Photo: Sabina Askholm Larsen/DTU

Three New PhD Students Concentrate on Greenland

Monday 16 Nov 15


Ida Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen
DTU Sustain
+45 45 25 40 46


Arctic Technology Centre (ARTEK) at DTU Civil Engineering has employed three new PhD students. All three projects will concentrate on subjects that will benefit the Greenlandic society

Arctic Technology Centre (ARTEK) at DTU Civil Engineering has recently employed three PhD students. For the next three years, the PhD students will work on research projects that will benefit the Greenlandic society.

Recycling of Fishing Net Waste for Building Materials

PhD student Ida Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen will be working on a project that examines the possibilities for recycling fishing net waste for different types of construction materials.

Greenland is not new territory to Ida Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen. For her Master's Thesis she conducted field work in Greenland where she studied the possibilities of using Greenlandic clay for production of fired bricks.

“For my project I will examine how marine plastic waste materials, especially broken and discarded fishing nets, can be recycled in the production of building materials. One example is fiber reinforcement of concrete. If the discarded fishing nets show potential as concrete reinforcement it could be a contributing factor to reducing Greenland’s import of steel reinforcement materials from Europe,” explains Ida Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen.

The project is a part of the research project Circular Ocean, funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme.

City Planning that Takes Cold Climate into Account

PhD student Jennifer Fiebig will be working on a project that examines how snow drift and accumulation affects buildings in Greenland.

So far, little attention has been paid to the need of the architectural adaptation that fits the local needs in Greenland. For many years, Danish building design has been imported to Greenland. In most cases, this practice has proven insufficient or incomplete for Arctic conditions.

The main purpose of Jennifer Fiebig’s project is to develop new guidelines for city planning in the Arctic region. These guidelines must take into account how the Arctic climate impacts the building process as well as the indoor climate in Greenlandic houses.

Updating Mass Balance Models for the Inland Ice

PhD student Baptiste Robert Marcel Vandecrux will be working on a project that examines how multi-year snow (firn) affects the mass balance of the Greenlandic inland ice. The main purpose of Baptiste Robert Marcel Vandecrux’s project is to make a readjustment of the models used to calculate mass balance change in the ice sheet in a warming climate.

Multi-year snow is different from ice by being porous and allowing storage of meltwater. Thereby a large amount of melt water is prevented from ending up in the ocean.

Previously, multi-year snow was considered a sponge-like construction that was getting filled little by little by refrozen meltwater until it gets saturated, and excess meltwater runs off into the sea.

New studies show that after an extremely warm summer an ice layer forms on top, preventing the meltwater to reach the multi-year snow. Therefore the amount of meltwater running directly into the ocean was increased significantly. The current models do not take this scenario into account. That is why an update of the mass balance models for the inland ice is necessary.

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