Scientific Environment and Family-friendly Framework Brings Italian Talent to Danish Energy Research · 5. July 2012
The opportunity to address important challenges facing society in a strong research environment has gotten one of Italy's leading young energy researchers to accept a professorship at Aalborg University. The family-friendly Danish framework that also gives spouses good career possibilities was an important factor in the decision.
- In Italy, it’s difficult for women to both work and have children. It’s different in Denmark which is much more family friendly. My wife Natalia is an engineer and also has a PhD, and it has been important for us and for our decision that there might also be a career opportunity for her here, explains Marco Liserre, 38, who is employed at Aalborg University's Department of Energy Technology.
As part of the research center CORPE (Center Of Reliable Power Electronics) he will pave the way for reliable solutions that advance sustainable energy sources like wind and solar. The Center's director, Professor Frede Blaabjerg, is full of praise for his younger colleague whom he knows particularly well since Marco Liserre has regularly visited Aalborg for a number of years in international cooperation on research and education:
- Ever since he first came to Aalborg 13 years ago, his abilities as a researcher and his organizational talents have been clear. At a very early stage in his career, he has been able to see solutions in our field that have had great significance, as there is increased focus on renewable energy. This also means that his work is used frequently by other researchers around the world who are working with the same issues, says Frede Blaabjerg.
Strong player for a strong team
Football club directors usually punch the air when they manage to strengthen the squad in the annual transfer windows. Equally jubilant is Eskild Holm Nielsen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science, over the fact that thanks to a special professor program supported by the Obel Family Foundation, it has been possible to bring top international talent to Denmark:
- The kind of electronics that the researchers in CORPE are dealing with is a high priority for us in the future because it’s the key to solving many of our problems in energy and climate. Therefore, it’s very important that we are able to attract the best researchers, even though others naturally would also like to get them. The stronger the team we can establish, the more attractive a partner we are, both for industry and other universities.
Marco Liserre confirms that he has had other offers from research institutions and companies in several countries. Personal ambitions to accomplish things that can really make a difference helped point the compass in the direction of Aalborg University.
- Good environments can be found everywhere, but I really like the way things are organized in Aalborg. The department and the center have been able to attract the best researchers I know in my field, and there are resources to tackle a new and major challenge. When you’re young, you want to accomplish something important with your research. The framework here makes it possible, says Marco Liserre, who gives a known Danish product part of the credit for his choosing the engineering path.
- When I was seven years old, I got a box of Lego as a gift. From then on and till I was grown, I played almost exclusively with Lego, and my dream was to become an inventor. The first gift to my son Francesco was also a box of Lego’s Duplo bricks, says Marco Liserre. And adds with a smile that he won’t force his son in a certain direction, but the boy seems to be so fond of the bricks that perhaps there is a budding engineer on the way.
• The appointment of Marco Liserre is supported by the Obel Family Foundation through a special professor program, established to attract talented international researchers to Aalborg University.
• Marco Liserre, Professor, Department of Energy Technology, AAU, tel. +45 5142 1514.
• Frede Blaabjerg, Professor, Director of the CORPE research center, AAU, tel. +45 2129 2454.
• Eskild Holm Nielsen, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Science, AAU, tel. +45 2944 8337.
• Science journalist Carsten Nielsen, AAU, tel. +45 2340 6554.