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Science prizes awarded to archaeologist and mathematician at Aarhus University

Professor Marie Louise Stig Sørensen and Professor Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen are each to receive the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research 2014.

2014.05.27 | Helge Hollesen

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, private photo

Ole Eiler Barndorff-Nielsen, photo: Lars Kruse / AU Communication

Wednesday 28 May is a very special day at Aarhus University.
It marks an annual festive event at which two renowned researchers are honoured for their scientific work, most of which is or has been associated with the university. The recurring event has taken place since 1956, when the university established a science prize in connection with the 70th birthday of barrister Carl Holst-Knudsen and his resignation as Chairman of the Board.
This year’s awards go to archaeologist Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, a reader at the University of Cambridge and professor at Leiden University, and mathematician Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen, a professor emeritus at Aarhus University.

About the prize winners

Marie Louise Stig Sørensen graduated as an archaeologist from Aarhus University in 1981 and completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1985. Her dissertation focused on the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Scandinavia.

In addition to archaeological research, Professor Sørensen is a key figure in research into the relationship between culture and identity, body and gender. In 2011, she was appointed reader at the University of Cambridge and, the following year, she was appointed to a special professorship in Bronze Age studies at Leiden University.

Professor Sørensen has participated in and spearheaded a number of interdisciplinary EU projects. However, she has retained her affiliation with Aarhus University, where she is regularly involved in several different research collaborations. She also has a reputation for taking great care of the students that Aarhus University sends to Cambridge.

Ole Eiler Barndorff-Nielsen is considered as one of the leading mathematicians in the world today. He completed his MSc at Aarhus University in 1960, and was appointed professor of statistics at the university in 1973.

Ole E. Barndorff-Nielsen is currently a professor emeritus, but he remains an active researcher and is described as an important asset to the university. During the course of his career, he has produced an extensive amount of ground-breaking research results. These include the introduction and generalisation of mathematical models that find applications in widely different areas, particularly the theory of turbulence and particle transport, as well as the theory of finance.

Throughout his career, Professor Barndorff-Nielsen has received numerous appointments and accolades. These include membership of Academia Europaea and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Facts about the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research
The prize was awarded for the first time in 1958 and has subsequently – as far as possible – been awarded on 28 May. The award was originally valued at DKK 10,000, but has now increased to DKK 100,000.

The award is made without application as a token of respect to a Danish researcher who mainly works or has worked in connection with Aarhus University, and who is involved in scientific work, including the presentation of one or more significant results that hold great promise for future work. The prize can only be awarded to the same person once.

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