Professor Kristian Thygesen from the DNRF’s Center for Nanostructured Graphene (CNG) at DTU, head of center Barbara Ann Halkier from the Center of Excellence DynaMo at the University of Copenhagen, and Professor Vivek Shende who has a DNRF Chair grant at SDU are among the ten researchers to receive a Villum Investigator grant from the Villum Foundation.
Every other year the Villum Foundation awards Villum Investigator grants to experienced and internationally recognized researchers. This year ten researchers have received a Villum Investigator grant, and among them are three DNRF researchers: Professor Kristian Thygesen from the DNRF’s Center for Nanostructured Graphene (CNG) at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU); head of center Barbara Ann Halkier from the Center of Excellence DynaMO at the University of Copenhagen; and Professor Vivek Shende who has a DNRF Chair grant at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).
“I’m very pleased to receive the Villum Investigator grant and, in the coming years, I will especially be focusing on how to functionalize 2D materials, thus bringing them one step closer to practical applications. There are several methods for tailoring the properties of the materials. With these, we can hopefully make them usable for new technologies, such as low-cost catalysts for converting electrical energy into fuels, single photon light sources, or realization of qubits for quantum computers,” said Professor Thygesen, who has received DKK 30 million for his research on 2D materials.
Ten years of groundbreaking research
All of the chosen receivers of the Villum Investigator grants have a minimum of ten years groundbreaking research behind them. The grant will give them the possibility to explore new dimensions of their research and provide an essential contribution to their research field. Professor Vivek Shende has received DKK 25 million for his research on mathematical string theory and geometry, while Professor and head of center Barbara Ann Halkier has received DKK 30 million for her research on plant and environmental science.
“The grant gives me a unique opportunity to pursue my dream of understanding plants’ transport processes and their marvelous chemical language right down to the molecular level. This is knowledge which is vital for the well-being of plants and their ability to interact with their surroundings, and which can contribute to sustainable agriculture in the future,” said Professor Halkier.
The Villum Investigator grants are given to researchers in the technical and natural science research areas and run over six years with an allocation of DKK 25 – 40 million.