Comet career

Patrick Berg Sørdahl (25) really only wanted a little help for his master’s degree from the professionals at Nofima. He ended up writing his master’s thesis with Nofima, and was appointed to a permanent position in the company.

Now the Norwegian Minister of Fisheries and other experts in the field have discovered the talented young researcher.

In the spring of 2016, Patrick Berg Sørdahl was appointed as one of the members of the Fisheries Minister’s Requirements Commission to review the delivery, processing and activity requirements for trawlers. Patrick is already one of Norway’s experts on this topic, which was also the subject of his master’s thesis.

– It’s a bit overwhelming, Patrick admits. He had not exactly anticipated this when he came to Tromsø to get his bachelor’s degree in community planning in the autumn of 2010.

Child of the Barents Sea

Patrick grew up in Berlevåg, the village on the coast of Finnmark that many became familiar with through the eccentric male choir featured in the film “Heftig og begeistret” (Cool and Crazy). But Berlevåg is primarily known for being on the threshold of one of the world’s largest natural food pantries – the Barents Sea. Patrick grew up climbing around on the characteristic tetrapods on the breakwater, built to break the waves that sometimes come crashing in from the North.

– I always wanted a job where I could do something socially beneficial, something meaningful. That is why I began studying social planning. The fact that the subject of my master’s thesis was the system of requirements made to fishing trawlers had something to do with my background, but mainly it was purely a chance occurrence. That was a topic that was of great current interest when I started my master’s work, he says.

Enjoys a challenge

The system of requirements is complicated, and to some extent Patrick had difficulty   finding advisors on this particular topic. This was the situation when he first came, by chance, to Nofima.
Today, in retrospect, this was a stroke of luck. There are not very many new recruits who find the job of their dreams at the age of 25.

Patrick Berg Sørdahl thoroughly enjoys approaching various research issues from different angles. Right now he is doing intensive research on food fraud as well as coastal zoning, and enjoys both specializing in what some consider very peculiar research issues and doing more general research tasks having broad social appeal.

So far he does not feel he has gotten into a rut.

– That’s one of the best things about Nofima: We have a strong collegial environment here, where you can seek information. On virtually any matter you get stuck on, there is always someone with considerably more experience who can nudge you forward. All staff members share their expertise so that our results will be of the highest possible quality, he explains.

He has not even begun to think about where his career path will lead him in the future.

– But it would be fun to be able to get a doctorate!


2010: Finished upper secondary school, general studies, in Honningsvåg.

2010-2013: Bachelor’s degree in community planning at Norway’s Arctic University – UiT.

2013-2015: Master’s degree in community planning at Norway’s Arctic University – UiT in collaboration with Nofima.

2015-2016: Various commissioned tasks and project assignment at Nofima.

2016-: Permanently employed at Nofima as a research scientist


When I got the tip that there were resource persons at Nofima who could contribute towards getting my master’s degree, and who later found my work good enough to offer me a job.