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DTU honing its arctic profile with new centre

Friday 01 Dec 17

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Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
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DTU strengthens its arctic profile with a new centre Arctic DTU which will be the focal point of the University's strategic focus in the Arctic. 

On 1 January 2018, DTU will get a new hub for its Arctic activities. DTU's Executive Board has decided to establish the centre Arctic DTU to sharpen DTU's profile in the Arctic region.

Arctic DTU will promote DTU’s activities in Greenland and in an arctic perspective within research, education, innovation, and scientific advice. The centre will be responsible for coordinating and disseminate DTU's Arctic activities across the University. The establishment of the new centre consolidates DTU Artic Technology Centre (ARTEK) and Polar DTU—DTU's centre for polar activities. The new centre will build on Polar DTU’s section management and ARTEK’s good networks, well-functioning collaborations and previous results.

Need for more research-based knowledge about the Arctic

In August 2017, DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev visited some of the sites in Greenland where DTU is present, and he highlights the importance DTU’s Arctic activities:

"The need for research-based knowledge of Arctic conditions is growing"
Anders Bjarklev

“DTU is probably the Danish university with the biggest presence in the polar regions. We have been active in Greenland in many years within education, research and advice, and we want to do even more. Climate change will dramatically alter human living conditions in the coming decades. The effects are already being felt and are only set to accelerate even faster in the coming decades. The applies not least in the Arctic regions, where melting ice is posing challenges for the local population—as well as presenting long-term global challenges. The need for research-based knowledge of Arctic conditions is growing,” says Anders Bjarklev.

DTU's Dean of Research, Katrine Krogh Andersen, emphasizes that a well-functioning interaction between the activities of the academic environment is crucial to ensure that DTU can deliver solutions to the problems and leverage the opportunities that arise in the Arctic regions. By bringing the academic organization's overall research competencies closer together, DTU will be even better equipped in relation to international projects and collaborations in the Arctic region.

Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Student Affairs Martin Vigild looks forward to expanding the excellent collaboration between DTU and the Greenland Government in the education area. For more than 15 years, DTU has produced BEng graduates in Arctic technology with a part of the education taking place in Sisimiut. DTU is currently developing a new BEng programme in fisheries technologies using the same model.

Arctic DTU will be organizationally anchored in DTU Civil Engineering as a centre with a director, secretariat, and bases at both Lyngby and Sisimiut Campuses. The centre will report to DTU's executive board through a steering committee headed by Katrine Krogh Andersen. The academic activities will continue to take place in the relevant departments. The BEng programme in Arctic Technology will continue to operate under the name ARTEK.

Head of department at DTU Civil Engineering, Niels-Jørgen Aagaard, is pleased that DTU consolidates its activities in Greenland and the Arctic, and points out that DTU with the new centre will be in a strong position to expand and develop the University's activities in Greenland and the rest of the Arctic, and with this broader platform can develop an Arctic technical university with roots in Sisimiut, Greenland.

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