.”

Niels Erik

Nis came directly from his engineering studies, while Niels Erik has more than 40 years’ experience from other construction projects, including the Øresund Bridge. They are both part of the Technical Division, where their area of responsibility is to construct the tunnel ramps, motorways, toll stations and bridges.

”Niels Erik has been really good at helping me, discussing problems ahead of meetings and generally teaching me about the culture of co-operation in the workplace – and familiarising me with a client organisation.”

Nis is not the only one who has gained from the collaboration. For Niels Erik it has been a great pleasure to encounter such a brilliant young talent:

”When a young man like Nis arrives with a large amount of new knowledge that he’s eager to try out – well, really interesting things happen. It’s important that in a project with such an experienced team, we get a fresh and inquisitive approach. Asking the right questions and shaking things up a little. With the right attitudes we can use new insight to clarify and improve previous methods.”

One of the things that Nis has taken with him from his studies is his approach to delivering the project:

”Traditionally, you would deliver comprehensive plans and the relevant drawings and papers to those who will be executing the construction itself. This mound of paper is not always useful because it has been prepared purely for construction purposes and not necessarily for operational matters. We want to take a different approach, which is why we’re incorporating all this from the start and, for instance, making sure that drawings and 3D models are easily accessible in user friendly IT systems.”

WHEN A YOUNG MAN LIKE NIS ARRIVES WITH A LARGE AMOUNT OF NEW KNOWLEDGE THAT HE’S EAGER TO TRY OUT – WELL, REALLY INTERESTING THINGS HAPPEN. IT’S IMPORTANT THAT IN A PROJECT WITH SUCH AN EXPERIENCED TEAM,, WE GET A FRESH AND INQUISITIVE APPROACH.