News from the senior management team no. 32/2018

Jens Christian Skou honoured throughout week at AU

On the day on which Jens Chr. Skou would have celebrated his 100th birthday, Aarhus University inaugurated the new research building for the Department of Biomedicine, which goes by the name of the Skou Building. 

The Skou building is equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities and is something of an experience in itself both inside and out, thanks to talented architects who made sure the building was both a state-of-the-art research building and also a natural element in the canonised University Park. And they have succeeded in their quest. 

Uniquely talented researcher wins Skou Award

Last week, Health also presented the talent award for the faculty, the Skou Award, to associate professor, medical specialist and PhD Maiken Stilling of Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. Maiken Stilling works both as a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and as a medical specialist at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Aarhus University Hospital. 

“She is extraordinarily talented. In short, she is (...) an excellent researcher, a talented and innovative clinician.” These are the words of Professor and Chair Kjeld Søballe, who worked together with Department Head Jørgen Frøkiær – both of the Department of Clinical Medicine – to select Maiken Stilling as the winner of the Health talent award, which is presented once a year. 

New exhibition in honour of Skou

Skou’s 100th birthday on Monday, 8 October was also marked at Steno Museum with their inauguration of the exhibition entitled “Videnskab er lidenskab – om forskerliv og kogte krabber” [Science is passion – about research and boiled crabs]. The exhibit will include a reconstruction of Skou’s former office at the university. Overall, this exhibition will be focusing on matters such as: What drives the researcher? Why do researchers spend their lives finding out how cells work or understanding the cardiac functions of certain animals? This exhibition places passion and science under the microscope.

AU climate researcher honoured for this year’s original research idea

Toke Thomas Høye, a senior researcher at the Department of Bioscience, last week became the first recipient of a new award from the Independent Research Fund Denmark for this year’s original research idea. Toke Thomas Høye has been awarded DKK 2.6 million to develop new methods to make it possible to investigate the impact of climate change on the interaction between plants and pollinating insects. This field study will be taking place in the Arctic, where these climate changes will have the greatest impact. 

Professor Jacob Sherson wins 2018 Grundfos Award 

Professor Jacob Sherson is this year’s recipient of the 2018 Grundfos Award, presented for his research into experimental quantum mechanics and his original efforts to include the problem-solving skills of ordinary people in scientific research. The Grundfos Award is worth DKK 1 million. 

Jacob Sherson is the central developer and research director of the ScienceAtHome research team. This team has been responsible for the game “Quantum Moves”, which up to now has been played by more than 250,000 people all over the world. 

Honorary doctor at Aarhus University receives Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Sir Gregory Winter is one of four recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on antibodies. Sir Gregory Winter of Trinity College, Cambridge has been working with AU researchers for many years, and in 2015 he was appointed an honorary doctor at Aarhus University, Science and Technology. His research into human antibodies has laid the foundation for many modern-day medical treatments, and he has founded a number of successful biotech companies. 

AU 89th in National Taiwan University rankings 

Aarhus University is ranked 89th in the world in National Taiwan University’s rankings for 2018, with a total score of 65.4 points out of 100. AU has increased its score by 3.3 points compared to last year but has fallen one place in the list. This ranking assesses universities on the basis of bibliometric indicators, with particular emphasis on the indicators research productivity, research impact and research excellence.

In the Nordic region and Europe, AU has maintained its 4th and 30th positions respectively. The University of Copenhagen is ranked 21st in the world in this list, 5th in Europe and 1st in the Nordic region.

Two new engineering degree programmes in Herning

Two new Bachelor of Engineering programmes in electrical energy technology and mechanical engineering have just been approved by the Danish Accreditation Institution to open in Herning as early as this summer. Both new programmes will focus specifically on sustainability, and students will be working with technologies aiming to resolve some of the major societal challenges related to green energy. It will be possible to submit applications for these degree programmes from 1 February 2019. The expansion in Herning is part of Aarhus University’s overall engineering initiative to increase admissions to engineering degree programmes and strengthen the technology research environment.  

New teaching staff network for case competitions

Aarhus University now has a network for teaching staff who want to use case competitions as elements in their teaching. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen gave a talk at the first meeting of the network and pointed out that he hopes more stakeholders will use case competitions to cooperate with the world and across departments and faculties. And the network must provide an opportunity to create case competitions, as well as providing feedback and sharing experiences relating to work involving cases in a curricular context. The aim is to meet 3-4 times a year.

This meeting also included a presentation by Richard Donovan, Professor of Practice in Management from McGill University in Montreal. He is an international expert in the field, and he will be visiting AU in March 2019 in order to hold a workshop and provide one-on-one discussion sessions for teaching staff who include case competitions in courses.

As part of AU’s business venture, the AU Challenge interdisciplinary case competition took place for the first time in February 2018, and in early October 75 students from Arts took part in a case competition in cooperation with the municipality of Silkeborg.

  • Write to specialist consultant Merethe Kruse if you would like to know more.

Student election imminent 

Students at Aarhus University will be going to the polls between 12 and 15 November, electing representatives to sit on the university’s councils, boards of studies and committees. They can stand for election themselves or vote for candidates for the AU Board, positions currently occupied by Sune Koch Rønnow and Line Dam Westengaard. 

Students can also stand for election or vote for candidates for the four academic councils and the local boards of studies. PhD students can also stand for election and vote for candidates for the PhD committee. 

Student involvement in the election is important for the university, as they can make their mark on the future of the university through the board, councils, committees and boards of studies.


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