From India to Denmark

Just before the Easter holiday Aarhus University had a special guest from India. The 21-year-old student Abhishek Rao from IIT Kharagpur won a trip to Denmark from the Danish Innovation Centre in India to visit a higher education institution of his choice in Denmark.

2015.04.08 | Gitte Bindzus Foldager

He chose Aarhus University.

To win the trip students in India had to write an essay about how a Danish technology could be used in India. Abhishek Rao wrote about the research of Professor Bo Brummerstedt and his team at the Department of Chemistry at Aarhus University.

In Abhishek’s research about Denmark he was really impressed by how Danish researchers had innovatively devised ways to effectively capture waste heat energy to generate electricity.  In this he saw a tremendous potential for households in rural India where roughly 300 million Indians have no access to electricity.

“I thought that Bo’s passion for Chemistry and his research in thermoelectrics was quite inspirational, to say the least. The fact that we are on the brink of a major breakthrough in alternative energy, was quite evident from our discussion and I really felt that this created an astounding opportunity for future collaboration between Denmark and India, Abhishek says about his meeting with the professor.

Visiting Aarhus School of Engineering

Next year Abhishek Rao graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology, and being a student of Electrical Engineering he of course also visited with the head of Aarhus University’s programme in Electrical Engineering to hear about his opportunities, if he chooses to study engineering in Aarhus.

Henrik Karstoft, head of the programme, told him about the structure and courses and Abhishek Rao especially liked the different specialised study packages, where students have a choice to design their own study plan to match their interests and shape their own profile for their future career.

“The programme was very comprehensive in structure while simultaneously being flexible in its approach, so I think that provides the students with the best of both worlds,” he said after the meeting.

And asking about the job prospects when graduating? Henrik Karstoft could tell that the unemployment rate is non-existing. Engineers from AU are in very high demand.

At the Department of Engineering Abhishek Rao also met with a current international student studying computer engineering and while having a student job at LEGO. She shared her views on the programme and how the master’s programme was different from the bachelor’s. As she said – while on the bachelor’s level you learn about engineering you now learn how to manage your own projects and actually figure out how you can use your knowledge in relation to specialists from other fields. 

Studying engineering at AU Herning

Although most of the visit took place in Aarhus one day was reserved for a trip to Herning to visit the campus there and hear about the engineering programme in Technology Based Business Development, which is a part of the School of Business and Social Science and has a strong collaboration with companies.  The visit in Herning was comprised of a talk with an international student, a tour of the campus and a short meeting with some of the professors.

“The environment at the Herning campus is like that of a closely-knit family. I felt that the Herning campus was like an archetype of Danish innovation, be it the fire-spitting colossal ELIA and the Innovatorium or the courses offered like Technology based Business Development, they had it all,” said Abishek after the visit in Herning.

Danes are likes pineapples

Besides visits to different department Abhishek also had time to see the city of Aarhus, the Danish people, and the University campus and to hear from a fellow Indian what it is like to live in Denmark - and as Indian postdoc Mohit Kothari said: Danes are like pineapples, hard on the outside but soft on the inside.

Coming back?

With lots of visits to different department Abhishek Rao got in idea of what Aarhus University can offer.

When asked if he is considering applying for AU next year he says:

“Definitely! Aarhus is a picturesque and artistic city and one can say the same about the people at AU where researchers, just like the renaissance artists, are boldly trying to defy the norm to bring about a revolution in technology.”

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