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When assistant professor Ketil Haugli goes to work this year, his time is split 50/50. A generous half goes to his students at the Dental Technology program at Oslo Metropolitan University, and a maybe even bigger half goes to his position as guest researcher at NIOM.

Ketil Haugli with NIOMs Dimitri Alkarra, in the 3rd floor social zone.

– It’s the best of both worlds. I get so much relevant input here. Everybody is an expert in his or her field. Just having a conversation at lunch can be enlightening, Ketil says.

Right now, his focus is to study if CAD/ CAM manufacturing techniques can affect the biocompatibility of different orthodontic bite splint materials. Especially concerning traditional manufacturing methods compared to the new computer aided design and manufacturing techniques.

A changed business

– The business has been through a revolution in the past decade, Ketil says.

He explains how dental technicians have gone from doing most work manually. Literally getting their hands dirty, to doing design work on the computer, and milling or printing it out.

– I think it’s a great strength for a teacher, and the business, to have a foot inside the research world these days, he says.

Collaborative spirit

Ketil adjusts his schedule weekly according to his different responsibilities. One week, he may be at NIOM 3-4 days, and the next week, maybe none. When he is here, he has a whole host of people to collaborate with.

– Solveig, Else and Bergitte are so supportive when I run my experiments in the lab. They are NIOM engineers and lend their expertise to me when conducting the cell culture studies of the project. Other days I talk to Dimitri, the toolmaker, who is an expert with CAD/ CAM manufacturing techniques. Then I top it off by collaborating with material experts like Morten, or toxicology expert Jan Tore who is my main collaborator in this project. Or, I might stop by Ida, Hilde or someone else for a chat about their fields, he says.

Distinctively NIOM

When asked if much has changed since he first came to NIOM in 2013, as a Master student, Ketil ponders.

– No, the feel of the place is still the same. I find it to be a very distinctive trait about NIOM, how people are always willing to discuss something professionally. To help you out or to just say hi. I feel very well taken care of, both professionally and socially, he says.