PhD talents shine brightly at SCIENCE – University of Copenhagen

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23 September 2016

PhD talents shine brightly at SCIENCE

PhD Awards

More than 250 doctoral degrees were awarded at Faculty of Science's recent PhD graduation ceremony, the culminating moment of the Faculty’s most significant investment over the past year.

PhD Awards were presented for three exceptional doctoral projects at the recent PhD graduation ceremony. This marks the third annual event at which PhD Awards have been presented. Thus, the prize of 25,000 kroner has now been extended to nine fantastic young researchers whose doctoral work has contributed significantly towards each of their respective research areas. This year's recipients, Anders Anker Bjørk of the Natural History Museum, Lene Irene Olsen from Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences and Thorbjørn Juul Morsing from Department of Chemistry, were each presented with a PhD Award – along with a diploma – by the Dean.

Anders Anker Bjørk was presented with a SCIENCE PhD Award 2016 for his impressive doctoral dissertation, 'Expanding Greenland's Glacial Record '. The quality of Anders' work is excellent, and his inclusion of collected data, set within the context of modern research, is unique. It has resulted in a better foundation for predicting future increases in sea level. His articles have been published in the most reputed international journals and are already being cited frequently. Anders has forged contact with several elite international researchers and institutions over the course of his doctoral studies. Combined with his tireless dedication to instruction and supervision, and a talent for disseminating research, Anders is without a doubt one of Denmark’s excellent new research talents. The Assessment Committee deemed Anders Anker Bjørk’s dissertation to be at the very highest level among Danish doctoral dissertations.

Lene Irene Olsen has been awarded a SCIENCE PhD Award 2016 for her excellent doctoral dissertation, 'Role of heavy metal pumps in transport of zinc from soil to seeds of plants'. She has achieved brilliant results, both during her doctoral work and with her dissertation, work that the Assessment Committee has deemed to be of exceptionally high quality. Lene’s research has focused on how zinc is transported into plant seeds, and has resulted in significant discoveries within the field of plant biology that improve our understanding of how micro-nutrients are transported to the edible plant parts. Lene’s results have been published in leading journals within her field, findings that have already resulted in an impressive number of citations. Lene has also been awarded several first prizes for posters, and documented her strong dissemination skills via a number of popular science articles.

Thorbjørn Juul Morsing received his SCIENCE PhD Award 2016 for for his excellent doctoral dissertation, 'High Valence, Normal Valence and Normal Unknown Valence'. His impressive doctoral project results were achieved by managing to combine extraordinarily broad professional acumen with an impressively high level of scientific productivity. Thorbjørn continuously developed his project with new techniques and by seeking out new expertise and collaborative partners. He executed his planned project in an exemplary manner, while extending the project in extremely fruitful directions. Thorbjørn Morsing’s dissertation includes 10 articles, of which he is the primary author of eight. The Assessment Committee deemed Thorbjørn to be among Denmark’s very best doctoral candidates.

The award ceremony was a festive occasion during which roughly 200 participants assembled in the North Campus’ Lundbeck Auditorium to celebrate each and every one of the talented young people who have completed their doctoral coursework at SCIENCE over the past year. The ceremony was marked by an inspiring speech by Pro-Rector Thomas Bjørnholm, and a classical guitar performance by two young musicians from the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

The SCIENCE PhD Award was introduced in 2014. Every year, Faculty of Science departments help to select three outstanding doctoral dissertations, among the many other excellent dissertations submitted and defended at SCIENCE. It is extremely pleasing that award winners over these past few years have come from a variety of research environments. This emphasizes the fact that excellent research, skilled researcher training and exceptional talent pools can be found in every corner of our large Faculty.

The Award will be presented yet again, in 2017. PhD students who receive their degree during the period from 1 June 2016 - 31 May 2017, will be duly celebrated at next year's PhD ceremony, scheduled for September 15, 2017.