Science students from Thisted High School visited the DTU campus in Lyngby. (Photo: Christian Ove Carlsson)

Bright high schoolers to engineer the future

Wednesday 27 Nov 19
|
by Frederik Appel Olsen

Contact

Kim Dam-Johansen
Professor, Head of Department
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 28 45

The Hempel-DTU Award

Every year, the Hempel Foundation and DTU Chemical Engineering give out the Hempel-DTU Award for science schools in collaboration with UngeForskere (YoungReserachers).

The award is given to high schools who wishes to make an extra effort within STEM disciplines. With the award comes 100,000 DKK as well as a visit at DTU and a visit at the school from DTU ScienceShow.

The award will be given again in 2020. Read more about it here.

Every year, the Hempel Foundation and DTU Chemical Engineering give a boost to two science high schools. Thisted High School visited DTU to learn about how engineers change the world.

30 April this year, the Hempel Foundation and DTU Chemical Engineering awarded two Danish high schools that are doing a special effort within STEM disciplines with a prize: Thisted High School and Birkerød High School. The prize consisted of 100,000 DKK to further their science activities as well as a visit by DTU ScienceShow and a visit to DTU.

The latter was cashed in by students and teachers from Thisted High School’s science classes on Friday 15 November.

The students listened to presentations from researchers from DTU Chemical Engineering and they were given a tour of the DTU Library, DTU Skylab, and the unique Pilot Plant at DTU Chemical Engineering – before rounding off the day with coffee and cake and the long bus-ride home.

Lisbeth Tavs Gregersen teaches chemistry and physics at Thisted Gymnasium, and she had taken the trip fra northern Jutland to northern Zealand with the students. She sees a huge value in going the long way to Lyngby:

“It gives something very special to come here at the university. A lot of the things we talk about in class on an abstracts level is visible in a more concrete way at DTU.”

Engineers shape the future

The day started with an introduction by Head of Department Kim Dam-Johansen, who is also a board member of the Hempel Foundation. He talked about DTU – and about the many activities of the Hempel Foundation especially directed at education of children in need, research in coatings, and biodiversity.

Thereafter, the student hear a little about what it means to be a chemical engineer. Associate Professor Jakob Munkholt Christensen talked about taking the long trip form northern Jutland to DTU to follow his dream: To research sustainably solution in, for instance, the energy sector. And Associate Professor Søren Kiil talked about the research field coatings: How utilizing different kinds of industrial paint can improve the durability of everything from container ships to the wings of windmills.

Especially the international profile of the department – with employees from 34 countries and a close co-operation with the Sino-Danish Center (SDC) in China – is important to the student, explained Lisbeth Tavs Gregersen:

“It is important to many high school students that they can see the big picture in what they are doing. And engineering is exactly international – the solutions that are developed in one place can be used everywhere.”

Kim Dam-Johansen praises Thisted High School’s ambitions within the STEM discipline. He thinks that is it essential to strengthen is area:

“Many challenges in society – within welfare, climate, and sustainability – demand technical solutions. These solutions require skilled engineers, and in this category: chemical engineers. With this visit, we want to show these bright young people that a degree at DTU can enable them to contribute to these solutions.”

The Hempel-DTU Award with be given again in 2020. Read more about it here.


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