Aarhus University honours researchers and students at annual celebration

Aarhus University makes Lene Vestergaard Hau honorary alum of the year in connection with the traditional annual celebration. The university is conferring awards and honorary titles to ten prominent researchers and students.

When Harvard physicist Lene Vestergaard Hau is made honorary alum at Aarhus University today, she joins an exclusive club with members such as HRH Crown Prince Frederik, former Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Nils Smedegaard Andersen, CEO of Maersk.

Lene Vestergaard Hau earned a PhD from Aarhus University in 1991 and has since then ranked among the very best physicists in the world as head of the Hau Lab at the US Harvard University. She has, among other things, spearheaded a number of much talked-about experiments at Hau Lab, which succeeded in slowing down and later even stopping a light pulse, but indeed also in converting light into matter, moving it to a completely separate place and then converting it back into light.

Awards for communication and pedagogics

The Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation is also conferring awards to two prominent researchers, who have made major, special contributions within communication and education, respectively.

Professor Klaus Grunert is being awarded the Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation’s Communication Award (Formidlingspris), because he, as head of the MAPP Centre for customer relations in the food sector, has taken a number of initiatives with regard to knowledge sharing and communication and has thus played an important role in the development of the Danish food sector.

Associate Professor Anne Mette Mørcke is being awarded the Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation’s Honorary Award in Education (Pædagogisk Hæderspris), because she, throughout her research career and her work as a director of studies, has played a crucial role in the innovative development of the degree programme in medicine at Aarhus University.

Special honour for Europe’s best PhD student

PhD student Dorthe B. Ravnsbæk is presented with a special travel grant in honour of the hard work which, earlier this year, resulted in her receiving the European Young Researchers’ Award and thus being elected the most prominent PhD student in Europe.

Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants

In connection with the annual celebration, Aarhus University is also awarding two Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants to outstanding students from the Section for Classical Archaeology and the Department of Political Science. This year, the grants go to PhD student Eva Mortensen and student Ria Kristin Langbehn.

Four international honorary doctors

True to tradition, Aarhus University is also conferring honorary doctorates at the annual celebration to four members of the international research elite who have all in their own way contributed to strengthening the development of the university’s research and education. Each honorary doctor is affiliated with a main academic area, with the honorary doctorates being conferred as follows:

Professor Francis Fukuyama (Arts). Mr Fukuyama has been a visiting professor at Aarhus University since 2009. He has been known as one of the world’s leading political experts and commentators since the end of the 1980s.

Professor George M. Whitesides (Science and Technology). The American professor specialises, among other things, in physical and organic chemistry, and not least in micro and nanotechnology, and he is often among the most quoted scientists within natural science.

Professor Timothy A. Springer (Health). Professor Springer, who last visited Aarhus University in 2010, has made major contributions to our knowledge of the human immune system throughout his impressive research career.

Professor Anne O. Krueger (Business and Social Sciences). In her role as World Bank Chief Economist and First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms Krueger has had a huge influence on international commerce, which she has also researched throughout most of her career.