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The Technical University of Denmark ( , DTU) was founded in 1829 as the 'College of Advanced Technology' (Danish: Den Polytekniske Læreanstalt). The initiative was taken by the renowned physicist Hans Christian Ørsted (then a professor at the University of Copenhagenmarker) who also served as its principal until his death in 1851. The university is generally understood to be one of Europe's leading engineering institutions, and the best engineering university in Scandinavia.

From 1933 the institution was officially known as Danmarks Tekniske Højskole (DTH), which usually was translated as the 'Technical University of Denmark'. Finally on 1 April 1994, in connection with the joining of Danmarks Ingeniørakademi (DIA) and DTH, the Danish name was changed to Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, in order to include the word 'University', thus giving rise to the acronym DTU by which the university is commonly known today.

DTU is the subject of recent and ongoing controversy (2009) because the institute director of the Department of Chemistry is a high-ranking member of Scientology. In relation to this, the university is being accused of violating the principles of free speech by threatening to fire employees who voice their criticism of the institute director. As of 16th November, he has announced that he will be leaving DTU at the end of his current contract (believed to be in 1 years time).

On 1 January 2007 the university was merged with the following Danish research centers: Forskningscenter Risømarker, Danmarks Fødevareforskning, Danmarks Fiskeriundersøgelser (from 1 January 2008: National Institute for Aquatic Resources; DTU Aqua), Danmarks Rumcenter, and Danmarks Transport-Forskning.In November 2007 the Times Higher Education Supplement put the university as number 130 in their ranking of the universities of the world.

The student union at DTU is the 161-year old Polyteknisk Forening.

Organization and administration

The university is governed by a board consisting of 10 members: 6 members recruited outside the university form the majority of the board, 1 member is appointed by the scientific staff, 1 member is appointed by the administrative staff, and 2 members are appointed by the university students.

The President of DTU is appointed by the university board. The president in turn appoints deans, and deans appoint heads of departments.

Since DTU has no faculty senate, and since the faculty is not involved in the appointment of president, deans, or department heads, the university has no faculty governance.


Research Centers


The university is located on a plain known as Lundtoftesletten in the northeastern end of the city of Lyngbymarker. The area was previously home to the airfield Lundtofte Flyveplads.

The campus is roughly divided in half by the road Anker Engelunds Vej going in the east-west direction, and, perpendicular to that, by two lengthy, collinear road located on either side of a parking lot. The campus is thus divided into four parts, referred to as quadrants, numbered 1 through 4 in correspondence with the conventional numbering of quadrants in the Cartesian coordinate system with north upwards.


In the “engineering” category on the Times Higher Education Top 20 based on impact DTU is ranked:

No. 1 in the Nordic regionNo. 3 in EuropeNo. 20 in the World

On the Leiden Ranking’s 2008 “crown indicator” list of Europe’s 100 largest universities in terms of the number of Web of Science publications in the period 2000-2007 DTU is ranked :

No. 1 in the Nordic regionNo. 5 in Europe

In the Times Higher Education – QS 2008 DTU is ranked:

No. 6 in the Nordic region (5 in Scandinavia)No. 48 in EuropeNo. 133 in the World

Management and freedom of speech controversy

The head of department at DTU Chemistry, Ole W. Sørensen, has been the centre of several controversial events: An associate professor who had negotiated a bonus with the university, was threatened that the course she was teaching would be cancelled if she accepted the bonus. After she accepted the bonus, Ole W. Sørensen cancelled the course. A journalist covering the case reported that employees preferred to speak anonymously and without use of the university email system, but that only one employee, Rolf W. Berg, went on record by name, blaming the problems on the absence of a faculty role in the governance of DTU.

Shortly thereafter, the university management threatened Rolf W. Berg with dismissal for publicly criticizing the university.

Notable alumni and professors

See also


External links

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