The Poul La Cour Award 2023 goes to Peter Hauge Madsen for his outstanding achievements in advancing the European wind energy research community

This year’s Poul La Cour Award goes to Peter Hauge Madsen, former Head of the Department of Wind and Energy Systems at the Danish Technical University (DTU), for his leadership and dedication in advancing the European wind energy research community.

It was back in the 1970s that Danish engineers and scientists began to harness the power of wind. Peter Hauge Madsen’s vision was to build a research society in Europe, bringing the brightest European scientists and researchers together. During his career, Peter Hauge Madsen helped to shape and enlarge the Wind and Energy Systems department at DTU. Today it is the largest research department for wind energy worldwide with more than 400 employees. His work was also instrumental in organising the research community under the European Energy Research Alliance for Wind (EERA-Wind) and The European Academy of Wind Energy.

Research conducted by Peter Hauge Madsen and his team of scientists at the Risø Test Center was crucial in the development of the wind industry as we know it today. His dedication helped create a strong foundation for the commercialisation of modern wind turbines. His knowledge of meteorological measurements helped use wind energy resources in a smarter and more efficient way. As part of his work he helped develop the Danish Wind Atlas. Today, energy planners around the world use this atlas to get an overview of the most favourable conditions for wind turbines.

During the award ceremony Peter Hauge Madsen said: “I have been driven by the idea that wind energy can solve some of the world’s most pressing issues. I am very proud to have built a strong team of researchers. Together we have been driving new perspectives within the industry. Today we have come so far that wind has become the main source of electricity in many parts of the world. That’s more than we could have ever imagined 40 years ago.”

The Poul la Cour Award is presented to people for their outstanding achievements in the wind industry and is named after Poul La Cour – a Danish physicist, meteorologist, inventor and folk high school teacher. Today la Cour is especially recognised for his early work on wind power, both experimental work on aerodynamics and practical implementation of wind power plants. The Award ceremony is organised by WindEurope and the Poul la Cour Foundation. The prize is awarded every other year. An appointed Selection Committee of four persons, representing the science and industry of wind power in Europe, chooses the winner.

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