Trainee blog

For applying for the technical trainee position, please visit our career page.


Practical metallurgy, data analysis and teamwork

You are probably interested in Elkem’s Trainee program, if you read this. If you consider applying for a trainee position yourself, I would tell you to do it! My impression is that you will be taken good care of, you will learn a lot and get to contribute in development of a better and greener process industry, regardless of your background. If you are wondering if the Trainee program is worth it in the long run, for Elkem, I would say yes! I started as a trainee only a few months ago and I have learned more about practical metallurgy, data analysis and teamwork than any master at university could do by itself. I think the next two years will make me a better employee, and the colleges and interesting projects makes me want to stay within the company. If you wonder if I
enjoy my days at Elkem Thamshavn; I guess you already know the answer.

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Smart Maintenance, Crushing Plant and Deer Hunting

As I’m writing this, it’s been five months since I moved to Svelgen with my dog and started working at Elkem Bremanger. If I am going to be honest, I found it just as scary as it was exciting, but I haven’t regretted my decision for one moment. My colleges in Svelgen has been most welcoming and my tasks at Elkem has been exciting. Both because they’ve made a difference at Elkem Bremanger and because I’ve learned so much. 

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Data-driven projects, cross-cultural collaboration and agile mindset

It has been 4 months since I started my career as a Trainee in Elkem. Here at Carbon Global in Kristiansand, I work in different roles on different types of projects, together with our colleagues from 5 Elkem Carbon plants in Brazil, China, Malaysia, Norway and South Africa. The COVID-19 pandemic has to a large degree limited my way of working to remote collaboration, which brings both challenges and opportunities for my projects, work mentalities and social skills.

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Digitalisation, IR cameras and scenic hikes

About a year ago I started as a trainee in Elkem. During my first year I have learned a lot about the silicon production process, particularly with a focus on digitalisation. I have also had the opportunity to travel and see the production up close at different plants. It has been an interesting journey so far and I am looking forward for new challenges to come.  

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Design, smelters and karate

It has been ten months since I started as a trainee in Elkem and every day has been different from the days before! The shifts from student life, to work at a smelter in Hardanger, to having a home office and now to work at a smelter in Salten, Northern Norway have been huge and mostly fun.

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Graphite, lithium-ion batteries and hiking in Kristiansand

Approximately nine months ago I started as a Trainee in Elkem and a lot has happened since my first day, from meeting the other trainees at the trainee gathering to taking part in developing the product in Elkem’s new investment on battery graphite. 

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MATLAB, IR images and fishing trips

Approximately eight months has passed since I started as an Elkem trainee. 

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Green winter in Kristiansand

It has been a year since I started as a trainee in Elkem and what an adventure! Moving away from the well-known northern part of Norway, to green winter in Kristiansand has been totally new for me.

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From student life in Trondheim to working life in Svelgen

A year has passed since I started as a Trainee in Elkem, and I can definitely say that a lot has changed during the last twelve months. Not only did I go from student life to working life, I have also gone from city life in Trondheim to quite a different lifestyle in the small village of Svelgen. 

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Every person is a new door to a different world

A year has almost passed since I started my trainee career in Elkem and I am already well underway with my second rotation in the Oslo headquarter. My first period was in Elkem Salten placed not far from Bodø, north in Norway.

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From Silicon- to Carbon production

It is now a month ago since I finished my first trainee period at Elkem Thamshavn in Orkanger, and I am now sitting in my office in Kristiansand where I have just started my second at Elkem Carbon. There has been quite a drastic change from being a student to start work at a production plant, but I have really enjoyed it. 

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My first steps in Norway

My first period was at the Saint-Fons plant in France. I studied in Lyon and made my last internship in this plant before my graduation. So, my life hasn't been changed a lot during this assignment. But after 8 months, I started my second assignment in Norway, in Orkanger. And although it is still new for me, I can tell you these first days are already very exotic for me!

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Production experience and cabin life

In Elkem’s smelting furnaces, carbon must be added in order to reduce quartz to silicon. Traditionally fossil coal has been used, but Elkem has set a goal to increase the share of biocarbon in their Norwegian smelters to 40% within 2030. In November last year I was given the chance to participate in the production of a test batch of biocarbon briquettes. This meant that I completed my second trainee period at the headquarter in Oslo by spending one month in Quebec, Canada.

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Global opportunities with Elkem Carbon

As a trainee in Elkem you get a unique opportunity not only to be part of exciting and interesting projects, but also to combine it with seeing many interesting places around the world. Even though it’s hard to compete with the beauty of the Norwegian fjords, there are quite a few other interesting places around the globe. During the past eight months I have been fortunate enough to go see a few of them. 

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Summer time in Sørlandet

Time flies and my second placement as an Elkem trainee is already finished. In April, after 8 months spent in Saint-Fons plant, I packed my luggage and moved to Kristiansand in Elkem Technology for an exciting new experience.

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Bringing a silicon furnace back to life

Being a trainee in Elkem gives you a wonderful opportunity to get to work with some truly remarkable things. Like walking inside a silicon furnace. “Walking inside a silicon furnace?”, you might think, and rightfully so. Normally you would hesitate to enter a chamber that normally handles more than 37.000.000 watts of power. Unless, of course, the furnace pot is being rebuilt, and you are a curious trainee taking part in the project!

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Furnaces, pumps and robots

It is mid-fall, and it has already been six months since I started my second placement as an Elkem trainee at REC Solar. After eight exciting months at Elkem Technology it was time to move on – even if only a few hundred meters across the industry area. Although it is a common characteristic for trainees to be light on their feet, the site at Fiskaa having many of Elkem’s business areas represented has a large variety of interesting challenges to offer, and in my case staying in Kristiansand for one more period also meant that I could enjoy the beautiful summer we have had here at “Sørlandet”.

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Working with digitalisation

After finishing a great trainee period at Elkem Silicones in France, my journey went back to Norway and Kristiansand. I got the opportunity to work for Elkem Foundry with data analysis and data mining. With this, I was able to take part in exploring some of the possibilities of the new and enlarged focus on digitalisation. Digitalisation is a major tool to increase profitability.

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A very warm welcome in a very hot city

In February this year, I packed my bags and moved nearly 7000 kilometres southeast – after completing trainee rotations in Orkanger and Oslo, it was time for a change of scenery. The change from an office environment in Oslo to an industrial plant in India has been a big one, not least because of the sudden temperature increase of around 30 degrees. Fortunately, I have received a very warm welcome, and my third and final trainee rotation in Elkem has been a very special one indeed.

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Living in an industry village

It has now been almost nine months since I started my position as a technical trainee, and Elkem has already given me the chance to see an incredibly wide range of academic challenges, people and Norwegian nature.

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Maintenance – A world of continuous improvement

Robots are amazing creatures. These beautiful beings with long gracious arms, brains made from copper wire and circuit boards, and hearts of cold hard steel. There are few things as mesmerizing as watching a robot buzz around as it carefully but determined picks up and places hundreds of pieces of silicon. 

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Getting a solid overview of silicon production at Elkem Thamshavn

As I write this, my first period as an Elkem trainee is coming to an end. The sun is shining on the Orkdal fjord and the furnaces are humming quietly. There is a warm atmosphere in the office I am sharing with a few of the process engineers here at Elkem Thamshavn, one of the most energy efficient silicon smelting plants in the world.

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Process Safety in a Silicones Plant

Two years after Bluestar Silicones was merged with Elkem in June 2015 and after the renaming of Bluestar Silicones to Elkem Silicones in June 2017, I had the great opportunity to be the first employee of the Silicones division to participate to the Elkem Trainee Program.

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From university to heavy industry: A slow transition

It is nearly winter holiday, and us first year trainees have already reached halfway through our first trainee period in Elkem. My first placement has been at Elkem Technology in Kristiansand where I have had the privilege of being welcomed by many engaging colleagues, and working with a few remarkably interesting projects with plenty of guidance from enthusiastic co-workers, and a lot to learn. Along with that, the past four months have offered an abundance of excitement through many courses, traveling, social gatherings, and even a trip to Venice.

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Leaving Iceland with a heavy heart

Hello faithful readers of the Elkem trainee blog! It has now been 8 months since I packed my bags and headed for Iceland, and I honestly have no clue where the time has gone since then. With only a few days left of my stay here, I thought I would use this opportunity to share some of my experiences from the land of ice and fire.

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Silicones and the French way of life

In April, I moved from the small village Svelgen, to one of the largest cities in France, Lyon. This was in itself a big change, but also the production and the language was completely different.

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Elkem’s trainee programme: a unique opportunity

Half a year ago, I wrote a blog post about my first trainee period in Elkem, working with and learning about all the mechanical equipment around the smelting furnaces of Elkem Thamshavn. I have now been employed in Elkem for over a year, and it feels a bit sudden that I am already more than halfway through the trainee programme.Taking this chance to look back though, I have already learned a great deal about the industry: installation, use and maintenance of a wide array of machinery; our furnaces and high temperature processes in general; industrial and personal safety; lean thinking and continuous improvement. 

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Working with new challenges

Time flies, and I am already halfway through the trainee programme. This summer, our “old” trainees Heidi and Marie moved on to new and exciting tasks within Elkem, as Bård, Sofie, Marthe, and I took their place as second year trainees.

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Train your brain – Trainee style

In the middle of June, all the trainees were lucky to return to the academic world to attend Silicon Summer School, hosted at Reykjavik University in Iceland. The course consisted of lectures from both industry and academia, with 50 participants representing 6 countries around the world.

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From the everyday life at a plant to an R&D environment

For the last 5 months, I have had my third trainee placement in the R&D department of Elkem Silicon Materials (ESM) in Kristiansand. Now that the summer holidays are approaching, so is the end of my trainee adventure and the start of a permanent position in Elkem.

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