Honorary doctors and fellows

Aalborg University awards the honorary doctorate to persons who have distinguished themselves academically to an extent where the AAU finds it natural to honour them by awarding the highest academic degree.

The title is always awarded on the basis of a decision made by an assessment committee composed of 3-5 AAU professors or other persons with academic insight at a corresponding level.

Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Engineering and Science (Starting in 2017)

2021: Professor Hoda ElMaraghy, University of Windsor, Canada

2020: Postponement of the honorary doctorate awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2019: Professor Cheryl Conover, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA

2018: Professor Nicolaas Verdonschot, Radboud University Medical Centre, NL

2017: Professor Ary Hoffmann, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Honorary doctors at the Technical Faculty of ICT and Design (Starting in 2017)

2021: Professor Elisa Bertino, Purdue University, USA

2020: Postponement of the honorary doctorate awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2019: Professor Stephen Graham, Newcastle University, UK

2018: Professor Thomas Parisini, Imperial College London, UK

2017: Professor Joost-Pieter Katoen, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Humanities

2021: Professor Annabelle Lever, Sciences Po Paris, France

2020: Postponement of the honorary doctorate awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2019: Professor Constantine Sedikides, University of Southampton, UK

2018: Professor Theodore R. Schatzki, University of Kentucky, USA

2017: Professor Mette Hjort, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

2016: Professor Richard Shusterman, Florida Atlantic University, USA 

2015: Professor Michael Adrian Peters, University of Waikato, New Zealand

2014: Professor Charles Goodwin, University of California, LA (UCLA), USA, Doctor philosophiae (dr.phil.)

2013: Professor Marc Auchet, Université de Paris-Sorbonne, France. Dr.phil.h.c.

2012: Professor David Boje, New Mexico University, USA, Dr.phil.h.c.

2011: Professor Renate Fruchter, Stanford University, Stanford, USA. Dr.phil.h.c.

2009: Professor Norman Denzin, University of Illinois, USA, Dr.phil.h.c.

2007: Professor Daniel Stern, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Dr.phil.h.c.

2004: Professor Norman Fairclough, Lancaster University, England. Dr.phil.h.c.

1999: Professor Philip Schlesinger, University of Stirling, Scotland. Dr.phil.h.c.


Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Medicine

2021: Professor Ranu Jung, Florida International University, USA

2020: Postponement of the honorary doctorate awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2019: Professor Herta Flor, Heidelberg University, Germany

2018: Professor Dario Farina, Imperial College London, UK

2017: Professor Harald Arnesen, Oslo University Hospital Ullevål, Norway

2016: Professor Peter Courtland Agre, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA

2015: Professor Metin Akay, University of Houston, Department of Biomedical Engineering, USA

2014: Professor Michele Curatolo, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, Doctor medicinae (

2013: Professor Gregory Lip, University of Birmingham, England.

2012: Professor Leonard Leibovici, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Dr.scient.h.c.

2010: Professor MD Sun Baozhi, China Medical University, China.

2009: Professor Dr. Antoon De Laat, Catholic University Leuven, Belgium. Dr.scient.h.c.

2008: Professor Barry J. Sessle, University of Toronto, Canada. Dr.scient.h.c.

2006: Professor William J. Gillespie, Hull York Medical School, England. Dr.scient.h.c.



Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Social Sciences

2021: Professor Kirsten Sandberg, University of Olso, Norway

2020: Postponement of the honorary doctorate awards due to Covid-19 restrictions.

2019: Professor Verena Winiwarter, Universität für Bodenkultur, Austria

2018: Senior Professor Barbara Czarniawska, Gothenburg University, Sweden

2017: Professor Michael Lipsky, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA

2016: Professor John Child, University of Birmingham, England 

2015: Professor Walter A. Lorenz, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

2014: Professor Olav Sorenson, Yale School of Management, New Haven, CT, USA, Doctor mercaturae (dr.merc.)

2013: Professor Evert Vedung, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden. Dr.scient.adm.h.c.

2012: Professor Günther Schmid, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), Germany. Dr.scient.h.c.

2011: Professor Beverley Skeggs, Goldsmith College, University of London, England. Dr.scient.h.c.

2009: Professor Richard R. Nelson, Columbia University, New York, USA. Dr.scient.soc.h.c.

2008: Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Dr.scient.soc.h.c.

2007: Chairman of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission Hans Blix. Dr.scient.soc.h.c.

2004: Professor Arlie Russell Hochschild, University of California, Berkeley, USA. Dr.scient.soc.h.c.

1999: Professor Anne Philips, London Guildhall University, England. Dr.phil.h.c.

1994: Professor Christopher Freeman, University of Sussex, England. Dr.phil.h.c.

Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Engineering (until 2016)

2016: Professor John H. L. Hansen, University of Texas, Dallas, USA

2015: Professor Yuguo Li, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

2014: Professor Henrik Iskov Christensen, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, doctor technices (dr.techn.)

2013: Professor Jie Li, Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Dr.techn.h.c.

2012: Professor Harold Vincent Poor, Princeton University, USA. Dr.techn.h.c.

2010: Professor Ion Boldea, University Politechnica of Timisoara, Romania. Dr.techn.h.c.

2009: Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, University of California at Berkeley, USA. Dr.techn.h.c.

2008: Dr. Jiri Marsalek, National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Canada. Dr.techn.h.c.

2004: Professor Marian P. Kazmierkowski, Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. Dr.techn.h.c.

1999: Professor, dr. Gengdong Cheng, Dalian University of Technology, P.R. China. Dr.techn.h.c.

1994: Professor, Jens Blauert, Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany. Dr.techn.h.c


Honorary doctors at the Faculty of Science (until 2016)

2016: Professor Jianrong Qiu, Zhejiang University, China

2015: Professor Adrian Baddeley, University of Western Australia, Australia

2014: Professor Michael Wagner, University of Vienna, Austria, Dr.scient.

2013: Professor Gilbert Strang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Dr.scient.h.c.

2011: Professor Renuka Vithal, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Dr.scient.h.c.

2009: Professor Klaus Kern, Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research, Nanoscale Science Department, Stuttgart, Germany. Dr.scient.h.c.

2008: Professor Steffen Lauritzen, University of Oxford, Oxford, England. Dr.scient.h.c.

2007: The 45th Vice-President of the United States Albert Arnold Gore, USA, Jr. Dr.scient.h.c.

2004: Professor Andries Brouwer, Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven, Holland. Dr.scient.h.c.

1999: Professor Emil Wolf, University of Rochester, USA. Dr.scient.h.c.

1994: Dr. David Spiegelhalter, MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, England. Dr.scient.h.c.

1991: Professor Kristen Nygaard, Oslo Universitet, Norway. Dr.scient.h.c.

Honorary Fellows at AAU

Honorary Fellows at AAU

Previously, Honorary Fellowships of AAU were awarded to individuals who have rendered exceptional service to Aalborg University. Honorary Fellowships were awarded at the AAU annual celebration event.

Last modified: 29.04.2014

By awarding Honorary Fellowships, AAU wished to acknowledge the exceptional efforts made by individuals to promote research, education and cooperation in the surrounding community for the benefit of Denmark and North Jutland in particular.


Honorary Fellow appointed in 2013

Henning G. Jensen, mayor of Aalborg 1998-2013
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Henning G. Jensen’s long-standing positive response and commitment to Aalborg University. Henning G. Jensen has been a pillar of support, and every time AAU has proposed new ideas or improvements of University conditions within his sphere of competence, he has responded positively.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2012

Jesper Jespersen, managing director of NOVI
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Jesper Jespersen’s tireless efforts in promoting the collaboration between NOVI and Aalborg University, based on his great commitment and visionary approach. Jesper Jespersen has shown great understanding for the particular conditions to which university collaborations are subjected.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2011

Frank Jensen, lord mayor of Copenhagen
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Frank Jensen’s efforts and support to Aalborg University during his time as Chairman of the Aalborg University Board as well as his later support of the efforts to establish close contacts between AAU-CPH graduates and the University.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2010

Ulla Astman, chair of the North Denmark Regional Council
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Ulla Astman’s great efforts in promoting the cooperation between Aalborg University and the business community in North Jutland and in promoting the establishment of the medical programme at AAU.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2009

Christen W. Obel
This appointment is an acknowledgement of the great contribution and invaluable support for Aalborg University provided by Christen W. Obel and the Obel Family Foundation throughout the years; in particular, their contribution to the realisation of the Utzon Centre.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2008

Peter Lund Madsen, brain scientist.
The appointment is an acknowledgement of Peter Lund Madsen’s creative and altruistic contribution to AAU.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2007

Ole Jørgensen, managing director of Spar Nord Fonden (the Spar Nord Foundation)
The appointment is an acknowledgement of Ole Jørgensen’s exceptional contribution to AAU over many years. Since its establishment in 1990, the foundation has provided substantial financial support towards research, student mobility stays, employment of specialised resource personnel, equipment and large international conferences.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2006

Ole Jensen, CEO of NanoNord Ltd.
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Ole Jensen’s extraordinary contribution to the establishment of one of the Europe’s largest nanotechnology laboratories for education and research at AAU.

Honorary Fellow appointed in 2005

Frederik Obel, chairman of the board of the Obel Family Foundation for 20 years, until January 2005.
This appointment is an acknowledgement of Frederik Obel’s great interest in and work for the University. From its establishment in 1974 and until today, AAU has benefited from the attention and generosity of the Obel Family Foundation.

Earlier appointments of Honorary Fellows

Eigil Hastrup (former bank manager) and Carl Willum Hansen (former upper secondary school headmaster) for their great contribution to the establishment of a university in Aalborg.


Contact AAU

If you have any questions about Aalborg University's history, honorary doctors and fellows, please contact:

The Rector's Office