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Two PhD fellows from AAU receive Elite Research travel grants

Two PhD fellows from AAU receive Elite Research travel grants

Two junior researchers from AAU are among the recipients of the Elite Research travel grants awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science to talented PhD students.

By Lea Laursen Pasgaard, AAU Communication; translated and edited by Pernille Budde Haensel, AAU Communication. Photo: Private photos

As part of the Elite Research Initiative, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science awards Elite Research travel grants to some of the brightest and most talented PhD students in Denmark. This year, two PhD fellows from AAU have received a travel grant: Thomas Yssing Michaelsen from the Department of Chemistry and Bioscience and Shibarchi Majumder from the Department of Electronic Systems.

The Elite Research travel grant of DKK 200,000 allows a talented PhD student to travel abroad for a research stay in one of the finest research environments in the world.

Thomas Yssing Michaelsen is affiliated with the Center for Microbial Communities and his research interests are bioinformatics and microbiology. In his PhD project, he is exploring microbial dark matter and how to model microbial communities using DNA and RNA sequencing.

‘We only know a small percentage of all microorganisms that exist and we know even less about how individual bacteria contribute to the ecosystem and how bacteria interact under natural conditions. Our lack of knowledge about this microbial dark matter is largely due to the fact that bacteria are difficult to study under artificial conditions in the laboratory. In my PhD project, we’d like to change that by developing new methods for measuring bacterial activity of multiple species simultaneously in an arbitrary microbial community using bimolecular data. These methods will enable us to reconstruct the food chains that connect the bacteria and identify key species important for the functioning of the community – and ultimately make microbial dark matter slightly less “dark”,’ Thomas Yssing Michaelsen says.

Read Thomas Yssing Michaelsen’s blog post about winning the grant

Shibarchi Majumders is affiliated with the Section for Automation and Control. In his PhD project he focuses on improving the reliability of computational platforms used for flight control applications in small airborne systems like drones.

Shibarchi Majumder’s research focus is to establish the knowledge needed to develop a flight control platform for the next generation of drones and involves development of an advanced flight computer for reliable real-time computation. The possible impact of Majumder’s research is very significant and encompasses not only drones but also other systems where real-time and reliable computation is essential, e.g. airbag systems in cars.

Read the department’s article on Shibarchi Majumder and his research

Further information on the Elite Research Initiative