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Meet an employee at IFA

Monthly contribution from Jens Jacob Iversen, Precision Mechanic

Photo: Jens Jacob Iversen (PURE)
Photo: Jens Jacob Iversen (PURE)

Briefly explain your path to IFA/AU. Where have you been before?

"My first year at IFA was a long time ago, when I was a physics student. It was exciting, fun and sometimes hard! After a couple of years, it became clear to me that the world of a physicist was not something for me, but I would hate to leave IFA. I had seen the mechanical workshop and thought that I would like to apply for an apprenticeship there. I went to Uffe the foreman and asked whether he and the workshop would take me into consideration, and after much hesitation I got a spot, after all I was only a student, did I in fact have the skills. After completion of the apprenticeship and a couple of fixed-term appointments ( after all it is the University) I became a permanent member of staff." 

What does a typical working day look like for you?

"My working day looks very different, depending on whether I'm at the workshop or whether I'm at the wind tunnel. At the workshop, the day starts to bring order to the world over a cup of coffee together with Manse. I often work with projects of a longer duration which are constructed by talented colleagues in consultation with a researcher. It is my job to produce mechanical parts based on working drawings produced by the constructor. Just as I have taken the first turn on the turning lathe, a question arise, which I take to the researcher, who then asks the electronics department, which gives me an answer. And that's why the workshop is a good place to be.
At the wind tunnel, the day starts to bring order to the world over a cup of tea together with Jon. If we have guests who make experiments, my job is to make sure that the pump pumps, the wind blows, the fine particles dust, the sand blows, the carbon dioxide freezes and the soil progresses. Luckily, not everything at once but often several things at the same time. And that's why the wind tunnel is a good spot. If, on a given day, I'm in the workshop or at the wind tunnel, I'll do my best to go to the canteen and eat lunch with nice colleagues. It's a cheerful, hospitable and warm place to be at – it feels like a lot more than 19 degrees. And that's why the canteen is the best place to be."

What is the best thing about teaching/communicating?

"In the workshop, we typically have two apprentices. It is a pleasure to see them get caught up in the profession as they become safe in the various disciplines. Their curiosity is infectious, and the obligation to learn from yourself is a pleasure."

What do you do in your spare time?

"Nature and in particular looking at birds means the world to me. The immediate pleasure of seeing and feeling nature is the most important thing, but the experience is even greater when I gain a deeper understanding of it. I like to go by bike in nature, and sometimes take photos of it. Preferably on an old film camera, which is both slow and troublesome."