Aksel Hiorth

the man, the myth and newly appointed professor

Some say he doesn’t know Gantt diagrams, other says Gantt diagrams don’t know him.

Aksel Hiorth; he has a background within theoretical particle physics, but has worked at IRIS as a petroleum researcher since 2003. There was originally some controversy around the process of hiring him, there were no doubts that he was a talented physicist, but his educational background seemed a bit useless in a petroleum research context. In the end Professor Svein Skjæveland put things straight; If IRIS did not hire someone as skilled as dr. Hiorth, they might as well close the business.

So Aksel was thrown in at the deep end, but soon he learnt to swim. He engaged in a, more than usual, fruitful cooperation with the University of Stavanger (UiS) and got several large projects from Petromaks together with Merete Madland at UiS. He is celebrated and awarded. In 2008 he was granted a part time position as ass. Prof at UiS and in 2011he was promoted to Chief Scientis at IRIS. This is the highest academic position at the institute.

When UiS/IRIS and IFE were awarded the national IOR Centre of Norway he played a key role in writing the application together with researchers from UiS, IRIS and IFE. He is now one of two “directors of research” in the Centre and he is always busy keeping his eyes on the Centre’s goal of increasing oil recovery from the Norwegian continental shelf with minimal impact on the environment.

And, finally, in the end of November this year he was, together with his long time research companion, Merete Madland, appointed professor in reservoir technology. When asked what implications this has for him, he replies, with his usual charm, “I don’t care so much about the clothes I wear anymore”.

Read about the professor promotion here.