PWWWS [Monica Vaksdal]

April 7, 2021
Written by: Leslie Copeland

If Norway is ever able to reduce its reliance on oil and gas, it will have people like Monica Vaksdal to thank for the post-oil economy that might emerge. Monica is a trained geologist who has worked with the world’s leading oil companies. Her knowledge of the cutting edge technologies deployed in this sector  – and her deep desire to find new, greener uses for this amazing tech – led to the creation of Thinkoutside.

This business designs solutions that capture, analyse and forecast insights on snow for hydropower, water supply management and research. These organisations need to know what sort of snow is out there, what is happening to it, and what the consequences are for their operations.

The whole shebang probably sounds a bit abstract to normal people like you and me. However, Monica’s team (and she is always stressing the team she works with) has produced a portable radar solution for skiers who love the back country. It gives them real time avalanche risk estimation. This could save their lives. The Norwegian Research Council, keen to support the high-end sensor, optics and machine learning tech involved, has given the group a $1.2m grant.

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