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Topsoe scientist honored with prestigious award


Topsoe’s Stig Helveg has received the award “EliteForsk” – a recognition of his outstanding work within electron microscopy that follows catalytic processes at the atomic scale as they happen.

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Topsoe invest 9-10% of revenues annually in research and development. Being one of Topsoe’s leading scientists, Stig Helveg has pioneered electron microscopy to follow catalytic processes at the atomic scale in real time. Besides from being an outstanding contribution to science, this achievement leads to scientific breakthroughs that give way for development of better catalysts.

“I see Stig’s research as unique and innovative. He has through creation of a new research field been able to establish fundamental new insights within surface science and catalysis. This has inspired not only researchers at Topsoe but the catalysis society as a whole in the quest for better catalysts. That’s why I nominated him for EliteForsk, and I really think his work deserves this special recognition,” says Jesper Nerlov, Chief Technology Officer of Haldor Topsoe.

EliteForsk is awarded every year by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science to scientists, who make extraordinary contributions to Danish research.

“It’s a great honor and motivation to receive this award. It recognizes that our research adds unprecedented new knowledge to the field of catalysis and leads the way to better catalysts. By doing that, we touch upon some of the world’s most pressing challenges, like preserving energy, reduce pollution, and provide fertilizer to ensure sufficient food supplies. We will definitely continue making breakthroughs and are working on a next-generation microscope,” says Stig Helveg, Fellow at Haldor Topsoe. 

Stig Helveg receives the EliteForsk award today, March 1, at a ceremony at the Danish Opera House in Copenhagen.

It’s the first time EliteForsk goes to a scientist from a privately owned company. Since 2007, all prize winners have been from universities and other public institutions.

About Stig Helveg

  • PhD in Physics from Aarhus University
  • Fellow at Topsoe’s Atomic-scale Analysis Department
  • Affiliated professor at University of Copenhagen
  • Published more than 90 scientific articles and has been quoted over 9,300 times
  • 44 years old and has been with Topsoe since 2000
  • Lives in Copenhagen, DK, with his partner Rebecca and his daughter Naomi

About the award
EliteForsk is awarded by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The purpose of the award is to honor Danish scientists in the international elite and their contribution to make Denmark one of the world’s leading knowledge societies.