Technical University of Denmark

History of DTU in brief

When the College of Advanced Technology was founded in 1829, Denmark had its first MSc programme in Engineering at a high academic level. The College changed its name to Danish Technical College in 1933 and finally became the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 1994.

DTU has always had a strong theoretical grounding. H.C. Ørsted, the man who discovered electromagnetism, founded the College in the image of École Polytechnique in France. The objective was to educate young men to work in industry, but in the beginning DTU was not able to teach practice, so the college mainly educated technical teachers.

Not until industrialisation really took off in the beginning of the 1870s did engineers from DTU begin to fill public-sector posts and they began to have play a major role in industry. Still, most major engineering projects were still carried out by foreign companies. But in the 1880s, foreign companies lost their influence and Danish engineers gradually began working abroad.

Just after the turn of the last century, under the headship of the great industrialist, G.E. Hagemann, DTU finally achieved an international level of excellence. In the first two decades of the 1900s, Danish engineers captured the international scene in structural engineering, shipbuilding and electrical engineering. DTU was now ready to educate the engineers needed to create the modern industrial society.

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