Skip to main content

New Head of Department from global warming hotspot

After spending six years amidst the reality of global warming in Abu Dhabi, Professor Jens Ejbye Schmidt takes up the position of Head of Department of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology.

By Birgitte Dalgaard, , 9/20/2018

Professor Jens Ejbye Schmidt has come to the right place when he changes life in the midst of global warming in Abu Dhabi, with a future as head of Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology. The department is working hard to find solutions to the major climate challenges.

- I usually say that here in Abu Dhabi I'm living in the future. In Denmark, we talk about global warming as something that will happen in the future, but here we're living right in the middle of it, says Jens Ejbye Schmidt.

For five years, he has been Head of iEnergy and Professor at the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates. But in October he will exchange the vibrant desert lifestyle for Odense.

He brings with him a great appreciation for how different people are, and he has learned to focus on sustainability in his research. In a country where autumn temperatures reach 40 degrees, tap water is desalinated seawater and where most of the food is imported, sustainability is an important starting point for his research.

- If I needed to use tap water for technology in Denmark, nobody would bat an eyelid. Here, it's impossible. Water is a precious and very expensive resource. The same goes for fields. In Denmark we are so privileged that we can also produce energy crops, but here it is necessary that everything that can be grown is used for food, explains Jens Ejbye Schmidt.

Overall, it is important to Jens Ejbye Schmidt to pay attention to the reality surrounding him in order to help find solutions to pressing problems.

- It's important that at the Department we don't just publish articles and hope that somebody acts on them. We need to be active and have a dialogue with the surrounding society and help companies to develop new technology.