Bestyrelsesformand Jens Kann-Rasmussen og fem af bevillingsmodtagerne: Marie Brøns (DTU), Rocio Rodriguez Cano (AAU), Christina Lynggaard (KU), Laura Stidsholt (AU), Jette Katja Mathiesen (DTU). Foto: VILLUM FONDEN.

Two female researchers receive Villum Postdoc grants

Electrochemistry Catalysis Fossil fuels Wind energy Engineering

Villum International Postdoc has just been awarded to six female researchers, including Marie Brøns and Jette Katja Mathiesen from DTU.

The goal of the Villum International Postdoc programme is to help strengthen talent development in Danish research in the technical and natural sciences:

"The academic career path still poses challenges with the so-called 'leaky pipeline', which leads to a greater drop-out rate among women than men in research career positions. It's a loss for Denmark that we're missing out on research talent in this way. We hope that the six talented and ambitious grantees can inspire more women to choose a research career in the technical and natural sciences," says chair Jens Kann-Rasmussen in a press release from VILLUM FONDEN.

Postdoc programme is a unique possibility

Marie Brøns. Foto: VILLUM FONDEN.

Marie Brøns from DTU Mechanical Engineering is one of this year's six grantees. She is one of few female researchers in the field of mechanical vibrations. In her PhD project, she developed a method for ascertaining by listening whether a bolt in a wind turbine blade is tight enough. The wind turbine industry spends immense resources on tightening up bolts to prevent the turbines from collapsing under the impact of the enormous wind forces, which means there is great potential in developing a technique, so you only need to tighten up loose bolts. In the postdoc project entitled Dynamic Disturbance Substructuring, Marie Brøns will now experiment with disrupting the vibration response in engineering structures in a controlled way to arrive at more sustainable structures of everything from wind turbines to large industrial machines:

"The Villum International Postdoc programme is a unique opportunity. I can hardly believe that I now have a full three years to delve into my own project, extend my academic competencies and international networks and focus on realising my own research ideas. It's absolutely brilliant," says Marie Brøns.

"With VILLUM FONDEN's grant, I've been given a chance to make my contribution to increasing diversity in this discipline. I've planned several initiatives and events where I hope to spread my enthusiasm for mechanical engineering to others. Hopefully, they will inspire other young women to take the plunge into differential equations, wind turbines, or 3D printers for the benefit of the individual and society," says Marie Brøns.

Sustainable transition

Jette Katja Mathiesen. Foto: VILLUM FONDEN.

Jette Katja Mathiesen from DTU Physics receives a Villum International Postdoc for a project that will help our society in a sustainable direction.

"Overall, the goal is to contribute to a future society without our current large consumption of fossil fuels. I will do this by examining the catalysts used in the electrochemical processes. In the future, these will secure fuels for aircraft and ships, for example. Knowing how the catalysts behave during a chemical reaction makes it possible to identify the decisive factor driving these reactions. This means that we will eventually be able to design new and active catalysts that can drive our needs in the future," says Jette Katja Mathiesen.

The Danish universities appointed the grant recipients as special talents before they were professionally assessed by the VILLUM FOUNDATION's working group for technical and scientific research, which has nominated them for a grant from the foundation's board.

Se the press release from VILLUM FONDEN