New professors at DTU Energy

Monday 17 Jun 19


Johan Olov Hjelm
Professor, Head of Section
DTU Energy
+45 46 77 58 87
Anne Hauch and Johan Hjelm have been appointed professors in Electrochemical Materials and Interfaces at DTU Energy.

Electrochemistry – the branch of chemistry studying reactions where electricity play a crucial role – is the basis of many important energy storage technologies such as batteries and electrolysis. DTU Energy has a very strong history of research within electrochemistry going back more than 40 years. To strengthen the area even further two new professors in Electrochemical Materials and Interfaces have now been appointed, Anne Hauch and Johan Hjelm.

Anne Hauch

Anne Hauch did her MSc in chemistry and physics at Aarhus University. She then worked briefly as a high school teacher before going on to do a PhD at Risø National Laboratory (present-day DTU Energy) on solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs). After graduation, she joined DTU Energy as a postdoc in 2007, continuing her work on the fundamental mechanisms limiting the performance of solid oxide cells. While the principle of an electrolysis cell is quite simple, the actual cell is a complicated system consisting of an intricate network of different materials phases meeting in nanoscale structures. The important practical questions of performance and degradation are decided by minute differences at the smallest scale, and to disentangle the different effects requires patience and insight. Largely as a result of Anne’s work, the past decade has seen a tenfold increase in the lifetime of an SOEC.

Professor Anne Hauch, DTU EnergyAt the same time, Anne has been very active in teaching at DTU. She is chair of the Board of Studies at DTU Energy, and with great enthusiasm she is responsible for the development of research based courses and student projects at the department. Enthusiasm is also a word that comes to mind when Anne is sharing her passion for science with school children at a science fair or is lecturing to the general public.

As a professor Anne is looking forward to tackle new challenges: To help scale SOEC technology up to megawatts and have it put to use. And to develop technologies which efficiently and cheaply let us harvest CO2 from the atmosphere or from sources such as cement production and power plants, e.g. for reuse in the production of green synthetic fuels.


Johan Hjelm

Professor Johan Hjelm, DTU Energy

Johan Hjelm was educated at Uppsala University, Sweden. He did a postdoc in Dublin before joining Risø National Laboratory (DTU Energy) in 2006. Johan has been doing research related to electrochemistry for most of his career. At present, he is particularly interested in organic materials for energy storage applications. The field of study is vast: There are more than ten million known chemical compounds, and the majority of these are organic. Johan finds such materials fascinating – they have a rich chemistry and great possibilities for tailoring them to low cost, non-toxic, long-life, and sustainable energy storage systems. He is currently researching organic electrode materials for encapsulated batteries as well as aqueous organic redox flow batteries, and he is heading a major project funded by Innovation Fund Denmark in which the aim is to develop large-scale flow batteries for storing wind and solar power.

As for the future, Johan says: “We are moving into a more data intensive era in most sciences, and this is true also for electrochemistry and materials science. I think these areas will become a bigger part of my work in the future, in particular combining materials/electrochemistry data science and informatics”.

The two new professors will give inaugural lectures at DTU Risø Campus on June 21 2019.

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