The Tietgen Award was given for research on the movement patterns of Danes during the COVID-19 epidemic

Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen, a 36-year-old researcher in education policy and artificial intelligence at the University of Copenhagen, and Laura Alessandretti, a 31-year-old researcher at DTU, focusing on the movement and transport patterns of Danes during the COVID-19 pandemic are the recipients of the Tietgen Award 2021

The Tietgen Award of DKK 500,000 is one of the largest awards for young researchers in business-oriented humanities and social sciences. The Tietgen Award is awarded by an independent jury under the Danish Society for Education and Business (DSEB).

Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen expressed his gratitude, saying, ‘I am very honoured to receive the Tietgen Award and pleased with the significant recognition of my research. The award will enable me to build an even stronger network with research colleagues from around the world and initiate new projects on digital learning tools.’ The committee emphasized Andreas’s research for its relevance to society and its innovative approaches, particularly within the field of education policy, where he utilizes advanced methods from econometrics and data science to study the effects of digital technology in education, the development of algorithms for identifying academically weak students, and the distribution and admission of students.

The relevance of Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen’s research is highlighted by collaboration with public authorities, including the Ministry of Children and Education and the tax authorities. His project on the distribution and admission of students has gained significant attention from major media outlets such as Politiken, Weekendavisen, and Zetland.

The second recipient, Laura Alessandretti, an Italian researcher in Computational Social Science, focuses on understanding society through big data and machine learning – a rapidly growing field. She is an expert in comprehending human movement patterns, such as modelling epidemics and transportation systems, and she also studies cryptocurrencies – an area increasingly impacting our society. Alessandretti examines these phenomena using terabytes of data and draws on methods from the physics of complex systems, statistics, and computer science.

In regards of receiving the Tietgen Award, Laura Alessandretti said, ‘It is an honour to receive the Tietgen Award in recognition of my scientific work on the study of human mobility behaviour and my analyses of mobile-phone data for the official Danish COVID-19 response. I will use the award to develop new project work aiming at understanding poorly understood aspects of mobility, such as navigation and routing. Understanding these aspects will be crucial to design more efficient transportation and sustainable cities.

Facts about the Tietgen Award:

The Tietgen Award has been awarded since 1929, established to mark the centenary of the birth of C.F. Tietgen.

The award is one of the most prestigious honours in Denmark, awarded to young researchers in Northern Europe in recognition of research talents in business-oriented social sciences and humanities benefitting Danish business and society.

The Tietgen Award is awarded by an independent jury, comprising:

    • Professor Jakob Roland Munch from the University of Copenhagen (chair of the jury)
    • Professor Dorte Brogård Kristensen from the University of Southern Denmark
    • Professor Jes Broeng from the Technical University of Denmark
    • Professor Simon Calmar from Aarhus University
    • Professor Signe Vikkelsø from Copenhagen Business School
    • Professor MSO Kristina Siig from the University of Southern Denmark
    • CEO Ib Enevoldsen from Rambøll.