The following is an excerpt.

Politicians from the Labour Party got a tour and several live demos on how SIMLab works with physical security.
 

Demonstrating ballistic impact. From left: Professor Tore Børvik, Jorodd Asphjell, Eirik Sivertsen and Espen Barth Eide. Behind: NTNU´s pro rector for research, Tor Grande. (All photos: Sølvi W. Normannsen)

When politicians knock and want to pay a visit to CASA, the staff is always alert and proud to present how the Centre work with physical security. 1st September, Parliament politicians Espen Barth Eide, Jorodd Asphjell, and Eirik Sivertsen from the Labour Party got a short introduction and demonstrations of the research activities. As CASA now approaches the wind-up period, researchers and politicians also took the opportunity to discuss future initiatives for the Centre.

From left: Magnus Langseth, Tore Børvik, Espen Barth Eide, Eirik Sivertsen and Jorodd Asphjell.

DEMONSTRATING CRASH, PENETRATION AND BLAST LOADS
Professor Magnus Langseth gave his presentation in the large hall, next to the impressive Pendulum Impactor – also known as the Kicking Machine. Senior engineers Trond Auestad and Tore Wisth had everything prepared beforehand. The engaged politicians got a quick demonstration of a 40 kph crash test of an aluminium profile. 

After firing projectiles in the Gas gun, the Labour Party politicians could observe impressive experiment footage on Trond Auestad´s computer screen.

Next, the group, which also included NTNU´s ProRector for Research Tor Grande,  moved over to the Ballistic Impact lab. This lab is professor Tore Børvik´s domain, and he presented how they use the Gas gun for ballistic impact studies. A variety of projectile geometries can be fired here, with a maximum velocity of 1000 meters per second. 
The Shock tube facility was the last stop on the group´s tour. Here, Associate professor Vegard Aune explained the nearly 20-metre long custom-made pipe´s possibilities for recording and measuring blast loads. In this facility, the researchers at SIMLab and SFI CASA subject aluminium, steel, glass and concrete plates to blast loads.


PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE

From left: Associate Professor Vegard Aune, Professor Tore Børvik, and the Labour Party politicians Espen Barth Eide, Jorodd Asphjell and Eirik Sivertsen.

 The SIMLab research group, which is hosting CASA, has long since begun preparing the future for the Centre when the SFI-period is over in 2023. For instance, Professor Langseth has put a lot of effort into the possibilities of establishing a new, national centre for research within physical security.

The Centre’s initiative towards Norwegian authorities will help educate more civil engineers and doctoral engineers, trained to use the latest tools and think holistically about safety. Member of Parliament, Jorodd Asphjell, has also engaged in this initative.

As a result of these efforts, SFI CASA and SIMLab´s plans were part of the Norwegian Parliament’s debate on societal security 9 March 20201. Then, the Standing Committee on Justice had put forward a proposal to the Parliament. The proposal said that «the Parliament asks the government to initiate a national investment in expertise in securing potentially vulnerable buildings and structures. This investment should be a centre that can provide both research, candidates and continuing education for the public and private sectors».

«NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO COME»
During the debate, SIMLab, SFI CASA and NTNU received more than 3 minutes of support and praise from the country’s top rostrum. Unfortunately, the committee did not succeed in getting get the governing parties to vote for the proposal.  

READ MORE: CASA´s Director in Parliament Hearing on Societal Security
READ MORE:  A Close Race in the Parliament

For Centre director Magnus Langseth, the positive praise and the close vote of 42 to 45 was inspiring.

 «There is still hope», he said, after the debate. «There was defeat in the Parliament this time, but I am sure there are new opportunities to come soon», Langseth said.

The visitors inspecting SIMLab´s Gas gun.