News from the Senior Management Team no. 32/2012

Helle Thorning-Schmidt visits Aarhus University

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt visited Aarhus University on Thursday where, among other things, she greeted the students and employees and visited the new research facilities at iNANO.

Helle Thorning-Schmidt had chosen the theme for the visit herself, and was given a thorough introduction to the interdisciplinary approach which, for 10 years, has made AU a world leader in the field of nano research. In addition to presentations about the latest nano research and a visit to iNANOs clean room, the prime minister was very enthusiastic about meeting the students who have just won the international BIOMOD competition in biodesign at Harvard ahead of teams from MIT, Tokyo, Zurich and many others.

The prime minister also visited the 46-metre long particle accelerator, Astrid2, at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, which was officially inaugurated on Monday 10 September.

Attending the opening of the Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research

Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will also attend the official opening of the new Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) in Beijing on 10 September 2012.

The university centre is a collaboration between the eight Danish universities and the Chinese university University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The prime minister will give a speech at the inaugural ceremony, which also marks the start of four completely new MSc study programmes, including Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, which are based at AU.

AU opens two new research laboratories

On Monday 10 September, Aarhus hosted the opening of two research laboratories which will pave the way for new research possibilities in both “dry” and the “wet” fields.


New accelerator strengthens particle research

After four years of development work, the Department of Physics and Astronomy has presented a new 46-metre-long particle accelerator, Astrid2, which is almost the only one of its kind in the world. The accelerator has been named after its “little sister”, Astrid, which, since 1991, has put AU on the world map in the field of research on accelerator physics.   

With Astrid2, AU will be able to offer Danish and international researchers the ultimate radiation source, providing a unique opportunity to map the smallest particles in the world around us.

A strong research environment consisting of physicists, biologists and hospital physicists combined with Astrid2’s features will put AU into the ranks of world-leading institutions within accelerator physics and synchrotron radiation, and is expected to contribute new knowledge about, for example, the development of materials such as graphite, radiation therapy and cancer treatment.

New digital laboratory for humanities research

Monday also saw the opening of the new research laboratory DIGHUMLAB - “Digital Humanities Lab.”

DIGHUMLAB is a new and ambitious Danish project backed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education which, through developing digital tools and methods, will help to create new possibilities for research within the humanities.

Queen Margrethe to attend annual celebration

HM Queen Margrethe will attend the special ceremony at the annual celebration in the Main Hall on Friday 14 September where she will have an opportunity to meet the four students from the university who are receiving this year’s Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants.

In connection with the 40th anniversary of Queen Margrethe’s accession to the throne in January, Aarhus University marked the close ties between the royal family and AU by increasing the number of Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants for AU students from two to four. The Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants were originally established as a present to the monarch when she celebrated her 70th birthday. Each grant totals DKK 25,000 and is awarded at the annual celebration.

With regard to the evening event at Concert Hall Aarhus, tickets are being sent out at the moment. There has been a flood of interest in the Concert Hall Aarhus event, so the tickets have been allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Consequently, please return any tickets which you will not be using.

Returned tickets should be sent to: Kongreskompagniet, Nordhavnsgade 4, 8000 Aarhus C.

Danish School of Media and Journalism and Aarhus University to extend partnership

Successful collaboration and several recognised university study programmes in journalism are now being followed up by an agreement to team up on more joint educational activities.

The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) has just signed an agreement with Aarhus University on the two institutions appointing a number of joint working groups which will shed light on the possibilities for extending the partnership. The working groups will report at the end of the year to the rector’s offices, where DMJX Rector Jens Otto Kjær Hansen and AU Pro-Rector Søren E. Frandsen are the respective contacts.

The partnership was established in 2006 with the establishment of the Centre for University Studies in Journalism. Today, the partnership has developed to include an international Master’s degree programme, Bachelor’s programmes, Bachelor’s supplementary subjects, programmes including accreditation of prior learning, collaborating on PhD degrees and research focused on journalism.

Continuing the strategic path into 2017

At its seminar on 18-19 September, the Board will discuss the main themes for the forthcoming strategy period which will consolidate and further hone the existing strategic course. Moreover, the strategy for 2013-2017 will bring together the comprehensive strategy work which has taken place over the past year in the main academic areas and in the interdisciplinary core activities.

The process is continuing in the autumn, and will include a consultation phase. The final strategy will be handled at the Board meeting in December 2012 with a view to implementation in the new year.

Building Stronger Universities in Aarhus

On 31 August, a delegation of deans and professors from African partner universities visited Aarhus University. The delegation visited Denmark to develop the Building Stronger Universities (BSU) project, which focuses on competence building in developing countries within four themes and in which all the Danish universities are participating.

The meeting in Aarhus addressed two of the themes, Environment & Climate as well as Growth & Employment, both headed by AU researchers. The meeting in Aarhus provided an opportunity for informal discussions between the African delegation and Danish researchers interested in these subject areas.