Well-attended Alumni Day at Science and Technology

More than 1,300 former students and employees visited their former academic environment on Thursday 5 April to see old fellow students and teachers, to attend presentations of the latest research within their fields of expertise, and to tour the laboratories and see new research facilities.

2018.04.18 | Julie Øst Andersson

The Alumni Day was an opportunity to learn more about the latest research within various fields. These alumni from the Department of Bioscience are hearing about drone technology. (Photo: Lars Kruse)

Esben Ejsing, alumnus from the Department of Mathematics.

Mette Kølbæk Christensen, alumna from the Department of Geoscience.

Tram Boo Ngoc Nguyen, alumna from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Specialist expertise was the focal point for the joint Alumni Day at Science and Technology. So many specialist areas meant that not just one, but eleven events were planned, and these took place at the individual departments and centres. The form of the events was very different and spanned everything from trade fairs, with presentations by companies targeting students, to presentations of new education programmes and research, to tours of new laboratories and research facilities, and networking over lunch or a beer in the student bar.

The departments and centres had organised the eleven events on the basis of what they expected their alumni would want to get out of the day.

“The positive response and the large number of registrations exceeded all our expectations, and I take this as confirmation that we’ve chosen the right concept and that we’ve been able to meet a real demand from Science and Technology alumni,” says Vice-Dean Søren Rud Keiding.

The alumni say:

“My motivation for participating is primarily professional. I agree with the department head that if we don’t keep up with developments within mathematical modelling, digitization and machine learning, for example, we’ll become dinosaurs. I find that, by providing data and analysis to management, experts today have much more direct influence and can make their mark on what’s going on in the corridors of management.”

Esben Ejsing, director at KPMG and alumnus from the Department of Mathematics.

“I’ve made a point of attending the Geosciences Alumni Day to keep me up to date. The first presentation hit the nail on the head with regard to some of the challenges we’re tackling at the Road Directorate. At any rate, I’ll have to talk to the speaker to hear more and discuss possibilities for collaboration.”

Mette Kølbæk Christensen, geologist at the Danish Road Directorate and alumna from the Department of Geoscience.

“I work at the department as a research assistant, but I’m looking for a new job and I thought that the Alumni Day would be a good opportunity to meet other alumni, hear about their work and also expand my network.”

Tram Boo Ngoc Nguyen, research assistant and alumna from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.

 

“I expect that not only the alumni, but also the departments and centres can in the long term benefit from better contact between former students and the academic environments. It’s no secret that we would like to have more collaboration with companies on, for example, student projects and internships, as well as research collaboration. Our former students are our best ambassadors and stronger contact could benefit of all parties,” concludes Søren Rud Keiding.

The initiative to open the doors and invite former students and staff to Science and Technology has been underway some time. Last year, the Department of Physics and Astronomy as well as Geoscience held similar events with great success.

“We could see that several of our former students were interested in being invited back to the department. On the one hand to meet old fellow students and teachers, and to revisit the halls, auditoriums and labs. And on the other hand to hear about the latest research and knowledge within their field of expertise so that they could keep up to date,” explains Professor Peter Balling, responsible for the Alumni Day at the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The Alumni day will be followed by an evaluation to adjust the concept so that in future the departments and centres can maintain contact with the alumni through newsletters, invitations to relevant events. etc.

 


 

Members of the Science and Technology alumni network are automatically members of the Aarhus University alumni network. Therefore, ST alumni can enjoy the benefits of AU’s full range of services for alumni.

Read more about the Science and Technology alumni network.

Staff, Public / media