NDT tough – conversations with industry professionals: Fredrik Brovold

September 06, 2023 | David Campos

As part of #NDTtough, we are sharing messages from professionals in the non-destructive testing industry. AT ECNDT 2023, we sat down with Ole Fredrik Brovold, a technical sales person with a finance and engineering degree working for the Norwegian NDT distributor Holger Hartmann AS. Fredrik has worked mainly with Advanced Ultrasonics, Conventional Ultrasonics, and Eddy Current careering to the Norwegian markets.

NDT tough: 4 questions to Fredrik Brovold

How did you get into the NDT business?

It all began with my bachelor's degree in marketing and financials. After graduation, I quickly realized that going to work wearing a suit and tie and carrying a suitcase was not me - I needed to do something more engineering-like, so I quit my job on that very first day and applied for mechanical engineering at a university in Oslo.

Holger Hartmann was supplying the University with some material testing equipment; from then on, I knew of the company. After finalizing my studies, Holger Hartmann was advertised for an open product engineer/salesperson position, and I applied.

Point out things that are challenging for you or the company.

I started in the business during the COVID-19 pandemic. When I started, we saw that our partners, including Comet X-ray, had prolonged delivery times. It was a challenge to communicate this issue with our customers being the middleman between our partners and customers. That has been a major issue.

The companies we work with don't just use ultrasonics; they use ultrasonics, RT, Eddy current, MP, MPI X-ray, and everything... So, the challenge is you must be knowledgeable in every method. You need to understand and match the customer's needs with the right NDT solution. So, being a salesperson is also being a consultant. My challenge has been learning the NDT language and all the technologies to be a good consultant.

Would you recommend the NDT Business to people seeking a career?

Yes, I would. It's an exciting business if you are interested in electronics and engineering; you get a view into many industries because Non-destructive testing is used for many applications; things that people use and see daily have been tested, inspected, and undergone enormous ingenuity. To get to see and understand this that's pretty cool.

If you're curious, the NDT business could help to satisfy your curiosity or make you ask more questions!

And finally, what does NDT tough mean to you?

I would say that "NDT tough" could mean many things, and it all depends on which position you have in this industry, but for the NDT operator, it can be that, like a doctor or a surgeon, you will become a bearer of good and bad news, which is a tough situation. NDT can be a costly service for many companies, but it is a necessity and, in some cases, it's even lifesaving. It can prevent devastating environmental catastrophes and fatal accidents. NDT is something we should never take for granted.

Ole Fredrik Brovold, holding the ECO 200DS, at the ECNDT 2023

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