I defended my Ph.D. thesis a few days ago.

While I now hold a doctoral degree – the highest level of formalized education in Norway – I was not always a very successful student. But I have many other qualities that I believe are important. First and foremost, I know the field well. I have been outdoors a lot, participated in many rescue operations, and managed many trauma patients. Doing a Ph.D. is a massive team effort. And I want to thank the people that have been important to me in this process.

The following is my acknowledgment chapter in my Ph.D. thesis.

First, I want to forward my sincere gratefulness to my principal supervisor, Professor Jonny Hisdal, who has the core of a genius. You encouraged me to start the PhD journey and convincingly guided me to learn and be professional even when the road got tough. Without your determination, the goal of this project would not have been accomplished. Nevertheless, most of all, I want to thank you for being my mentor in life in general.

Further, I am incredibly thankful for meeting Dr Paul André Solberg during the course of this PhD, who further I am grateful for accepting to be my supervisor. I would also like to thank my supervisors Dr Kjetil Steine and Dr Lars Øivind Høiseth, for their help and advice. I also want to thank my fellow PhD candidates, medical students and staff at the Department of Vascular Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, for all the inspiring discussions and all the fun we have had in the last years.

I am sincerely grateful to Jørgen Einekjær, Head of the Division of Prehospital Care at Vestfold Hospital Trust. He believed in me from the start and set out the course to accomplish my PhD within the Division. I want to thank leaders Torbjørn Lia, Hege Topstad, Kjersti Eidem and Anne Thoresen for their help and practical support along the way. Thanks to Medical Directors Jon Erik Steen Hansen and Kjetil Gorseth Ringdal for their support and guidance. And to all my colleagues in the ambulance service in Vestfold, you are truly everyday heroes. Thank you for letting me work together with you while constantly discussing physiology as well as testing gear and ideas alongside you.  

I want to thank the whole team at Norseman Xtreme Triathlon for organising the best race there is and letting me, together with fellow scientists, make significant research efforts at the race. You are too many to mention you all, but I am forever thankful. Still, my genuine gratitude to General Manager Dag Oliver and Race Directors Torill Pedersen and Tommy Storøygard. I wish to thank all the excellent and always inspiring research team at Norseman: Trine Stensrud, Julie Sørbø Stang, Camilla Illidi, Elena Therese Nyborg, Malene Lislien, Martin Bonnevie Svendsen, Christoffer Nyborg, Ole Jacob Sletten, Helene Støle Melsom, Andreas Storsve, Thijs Eisvogels and Friedrich Konstantin Föhse. And I want to thank all the generous and always enthusiastic athletes volunteering for our studies.

I want to thank the operators and command at the Norwegian Naval Special Forces (Marinejegerkommandoen) for kindly letting me into your exclusive and captivating cohort for several years now. I am overwhelmed by your skills and professionalism, which are honestly very inspiring. You can not be mentioned by names, but I am thankful to you all.

Further, I would like to offer my special thanks to Inger Lund-Kordahl for being an incredible friend and supporter throughout the whole process. Your guidance in statistics and life, in general, has been precious. Another special thanks to Jon Okkelmo Thorp for supporting me and being my mentor in the ups- and downs of life. A sincere thank you to Professor Mike Tipton for guiding and co-authoring my first paper. Thanks to Erling Bekkestad Rein for educating and inspiring me in thermophysiology and military medicine. Thanks to Pål Bergan-Skar for many discussions on military- and prehospital medicine and for sharing and debating ideas on future research projects. Thanks to Thea Knudsen for advising me and encouraging me on coding in Python. Thanks to fellow PhD candidate Elin Saga for being a supportive discussing partner at the hospital with countless coffee breaks during this PhD work’s ups and downs. And thanks to the “Fellowship of Speed”, Professor Huub Toussaint, Professor John Mercer, and Dr Steve Faulkner for several meaningful discussions.

I wish to acknowledge my family’s support and encouragements, my mother Else Melau, my father Haakon Melau, my sister Kristin Manstrup Melau and my brother Kai-Otto Melau. They kept me going on, and this work would have been much more challenging without their care.

Finally, none of this would have been possible without my love Maria Mathiassen and our lovely children Herman and Johanne continuous support and passion. Without your colossal understanding and encouragement in the past years, it would be unthinkable to complete these studies. You always give me warm love and comfort, and I am forever grateful.