A multi-million kroner donation from the Villum Foundation has paved the way for establishing a leading international research centre at DTU. DTU Civil Engineering, DTU Mechanical Engineering and DTU Wind Energy are the driving forces behind the new centre.
The Villum Foundation has donated DKK 76 million to create a new experimental DTU centre, which is to be known as the ‘Villum Center for Advanced Structural and Material Testing’. Boasting unique equipment and competencies, the new centre will support fundamental mechanical research and the development of new, innovative and sustainable structures and materials with the potential to save society a great deal of money and reduce environmental impact.
The organization behind the new centre—which is being funded by DTU Civil Engineering, DTU Mechanical Engineering an DTU Wind Energy—is already in place. The three departments will be joining forces to run and maintain the centre which will link new and existing test facilities at DTU’s Lyngby Campus and the DTU Risø Campus in Roskilde.
Major challenges ahead
The departments are all making significant contributions to the new centre’s facilities through their own equipment and their own physical infrastructure—with an estimated value of DKK 150 million—while the Villum Foundation will be providing DKK 76 million for new equipment and apparatus. The centre facilities will be built up progressively over the coming three years.
“The very infrastructure of modern society—its structures and materials—is facing major challenges. It is essential to introduce new sustainable technologies into our physical structure at a much faster pace. At the same time, the infrastructure itself requires significant investments in renovation, maintenance and renewal.”
World-class research environment
“The challenges involved in innovating, establishing and maintaining a sustainable society can only be tackled if we acquire more knowledge about and a better understanding of the relationship between materials and structures, which we can then share in a world-class research environment.
This is the task that the new centre is to assist us with, by supporting fundamental research into the development and optimization of structures, construction materials and structural components for wind turbines, while simultaneously attracting new research projects and international researchers,” explains Professor Henrik Stang, Deputy Head of Department at DTU Civil Engineering and the principal applicant.
It is estimated that at least six major research projects—national or EU-sponsored—will benefit from the new DTU centre over next 2–3 years. The projects will typically have a budget of around DKK 10–15 million for the involvement of the Danish partners. The centre will also boost opportunities for attracting PhD and postdoc projects, thus increasing the total number of research projects.