Celebrating the PhD graduates of 2017

Monday 30 Oct 17


Philip John Binning
Senior Vice President, Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs
Office for Study Programmes and Student Affairs
+45 21 73 83 09
Around 170 PhD graduates attended the annual PhD Graduation Ceremony at DTU on Friday, 27 October.

Dean of Graduate Studies and International Affairs Philip Binning welcomed the new PhD graduates of 2017 before President Anders Bjarklev took to the podium to speak of the exciting careers in science and technology on which they are about to embark.

In his speech President Bjarklev welcomed the new graduates as future colleagues into the world of science and technology, while stressing the importance of their choice of career:

“Today, there is a growing fear of technology and its consequences. Dear doctors, dear engineers, dear colleagues, as you are confronted with the post-factual society, fake news and much more in your future professional lives, please remember that you are front runners leading the way. You must be great ambassadors for DTU, for engineering excellence and for technology. Technology is fundamental to our sustainable future and you must – in a committed manner – showcase and communicate your engineering worth that ultimately being an engineer is about making a difference putting people first.”

After the president’s speech it was time for the annual awards for PhD Thesis of the year, PhD supervisor of the year, and the ‘Young Researcher Award.’

Award winners 2017


PhD Thesis of the Year


Photo: Birgitte Røddik

Rune Hjort from DTU Environment. His thesis is entitled: 'Environmental risk assessment and management of engineered nanomaterials – the role of ecotoxicity testing'.

Dean Philip Binning congratulated Rune Hjort, and, handing him his diploma, said:

“With his thesis, Rune has managed to deliver a range of concepts and models for evaluation of nanomaterial sustainability and environmental risk. His research aims at improving models for decision-support for environmentally sustainable nanomaterials.

He has been exceptionally productive as a PhD student and is first author of several ISI articles. His work is already having considerable impact within the scientific and regulatory community.”

Rune is now a Postdoc at DTU Environment.


PhD supervisor of the year


Photo: Birgitte Røddik

Each year, the students can nominate their supervisor for the award of PhD supervisor of the year. This year the award went to Professor Tejs Vegge from DTU Energy where he is head of the section for Atomic Scale Modelling and Materials.

His main research area is: Integrated computational and experimental design and characterization of novel materials for energy storage and conversion.

One of the students wrote in the motivation for Tejs’ nomination:

“Tejs is very supportive, motivating and competent. His versatile and effective nature of supervision and his way of doing great science inspires me. Many times, he has helped me find meaning in difficult situations. He has helped me acquire non-research skill sets needed to succeed in an academic career.”

Other nominated supervisors were:

  • Michael Reichhardt Hansen, DTU Compute
  • Morten Birkved, DTU Management Engineering
  • Frederik Christian Krebs, DTU Energy Conversion & storage
  • Ole Winther, DTU Compute
  • Torsten Dau, DTU Electrical Engineering
  • Grunde Jomaas, DTU Civil Engineering
  • Ole Sigmund, DTU Mechanical Engineering
  • Lars Pilegaard Mikkelsen, DTU Wind Energy
  • Terje Svengen, DTU Food
  • Ole Christensen, DTU Compute


DTU's 'Young Researcher Award


Photo: Birgitte Røddik

This award honours young researchers who have made an extraordinary effort and who have great potential for further development. This year, the award was presented to these six young researchers:

Jianmeng Liu, DTU Food for his thesis: 'Harnessing the metabolic machinery of Lactococcus lactis for production of biochemical'

Andrea Crovetto, DTU Nanotech for his thesis: 'Cu2ZnSnS4 solar cells: Physics and technology by alternative tracks'

Benjamin Paul Goldstein, DTU Management Engineering for his thesis: 'Assessing the edible city: environmental implications of urban agriculture in the Northeast United States'

Joe Alexandersen, DTU Mechanical Engineering for his thesis: 'Efficient topology optimization of multiscale and multiphysics problems'

Lisa Mears, DTU Chemical Engineering for her thesis: 'Novel strategies for control of fermentation processes'

Andrea Marion Marquard, DTU Bioinformatics for her thesis: 'Therapeutic applications of the cancer genome'

Guest lecture


Photo: Birgitte Røddik

As tradition dictates, a recently appointed professor is then called upon to gives a talk. This year's invited speaker was Ole Winther—professor in data science and complexity at DTU Compute, and group leader of Gene Regulation Bioinformatics at the Bioinformatics Centre at the University of Copenhagen.

Ole Winther works on machine learning applications in medicine, IT, and energy, and on methods for deep learning. His research group has developed the search engine for rare diseases: findzebra.com which has found widespread use, and is a spin-out company from DTU.

Short films on three PhD students and their projects:


Andreas Østerkryger, DTU Fotonik


Hanna Johansson, DTU Food


Oscar Ardila, DTU Wind Energy 




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