‘Like being at a Jimi Hendrix concert’

Leading international rope experts drew a specialist crowd to a three-day seminar in Kristiansand.

 “For rope enthusiasts like me, this is like being at a Jimi Hendrix concert for engineers. To dip into the knowledge of some of the most competent rope specialists in the world, is highly rewarding”, says Kai Ingvald Flateland, Senior Engineer at MacGregor Norway.

The 50 seminar attendees included larger groups from MacGregor and National Oilwell Varco, in addition to representatives from MHWirth, Cameron, DNV GL, Siem Offshore and Red Rock – and also employees at Rolls Royce, Maersk and TTS Marine.

“We are thrilled to see that the industry recognizes the quality of this seminar. The speakers are truly the best people in the world to learn from”, says Thomas Meyer, Business Development Manager for the research institute Teknova, which was organizing the seminar.

Speakers included German “Rope Pope” Roland Verreet and British experts Nick O’Hear and Steve Banfield. The former is considered a leading global capacity on steel ropes, whereas the two latter are specialized in the field of fiber ropes.

“This is a narrow field of expertise. There are only a handful of people in the world who are really knowledgeable and who do not work for the rope manufacturers. To meet them here in Kristiansand is a privilege”, says Rune Risholt, Engineering Manager at MHWirth.

Verreet spent almost two full days talking about steel ropes. The last day focused on fiber ropes, which has become increasingly popular.

“There has been a tremendous development in fiber ropes lately. The characteristics of fiber ropes are changing, which produces more opportunities for us to utilize them for offshore load handling. We just need to know how to use them properly. Any mistake could be very costly”, says Arne Tomstad, Senior Project Engineer at MacGregor Norway.

The three-day seminar was co-financed by Teknova, GCE NODE, VRI Agder, Kristiansand Municipality, Aust-Agder County, Vest-Agder County and the University of Agder.


 Left-right: Business Development Manager Thomas Meyer at Teknova, “Rope Pope” Roland Verreet and British expert Nick O’Hear.


“Like being at a Jimi Hendrix concert”, says Kai Ingvald Flateland (MacGregor, left). Rune Risholt (MHWirth, middle) and Arne Tomstad (MacGregor) were also impressed by the international speakers at the seminar.