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New dean at the Faculty of Natural Sciences

After a thorough appointment process, Aarhus University has selected astrophysicist Professor Kristian Pedersen as new dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Since 2012, Kristian Pedersen has been director of DTU Space, before which he served as director of the Space Science Center at the University of Copenhagen. He has a PhD in astrophysics and became professor of space research in 2018. Together with extensive management experience, he has a deep understanding of the university sector and not least research and education. During his tenure as head of DTU Space, he has also placed a high priority on popular science communication,  for example through books, radio programmes and public lectures. 

"Kristian Pedersen has a solid research and education background, and he is known for his good communication skills, and he also has a strong leadership profile. For all these reasons, I’m very pleased that Kristian Pedersen applied to Aarhus University. I'm convinced that he has what it takes to launch the new Faculty of Natural Sciences successfully and set the right course for it, "says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen. 

Kristian Pedersen will head the new Faculty of Natural Sciences. The faculty is founded on strong basic research within the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, strengths that will increasingly be brought into play in close collaboration with the other faculties and external stakeholders. The Faculty of Natural Sciences has great potential to make a significant contribution to addressing major societal challenges and to communicating scientific insights and advances to decision-makers and the general public.

As part of a major strategic initiative, the faculty is working to to boost research and degree programmes within digitalisation with the goal of doubling the number of graduates in this area by 2023.

Kristian Pedersen is looking forward to the move:

"I am honoured and enthusiastic about this unique opportunity to head the Faculty of Natural Sciences. With great respect for the faculty's international position and the deep knowledge and commitment of its students and staff, I look forward to working together to develop the faculty’s great potential. The excellent research and education which the faculty's departments represent are essential in order to achieve new insights as well as to address major societal challenges. Together with good Danish and international partners, we can and must 'make the world smarter'. I’m looking forward to it very much.” 

Kristian Pedersen will take up the position as dean of the faculty on 1 April 2020.

"We have conducted a thorough appointment process, during which we decided to re-advertise the position of dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. This was motivated by our desire to attract a larger, more diverse field of applicants. We succeeded, and the applicant pool was both diverse and highly qualified. We chose Kristian Pedersen because, based on an overall assessment, we found that he was the best match for the position,"says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.