The Danes at this years’ Chemistry Olympics: Rasmus, Mikaella, Kasper og Thomas. Photo: Frederik Søndergaard-Pedersen

Young Danes shine at Chemistry Olympics

Monday 12 Aug 19
by Morten Andersen


Susanne Mossin
Associate Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 23 91

Uniquely, all four Danish participants were able to bring home medals from the 2019 Chemistry Olympics.

The four young Danes qualified for this years’ Chemistry Olympics, held in Paris, were awarded one gold medal and three bronze medals.

“While Denmark does have proud traditions at the Chemistry Olympics, it is rarely seen for the entire team to take home medals,” says associate professor Susanne Mossin, DTU Chemistry. Herself a former silver medallist, she takes part in organizing the Danish participation.

“Especially remarkable is the gold medal won by Thomas Bro Falkenberg. This is only the 5th Danish gold medal, since we joined the Chemistry Olympics in 1982.”

Two of the four Danish participants are from the H.C. Ørsted Gymnasium located next to DTU, namely Thomas Bro Falkenberg and Kasper K. Jakobsen, while Mikaella Ty Ngo is from Aalborg Katedralskole, and Rasmus Vestner Munkner from Støvring Gymnasium.

The Chemistry Olympics sees talents from across the globe compete in solving both practical and theoretical challenges. This year, the tasks were inspired by 2019 being the 150-year anniversary of the introduction of the periodic table.

Supplementing the medals is a ranking based on the individual performances. Here, Thomas Bro Falkenberg came in at 11th place among the 309 participants.

“This is truly exceptional,” Susanne Mossin comments, pointing to the fact that no other participants from Western European countries, nor any Americans, performed better at the event, which was dominated by the Asian participants.

The Chemistry Olympics 2019 took place July 21-30 in Paris. Prior to the competition, a series of five events were held in Denmark, narrowing the original 600 talents down to the final four participants. DTU Chemistry and the chemistry departments at University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University hosted the Danish events.

These events also functioned as training camps, preparing the contestants for both the Chemistry Olympics, and for a Nordic Olympiad one week earlier. At the Nordic event, held in Helsinki, the four young Danes were awarded two gold medals (Thomas and Kasper), one silver (Mikaella), and one bronze (Rasmus).

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