Meet the DTU Student Thor

Do you want to know what it’s like to be a DTU student? Get to know Thor, who holds a bachelor’s degree from DTU and starts on his master’s after the summer. He knows a great deal about the university and shares fun anecdotes about it as well.

Katrine Lionett Pedersen
2021-07-28

Meet Thor Larsen, 25, who holds a university degree from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Specifically, Thor holds a BSc in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering. He has currently spent the year working full-time at Rigshospitalet, getting some work experience before starting on his master’s in Autonomous Systems, also at DTU, after the summer.

I’ve had a chat with him about being a DTU student, career aspirations, parties, and everything in between.

 

Out of Space

So, what exactly does it mean to have a BSc in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering, you may wonder? I did. Asking Thor the very same question, he said it covers a great many things in the areas of electrical engineering, signals, space technology, the construction of space satellites, and etc. Just to name a few areas.

Name: Thor Larsen

Age: 25

Origin: Greve, Denmark

Educational background:

2020: BSc in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

2021: Starting on his master’s in Autonomous Systems also at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

In short, space technology is amongst several other areas concerned with the construction and design of satellites. That particular area is a huge interest of Thor. If you want to know more about what a BSc is read “Vol. 1 – Defining Educational Degrees in Denmark”.

“Before sending satellites into space, a lot of considerations and tests are made. It’s about re-creating an environment on earth that is almost identical to that in space in order to make proper simulations and testing of materials.”

Thor Larsen

Thor has always been very fascinated by space and his dream is to become an astronaut. Furthermore, to be the one responsible for sending objects out of space. Hence, it was a no-brainer when Thor searched for education opportunities at DTU that the BSc in Earth and Space Physics and Engineering was his call. The BSc, which helped him to explore his study of interest. In talking about his field of study, Thor mentioned that in terms of work opportunities he might be obliged to work abroad.

The DTU Student Thor
Thor and some of his study books. Photo by Fausto Bottini

“Being employed in one of the space centers located in Central Europe or the US sounds very appealing to me. It would be very interesting to work in great space centers around the world.”

Thor larsen

As we spoke about NASA and all that jazz, the soon-to-be DTU student explained that many of the big space centers are centered around the Equator. And there is a reason for that. It’s much easier to send satellites into orbit from the Equator in comparison to other geographical areas because of altitude. Fun fact of the day. Nevertheless, many space centers are located all around the world.

The Campus of DTU

DTU is a great place located in Lyngby and the university expands its geographical area continuously. The university holds multiple research centers of its own and many innovative projects stem from DTU. Around 6,000 are employed by DTU and the university enrolls nearly 12,000 passionate students. Thor is soon to be one of them again.

As Thor has taken a BSc at DTU he already knows a great deal about the technical university as a student. He states that the university is built up of four quadrants including one main building where the main canteen is to be found. The first quadrant holds constructional engineering students, the second chemical engineering students, the third electrical engineer students, and lastly the fourth holds mechanical engineering students. Every quadrant obviously has a bar attached to it, which usually hosts many parties when there is not an ongoing pandemic. 

“It’s very common to do a bar crawl on campus, going to every single bar on each quadrant. Also, DTU students really like to party and costume parties are a great thing here. People really enjoy dressing up while partying.”

Thor Larsen

The Student Environment at DTU

Asking him about the atmosphere at DTU he states that it’s a really cool place with room for everyone and different kinds of students. Everyone is welcomed and the environment makes room for all kinds of personalities and university students.

“I’ve seen like 3 people walking around campus barefooted. Like it’s a thing. They don’t wear shoes, not even during winter. It’s a part of their lifestyle and I really enjoy that there is room for that although it’s a bit different and for some even a bit controversial.”

Thor Larsen

There is definitely a stereotype of how a DTU student is and looks, according to outsiders. According to Thor, said with a grin on his face and with a humoristic tone in his voice, the hardcore DTU student on his prior program wears dull clothes, a washed-out sweater even, and they’ve got a big gaming computer with them. Thor didn’t see a lot of MacBooks among his fellow DTU students on his program (the Macbook in the pictures is as a matter of fact, not Thor’s). But he also states that it might be characteristic for his prior bachelor program only.

Nevertheless, do take this illustration with a pinch of salt, people are not that simple, although stereotypes are amusing.

In talking about DTU students, Thor also mentions that there are many different personality types at DTU depending on the respective programs. It’s said that a lot of guys are enrolled at DTU, however, Thor states that on some programs 60% of students are female. Nevertheless, there is definitely a majority of male DTU students despite a change of tides

Thesis Thoughts and Back to School

As Thor is already holding a BSc in Earth and Science Engineering he has been through the whole bachelor thesis writing and process. The space enthusiast wrote his bachelor thesis in a thesis group with one partner. They looked into “Vision-based Navigation System for Unmanned Vehicles” in a thesis collaboration with the National Space Center at DTU.

The DTU Student Thor
Thor accompanied with some of his study books. Photo by Fausto Bottini

“My bachelor thesis process was really exciting and insightful. Neither of us knew much about the subject before examining it so we did a lot of reading while investigating our problem area. It was quite a challenge despite being really interesting at the same time.”

Thor Larsen

If he was to do a bachelor thesis again he wished, however, that he started the process a bit before. The data collection process was very time-consuming and time truly flies when you’re working on your thesis. Read more about tips and tricks about thesis writing in the student guide. Furthermore, a thing that worked for Thor is to sit in different study places with a little background noise. Moreover, he admitted that when sitting at home studying he sometimes listens to “café-background” music found on Spotify. What a life hack. If he wants the real deal he goes to the Paludan Bogcafé placed in the Inner City of Copenhagen. Or he goes to one of the numerous cafées at Frederiksberg. 

Soon, Thor will be going back to the usual study drills again starting on his master’s in Autonomous Systems at DTU. He’s looking forward to starting again. Let’s keep an extra eye on the DTU student we might see him outta space someday after he’s a master’s graduate.

Get to know Thor a bit better in reading his answers to the following 5 quick questions:

The best thing about DTU: “The opportunities to engage in projects. There is so much research carried out at DTU and that furthers a lot of opportunities for the students.”

In your opinion, what do outsiders possibly think of DTU students: “Haha, they possibly think we’re a bunch of awkward nerds with a lack of social skills.”

The best part about being a student: “The learning part and being able to grow as a person.”

Career aspiration: “Being an astronaut. In general, working with something that makes a difference.”

Favorite place in Copenhagen: “Nørrebro, Stefansgade. However, there are so many great places with good vibes in Copenhagen. It’s hard to pick one place.”