News from the Senior Management Team no. 20/2012

Recognised scholars receive science award at Holst-Knudsen ceremony

Last week, Aarhus University conferred its most prestigious science award, the Rigmor og Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research. The recipients are two internationally leading researchers within their respective fields:

  • Scientific Director, Professor, Oluf Borbye Pedersen, MD, Dr Med Sci, from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and
  • Professor Timo Teräsvirta, D.Pol.Sc., from the CREATES research centre, Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University.

Oluf Borbye Pedersen ranks among the leading experts within diabetes research, while Timo Teräsvirta is a recognised researcher within non-linear economic and financial time series data.

The Rigmor og Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research is given to researchers who work or have worked at Aarhus University, and who have achieved significant results.

At the same ceremony, eight promising research talents received Aarhus University Research Foundation's PhD awards.

  • PhD Malene Flensborg Damholdt, School of Business and Social Sciences
  • PhD Erik Lerkevang Grove, Health
  • PhD Mette Kallestrup Hagensen, Health
  • PhD Hao Jiang, Science and Technology
  • PhD Anders Bredahl Kock, School of Business and Social Sciences
  • PhD Steffen Terp Laursen, Arts
  • PhD Dorthe B. Ravnsbæk, Science and Technology
  • PhD Nina Holm Vohnsen, Arts

Read more about the eight PhD students and their projects (in Danish)

New director at the Aarhus University School of Engineering

On 1 July 2012, Conni Simonsen (56) takes up the position as director of the Aarhus University School of Engineering. Holding an MSc in Engineering, she is currently rector of the Copenhagen University College of Engineering.

In addition to experience in university politics, she also has a strong business profile having previously held positions as Vice President for Grundfos Management and CEO of Ericsson.

Conni Simonsen will, among other things, work to develop the study programmes of the School of Engineering, with particular focus on strengthening the students' international competency profiles and maintaining close collaboration with the business community.

The engineering programmes at Aarhus University are anchored in three units: Aarhus University School of Engineering and the Department of Engineering under Science and Technology as well as AU Herning under School of Business and Social Sciences.

Growth partnership with focus on innovation and education

The Central Denmark Region Forum for Growth and the Danish government have recently concluded a new partnership agreement to boost growth.

The agreement will focus on a number of areas which require stronger efforts and in which Aarhus University has the academic capacity to contribute to growth and employment in the Central Denmark Region.

The agreement includes the following specific focus areas:

  • One coherent public innovation system
  • Increased collaboration within health and welfare, green transition, wind energy, biomass, food production and experience economy
  • One coherent educational system

Aarhus University is represented in the chairmanship of the Central Denmark Region Forum for Growth by Pro-rector Søren E. Frandsen, who, together with the rest of the chairmanship, negotiated the agreement.


At the meeting, the Danish government was represented by the Minister for Business and Growth, Ole Sohn, the Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard, and the Minister for Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs, Carsten Hansen.

Untraditional conference at AU to create sustainable solutions

This weekend (1-3 June), the Lakeside Lecture Theatres will serve as conference venue for more than 400 students, researchers, think tanks, NGOs, entrepreneurs and businesses from more than 30 European countries. Through a combination of brief presentations, workshops and visual presentations, the participants will spend the three days on identifying specific solutions to the most important future challenges facing the world under the heading 'The Great Debate: Solutions by Re-thinking'.

The outcome of the conference will subsequently be submitted to relevant players in the EU system in the hope of influencing the coming negotiations in Rio de Janeiro in June.

Keynote speakers include Michael Braungart, co-founder of the 'Cradle to Cradle' concept, Jørgen Ørstrøm Møller, writer and former ambassador to Singapore, and the Social Democrat Jens Joel, member of the Folketing's Climate, Energy and Building Committee.

The conference is organised by New Europe and Global Citizen with support from the European Commission and the Danish EU Presidency.



Kind regards,


The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

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