The following is an excerpt.
“This has been a most useful and exciting visit,” said State Secretary Gjermund Hagesæter after spending a whole day at SFI CASA last month.
“There is no doubt that SIMLab is a very strong research group. I am impressed,” he added. Hagesæter is State Secretary for the Minister of Justice and Public Security, with special responsibility for the latter. His visit was directly linked to the recognition that work on public security is less research-based than other political areas and needs improved systematization.
After being welcomed to the day-long seminar by the Dean of the Faculty, Ingvald Strømmen, Gjermund Hagesæter gave a presentation of the R&D strategies of the Ministry. He quickly arrived at the fact that there will always be a remaining risk whatever measures taken. The point is to reduce the risk as much as possible and to limit damage at the earliest possible stage.
“A society where everyone takes responsibility is best equipped to stand up to the challenge,” he stated.
Hagesæter stressed the need to improve consciousness and thereby reduce the risk of repeating mistakes. He went through the relevant research topics, such as protection of society and the need for robust, critical infrastructure. He underlined that public security is a continuous task, with threats constantly changing. A fresh example is the rapidly increasing drone activity.
In this situation, the Ministry wants to engage in strategic partnerships with education and research institutions. This is music to CASA director Magnus Langseth’s ears. He is hoping for cooperation where the Ministry can in some way help increase the number of master’s students and programmes in physical security.
New government headquarters
SIMLab and SFI CASA’s work on physical security is of special interest to the Ministry because of the planning of new government headquarters in central Oslo.
In addition to Hagesæter and colleagues from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, representatives from the Ministry of Local Development and Modernisation, The National Security Authority and the Police Security Service took part in the seminar.
Following Hagesæter’s presentation, Director Magnus Langseth gave an introduction to SFI CASA and the environment we operate in, with both national and international partners. He stressed the point that CASA’s research activities are of a strictly generic nature and indicated an expansion of interest from oil and gas to energy in a broader sense.
Professor Tore Børvik introduced the research program on structures and went back to one of the roots: The Norwegian Defence Estates Agency needed better material models since full scale tests are unfeasible for large buildings and structures. SIMLab’s vision is the virtual lab, making physical tests obsolete. New government headquarters are totally dependent on research in this direction; the people in position to define the standards and requirements for the headquarters need access to this kind of expertise.
Blasts and other impacts
Professor Børvik was followed by four PhD Candidates who presented their research on physical security of structures with particular relevance to participant’s field of interest:
Vegard Aune talked about behaviour and modelling of structures subjected to blast loading. His PhD is concentrated around SIMLab’s shock tube and he described the advantages that come with being able to repeat tests in controlled conditions.
Karoline Osnes described her work on numerical simulations of safety glass exposed to blast loading and the challenge of creating explosion proof solutions. Her demanding task is to predict material behaviour such as fragmentation, delamination and fracture in a highly unreliable material.
Erik Løhre Grimsmo presented his work on beam-to-column joints subjected to impact loading and Jens Kristian Holmen followed suit on penetration of aluminium.
Towards the end of the seminar, the participants in the seminar were invited on a guided tour through the lab facilities, complete with demonstration tests.
They got to see the shock tube in action on security glass. Thereafter, the same kind of glass was subjected to a 7.62 mm bullet fired in the gas gun. It turned out that State Secretary Hagesæter had first-hand experience with this kind of bullets. He had fired them himself when he served on UN’s peacekeeping force in Lebanon.