We aim to shape the maritime educational system together

Harald Lauvik Gjelstad

Photo: Bachelor student Harald Lauvik Gjelstad from the University-College of South-East Norway will be working on board MV Baffin as part of a pilot project between USN and Klaveness in the next few months.

Klaveness Ship Management (KSM) and the University-College of South-East Norway (USN) are working together to examine how practical experience could be incorporated to the maritime curriculum during their time at school. As per today, many students graduating from USN complete their degrees without ever having spent time onboard.

Combining theory and practice in this way could be a great way to introduce students to life on board and the requirements of a seafarer early on, maximizing the learning process during the three years they spend at USN. Both KSM and USN believe there is great potential in this pilot project that will be useful to further evaluate the setup of the maritime curriculum. Gjelstad is one of four who will get the chance to work on board a vessel as part of his degree.

This is today not a part of the qualifying sea-time for cadets, and Harald will, when graduating in 2018, have to find a Principal that could offer him a cadetship in order to qualify for his COC as an Maritime Engineer.

Vice President of Maritime Personnel in Klaveness Ship Management Torbjørn Eide says, “We believe this is a great opportunity for us to contribute to shaping the maritime educational system. Gjelstad will be given a practical introduction to the important maintenance work carried out onboard a newbuilt vessel, and will work with the automation system KChief-600 on board MV Baffin.” Part of the training that students at USN undergo during their Bachelor degree is training in the Kongsberg Maritime automation system, which is the same as the one installed on MV Baffin. Hence, we think that combining the simulator practice at school with the real in use system onboard will give an overall increased knowledge on the potentially optimal use of this system onboard.

The benefits of getting on board

The vessel was ready to set sail earlier this year and is part of our next generation of combination carriers built at Zheiang OuHua Shipbuliding Co. Ltd., in China.

MV Balboa and MV Baffin naming ceremony

Photo: From the Naming Ceremony of Combination Carriers MV Balboa and MV Baffin in May 2017.


Gjelstad will board in Bunbury Australia and will sail until the beginning of December when he returns to Norway to finish his studies. When asked about what he looks forward to the most, he says, “To know what it’s like working at sea, and getting a mentor on board”. He quickly adds, “but maybe the most exciting part of it is the fact that I get to work on such a new vessel!”. As a technical operations and maintenance engineer student, he is particularly interested in automation system, and the alarm- and monitoring systems on board.

As part of the project, Gjelstad will report back to USN daily and deliver a report based on specific assignments provided by the Chief Engineer on board, to Klaveness Ship Management. The project will hopefully give insights as to how the maritime curriculum could incorporate practice with theory, to a greater degree than what it does today.