Photo: Henrik Frydkjær

DTU researcher honoured by the Danish Society of Engineers

Thursday 25 Apr 19

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Jens Kehlet Nørskov
Professor
DTU Physics
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Professor Jens Kehlet Nørskov is the third prominent technical-natural scientist to be awarded an honorary plaque by the Danish Society of Engineers (IDA) in Copenhagen.

In future, visitors arriving at the headquarters of the Danish Society of Engineers in Copenhagen will come across the name Jens Nørskov. He is a DTU professor and one of the world’s leading catalysis researchers. In recognition of Jens Nørskov’s work, the Danish Society of Engineers has just unveiled a special honorary plaque at the entrance to its headquarters at Kalvebod Brygge in central Copenhagen.

"We need modern-day role models to inspire young people to embark on a career in the technical and natural sciences."
Thomas Damkjær Petersen, IDA

Jens Nørskov’s research is currently focused on finding out how catalytic materials can help address the major energy challenges facing society today. Even though we are good at utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, we still need to solve the problem of storing and transporting the energy derived from renewable energy sources.

Jens Nørskov’s vision is to develop a completely new energy technology whereby solar or wind energy, water, and CO2 can be converted into fuels and chemicals with the help of the right catalysts. This must be done in a cycle which does not emit more CO2 than it consumes.

“It’s always fascinating when scientists like Jens Nørskov set themselves really difficult tasks. We need modern-day role models to inspire young people to embark on a career in the technical and natural sciences. And we not least see a pressing and growing need for looking to the natural sciences for answers to the challenges which we are facing in the fields of energy and climate,” says IDA President, Thomas Damkjær Petersen.

Significant contribution to understanding catalysis
Jens Nørskov’s research is extremely broad-ranging. As a theoretical physicist, he is recognized for having contributed new fundamental insights, concepts, and models of catalysis.

Jens Nørskov’s concepts and models are currently being used as an important basis for understanding catalysis—both among researchers and the business community. His efforts, however, are not limited to theory, but also include close collaboration with companies that have been able to make use of his insights.

This is the second time within just six months that IDA is honouring Jens Kehlet Nørskov. In October 2018, he received the Niels Bohr International Gold Medal. The medal was founded by the Danish Society of Engineers in 1955 as a tribute to the Danish physicist Niels Bohr.

The recent accolade is an equally rare event. Jens Nørskov is only the third person to be awarded an honorary plaque. The other two plaques were awarded in 2013 to Haldor Topsøe—who a few years ago was named ‘Engineer of the Century’ by readers of the Ingeniøren magazine—and in 2017 to Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who in 2015 became the first Dane in space.

Foto Henrik Frydkjær
Jens Kehlet Nørskov with the President of the Danish Society of Engineers, Thomas Damkjær Petersen. Photo: Henrik Frydkjær.

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22 SEPTEMBER 2019