The Organization of doctoral engineering students (ODIS) was the precursor to DION in the time prior to the establishment of NTNU, when it was still the Norwegian Institute of Technology. Professor Signe Kjelstrup writes of ODIS in the book Teknologi for samfunnet – NTH i en brytningstid 1985-1995:
With the establishment of the Organization of doctoral engineering students, Odis, formally in 1986, doctoral candidates took and received an important responsibility for their own work. Odis contributed to the good management of personnel matters. A main issue for Odis was that some candidates had difficult working conditions. In this context the time with the supervisor was important. In the guide for supervisors Cecilie Berg, head of Odis 1990 wrote: “A surprising majority of doctoral engineering students have a common problem, namely that they are not paid enough time and attention from the supervisor”. Odis went wholeheartedly into the supervisor seminars and succeeded in providing attention to the issue for the benefit of all parties.
DION was founded 29. February 1996, with support from the rector of NTNU Karsten Jakobsen. This was just after the formation of the NTNU, so DION is an early child of the new organization of the university community in Trondheim. One of the most ardent initiators, Jens Haugan, was chosen to leader at the first annual meeting. He also served as head of the group DION-HF. He worked actively to include ODIS from the technology communities, which was still active, and start similar organizations in the other faculties (MatNat DION, DION MedFak, DION SVT). Haugan drove this initiative for three years before his retirement.
DION also existed in 1999, but one of those who took over in 2000 expressed that there had been a kind of hibernation state. An important issue that came up was the requirement for employee status of Phd-students – which had to be balanced against the benefits stemming from the student status.
Similar organizations of doctoral candidates popped up at other norwegian universities. After a contact from the Stipendiatane at the Norwegian Agricultural University at Ås (UMB later), a partnership was established with them. DION participated actively in the start up of an “umbrella organization” SiN (Stipendiatorganisasjonene i Norge), especially by DION leader Margit Hermundsgård.
Leaders in DION
- February 1996 – spring 1999: Jens Haugan (HF)
- Spring 1999 – spring 2000: Unknown (Torgeir Dingsøyr or Ole André Brevik?)
- Spring 2000 – Spring 2002: Rolf André Bohne, Construction
- Spring 2002 – spring 2003: Margit Hermundsgård, Industrial ecology / HF
- Spring 2003 – spring 2004: Steinar Lion Ellefmo, Engineering and Technology (IVT)
- Spring 2004 – Spring 2005: Torun Margareta Melo, Faculty of Medicine
- Spring 2005 – Spring 2006: Silje Marie Skogvold, Science and Technology (NT)
- Spring 2006 – Spring 2007: Per Anders Eidem, Science and Technology (NT)
- Spring 2007 – Summer 2007: Hanne M. L. Kvitsand Acting leader
- Summer 2007 – Spring 2008: Jan Frode Hatlen. History and Classical studies (HF)
- Spring 2008 – Spring 2010: Sverre Lundemo, Biology (NT)
- Spring 2010 – Spring 2011: Haaken Annfelt Moe, Mathematics (IME)
- Spring 2011 – Fall 2012: Kirsti Jensen (SVT)
- Fall 2012 – Spring 2013: Julien S. Bourrelle
- Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: Torbjørn Pederson
- Spring 2014 – Spring 2015: Clara Good
- Spring 2015 – Spring 2016: Øyvind Storesund Hetland
- Spring 2016 – Spring 2017: Lina H. Ingeborgrud
- Spring 2016 – Spring 2018: Ingvild Firman Fjellså
- Spring 2018 – Spring 2019: Nina Helen Aas Røkkum
- Spring 2019 – Present: Angelina Penner