Science researchers draw four prestigious grants from Villum

At this year's award ceremony of Villum Young Investigators, as many as four out of fifteen recipients are researchers from the Faculty of Science at SDU.

By Mikkel Linnemann Johansson, , 1/23/2020

- Firstly, I would like to congratulate our four researchers, says Dean Marianne Holmer.

Villum Young Investigators is a grant that covers a five-year period, which is financed with between DKK 7 and 10 million.

- Our researchers really deserve this recognition and opportunity. At the same time, it is an impressive achievement that we as faculty receive four of the fifteen Villum Young Investigator grants this year, when you consider how many researchers there are at the technical and scientific faculties around the country, says the Dean.

The four recipients are:

Associate Professor Fabrizio Montesi from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science with the project: Choco: Choreographies for Connected IT Systems

Today, society makes large use of connected IT systems in digital businesses, healthcare, communications, and entertainment. However, the correct programming of these important systems is challenging, which hinders progress and can even put our well-being at risk.

This project will investigate a new scientific method for ensuring that connected computers follow appropriate “choreographies” of reliable and secure data exchanges.

The grant will fund two postdocs and one PhD student.

Assistant Professor Carolin Löscher from the Department of Biology with the project: Marine geoengineering: A tool to mitigate climate change?

Increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels lead to global warming, ocean acidification, and a loss in biodiversity.

This project will test the potential of adding minerals to the ocean, which naturally absorb CO2 and stabilize the pH value of the seawater, as a tool to mitigate climate change.

The grant will fund the two postdocs, one PhD student, one technician and will allow for purchasing equipment and carrying out international field campaigns.

Associate Professor Astrid Eichhorn from the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy with the project: Probing the quantum nature of gravity

This research aims at probing the quantum properties of gravity in order to understand the fundamental properties of a force that governs not only our everyday live, but the universe as a whole.

In this research program, I will develop a mathematical probe of gravity by zooming in on spacetime with the mathematical analogue of a microscope and will take steps to bridge the gap to observations in particle physics and black holes.

The grant will fund two PhD students and two postdocs.

PhD Erik Hedegård from the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy with the project: The virtual enzyme lab: boosting advanced biofuels

The discovery of the enzyme family lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) fundamentally changed our view on how nature breaks down biomass and the potential implications for biofuel production are large. Yet, the mechanism behind this breakdown is not understood.

In this project, I will develop novel theoretical models to predict the function of LPMOs and how they can facilitate efficient biofuel production.

The grant will fund a PhD student and a postdoc.

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