Water researcher awarded the Grundfos Prize

The prize of 1 million Danish kroner was awarded in recognition of Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen’s long-standing research into the water quality of both groundwater and drinking water. This is an area that holds global perspectives, the jury says, and this year, the prize was awarded under the heading “Water is life”.

”Water is life. Water is the basic precondition for the existence of life. Actually, there is a sufficient amount of water in the world – but it is unevenly distributed. In some places there is too little or almost no water, while in others, people fight against increasing bodies of water. With this year’s presentation of the Grundfos Prize, we have decided to increase our focus on the fact that we must learn to take better care of this scarce resource”, says Niels Due Jensen, chairman of The Poul Due Jensen Foundation and the Grundfos Prize jury.

Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen is Professor of Public Health Engineering at the Danish Technical University, DTU Environment – Department of Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on microbiology in groundwater and drinking water. He has been working with microbial processes in connection with groundwater pollution from landfills and environmentally alien substances – pesticides in particular – and their fate in groundwater environments. Today, the main focus is on water treatment and water supply.

- I am pleased that Grundfos uses the theme ’Water is life’ to direct its attention to water, which is a very important area, both nationally and globally. From a microbiological viewpoint, there may be too much life in the water at times in the form of unwanted microorganisms, the prize winner Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen says. He continues:

- I am particularly proud of receiving the prize because I have the greatest respect for Grundfos and not least for the commitment and seriousness that the company is demonstrating when it comes to development, reorganisation and their effort to include water quality.

The Grundfos Prize is awarded for the 10th time by The Poul Due Jensen Foundation whose main objective is to ensure the continued operation and development of the Grundfos Group. In addition, the Foundation makes donations to water projects and similar projects, and strengthens research with the awarding of, among others, the Grundfos Prize.

- Over the years, these donations have helped to strengthen and raise specific research areas. At the same time, we have been able to form close and important ties to important research environments, says Niels Due Jensen.

Out of the total prize of 1 million Danish kroner, 750,000 kroner is earmarked for research. The remaining 250,000 kroner is given as a personal recognition.

- The Grundfos Prize 2012 makes a difference and offers us an important opportunity to intensify our work within biotechnology to remove pesticides from the groundwater as part of water treatment processes. In addition, the prize helps to develop the important collaboration that takes place between universities, the industry and supply units within the water sector, says Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen.


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