Colloquy: DNV's Carl Arne Carlsen honored

Nina Rach

June 19, 2014

Dr. Carl Arne Carlsen (pictured), senior vice president and previously a member of the DNV executive board, was recognized at the 45th Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, receiving the 2014 OTC Distinguished Achievement Award for Individuals.

The award is in recognition of his “outstanding, significant and unique achievements, and extensive contributions” to the offshore industry, and was presented at the Annual OTC Dinner, 4 May 2014.

The OTC Board said that Carlsen was honored for his significant advancements in the safety and reliability of mobile offshore structures, and the practical applications of risk management.

Over the course of his career, Carlsen’s focus on safety led to important developments in the industry. Chief among these is his work in establishing rules for dynamic behavior of jackup platforms, semisubmersible platforms, and for FPSOs in harsh environments. He was also instrumental in developing the IMO/ IACS Enhanced Survey Program for oil tankers and carriers.

Carlsen earned an MS degree in naval architecture from The University of Trondheim in 1971, and a PhD in 1975.

“A defining moment for me came in 1980, as a direct consequence of the tragic accident with the Alexander L. Kielland platform that capsized in a severe storm outside Norway,” says Carlsen (in which 123 workers died).

Soon  after, he was appointed head of classification for mobile offshore units (MOU) at DNV, and tasked with developing new MOU rules to cope with the harsh environment in the North Sea.

In cooperation with the Norwegian Maritime Directorate, the new rules were issued in 1981, and they introduced new principles for more robust design, construction and in-service inspection. They were almost immediately adopted throughout the industry, and provided important input to the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization

(IMO) 1989 MODU Code.

Carlsen also helped promote use of FPSOs in the North Sea, and the first, Petrojarl 1, started operating on the Norwegian continental shelf in 1986.

The way to succeed, Carlsen says, is “to be determined to strike the right balance between theory and practice, safety and cost efficiency through respectful involvement of all stakeholders. And you have to work together with really smart and principled people!”

Peer recognition

“Carl Arne Carlsen is a thought leader in the offshore industry. We are proud that he has spent his career with DNV, now DNV GL, and on behalf of all his 16,000 colleagues, I congratulate him with this recognition. Throughout his 40 years in DNV, Carl Arne Carlsen has had almost every possible position in the company. He has been a member of the executive committee; he has been a regional manager, a global network leader, head of R&D, plus a whole range of other positions. Through all this work, he has significantly helped DNV GL fulfill its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment,” says Henrik O. Madsen, DNV GL Group’s CEO.

Carlsen is a Fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and is a SNAME Blakely Smith Medalist. [SNAME is one of the professional societies that planned the first OTC in 1969, and SNAME member Ed Stokes serves as current OTC Board Chair, 2013-2014.]

Peter G. Noble, Noble Associates LLC, and SNAME president, 2013-2014, says Carlsen is “one of the leaders in innovation in our offshore industry. I think what he’s really brought is a balance between advanced analysis and practical engineering and experience.”

The OTC announced that proceeds from this year’s Annual Dinner will be donated to Medical Bridges, a Houston-based organization that provides medicine and medical supplies to healthcare providers in need worldwide.