Vida Engmann from SDU receives esteemed ‘For Women in Science’ Award

Three of Denmark’s most talented researchers within natural sciences received the ’For Women in Science’ Award on 15 May. One of those talented researchers is assistant professor Vida Engmann from SDU Sonderborg

By Sune Holst, , 6/3/2019

Impressive results, a strong passion for natural sciences and not least an extensive drive to make a difference within their research area is what exactly describes this years’ awardees. For the eleventh time the award ‘For women in Science’ has been presented in Denmark. The award is instituted by L’Oréal in cooperation with UNESCO and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

At L’Oréal, we are incredibly proud that we, once again, can honour three talented women within Danish research. You see, there is a need to put focus on female researchers and their results, says L’Oréal’s head of communication in Denmark, Sonja Christensen:

“The field has been really strong, and this year again we found the female research talents who achieved very impressive results despite their relatively short careers. In Denmark, only every fifth professor is a woman. With this award, we hope that we contribute to put focus on female researchers and inspire younger women to choose a career within the world of research.”

Talents who’ll make a difference

Although the three female researchers have different areas of specialisation, all three of them focus on their research to make a difference. Doctor and researcher Stine Linding Andersen from Aalborg University and Aalborg University Hospital researches the meaning of thyroid disease in pregnant women.

Associate professor Maria Andreassen from Aarhus University investigates protein aggregation which occurs with diseases such as Alzheimer and Parkinson, among others. Assistant professor Vida Engmann from SDU Sonderborg researches in organic and climate friendly polymer solar cells and is a pioneer within this area, because she has developed a method to increase the stability of the organic solar cells.

“Organic solar cells have a large number of advantages over traditional solar cells made of silicon – they are cheaper to produce, they are more environmentally friendly, they are flexible, and they are transparent. the problem is, though, that organic solar cells still lag behind when it comes to efficiency and durability”, Vida Engmann tells us.

Research related breakthrough

The research of Vida Engmann has contributed to significantly enhance the lifetime of the organic solar cells, and the solar cell group in Sonderborg now investigates if it can improve it further.

Good vistas for organic solar cells

There is still some way to go before organic solar cells can compete with silicon solar cells, but with the latest research related results, a number of giant strides have been taken shortly. With this pace, it is no longer unlikely that we’ll see organic solar cells seriously enter the market for sustainable energy within a foreseeable number of years.

And it opens up for some really interesting vistas. Organic and hybrid solar cells can be integrated in windows, facades and other parts of buildings. This means that electricity can be produced where it is needed, namely in the cities.

The ‘For Women in Science’ award is instituted by L’Oréal together with UNESCO and is awarded since 1998. all over the world, female researchers contribute to science, and the wish to create more visibility of these research talents is precisely the entire aim of the ‘For Women in Science’ award. Thus, the three researchers were honoured Wednesday, 15 May at the Carlsberg Academy in Valby.

Besides the honour and the possibility to inspire other women to take a career within research, the three awardees received 110.000 DKK each which are earmarked to be used for their research.

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