Mads Holst Aagaard Madsen

Presenting to you Mads Holst Aagaard Madsen a PhD student at DTU Wind Energy

Friday 10 Nov 17


Mads Holst Aagaard Madsen
PhD student
DTU Wind Energy

Mads' Master Thesis

Here you can read Mads Holst Aagaard Madsen's Master Thesis.

Mads Holst Aagaard Madsen was born and raised in Roskilde. After the gymnasium he moved to Copenhagen to study at the University of Copenhagen.
In this interview you can read more about Mads and how he ended up studying his PhD at DTU Wind Energy

Tell me about your background
I was born and raised in Roskilde, Denmark.  After completing high school and gymnasium I moved to Copenhagen and started at the University of Copenhagen studying Physics. Throughout my studies I have always been fascinated by math and physics. From the very beginning those topics really caught my attention, and since one of my parents actually is in the same line of work it was natural to have discussions about these subjects in the family I grew up in.

After receiving my bachelor from KU (University of Copenhagen) I continued with my Master and I have truly been thankful for those five years. I got exposed to so many branches of physics, e.g. Quantum- or Bio-physics and I really enjoyed studying different fields before finally settling on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) during my Master’s thesis.

Another thing I treasure from those years is that I was able to go abroad with Erasmus Mundus and study a year in Italy. It was a great opportunity to get to know the culture, the language and understand how they do research other places in Europe and since then, I have always enjoyed studying and working in a multicultural setting.
How did you come to DTU Wind Energy?
It was clear for me that I wanted to try out something closer to the industry, yet on the other hand I was not quite ready to leave academia altogether which is why DTU was a perfect match for me. I have known since my Master’s thesis that I want to work with CFD where you can study truly mind boggling phenomena like turbulence. Therefore, when I saw the opening in DTU Wind Energy’s Aeroelastic Design Section I applied for the position right away.

Tell me about your research area
Well, the overall scope of my PhD is shape optimization of wind turbine blades using CFD. One of the big challenges in doing so is that we have to calculate gradients of flow in an efficient manner. To this end, my task is developing what is known as an ‘adjoint solver’ for DTU Wind Energy’s state-of-the-art CFD solver called EllipSys3D. The theory behind this stuff is quite fascinating: We are e.g. working with equations going backwards in time! Not something you hear about every day, right?
What about the future?
I hope to stay in Wind Energy and continue working with the topic at hand for years to come. It is a huge motivating factor that there is such a close connection to the industry. If you make something that works it will actually be applicable and used by the industry. An obvious added bonus is of course that it is very rewarding to contribute to our society’s transition to a more sustainable energy supply.

Would you recommend other young people to study a PhD at DTU Wind Energy?
Absolutely! I have great freedom to plan and structure my work as I see fit and I work closely with very enthusiastic researchers who are always available when you need a bit of help. I can also point to factors affecting my everyday life such as the multicultural environment or the nature at Risø Campus where I can see Roskilde Fjord from my office window. Certainly, I would recommend it to other future PhD students!