24 September 2015

PhD graduates celebrated at major awards ceremony


The 2015 SCIENCE PhD Awards have been presented to three outstanding PhD projects from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the Department of Chemistry and the Niels Bohr Institute.

Florentin Reiter, Niels Bohr Institute; Kristine Bohmann, Natural History Museum of Denmark; Kasper Steen Pedersen, Department of Chemistry. Photo: Mikal Schlosser

Every year, the Faculty of SCIENCE honours its recent PhD graduates at a major awards ceremony. On Friday, September 18, 2015, UCPH Rector Ralf Hemmingsen joined the festivities to mark this very important occasion.

Roughly 150 guests, including many of the Faculty’s PhD graduates, their guests and supervisors were in attendance.

The Rector held a welcome speech where he highlighted the important "transferrable skills" that PhD students acquire over the course of their programmes, skills that are of value regardless of whether or not one continues in a research position at the university, or on to a career in the private sector. It was a festive afternoon during which the graduates were thanked for their efforts as PhD students at SCIENCE over the past three years.

This year’s awards, each worth DKK 25,000, were presented to three outstanding young researchers by the Dean. Each of the recipients completed an impressive PhD programme and PhD projects that, among other things, lead to an impressive number of articles in highly ranked journals, as well as high compliments from the review committee. The three recipients were selected from an array of strong candidates nominated by the faculty’s departments.

The three recipients

Kristine Bohmann of the Natural History Museum was awarded the 2015 SCIENCE PhD Award for her outstanding project: 'Bats, Blood and Biodiversity – Illumina Metabarcoding in Dietary Studies'. Kristine Bohmann produced a tremendously well-written PhD dissertation that underscored her enormous talent for written science communication. Kristine demonstrates both innovation and creativity in a PhD project that is at the cutting edge of molecular ecology. One of Kirstine Bohmann’s dissertation articles was 2014’s second most downloaded from the prestigious journal, ‘Trends in Ecology and Evolution’.

Florentin Reiter was presented the 2015 SCIENCE PhD Award for his outstanding project, 'Dissipative Preparation of Entanglement in Quantum Optical and Solid State Systems', carried out at the Niels Bohr Institute. Over the course of his PhD, Florentin was able to play a large role in connecting abstract theoretical ideas about how to work with quantum information, with actual laboratory experiments. The review committee determined Florentin Reiter’s dissertation to be a well-written PhD report that demonstrated high quality scientific research.

Kasper Steen Pedersen of the Department of Chemistry was presented the 2015 SCIENCE PhD Award for his exceptional project, 'Modular Approaches to Fluoride-Bridged Molecular Magnetic Materials & Trigonal Lanthanide Single-Ion Magnets'. Kasper is the primary author of an impressive number of articles, most of which have been published in leading journals. He is an extremely talented young researcher whose PhD project contributed to new preparative chemistry, the creative use of large-scale international facilities and theoretical modelling. By doing so, Kasper Steen Pedersen made a significant contribution to a field of research known as ‘molecular magnetism’.

PhD-graduates from SCIENCE with Rector Ralf Hemmingsen, Dean John Renner Hansen and Associate Dean Morten Pejrup. Photo: Mikal Schlosser

More than 300 new PhD programmes begin at SCIENCE every year, and SCIENCE has a major strategic focus on researcher training. At any given time, there are approximately 1200 PhD students registered at the faculty, which amounts to a combined annual investment of DKK 500 million. The PhD students play an important role within faculty departments, where they contribute to the development, modernisation and maintenance of the faculty’s strong and innovative research environments. More than 50% of the PhD students at the faculty are foreign students, and this contributes to the faculty’s ability to build international networks and promote cross border collaboration, both during and after the completion of their PhD programmes.

SCIENCE PhD’s who graduate between June 1, 2015 - May 1, 2016 will be invited to the 2016 PhD event, to be held in September of 2016. Event location and date information will be announced on the PhD school’s website during the winter of the 2015/2016 academic year.