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High engineer hopes for the future


The future belongs to those who work within high tech areas. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) expects far more than 1000 youngsters from all over Denmark, when the University shows itself to the coming generation of engineers on 3. March 2005. The events include robots, futuristic cars and dangerous germs.

The next Bill Gates or Thomas Edison could be among those who visit the Open University event at Denmark’s leading Polytechnic University on Thursday. DTU in Lyngby expects a massive rate of visitors in what is anticipated to be the biggest Open University event in the history of DTU.

Unemployment rates for younger engineers under 30 years have decreased with 15 percent within only the last 12 months. After the newly held election, everybody agrees that Denmark should bet its money on high tech research and enterprises, and that leads us to believe that lots of youngsters will drop by us this week, says Anders Heide Mortensen, Head of Communications at DTU.

Because of an overwhelming interest for the event, DTU has chosen to offer the young enthusiastic visitors, who seriously consider themselves as future engineers, bus transport from all over Denmark. And there will be plenty to think about for the visitors during the numerous lectures, guided tours and exhibitions targeted the engineers to be.

RoboCup and racecars

The Ecoracer ”Spirit of Copenhagen”, a last year top contender in the international Shell EcoMarathon, is build by students in engineering. The car is a prototype, and runs 583 kilometres on what equals one litre of gasoline – without polluting. The team this year is in the process of building two new cars, to defend the Danish colours in this years EcoMarathon. The students will present their work for the students to be this Thursday.

But there will be plenty of other opportunities to reflect on future products. One shouldn’t be too scared, when a voice suddenly commands you to step a side. If you look down your most likely to discover, that the voice belongs to a 35 kilos heavy robot – a so called guidebot – who just happens to think that your in the way. The Robot is moving around on its own, and finds its way through the crowds due to the help of a build-in camera.

Same principle is used by the newest competitor in the build-your-own-robot competition Robocup 2005, which will be presented at the Open University event on 3. March. The team behind the technological wonder is sure to present a future winner of the competition:
”It will win for sure! If there’s anything it can’t do, it’s because we haven’t taught to do it yet. It’s like re-living your boyhood dreams to build that robot,” says Asbjørn Mejnertsen, one of the students behind the latest flower in the already blooming garden of DTU robots.

Medicin or Food

A piece of chocolate , which at the same time tastes well and cures a stomach ache or maybe strong medicine without any damaging side effects. How do you develop new pharmaceuticals, and why is it so important? How do you find out if and how antioxidants in e.g. apples and red wine works within the body? Should food be medicine or medicine be food? Interesting questions for a strong debate.

50 centimeters of Coli

Health and Production is a new line of study at DTU, which will challenge our traditional perception of drugs and food, and the way the future bioengineers will use new biotech research to develop and manufacture healthier food and better medicine. The research field of biotech is one of three main areas seen by the Danish government as high profile areas, supported with billions of Danish kroner from The High Tech Fund. And there is life as well as health at stake, when the microbiology is working in our food. Especially the spices will be in sharp focus this Thursday. ”Spices in food is infected with all sorts of germs,” says assistant professor Jan Martinussen, BioCentrum, DTU.

By making a very simple test, where unprepared spices is put on a growth media, the visitors at DTU can see how bad the situation in fact is. If you aren’t careful to prepare your food in the right manner, you put your stomach system at risk, and different germs will give you a hard time. At DTU, there will be an opportunity to meet one of these germs: A 50 centimetre long coli-germ. But don’t panic – it’s a model made by old carpets and yellow peas, so there shouldn’t occur to much danger.

Mads Nielsen | alfa
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