The following is an excerpt.

Status report on how the coronavirus affects people and activities at SFI CASA.

Image from Shutterstock showing the Corona Virus.

Neither students nor staff should stay in NTNU’s buildings, due to the extraordinary coronavirus situation. 12 March NTNU declared that all physical, scheduled lessons and practical training are cancelled until 26 March. The main rule is that all employees work from home. Exceptions only apply for medical and health care students and personnel, as well as urgent tasks to ensure the operation of the university.

For CASA’s part, the situation means that all employees now work from home. Instructions from the government and NTNU are followed strictly. Skype replaces all physical meetings. The different groups meet virtually regularly, and the management keeps in touch with everyone in the staff.

Business trips are cancelled for the next months, and the management of the Centre assumes that all travels could be cancelled for the rest of the year. The ICILSM2020 conference is postponed until March 2021.

The rector at NTNU has released new, contemporary guidelines for defences of doctoral theses as well. These imply that PhD candidate Ole Vestrum of SFI CASA, who defends his thesis 26 March, will do so with the opponents taking part via Skype. Only Vestrum himself, administrator Bjørn Helge Skallerud, internal back-up opponent Professor Arild Holm Clausen and supervisors Professors Tore Børvik and Magnus Langseth will be physically present.

The guidelines for the presence on NTNU’s campuses were presented by lunchtime the 12 March. Unfortunately, some of the Master students at SIMLab were not able to finish their activities in the lab before the facilities were emptied and locked up. All activities that are planned for are being postponed. Professor Arild Holm Clausen at SIMLab is vice head at the Department of Structural Engineering and serves as teaching coordinator. He says that for the time being, SIMLab acts according to the guidelines from the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

The authorities have declared that all universities and schools are closed until 27 March. Clausen has informed the students that the department is willing to postpone the deadline for handing in the MSc theses. Eventually, the management consecutively discusses other actions to cushion the disadvantages the students may experience because of the corona situation. In the meantime, he encourages them to take care of themselves and each other, to stay informed on the situation – and to work as best as they can with their MSc theses.