Sensitive sensors awarded the Grundfos Prize

Niels Peter Revsbech received the prize for his research into sensors and the relationship between microorganisms and the natural conditions under which they live. Among other things, this research has resulted in a ground-breaking new understanding of the oxygen and nitrogen cycles in the oceans.

- What is unique about Niels Peter Revsbech is that he is at the same time a practitioner, an inventor and a researcher, and his work has generated important knowledge which will hopefully pave the way for new approaches to the world’s environmental problems, says Niels Due Jensen, Chairman of The Poul Due Jensen Foundation and the jury.

Niels Peter Revsbech sees the Grundfos Prize as an indication that his work has been “worth every penny”.

- It’s great to receive praise from the business community. The prize and the corresponding press will make it easier to attract bright students to my research field, he says.

Throughout his career, Niels Peter Revsbech has developed highly sensitive microsensors. They have since turned out to be so useful that they are now being manufactured commercially and used by other researchers. They have been essential for Niels Peter Revsbech’s research, as they have given him a much better understanding of the world’s nitrogen conversion.

As a result of this new knowledge, decades of international research in this field has had to be revised. The understanding provides hitherto unknown possibilities of reducing the oxygen depletion in the oceans in the long term and can, for example, be used to develop new processes in wastewater treatment plants.

- Together with my research partners and with a minimum of resources, I’ve been able to fundamentally change the perception of what’s happening in very oxygen-poor parts of the oceans. The key to this understanding was an oxygen sensor that was 1,000 times more sensitive than previous versions, Niels Peter Revsbech explains.

While DKK 250,000 of the Grundfos Prize is awarded as a personal acknowledgement, DKK 750,000 is earmarked specifically for research. Niels Peter Revsbech plans to invest that money in laboratory equipment and to buy time to concentrate on developing new and potentially important sensor techniques.

This is the 11th time the Grundfos Prize has been awarded by The Poul Due Jensen Foundation whose main purpose is to ensure the continued operation and development of the Grundfos Group but also distributes funds in the form of donations for water projects and similar. This year, the foundation distributed Poul Due Jensen’s Scholarship and Poul Due Jensen’s Innovation Award to employees of the Group for the first time.

Read more about The Poul Due Jensen Foundation and the Grundfos Prize here.