Norwegian version

The first students taking the Master's in Geotechnical Engineering at OsloMet

Fredrik and Jacob use technical equipment in the lab. They wear blue coats and collaborate on a task.

We meet Jacob Comung Emesun and Fredrik Holen in the laboratory at The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in Oslo. They are two of five students who make up the first cohort in the newly established specialisation in geotechnical engineering at OsloMet.

Down here in the laboratory, it is easy to get lost, but the guys have been here before and lead the way. Several professors are NGI experts, and parts of the programme take place right here in the lab.


Geotechnical engineering is the engineering treatment of earth materials such as soil and rock to find solutions to various problems, usually related to hydrological, geological and geophysical engineering. 

A geotechnical engineer does more site-based field investigations and laboratory testing to classify the properties of geomaterials, than in other areas of civil engineering.

Geotechnical engineers are in demand

It seems like both students have noticed that there is a great demand for geotechnical engineers and that this specialisation is a safe and future-oriented choice.

“The reason I chose the specialisation in geotechnical engineering is because I want to understand how earth materials affect constructions. I have also heard that it is a sought-after profession with a competitive salary,” says Fredrik Holen.

Good balance between theoretical and practical aspects

In addition to being sought-after professionals after graduation and having an inherent interest in earth materials, the guys appreciate the breadth of the study programme.

"I chose this programme because of the balance between the theoretical and practical approach to the subject. So far, I have learned a lot about the mechanical properties of soil, but on the learning curve, I would say that we are still on the rise," says Emesun.

Holen also points out the comprehensive nature of the programme.

"I have benefited greatly from the programme so far – including gaining a thorough and comprehensive understanding of how geotechnical engineering works, from soil sampling to the dimensioning and design of foundations. It is truly something that can be useful in the professional field," explains Fredrik Holen.

Societal responsibility plays a crucial role in choosing the specialisation

"The unfortunate quick clay landslide that occurred in Gjerdrum in Norway three years ago was actually a triggering factor for my decision to study geotechnical engineering. I wanted to gain expertise in geotechnics so that I can contribute to reducing the risk of future landslides," says Jacob Comung Emesun.

Fredrik and Jacob in the lab, wearing blue coats. Lab equipment in the background.

The specialisation in geotechnical engineering provides students with the necessary tools required to meet future challenges as geotechnical engineers. Here we see Jacob Comung Emesun and Fredrik Holen in the lab at NGI. Photo: Krister Jung-Lian

When asked what advice they would give to future geotechnical engineering students, Holen recommends attending all lectures and practical sessions:

"The programme has very engaged and skilled lecturers, making attending very worthwhile. We have good discussions that contribute to a positive learning environment – leading to a very valuable learning experience."

Emesun agrees and adds that he can warmly recommend the programme to others who are now choosing a study programme.

"This specialisation provides students with the necessary tools required to face future challenges as geotechnical engineers," says Jacob Comung Emesun.

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