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News Details | 17-May-2010

NTU Provost, Professor Bertil Andersson to receive prestigious international award in Austria


NTU Provost, Professor Bertil Andersson, will receive this year’s Wilhelm Exner Medal, joining an illustrious list of laureates which includes 15 Nobel Prize winners, Dr Ferdinand Porsche and Mr Wernher von Braun.

Dr Porsche was best known for creating the first hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle, the Volkswagen Beetle and Mercedes-Benz SS/SSK while Mr Braun is the leading rocket scientist of our age.

“I am deeply honoured and yet humbled to be in the prestigious company of the most outstanding scientists and inventors in the last nine decades who have shaped the world we live in today,” said Prof Andersson.

Prof Andersson was nominated by the laureates and the nomination was unanimously accepted by the General Assembly of the Austrian Association of Small and Middle-Sized Enterprises (Osterreichischer Gewerbeverein, OGV). This medal has been awarded since 1921 to scientists and inventors whose work has opened new possibilities in industrial applications.

Wilhelm Exner, the eponym of the medal, was a pioneer in Austria’s industrial development, as well as a university professor, technologist, politician, reformer of industrial education, founder of the Museum of Technology, Vienna, and Honorary President of OGV.

The Medal will be conferred on Prof Andersson in Vienna on 21 Nov 2010, in the presence of the Austrian Federal Minister of Science and Research, Dr Beatrix Karl. Prof Andersson and the laureates will attend a reception hosted by the Federal President of Austria, Prof Dr Heinz Fischer in Hofburg Palace on 22 Nov 2010. The other medalist this year is Professor Ada Yonath from Israel’s Weizmann Institute who is also the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry.

Appointed NTU Provost in April 2007, Prof Andersson said: “I was attracted to NTU because of the university’s unprecedented research investments and interests in cutting-edge scientific research and technological innovations across multiple disciplines.” 

He hopes that this latest honour will help to further promote NTU’s name internationally to attract top talents here. Ranked in the top one per cent of the world’s universities, NTU has, in recent years, been actively recruiting top professors internationally.

A world renowned academic, the NTU Provost has been playing an important role in raising the profile of NTU amongst the world’s leading academics across various disciplines. This has resulted in NTU’s recruitment of world-class professors which include Kerry Sieh, Nadia Thalmann, Rudolph Marcus, Par Nordlund, Staffan Kjelleberg, Yehuda Cohen, Vibeke Sorensen and Christos Panagopoulos.

Prof Andersson was Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg, and Vice President of the European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) of the European Commission from 2004 till 2007. Between 1999 and 2003, Prof Andersson was Rector (President) of Linköping University.

Closely associated with the Nobel Foundation and the Nobel Prize for the last 20 years, he is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nobel Foundation. 

The award is in recognition of Prof Andersson’s research related to artificial leaves and its creation as well as his contributions to European and Austrian research.

An advisor to the Austrian Institute of Technology in its initial phase, he has been providing counsel on the formulation and implementation of its strategy. As the NTU Provost, Prof Andersson has recently been playing a critical role in the development of NTU’s strategic plans.

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Media contact:
Hisham Hambari, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications Office, NTU
Tel: 6709 6447, Email: mhisham@ntu.edu.sg

About Nanyang Technological University 

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