From left: Professor Ole Ravn, Head of Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen, Associate Professor Silvia Tolu, Chairman of AEG Elektronfonden Hans Peter Jensen, and DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev (Photo: Magnus Staugaard Bøye).

Researcher in Neuro-robotics receives AEG Elektron Jr. Award 2020

Wednesday 08 Sep 21

Contact

Silvia Tolu
Associate Professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 39 28

Facts

About the awards

The AEG Elektronfonden’s Elektron Award is presented once a year to “promote technical scientific developments within electrotechnology, and in this way contribute to giving Danish industry’s current and future employees a constantly richer higher education.” 

This year the foundation presents the AEG Elektron Junior Award, which is an extra award that honours a particularly talented researcher.

The AEG Elektronfonden foundation was established by the then managing director of AEG Danmark, Preben Momsen, in 1989. For several years, the annual award ceremony took place at a festive event to mark the start of a new season at the Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen. However, when AEG Danmark ran into financial difficulties and was divested in the 1990s, DTU assumed responsibility for the award ceremony. Since the foundation was first established, the president of DTU has always had a seat on the foundation’s board.

Associate Professor Silvia Tolu from DTU Electrical Engineering finally received the AEG Elektron Junior Award 2020 for her research.

The recipient of 2020’s AEG Elektron Junior Award is Associate Professor and researcher in Neuro-robotics Silvia Tolu from the Automation and Control group at DTU Electrical Engineering. The foundation AEG Elektronfonden grants this extra award that honours a particularly talented researcher. Silvia Tolu is praised for her excellent research in Neuro-robotics.

The AEG Elektron awards 2020 and 2021 were finally handed out at an award ceremony on 6 September 2021 at the DTU lounge at Lyngby Campus. The 2020 award reception was postponed due to last year's corona restrictions and put together with this year’s reception. Among others, the event was attended by DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev, former DTU president, and chairman of AEG Elektronfonden Hans Peter Jensen, Head of DTU Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen, and Professor Ole Ravn, together with other guests.

Neuro-robotics 
In the field of Neurorobotics, Silvia Tolu researches how to develop novel bio-inspired adaptive control systems that integrate biological neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) methods. Silvia's research work combines robotics, computational neuroscience and control theory in an innovative way. Her vision for the future is to open revolutionary robotics paradigms and to discover methods and technologies, which can be used for diagnosis and rehabilitation of neurodegenerative diseases, and eventually during treatment.

Silvia holds three master's degrees: in Electronics Engineering, Computer Networks Engineering, and in Applied Linguistics. She has a PhD in Computer Engineering and Networks from the University of Granada in Spain with a thesis entitled ‘Bio-Inspired Motor Learning Models for Robot Control’.

Silvia has been employed at DTU since 2015, where she started as a Postdoc fellow. One year later, she won a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship entitled 'Biomodular' that was awarded by the EU commission for its contributions to AI research. She was later employed as an assistant professor at DTU Electrical Engineering, and from January 2021, she has been promoted to associate professor. Silvia has significantly contributed to the work done within the huge and prestigious Human Brain Project by coordinating the DTU team involved in the Neuro-robotics subproject. She has also been an invaluable driving force behind several applications for private Danish and EU-related funds, and for Innovation Fund Denmark.

In 2019, Silvia received a grant from Direktør Dr. Techn. A.N. Neergaards og Hustrus Fond for the research project 'Bio-Inspired Compliant Control for Safe Human-Robot Interactions'.

Silvia has published her research in top ranked journals and conference proceedings. In addition to her research, Silvia is the main teacher responsible of the course '31377 Bio-inspired control of robots', co-teacher responsible in '31300 Linear Control Design 1', and co-teacher in '27020 Interdisciplinary Bioengineering' courses. Furthermore, Silvia is a popular supervisor for master's thesis students, and she has been co-supervising PhD students in Neuro-robotics. She is responsible for the robot activity carried out during the engineering camp for girls
at DTU and an active role model for the High5Girls non profit organization.

In the application for the foundation it is stated that Silvia "shows initiative and incredible enthusiasm in her field of research", and that she is also "a great inspiration and role model for students and younger colleagues". Professor Ole Ravn and Head of Department of DTU Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen wrote the application.

 

From right: Professor Ole Ravn, DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev, Associate Professor Silvia Tolu, Head of DTU Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen, and Silvia's family (Photo: Magnus Staugaard Bøye).


From right: Professor Ole Ravn, DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev, Associate Professor Silvia Tolu, Head of DTU Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen, and Silvia's family (Photo: Magnus Staugaard Bøye).


AEG Elektron awards

Here is an overview of the award recipients 2020 and 2021:

AEG Elektron Junior Award 2020, Associate Professor Silvia Tolu
AEG Elektron Award 2020, Associate Professor Sarah Renée Ruepp, DTU Fotonik
AEG Elektron Junior Award 2021, Assistant Professor Ada-Iaona Bunea, DTU Nanolab
AEG Elektron Award 2021, Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær, DTU Healthtech

From left: Chairman of AEG Elektronfonden Hans Peter Jensen, Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær (DTU Healthtech), Assistant Professor Ada-Iaona Bunea (DTU Nanolab), Associate Professor Silvia Tolu (DTU Electrical Engineering), Associate Professor Sarah Renée Ruepp (DTU Fotonik), and DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev (Photo: Magnus Staugaard Bøye).

From left: Chairman of AEG Elektronfonden Hans Peter Jensen, Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær (DTU Healthtech), Assistant Professor Ada-Iaona Bunea (DTU Nanolab), Associate Professor Silvia Tolu (DTU Electrical Engineering), Associate Professor Sarah Renée Ruepp (DTU Fotonik), and DTU President Anders O. Bjarklev (Photo: Magnus Staugaard Bøye).

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