Oral-History:Bertil Thoren


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About Bertil Thoren

Born in Vänersborg, Sweden in 1921, Bertil Thoren demonstrated a childhood interest in science and technology. He studied electrical engineering at the Technical University in Stockholm, and in 1944, earned his master's degree. As military service in Sweden was compulsory, he spent a year in the military before seeking employment, first at ASEA, and then obtaining steady employment at the Ludvika High Voltage and Short Circuit Laboratory as a lab engineer in 1946. His work consisted primarily of testing the breaking capacity of circuit breakers and fuses. In 1950, Thoren went on to receive his doctorate while still working full time. In his thesis he attempted to calculate how much one could deviate from the correct value of current and voltages, a theoretical study which was later used by IEC as a basis when writing its specifications for synthetic testing. Thoren progressed through career stages rapidly. By 1954 he became the manager of the high-power laboratory, where he stayed until the middle of the sixties, when he moved to the Power Systems Consulting Department at Västerås. With this move, Thoren found himself in a completely new area of work, developing computer programs to calculate network performance during short circuits. By the late sixties and early seventies he was lecturing internationally as part of a program to introduce ASEA to various parts of the world.

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