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Commemorative words: Professor Emeritus Henning Lund

Commemorative words by Head of Department Birgit Schiøtt.

[Translate to English:] Professor emeritus Henning Lund på sit kontor
[Translate to English:] Professor emeritus Henning Lund på sit kontor

Professor Emeritus Henning Lund passed away on 14 September 2021 at the age of 91.

Henning represented the DNA of Aarhus University like no other. He literally grew up at the University, as his father, Hakon Lund, was among the university's founders and had a professor's residence in the University Park. Henning was born on 15 September 1929 in Copenhagen, and he graduated from the Polytechnic School (now DTU) in Copenhagen in 1952. Immediately afterwards, he was employed at Løvens Kemiske Fabrik in Copenhagen, where he was fascinated by the possibilities of electrochemical redox chemistry of organic compounds. The interest led to a study visit at Harvard University (1954-1955), where Henning's very international orientation was founded. Back at Løvens Kemiske Fabrik, the electrochemical method was further developed as described in his doctoral dissertation from 1961. In 1960, Henning was employed at the Department of Chemistry in the section of organic chemistry, and he was one of the founders of the chemistry education programme at Aarhus University. In 1999, Henning retired, but he visited the department regularly as an emeritus until his death.

Henning was a pioneer in organic electrochemistry, and his many books are classics that have been, and still are, used by chemists around the world. In Northern Europe, he was the professional and personal meeting point for all organic electrochemists, as he arranged countless meetings at Sandbjerg Estate, where young people as well as more experienced in the field were bound together across national borders. In a lifetime, he defined nationally and internationally a field which, at the moment, sees a great flourishing and rediscovery, in connection with, among other things, the green transition. Henning possessed a unique chemical knowledge, which many colleagues diligently used, and no one could make substances crystallize in an almost magical way like him. Of awards, Henning received both the Bjerrum Gold Medal in 1969 and the M.M Baizer Award  in 1996.

For more than 60 years, Henning has worked at the department, and his international pioneering spirit has benefited many students, as he as manager of the Hakon Lund Foundation has provided financial support for chemistry students' study trips abroad. Henning was so passionate about chemistry, and the Lund family represents a monumental cornerstone in Danish research today. Henning's son, Torben, keeps the family tradition alive at Roskilde University, and at the Department of Chemistry we have named one of our teaching laboratories after Henning and Hakon Lund; Lund Laboratory. Henning was not a man of many words, but he was warm as few, and he was an incredibly loyal person. He possessed a human indomitability that inspired everyone around him - no snowstorm was strong enough to stop his daily bike ride to the University from his home in Risskov.

Henning will be buried from Risskov Church on Saturday 18/9 at 13.30. Here, the family will be happy to see former colleagues and friends from the department.

All honour to his memory.

Head of Department Birgit Schiøtt