New Deputy Head of Institute for Teaching at the Niels Bohr Institute from 1 February 2021
Deputy Head of Institute for Teaching (VILU) at the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI), University of Copenhagen, Kim Splittorff, has assumed a new position and will be terminating his current position at NBI by the end of January. With no less than three awards for teaching and numerous A-course diplomas, it is one of the very best lecturers at NBI who will be leaving for a dedicated teaching job.
Associate Professor, Stefania Xella, will be taking over as VILU on 1 February 2021. Stefania has lectured both BSc and MSc level students since her employment at NBI in 2010 and has also supervised several bachelor-, master’s and PHD students at research projects in high energy particle physics. In recent years she has been coordinating large research projects at CERN.
“I’ve spent some amazing years at NBI in the company of inspiring colleagues and always motivated students. I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to both dig deep into physics and assisting others in doing the same.
At the University, “impact” is the common yardstick, and that goes for both research and teaching. My own stretches from having made changes to a large, international research field to changing rules that were previously putting a lot of strain on students in Denmark. But more than anything, I’m really most proud of having served as “material” several times for the sketches in fysikrevyen^TM!
During the 5 years of my VILU period, the NBI number of student FTEs has increased by 10% and simultaneously reduced courses at NBI with 12%. We have also succeeded in acquiring substantial means for a renewal of the teaching laboratories at NBI and reducing the overall budget for teaching at the same time.
As Deputy Head of Institute for Teaching I have done all I can to support the unique enthusiasm of NBI lecturers and focus on academic quality in teaching, in particular during the latest 9 months with COVID. Through the educational committee we have created a forum for dialogue between students and lecturers. We have also managed to reward those who make an extraordinary effort in teaching. I think NBI can be proud of the fact that in basically every single one of our surveys our first year students say that NBI lecturers possess a high academic level and dedication.
“At the Niels Bohr Institute we are educators of young minds as well as ground-breaking researchers. With both aspects of our work, the most valuable skills we can develop in our students is the ability to think critically and to solve challenging problems, theoretical or experimental. All students must experience our educational program as enthusiastic and inspiring, defining and preparing them in the best possible way for making an impact, whichever career they take up next. Improving the educations at the Niels Bohr Institute remains a continuing, long-term effort, from all colleagues at NBI, and I am thrilled and honored to be requested to lead this effort from February 1st.
Head of Institute, Jan Westenkær Thomsen
For the last 5 years, Kim Splittorff has been charged with the position as Deputy Head of Institute for Teaching; a large and complex task, encompassing many different assignments and responsibilities, and serving the interests of approximately 1000 students. Kim has carried out that task incredibly well and with great conviction. Kim’s ability to deliver top level teaching and supporting a positive dialogue with students and employees deserves special mention.
Kim has been central in a number of important strategic tasks at the department, including in connection with Continuing Education, with a planned new line of education in Quantum Information Science, and a number of other strategic areas. In parallel, Kim has spearheaded a number of important tasks in collaboration with the faculty; digitalized teaching; course evaluation; sustainability; course optimization; and more. All of them very important strategic topics where Kim has added great energy and insight.
Now, Kim has been offered and has accepted a new position outside of UCPH. We all wish him the very best for the future in his new position. The NBI will of course keep the close ties to Kim for a future collaboration on i.a. teaching and strategic initiatives.
We are very happy to announce that associate professor, Stefania Xella, has agreed to pick up the torch and become our new deputy head of institute for teaching. In the board of management, we are looking very much forward to collaborating with Stefania.
Stefania has a background in experimental high-energy physics, and she is currently working in the Atlas experiment at CERN. She brings management experience from CERN to the board of management, having coordinated several research projects at CERN. Additionally, Stefania has extensive experience in teaching and supervising students at all levels, from first year projects to PhD. Stefania takes over the role of VILU from 1 February 2021.