SDC students visit DTU Chemical Engineering

Chinese and Danish students put their skills to the test at the DTU Chemical Engineering Summer University

mandag 11 aug 14
af Lotte Grandorf


Kim Dam-Johansen
Professor, Institutdirektør
DTU Kemiteknik
45 25 28 45


• Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) is a strategic research and education collaboration between the eight Danish universities, the Ministry of Education and Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences.

• SDC offers seven Master's programmes in the natural- and social sciences field, including Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

• The programmes give the students a double degree from a Danish university and from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. The first students graduated in 2014.

• The purpose of the SDC is to promote and strengthen cooperation between Danish and Chinese research and educational institutions. or

A tight 7-week schedule of intense report writing and exciting experiments is combined with BBQ-nights, company visits and competitions as 16 students from the Sino-Danish Center put their skills to the test at the Summer University at DTU.

16 students from the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering programme of the Sino-Danish Center have chosen to spend their summer in Denmark, doing anything else but relaxing. They are a part of DTU Chemical Engineering's Summer University programme.

"I have learned a lot of things here. The class, the content in the unit operation course and the laboratory experiments are very good. But the report is very hard to write and it is difficult to submit a report in such short time," says Zeng Ying, student at SDC in Beijing.

Calculate and perform experiments in the laboratory

In order to make sure that the students have all the necessary academic skills, they start with a theoretical course about unit operations which is this year's focus. In that way they know how to calculate and perform the experiments in the laboratory the following weeks. The laboratory offers state-of-the-art equipment, which is almost only seen on an industrial level.

However, Summer University is not just about using excellent equipment to perform experiments and write reports on unit operation. The students also get a chance to participate in field trips to some of the largest and most successful Danish companies. And the company visits are actually a very important part of Summer University.

"We want to facilitate the long-term connection of the students to Denmark, but also to our partner companies who have significant activities in both China and Denmark. In that way both the companies and students can benefit from having connections early in the students' education," says Kim Dam-Johansen, Head of education and Head of Department.

The difference between the Danish and Chinese companies

This year, the students visited Novozymes, Haldor Topsøe and Hempel - companies that all have business activities in China. The field trips offer cultural insight for the Chinese students that get to see a different industry than the one they are used to. Something they definitely can benefit from if they are interested in working for one of the companies either in Denmark or China.

"The companies in Denmark are very different to companies in China. In Denmark, the managers all have a chemical background, but in China the managers are usually businessmen. That means the Danish managers have a more substantial knowledge about the chemical production," Zeng Ying says.

The commitment and innovative thinking of the SDC students is something that has not gone unnoticed, according to coordinator of the SDC activities during Summer University and researcher, Hao Wu.
"It has been a pleasure working with the students during the summer. I am impressed with their engagement in all the activities and their ability to think outside the box, as they showed for example in the Green Challenge. I am certain that many of the students would like to stay connected to Denmark in their future career for example by joining a PhD-programme through this collaboration between Denmark and China, or working in Danish companies", says Hao Wu.

The students' social life is also nurtured through e.g. BBQ-parties and museum trips. In that way the SDC-students get to expand their network with the other European and American students that are doing similar programmes at the DTU Chemical Engineering Summer University. After the course the Danish and Chinese students will be heading back to Beijing to continue their master's degree at Sino-Danish Center.

Summer University is funded by Novozymes, Haldor Topsøe, Hempel, SDC and DTU.

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