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Environmental Pioneer may Soon Call Himself Doctor

For over 30 years Sven Gjedde Sommer has fought for environment friendly agriculture. He has worked to transform liquid manure into gold by recycling important nutrients in the manure. On 24 May he defends his doctoral thesis as the first ever at The Faculty of Engineering.

Sven G. Sommer has spent his entire scientific career working for an environmentally friendly animal production in Denmark, and his work helped Danish agriculture become among the cleanest in the world.

Sven G. Sommer was one of the first to, back in the 80s; point out that agricultural emission of ammonia was a major problem for the quality of our nature. Today we know that agriculture accounts for 90 per cent of the emission of ammonia.

Front-line fighter for the environment
In 2005 he became Professor in Environmental Engineering at The University of Southern Denmark. A title he says, with a twinkle in his eye, he renamed Professor of Slurry. His goal was to convert liquid manure into gold; developing environmental technologies that could make livestock production in Denmark environmentally friendly without it affecting either the production or hitting the farmer’s pockets.

He has been one of the front-line fighters to ensure that the harmful ammonia from liquid manure does not destroy our nature. In addition, he has researched intensively in manure separation by means of which important substances such as nitrogen and phosphorus can be separated and recycled.

First Doctor from The Faculty of Engineering
Phosphorus is a limited resource and phosphorous scarcity may in the long term lead to famines due to lower crop yields. All of it has helped Denmark become of the world’s leading sources in sustainable fertiliser technology.

The 30 years’ work as a front-line fighter for the environment culminates when Sven G. Sommer defends his doctoral thesis on the influence of the pH-value on evaporation of ammonia to the environment. Hereafter he can affect the finest academic title and becomes the first Doctor from The Faculty of Engineering.

Editing was completed: 17.05.2013