'Eeluminating' careers: Prof. Kristin Y.Pettersen about self-trust, ambition and work-family balance

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

In the fourth episode of our "Women in Blue" interview series we invited Professor Kristin Y. Pettersen to share the story of her own career path in marine robotics and the work she is doing at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Professor Pettersen teaches engineering cybernetics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) where she has held the positions of Head of Department and Director of the NTNU ICT Program of Robotics. She is also an Adjunct Professor with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and a Key Scientist with the Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems. Her research interests focus on nonlinear control of mechanical systems with applications to robotics, with a special emphasis on marine robotics and snake robotics. She is also the co-founder of Eelume AS, Trondheim, an NTNU spin-off company in marine robotics.

In the interview, Professor Pettersen shares the story of how in 1996 she became the first female professor in marine robotics at NTNU and how it took 18 years to get a female colleague. Diving deeper into her personal story as a researcher, we discover how cultivating one's passion for work requires consistency, focus and determination, but also support and understanding from colleagues and the broader social network. Using concrete examples from her own experience, Professor Pettersen sheds light on how children's education but also the socio-cultural context and public system need to work together to foster an equalitarian society. Professor Pettersen strongly believes that "there is no particular gender that is well-wired for a job in robotics. We're all individuals and carry with us our own set of abilities, interests and personality. My advice is to pursue what you love doing, what excites and resonates with you, because when you do something that you love, you will get good at it."


To find out more about Prof. Pettersen's approach to control theory and managing a successful career in marine robotics, you can listen to the podcast by clicking the image below:


If you are interested in determinate topics, then click on the images below to hear Prof. Pettersen's answer/opinion in relation to a specific subject:


We hope you feel inspired and motivated by Prof. Pettersen's amazing professional journey.




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