Technical University of Denmark: Technical University of Denmark

Coloured lights illuminated the performers on stage in the darkened banquet hall. The changing red, blue, green, and pink spotlights, light bars, and floodlights provided energy and atmosphere for DTU’s Commemoration Day 2022, which was back in its physical form at Lyngby Campus on Friday 29 April. At the same time, the academic ceremony was live-streamed to enable participation at home in the living rooms or dorm rooms.

Distinguished guests, DTU students and staff were greeted on the red carpet by DTU Chairman of the Board of Governors Karin Markides, DTU President Anders Bjarklev, Executive Vice President, Provost Rasmus Larsen, and Andreas Ipsen, President of Polyteknisk Forening (PF student association).

Among the guests were the Danish Crown Prince, a number of ambassadors and representatives from, among others, the European Parliament and DTU’s partner universities in the EuroTech Universities Alliance.

A total of 1,300 guests attended the academic ceremony of the Commemoration Day. Here, excellent research achievements were honoured with honorary doctorates and the recipients celebrated. Special prizes for inspirational teaching were presented by the students, and this year’s student start-up was honoured. Singer Dopha headed the musical entertainment.

The Commemoration Day celebration is DTU’s biggest annual academic event and unique in that invitees include students, staff, external partners from other universities, companies, industries, government agencies and institutions.

Highlights from the academic ceremony
President Anders Bjarklev began the academic part of the Commemoration Day by, among other things, talking about the society of scarcity, the need for skilled engineers, and being physically back at DTU.
DTU President Anders Bjarklev began the academic part of the Commemoration Day by, among other things, talking about the society of scarcity, the need for skilled engineers, and being physically back at DTU:

“We’re back! Once again, we’re gathered for the event of the year here at DTU—after three years! I’ve been looking forward to being here again. Together with you all. Celebrating the community, the great efforts, the successes, and our partners. Everything that everyone of you have contributed. Because it deserves a celebration. You deserve a celebration. Thank you so much!”

Anders Bjarklev also stated that we may have to get used to a society of scarcity. We see the price increases at the supermarket, the long waiting list for the new electric car, and rising energy and gas prices:

“Maybe we need to get used to something that few of us have experienced: A society of scarcity as a result of a tragic war in Ukraine, a pandemic, and the highly urgent climate adaptations.”

Anders Bjarklev pointed out that if something is to be done about the society of scarcity, it requires prioritization of research and education, and not least more engineers:

“Because engineers are key to solving these problems, come up with the innovative solutions, and make a difference!”

Read all of the DTU President’s speech

Chair of Polyteknisk Forening
The Chair for the student association Polyteknisk Forening (PF) Andreas Ipsen co-hosted the Commemoration together with DTU’s President Anders Bjarklev.
Andreas Baltzer Skov, Chair of Polyteknisk Forening (PF student association), said in his speech:

“After two years of lockdowns, constantly changing regulations, and great uncertainty, now is the time to find peace. The peace that comes from having a stable everyday life. The peace that comes with knowing that our lives aren’t constantly being turned upside down. The peace that comes from having the time and space to not only achieve what we need to do—but also what we want.”

“My vision for the university of the future is one where we empower students to do things on their own terms to a higher degree. A university where we have room to try out things without being concerned whether we can pay the rent next semester.”

“A university where we have the opportunity to pursue the start-up dream or challenge ourselves with a difficult course. A university that has the political structure needed to give students peace of mind. Because that’s what it takes to create immersion, the best university, and the best students.”

Two awards for Lecturers of the Year
Torben Knudby, Associate Professor at DTU Engineering Technology, and Michael Deininger, Associate Professor at DTU Construct, were honored as Lectures of the Year.
Every year, the DTU students vote for their lecturers of the year. This year, the honour went to Torben Knudby, Associate Professor at DTU Engineering Technology, and Michael Deininger, Associate Professor at DTU Construct. As Lecturers of the Year, both receive DKK 25,000 and a small gift from the PF student association.

DTU Lecturer of the Year 2022 went to Torben Knudby, Head of Studies and Associate Professor at DTU Engineering Technology.
The students describe Torben Knudby as the most motivating lecturer they have had. He is described as an excellent mediator radiating positive energy. In addition, the students praise him for always being available for questions and help.
DTU Lecturer of the Year 2022 was awarded to Michael Deininger from DTU Construct.
The students describe Michael Deininger as a lecturer who listens with an open mind and takes them seriously. This is especially evident in that he helps them further develop their ideas—even the wild ones. He is also described as both empathetic and humorous in his teaching.
Occupational Health and Safety Award of the Year
Occupational Health and Safety Award of the Year 2022 went to Lene Holberg Blicher, Labatory Manager, DTU Bioengineering.
This year’s Occupational Health and Safety Award was awarded to Lene Holberg Blicher, Laboratory Manager, DTU Bioengineering. The prize comes with DKK 25,000. In his motivation, President Anders Bjarklev said, among other things:

“As Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator since 2014, Lene Holberg Blicher has raised DTU Bioengineering’s occupational health and safety organization to a very high level. The department has several different laboratory classes—including GMOs—(genetically modified organisms) and the working environment is therefore very complex. As Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator, Lene Holberg Blicher’s is proactive, persistent, and structured—above and beyond expectations.”

“She works diligently to ensure momentum in working environment projects, and inspires the rest of the working environment organization to perform their best by setting a very high standard herself.”

The Academic Council has awarded Associate Professor Kim Lau Nielsen, DTU Construct, the technical doctorate. The technical doctorate is DTU’s highest academic distinction and is given in recognition that Kim Lau Nielsen with his studies of computer models for modelling and analysis of deformation and fractures in metals, has taken the research a significant step further.

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