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One of Norway's biggest software houses is taking established software to new heights

Has further developed 50-year-old software to enter new markets.

DNV's Sesam software was 50 years old in 2019. Most people have never heard of Sesam, but it is an important and world-famous tool for designers of offshore structures. Its contributions to the design and optimization of, and strength calculations for, ships and offshore structures have made it crucial to the shipping industry and North Sea developments. Now this software is being taken to new heights.

"It's quite incredible to think about the journey Sesam has been on," says Kai-Jia Han.

Kai-Jia Han is a Principal Computational Scientist with DNV. She grew up in China, has a PhD in hydrodynamics from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and has worked for DNV – Digital Solutions for more than 11 years.

She is impressed that the company has managed to keep Sesam relevant for so many years.

"That shows our willingness to constantly learn new things and further develop our software. Building on DNV's strong domain knowledge gives us a great competitive advantage as a software company when it comes to addressing the market's need for effective, advanced and future-oriented solutions," she says.

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Strong focus on offshore wind

The world is changing. Energy sources such as oil and gas are being phased out, while solar and wind power are becoming increasingly popular. According to DNV's Energy Transition Outlook, almost half of the world's energy will come from renewable sources in 2050. DNV is playing an important role in this green shift.

DNV – Digital Solutions has a strong focus on offshore wind and aims to contribute to the innovative and safe development of fixed and floating offshore wind farms.

"Offshore wind will account for a large part of the renewable energy supply in the future. In the past few years, we've seen that our Sesam customers have increasingly focused on offshore wind, and we're working closely with them to further develop the software in this field. Offshore wind farms must be safe, stable structures that will last for many years, and Sesam can help to ensure this," says Laurens Alblas, the product owner for Sesam's Fixed Offshore Wind Structures software.

"Previously, Sesam could take several days or weeks to conduct analyses. Our new cloud solution, Sesam Cloud Compute, conducts several thousand parallel simulations in the cloud. This means the analyses are completed in a few hours, so that, for example, designers of offshore wind structures can spend more time on optimizing the model instead of on waiting for the results. This means companies can save a lot of money," he says. 

Software house with a lot of expertise

Kai-Jia tells us a little about what it is like to work for this innovative software house.

"We work in multidisciplinary teams composed of employees who have different domain knowledge, including in the fields of hydrodynamics, construction techniques, link analyses and informatics. It's exciting to work with new cloud technology and the opportunities this provides for Sesam and our customers. DNV offers many different career paths and opportunities to have various types of roles."

DNV's purpose is to safeguard life, property and the environment. This is becoming more and more important due to the ways in which the climate will change in the years to come.

"We expect there to be more extreme weather in the next few years, and we have to build structures that can cope with this. This is something that we in DNV have worked on for many years, but now the market is starting to feel the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. We are in a very good position to deal with the various challenges, and we can offer the best solutions," says Kenneth Vareide.

He is the CEO of DNV – Digital Solutions. With 1,000 employees, this company is one of Norway's absolutely biggest software houses. 

"Now that we've made Sesam ready for a new era, we'll continue to improve this software while also developing new solutions for the future," says Vareide.

"We're focusing on new services using new technologies. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data security and our Veracity industry data platform are also important in this regard."

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