Olav Breinbjerg at the DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility. Photo Christian Breinbjerg

H.C. Ørsted award for leading researcher in electromagnetism

The Hans Christian Ørsted Research Award 2020 goes to Professor Olav Breinbjerg, one of the world’s leading researchers in antenna technology. Olav Breinbjerg’s research is based on electromagnetism, which Hans Christian Ørsted discovered 200 years ago.

Each year, H.C. Ørsted Selskabet presents an award in honour of Hans Christian Ørsted’s enduring influence on culture, art and science. In the world of science, Hans Christian Ørsted is probably best known for his discovery of electromagnetism exactly 200 years ago.

Chairman of H.C. Ørsted Selskabet Troels Krøyer is particularly pleased to be presenting this year’s award to a leading researcher working with electromagnetism. He says:

“Olav Breinbjerg is one of the world’s leading researchers in antennas, antenna measurements and computational techniques for applications in wireless communication. His research is of far-reaching importance and considerable relevance to society. Olav Breinbjerg’s research builds directly on Hans Christian Ørsted’s discovery of electromagnetism, and it is therefore particularly apt and festive to be able to present him with the Hans Christian Ørsted Research Award this year."   

Throughout his career, Olav Breinbjerg has researched electromagnetism with a focus on a wide range of applications of vital importance to society. His international recognition stems, in particular, from his significant contributions in the field of antennas and measurements of antennas designed to operate from satellites. At DTU, he has contributed to developing a special antenna measurement method that ensures high-accuracy measurements at microwave frequencies used both in antennas and also in mobile phones, radar, satellites, medical devices and security systems.

Today, Olav Breinbjerg is head of DTU Electrical Engineering’s Electromagnetic Systems research group and of the DTU-ESA Spherical Near-Field Antenna Test Facility, which is one of the world’s most advanced anechoic laboratories mimicking conditions in outer space. Here, measurements are carried out on many of the antennas subsequently launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA), including the Ørsted satellite and the new European MetOp Second Generation meteorological satellites, which will, among other things, be used to monitor the climate.

During his career, Olav Breinbjerg has received numerous prizes and honorary awards, both for his research and for his knowledge dissemination. He has, for example, been named Lecturer of the Year at DTU, among other things for his teaching of basic electromagnetism, which is now one of DTU’s most popular courses.

Other academic honours include the U.S. Fulbright Research Scholar Award and the AEG Elektron Foundation’s Award. Additionally, Olav Breinbjerg is an AMTA Senior Member and IEEE Fellow.