Gala leaps from a ‘one-off’ to tradition – University of Copenhagen

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04 June 2014

Gala leaps from a ‘one-off’ to tradition

Gala party 2014

For the second year running, the Department of Chemistry invited staff and students in flowing gowns and black bow ties to a bash in the foyer of the H.C. Ørsted Institute.

Relaxed and informal party growing explosively

The concept for the smoothly run and elegant party came from Department Head Mikael Bols, who was extremely satisfied that this year’s gala welcomed 200+ guests, up from last year’s 150.

“We intended to throw a party where students and teachers could intermingle in relaxed and informal environs. It is wonderful that the concept has been a terrific success and grown,” comments Bols.

Guests strolled down the red carpet at 17:00 for a welcome drink and opening speech. At 18:00, an elegantly presented shrimp starter was served and succeeded by an eclectic buffet of meat and vegetarian fare.

Following the evening’s main course, numerous awards were presented by Head of Department Mikael Bols and by the students.

Best Bachelor’s Project 2013:

Anders Reinholdt was nominated by the Inorganic Chemistry section for: “Synthesis and Characterization of Heterometallic Complexes with Carbide Bridges” (Syntese og karakterisering af heterometalliske komplekser med carbidbroer). The project earned a 12, its quality reflected in its excellent formulation and organization.

Best Thesis 2013:

Freia From Østerstrøm was nominated by the Physical Chemistry section for her paper: “Atmospheric and Environmental Studies of CFC Alternatives, Biofuels and Carbon Monoxide”.

The thesis was judged as extremely thorough, and an impressive work that exceeded normal expectations.

Best research Results 2013:

Mathias Arenz and his group, including M. Nesselberger, M. Roefzaad, F. Hamou, P.U. Biedermann, F.F. Schweinberger, S. Kunz, K. Schlögl, G.K.H. Wiberg, S. Ashton, U. Heiz, K.J.J. Mayrhofer were awarded for their work: “The Effect of Particle Proximity on the Oxygen Reduction Rate of Size-Selected Platinum Clusters”, in Nature Materials 2013, 12, 919-924. 

The work was published in Nature Materials, a leading journal, and received public acclaim, including from where it was celebrated as the year’s top Danish research result. The awardees’ work also lead to a patent application, gap-funding and subsequent publication in other distinguished journals.

After the departmental awards, students presented awards of their own to three individuals whose contributions in 2013 were above and beyond the call of duty.

Teacher of the Year Award 2013/14:

Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen for his being a “Ferociously talented lecturer” and “Transformer of heterocycles into something exciting”. In all, 17 teachers were nominated for the Teacher of the Year Award. Many of the instructors received nearly as many points as Nielsen, including Solvejg Jørgensen, Kurt Mikkelsen, Steen Hammerum and Jesper Bendix.

Year’s Helping Hand 2013/2014:

Anette Andersen was recognized for “Always being helpful” and “Always being happy and smiling”. Annette Andersen regrettably was not able to receive the award in person. Many others received nominations and votes for the award, including Marianne Wehmeyer and Jens Christian Navarro Poulsen.

Devoted Soul 2013/14:

This prize went not to a person but to the project, the “Homework Café” for being a “Tremendous voluntary effort”, “A fantastic initiative”, and “Because Jonas Niemann has amazing hair.”

The Homework Café is run by Anne Kathrine Junker, Anders Borges, Cecilie Alling, Emil Glibstrup, Emil Hansen, Jacob Sjöblom, Kenneth Ebert, Kirstine Sonne, Pernille Bols, Rasmus Borup, Signe Baggesen, Stine Olsen and Zeina Maroun. The project’s two initiators, Marc Hamilton Garner and Jonas Niemann accepted the award.

The Events Committee, Chemistry Studies Committee and a range of individuals were also nominated for this award.

Instructor of the Year 2013/14:

Hasse Knap was selected for being “Nice!”, “An enthusiastic instructor” and “Extremely apt at explaining complex material. Very patient.” Other nominees receiving many votes included David Bo Nygaard, Kasper Mackeprang and Anders Reinholt.

For his devotion to the gala party and his great help to the "party Ministery" as the organizers like to style themselves, Jens Christian Navarro-Poulsen was given a nice bunch of flowers.

The awards ceremony was followed by dessert, specifically – a tantalizing dark chocolate panna cotta garnished with rhubarb, strawberry and crystallized white chocolate. After dinner, a large number of guests danced to the traditional Danish high school dance, “Les Lanciers”.