ST Awards 2016

Recognition is important. Recognition is the key to what motivates us to make great efforts. Recognition of specific achievements focuses attention on our values. Giving recognition is something we are not always good enough at doing in our busy lives. This is something where there is much room for improvement.

To make up for this and to celebrate members of staff who have made great efforts – generally and during the year that has passed since last year’s summer celebration – we introduced something last year that we would like to become a tradition at Science and Technology: the presentation of six prizes that give recognition. The six prizes are awarded in different areas, and each one consists of a diploma and the sum of DKK 10,000. The six prizes are:

See below who the award winners 2016 are and why they each receive an award.

Niels Chr. Nielsen



ST Education Award 2016

The ST Education Award 2016 goes to Associate Professor Niels Olof Bouvin, Department of Computer Science after being nominated by both students and the department.

Niels Olof Bouvin is an extremely dedicated lecturer. Even though he teaches the courses with the highest number of students at the department, he takes his time to get involved in each student project.

Niels Olof is also an extremely skilled lecturer. He is known to be a teacher who cares about the students' well-being during the course. He is very committed to the subject he teaches, which highly motivates the students. Moreover, he is not afraid to incorporate new elements in his lectures such as review of product videos that are subsequently dismantled and analyzed.

Niels Olof always publishes podcasts of his lectures. This gives the students the opportunity to check details in the course topics after the lectures, and helps streamline the preparation for exams.

In addition to all this, it should be mentioned that last year, the students at Computer Science voted for Niels Olof as “Teacher of the Year”. The argument was that Niels Olof, with extraordinary knowledge and commitment manages to present the subject in a humorous and convincing manner.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Niels Olof Bouvin with the ST Education Award 2016.


ST Industrial Collaboration Award 2016

The ST industrial Collaboration Award 2016 goes to Professor Kim Daasbjerg, iNANO and Department of Chemistry.

Kim Daasbjerg has been a role model for his colleagues as the prime mover in the establishment of new types of collaboration between AU and Danish industry.

Kim plays an active role in MADE (Manufacturing Academy of Science), consisting of Danish universities, whose goal is to ensure that new knowledge will be able to support the agile, innovative and sustainable production. A particular focus is to ensure polymer materials a prominent position in the future production image in Denmark. In connection with this, Kim has formed strong collaborations with a number of Danish companies including LEGO, Vestas, Grundfos, Velux, SP Group, Newtec, AVK Gummi and Alfa Laval.

Kim started the Brainovation Day, a match-making event where ST academic groups are matched with relevant industry. The meeting serves as the first step to significantly increase dialogue and collaboration between the industry and AU.

Last but not least, Kim initiated a new paradigm for industry collaborations termed “open science concept”. The idea is that new knowledge is brought into play without legal binding and spread out where it can create value for Danish companies.

Congratulations to Professor Kim Daasbjerg with the ST Industrial Collaboration Award 2016.


ST Science Award 2016

The ST Science Award 2016 goes to Associate Professor Mogens Christensen, Department of Chemistry, based on his success in getting the HEIMDAL station approved at ESS – the European Spallation Source in Lund, Sweden.

Mogens is in the international forefront both in a chemistry field and in method development at large facilities at the age of 38, which is very remarkable. On top of this, Mogens is the central person in setting up an international team proposing a completely new design for neutron investigations of materials, which is absolutely outstanding and cannot be acknowledged too much.

The HEIMDAL instrument is unique, combining small angle scattering and powder diffraction in one instrument, combining cold and hot neutrons, while measuring in situ with the material under working conditions. This design is truly exceptional and has never been seen anywhere else in the world before. Mogens was crucial in first getting the idea of this unique combination, then central to assembling a great team of international scientist in the neutron diffraction from four European countries. His proposal submitted to the ESS board was selected to be among the first 16 instruments being funded.

Scientifically, 2015 has also been excellent for Mogens. He was appointed associate professor at the Department of Chemistry in 2014, which spurred his own independent research group in 2015. Mogens has similarly been successful in attracting external funding, and his Sapere Aude was beneficial for the group developing new magnetic materials. In 2015, he also successfully attracted a large grant from the Innovation Foundation on “Green Chemistry for Advanced Materials”. Over the past 2 years, he has published around 20 papers, including papers in Scientific Reports, Nature Methods, ACS Nano among other high impact journals.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Mogens Christensen with the ST Science Award 2016.


ST TAP Award 2016

The ST TAP Award 2016 goes to Technician Connie Krogh Damgaard, Department of Food Science.

Connie Damgaard has worked as horticultural technician at Food Science in Årslev for the past 18½ years. Her colleagues have nominated her for this award because they recognize her exceptional positive, collaborative and always open approach to cooperating and delivering value.

If I had to describe Connie in one word it would be ‘YES’. She is a troubleshooter. She looks at tasks to solve them in the smoothest way. She seeks collaboration and if other staff attempts to make a situation into a conflict, it is quickly overcome by Connie who takes a solution-oriented approach.She is honest, straightforward and good company.

Connie has many responsibilities, and her area of competence has spread into various new fields and across science teams in the department.

A new responsibility for Connie is the digital photography area, where she provides the scientists with photographs to document and demonstrate their research. On her own initiative, she has also successfully ventured into video production. Her videos can be found on YouTube and through them, the Department and the Food Science research can reach an extensive audience.

Congratulations to technician Connie Krogh Damgaard with the ST TAP Award 2016.


ST Talent Award 2016

The ST Talent Award 2016 goes to PhD student Tobias Wistisen, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Tobias is a PhD student with several unusual talents. He manages - in several cases single-handedly but also in collaboration – to write pure theoretical articles on related issues, and to get these articles published in high-profile journals such as Physical Review D, which is one of the leading journals in elementary particle physics, field theory, gravitation, and cosmology.

Furthermore, Tobias is often the initiator and responsible for planning new experimental tests and approaches, and early in his PhD training, he went alone to a test beam activity at DESY, Hamburg, to try out some of our new detectors. In short time, he developed great expertise with the operation of these detectors – a know-how, which his colleagues have afterwards greatly benefited from.

As part of his training, Tobias has been stationed at CERN, Geneva for half a year during which he learned a lot and also left an impression of a highly talented student - a worthy ambassador for Danish physics, and especially for the department and Aarhus University. Later Tobias again spent half a year abroad, this time with SLAC at Stanford University, where he again was significantly noticed for his extensive knowledge and experience, both in theory and in experimental techniques, analyzers and detectors.

Last but not at least, it is worth mentioning that Tobias on his own initiative implemented simulation tools based on the use of GPUs - a technique that has allowed him to make comprehensive simulation programs, which he has written himself.

Congratulations to Tobias Wistisen with the ST Talent Award 2016.


ST Public Sector Consultancy Award 2016


The ST Public Sector Consultancy Award 2016 goes to Senior Scientist Thomas Ellermann, Department of Environmental Science.

Thomas has a status as Mister Air Quality in Denmark. Through more than 15 years, he has highly impacted Danish air quality management. His work in research-based consultancy is a great inspiration to colleagues and young talents at the Department.

Thomas is a dedicated provider of top quality advice that is based on state-of-the-art scientific knowledge within his field. He is a deeply respected friend and colleague at Environmental Science. In the political-administrative system, he is widely recognized for his professional knowledge, and his natural flair for handling politically sensitive issues within air quality and related fields.

The past year has been particularly outstanding for Thomas who has negotiated relocation of street pollution monitoring stations (in Aalborg, Odense and Copenhagen). Negotiations have been challenging in satisfying traffic safety issues handled by local police, simultaneously with interests of other stakeholders such as the local shop owners, municipalities and bus companies.

Since 2004, Thomas has been the overall responsible for the atmospheric part of the Danish NOVANA monitoring program and has been project leader on a vast number of advisory projects for the Danish EPA. Thomas has a unique ability to collect the best possible teams around him when specific tasks are requested by the authorities. Thereby he is able to ensure that the tasks are solved to the highest quality standards and to the full satisfaction of the authorities. Thomas also has an impressive overview of international research and can thus ensure that advisory tasks are solved in compliance with state-of-the-art knowledge. Combined with his determination to gain deep understanding of the tasks, his sense of context and well-developed critical sense, the quality of his advisory reports cannot be questioned in any way.

Congratulations to Senior Scientist Thomas Ellermann with the ST Public Sector Consultancy Award 2016.



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