News from Department of Energy Technology

Top Researchers Rewarded with DKK 67 Million

Top Researchers Rewarded with DKK 67 Million

The Villum Foundation has granted DKK 67 million to two AAU researchers, Frede Blaabjerg and Per Halkjær Nielsen. "Huge recognition," says the Rector.

Explorations into the world of bacteria and mathematical analyses of the power grid for the benefit of renewable energy – these are two fields that can be better elucidated now that two Aalborg star researchers are receiving a large influx of money for their research.

A special feature of this grant from the Villum Foundation is that the funds are linked to the two researchers rather than to specific projects.

"The idea with the Villum Investigator Programme is that talented researchers do good research. By supporting 'investigators' rather than projects, researchers will have the freedom to explore and, if necessary, to change direction in their research," says Thomas Sinkjær, Research Director at the Villum Foundation.

The granting of independent research funds in this order of magnitude is something that resonates in the corridors of the universities. Rector Per Michael Johansen is thrilled, but not surprised.

"We have many excellent researchers at Aalborg University, and a pat on the back like this does us proud on their behalf. The grants will strengthen our research efforts in areas that are important for the knowledge society, and at the same time, it is yet another recognition that our researchers are among the world elite," says Rector Per Michael Johansen.

Windmills and waste water

The two AAU researchers receiving funds from the Villum Foundation are already among the most recognized in the world in their fields.

Per Halkjær Nielsen, Professor in Microbiology, is getting DKK 30 million for his world-leading research in biotechnology at AAU’s Center for Microbial Studies. His upcoming project will develop new methods that will enable the discovery and description of new microbes on an unprecedented scale. It will revolutionize our understanding of microbes and pave the way for exploiting them in areas like wastewater treatment and bio fuel.

Frede Blaabjerg, Professor in Power Electronics in AAU’s Department of Energy Technology, is getting DKK 37 million for his work on developing systems that are critical for the power grid’s ability to cope with fluctuating electricity production, for example from wind turbines. Frede Blaabjerg was also recently recognized internationally as the most cited researcher in the world in engineering.

Contact:

Frede Blaabjerg, Professor in Power Electronics: +45 21 29 24 54

Per Halkjær Nielsen, Professor in Microbiology: +45 99 40 85 03

Hiva Ahmadi, Press Contact: +45 22 20 68 69