Technical University of Denmark
The Technical University of Denmark , often simply referred to as DTU, is a university just north of Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark. It was founded in 1829 at the initiative of Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

 as Denmark's first polytechnic
Institute of technology
Institute of technology is a designation employed in a wide range of learning institutions awarding different types of degrees and operating often at variable levels of the educational system...

, and is today ranked among Europe's leading engineering institutions, and the best engineering university in Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...


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


DTU was founded in 1829 as the 'College of Advanced Technology' (Danish: Den Polytekniske Læreanstalt) with the physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

, then a professor at the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

, as one of the driving forces. The inspiration was the École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique
The École Polytechnique is a state-run institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, Essonne, France, near Paris. Polytechnique is renowned for its four year undergraduate/graduate Master's program...

 in Paris which Ørsted had visited as a young scientist. The new institution was inaugurated on 5 November 1829
1829 in Denmark
-Incumbents:* Monarch – HM Frederick VI* Prime minister – Otto Joachim-Events:* June 7 – C. F. Hansen's new Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen inaugurated after the previous building was destroyed in the British Bombardement of Copenhagen in 1807....

 with Ørsted as its principal, a position he held until his death in 1851.
The new college's first home was two buildings in Studiestræde and St- Oederstræde in central Copenhagen but although expanded several times they remained inadequate and in 1890 a new building complex was inaugurated in Sølvgade in 1890. The new buildings were designed by the architect Johan Daniel Herholdt
Johan Daniel Herholdt
Johan Daniel Herholdt was a Danish architect, professor and royal building inspector. He worked in the Historicist style and had a significant influence on Danish architecture during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century...


In 1903, the College of Advanced Technology commenced the education of electronics engineers in addition to the building engineers, production engineers and machine engineers already educated at the college.

In the 1920s, space had once again become insufficient and in 1929 the foundation stone was laid for a new school at Østervold. Completion of the building was delayed by World War II and it was not completed until 1954.

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
Danmarks Ingeniørakademi
Danmarks Ingeniørakademi was an intermediate-level public university of engineering, founded in 1957. It was co-located with the Technical University of Denmark , on the Lundtofte campus. It offered a more aggressively paced curriculum, of minimum 3.5 years duration, compared to the minimum 5.5...

(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.
In 1960, a decision was made to move the College of Advanced Technology to new and larger facilities in Lyngby north of Copenhagen. They were inaugurated on 17 May 1974.

On 23 and 24 November 1967. The University Computing Center hosted the NATO Science Committee's Study Group first meeting discussing the newly-coined term 'Software Engineering'.

On 1 January 2007, the university was merged with the following Danish research centers: Forskningscenter Risø
Risø National Laboratory
Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy is a scientific research organization north of Roskilde, Denmark. From 1 January 2008 it was made an institute under Technical University of Denmark...

, Danmarks Fødevareforskning, Danmarks Fiskeriundersøgelser (from 1 January 2008: National Institute for Aquatic Resources; DTU Aqua), Danmarks Rumcenter, and Danmarks Transport-Forskning.

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.


  • DTU Aqua, National Institute for Aquatic Resources
  • DTU Business, DTU Executive School of Business
  • DTU Cen, Center for Electron Nanoscopy
    Center for Electron Nanoscopy (CEN)
    The Center for Electron Nanoscopy is a state-of-the-art center for electron microscopy at the Technical University of Denmark . Inaugurated in December 2007, the institute was funded by a donation of DKK100 million from the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation...

  • DTU Chemical Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
  • DTU Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • DTU Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
  • DTU Danchip, Danchip
  • DTU Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering
  • DTU Environment, Department of Environmental Engineering
  • DTU Executive School of Business
  • DTU Food, National Food Institute
  • DTU Fotonik, Department of Photonics Engineering
  • DTU Informatics, Department of Informatics and Mathematical Modelling
  • DTU Management Engineering, Department of Management Engineering
  • DTU Mathematics, Department of Mathematics
    Technical University of Denmark Department of Mathematics
    The Department of Mathematics at DTU is an institute at the Technical University of Denmark. It was founded to consolidate all mathematical research and teaching in one institute...

  • DTU Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • DTU Nanotech, Department of Micro-and Nanotechnology
  • DTU Physics, Department of Physics
  • Risø DTU, National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy
    Risø National Laboratory
    Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy is a scientific research organization north of Roskilde, Denmark. From 1 January 2008 it was made an institute under Technical University of Denmark...

  • DTU Space, National Space Institute
  • DTU Biosys, Department of Systems Biology
  • DTU Library, Technical Information Center of Denmark
  • DTU Vet, National Veterinary Institut
  • DTU Transport, Department of Transport

Research centers

  • Center for Arktisk Teknologi
  • Center for Facilities Management
  • Center for Biological Sequence Analysis – chair Søren Brunak
    Søren Brunak
    Søren Brunak is a Danish physical and biological scientist working in bioinformatics. He is the director of the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis at the Department of Systems Biology of the Technical University of Denmark since 1993....

  • Center for Information and Communication Technologies
  • Center for Microbial Biotechnology
  • Center for Phase Equilibria and Separation Processes
  • Center for Technology, Economics and Management
  • Center for Traffic and Transport
  • Centre for Applied Hearing Research
  • Centre for Electric Technology
  • Combustion and Harmful Emission Control
  • The Danish Polymer Centre
  • IMM Statistical Consulting Center
  • International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy
  • Centre for Advanced Food Studies
  • Nano-DTU
  • Fluid-DTU
  • Food-DTU
  • EnergiDTU


The university is located on a plain known as Lundtoftesletten in the northeastern end of the city of Lyngby
Kongens Lyngby
Kongens Lyngby is the main city in the affluent Danish municipality of Lyngby-Taarbæk. Just north of Copenhagen, the city lies in the northern part of Denmark's largest island, Zealand...

. 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 roads located on either side of a parking lot
Parking lot
A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

. 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
Cartesian coordinate system
A Cartesian coordinate system specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances from the point to two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length...

 with north upwards.


DTU was the subject of controversy in 2009 because the former institute director of the Department of Chemistry was a high-ranking member of Scientology
Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by science fiction and fantasy author L. Ron Hubbard , starting in 1952, as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics...

. In relation to this, the university was accused of violating the principles of free speech by threatening to fire employees who voice their criticism of the institute director. On 7 April 2010, his successor was announced, at a department meeting, as Erling Stenby, who officially took over as Director on 1 May 2010.


In November 2007 the Times Higher Education Supplement put the university as number 130 in their ranking of the universities of the world and number 122 in 2010.
  • In the "engineering" category in the QS subject rankings for 2010 DTU is ranked:
    • No. 1 in Scandinavia
    • No. 69 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 Scandinavia
    • No. 5 in Europe
  • In the 2011 QS World University Rankings
    QS World University Rankings
    The QS World University Rankings is a ranking of the world’s top 500 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds using a method that has published annually since 2004....

     DTU is ranked:
    • No. 150 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 faculty

  • Craig Barrett
  • Dines Bjørner
    Dines Bjørner
    Professor Dines Bjørner is a Danish computer scientist.He specializes in research into domain engineering, requirements engineering and formal methods. He worked with Cliff Jones and others on the Vienna Development Method at IBM in Vienna...

  • Per Brinch Hansen
    Per Brinch Hansen
    Per Brinch Hansen was a Danish-American computer scientist known for concurrent programming theory.-Biography:He was born in Frederiksberg, in Copenhagen, Denmark....

  • Rodney Cotterill
    Rodney Cotterill
    Rodney Michael John Cotterill Order of the Dannebrog was an English-Danish physicist, and neuroscientist, who was educated at University College London , Yale and Cambridge University...

  • Ludwig A. Colding
    Ludwig A. Colding
    Ludwig August Colding was a Danish civil engineer and physicist who articulated the principle of conservation of energy contemporaneouly with, and independently of, James Prescott Joule and Julius Robert von Mayer though his contribution was largely overlooked and neglected.-Life:Born in Holbæk,...

  • Henrik Dam
    Henrik Dam
    Henrik Dam was a Danish biochemist and physiologist.He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1943 for joint work with Edward Doisy work in discovering vitamin K and its role in human physiology. Dam's key experiment involved feeding a cholesterol-free diet to chickens...

  • Anker Engelund
    Anker Engelund
    Anker Dolleris Engelund was a Danish civil engineer and university professor.-Career:In 1928, he became professor of building statics at the Technical University of Denmark. He became rector of the technical university , during the period of the university's expansion at Østervold...

  • P. Ole Fanger
    P. Ole Fanger
    Povl Ole Fanger was an expert in the field of the health effects of indoor environments. He was a University Professor at Syracuse University when he died at the age of 72 from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He was also a senior professor at the International Centre for Indoor Environment and...

  • Anders Hejlsberg
    Anders Hejlsberg
    Anders Hejlsberg is a prominent Danish software engineer who co-designed several popular and commercially successful programming languages and development tools...

  • Henrik Wann Jensen
    Henrik Wann Jensen
    Henrik Wann Jensen is a Danish computer graphics researcher. He is best known for developing the photon mapping technique as the subject of his PhD thesis, but has also done important research in simulating subsurface scattering and the sky....

  • Lars Knudsen
    Lars Knudsen
    Lars Ramkilde Knudsen is a Danish researcher in cryptography, particularly interested in the design and analysis of block ciphers, hash functions and message authentication codes .-Academic:...

  • Martin Knudsen
    Martin Knudsen
    This article is about the Danish physicist Martin Knudsen. For the Norwegian footballer, see Martin Knudsen .Martin Hans Christian Knudsen was a Danish physicist who taught and conducted research at the Technical University of DenmarkHe is primarily known for his study of molecular gas flow and the...

  • Peter Naur
    Peter Naur
    Peter Naur is a Danish pioneer in computer science and Turing award winner. His last name is the N in the BNF notation , used in the description of the syntax for most programming languages...

  • Jakob Nielsen
    Jakob Nielsen (usability consultant)
    Jakob Nielsen is a leading web usability consultant. He holds a Ph.D. in human–computer interaction from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen.-Early life and background:...

  • P. O. Pedersen
  • Bjarne Tromborg
    Bjarne Tromborg
    Bjarne Tromborg is a Danish physicist who has made significant contributions to particle physics and photonics.-Biography:Tromborg was born in Give, Denmark. In 1968, he received the M.Sc. degree in physics and mathematics from the Niels Bohr Institute, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was a university...

    , professor specializing in photonics
  • Hans Christian Ørsted
    Hans Christian Ørsted
    Hans Christian Ørsted was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism...

     (founder and first rector)
  • Carsten Thomassen
    Carsten Thomassen
    Carsten Thomassen is a Danish mathematician. He has been a Professor of Mathematics at the Technical University of Denmark since 1981, and since 1990 a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. His research concerns discrete mathematics and more specifically graph...

  • Lone Dybkjær
    Lone Dybkjær
    Lone Dybkjær , is a Danish politician. She graduated from Rungsted Statsskole in 1958 and took a Master of Engineering in chemistry at the Technical University of Denmark in 1964....

  • Ebbe Sand
    Ebbe Sand
    Ebbe Sand is a Danish former professional footballer who most notably played as a striker for FC Schalke 04 in Germany. He was the German Bundesliga top scorer in 2001, and he won the German Cup in 2001 and 2002 with Schalke...

External links

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