Anders Bjarklev

Organizational change creates new departments at DTU

Construction materials Climate adaptation Earth observation Electrotechnology and automation

To support DTU’s strategy to develop sustainable technology for people and create stronger research environments, the University is now reorganizing its research in key areas such as construction, environmental technology, electrotechnology, and photonics.

The new organization is intended to strengthen DTU’s research by creating dynamic research environments, that can address new challenges. This means that we establish new departments, and that two existing departments will be closed: DTU Civil Engineering and DTU Electrical Engineering.

Construction, environment, and mechanics

Research into construction and installations is undergoing major changes, driven by climate change and the opportunities offered by digitalization. The construction technology of the future will need to be based on increasing use of circular flows of materials. This requires a deep understanding of the links between building processes and the characteristics of materials, as well as greater use of digital tools and models based on advanced experimental methods. DTU will create two new departments that can address these developments: Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Department of Environmental and Resource Engineering.

With these two new departments, DTU is acknowledging a global development whereby two thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. This will involve a huge expansion of physical infrastructure in the form of cities, buildings, transport systems, and technical infrastructure, along with enormous consumption of natural resources and a corresponding environmental impact. At the same time, the climate is changing and all future use of resources, infrastructure development, and maintenance of existing infrastructure must take account of the new climatic conditions. There is a need for more knowledge, research, and technological solutions, and DTU is taking responsibility by doing its part.

Electrotechnology and photonics

DTU also wishes to strengthen the field of electrotechnology. To create the best framework for interacting with companies and society, DTU is also making a number of organizational changes in this area.

The field of electrotechnology is central to the fourth industrial revolution, which is seeing the rise of the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and digitalization, just as it played a defining role in previous industrial revolutions, with automation, robots, computers, telecommunications, and electric motors.

The new technological opportunities offered by IoT and AI will enable the development of a wide range of new autonomous systems. This development is expected to increasingly involve quantum technology as a basis for designing new sensors and components. DTU wants to enhance this field by merging the research areas within the same organizational unit in the new Department of Electrical Engineering and Photonics.

Electromagnetism and space research

In connection with the reorganization, the Executive Board has also looked at the possibility of strengthening the research environment around electromagnetic systems, which are important for Earth observation and space technology. Electromagnetic Systems will therefore be part of National Space Institute which will also be expanded with research in Arctic technology.

Wind energy and energy systems

The world is facing a major transition towards electrifying our energy systems as part of the move to sustainable energy sources. Centre for Electrical Power and Energy (CEE) will therefore be a part of the new Department of Wind Energy and Energy Systems. With this integration, the new department will reflect the industry’s transition from wind turbine manufacturing to the supply of sustainable electrical energy systems.

With these changes, DTU aim to promote the building of new strong research environments that can address important societal agendas such as a sustainable life in the cities of the future and the electrification of energy systems in the transition to sustainable energy sources.