We meet the students Håkon Langvad and Kristoffer Flaten in Førde, one of five campuses of the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, one rainy spring day. The town with its 10,000 inhabitants is surrounded by steep snow-capped mountains. Down in the densely populated valley there are a lot of industrial, cultural and educational institutions, not to mention a large hospital.
A competitive edge from being good with digital tools
Håkon is from Bergen and is in the third year of a construction course, while Kristoffer is from Førde and has almost completed two out of three years of an engineering degree. They are now working with advanced digital tools like Gemini Terrain, Revit and AutoCAD, and realise that it is a competitive advantage to know the software before going out to work.
“It is both fun and challenging to learn different types of software and of course it helps us to understand and make correct decisions,” says Håkon Langvad.
Powel Construction is one of the companies working closely together with academic institutions around the country, because the software house has experienced that if students get to like Gemini Terrain during their studies, they will continue to use it when they start working.
Offering free software to students
“We offer vocational schools, colleges and universities free use of our software. This is good marketing for us and a unique opportunity for the students. We follow up with both teaching and courses,” says Kjetil Gjesdal at Powel Construction.
Gemini Terrain is a market-leading 3D tool which is used on most infrastructure projects in Norway. Kristoffer Flaten began using Terrain even before he started his engineering studies. That’s because he went to a vocational school.
“The main focus at the college was on the practical use of Terrain for accurate project pricing. Now we’ve learned a lot more,” says Flaten.
His first encounter with Gemini software at the university took place in connection with a week-long field exercise on Værlandet, where students learned basic surveying.
“We first used Gemini Survey and then used the data to create a construction pit for a house in Gemini Terrain. We worked a lot with mass balance, defined layers and filling and did lots of calculations,” says Flaten, who learned a lot during the field exercise and afterwards from analyses in the software.
“Terrain made it easier to find the optimum position for the house on the plot. It costs a lot to take out material. It is also not good environmentally to take away more material than is strictly necessary. We learned that there’s a lot of money to be saved by being able to use the program to find a good mass balance,” he says.
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