Farewell reception for Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen

It was without a doubt a landmark day at the Department of Animal Science when the keys to the department head office were handed to Charlotte Lauridsen, who will take over is the new head of department from 1 September. Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen has been head of the department since 2007, and he has worked at the department for more than 43 years.

[Translate to English:] Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen (tv) og dekan Eskild Holm Nielsen (Privatfoto)
[Translate to English:] Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen taler til de mange fremmødte til afskedsreceptionen i Foulum (Foto: Linda Søndergaard Sørensen)
[Translate to English:] Dekan Eskild Holm Nielsen takker for de mange års arbejde, og glæder sig til det næste kapitel i samarbejdet: arbejdet med at udvikle veterinæruddannelsen i Foulum. (Foto: Linda Søndergaard Sørensen)

Since 2007, the keys to the department head office have been in the safe keeping of Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen, who has been involved in animal research for more than 43 years as a science technician, student and research director. He headed the Department of Animal Biology and Health until the establishment of the new Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University in 2011.

However, many of the guests can save their farewells for another time, because the popular figure will remain affiliated with Aarhus University as the head of work to explore the possibilities of establishing a new veterinary degree programme based at Foulum.

Laughter and tears at the same time

Among other things, focus for the past year has been on helping the green transition through more sustainable plant and livestock production. Under Klaus Lønne’s management, the Department of Animal Science has continued its long tradition of conducting respected and well-documented research into more sustainable livestock production, which has been internationally recognised and applied in a number of countries. This was also one of the focal points of Dean Eskild Holm Nielsen’s words for the outgoing department head:

"Dear Klaus: Thank you for all your hard work, and for the impressive results you have been an important part of delivering for the department over the past many years. Under your management, the department has established a new infrastructure and upgraded much of its equipment, and this has been a key element in ensuring the world-class research at the department.

As recently as today, with the opening of the new cattle research facilities here at Foulum. You could say that I’m weeping with one eye and smiling with the other, because this is by no means goodbye, but rather welcome to a new function, in which you will be exploring the possibilities of establishing a new veterinary study programme. I'm delighted that you agreed to do this," said the dean.

43½ years

Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen graduated as an agronomist in 1983, and he earned his PhD from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in 1992. In 1993, he became a senior researcher, and in 1998 he was appointed as head of research. In 2005, he became the deputy head of the Department of Animal Biology and Health. In 2007 he took up the position as head of department, and was thus in charge of the transition of the department to become a part of Aarhus University.

As he remarked when he took the floor himself, he has been part of the subject and the department for 43½ years, as he actually started as a technician in 1978. As he said during his speech, this means that he has had a principal, three directors, four deans and two rectors during his time at Foulum.

In recent years, the department has been a strong and central factor in research, with an ambition to generate and implement new knowledge about climate emissions in livestock production. This knowledge has turned out to be an important Danish contribution to reducing climate emissions globally. However, the outgoing head of department could reassure his successor, Charlotte Lauridsen, that there is still plenty to do for the green transition of the future:

"A lot has happened in research and in reorganisations and changes to the building stock, just to mention a few areas. But all this is also extremely important for the knowledge that we’ll continue to contribute to society, business and industry. The climate challenges facing the world mean that the need for new knowledge to ensure a green transition of agriculture and food production is greater and more urgent now than it has ever been. There will be a need for more creativity, commitment and energy for this in the future as well.

Now, I'm looking forward to exciting and challenging work on the veterinary programme here at Foulum, so I won’t be completely disappearing just yet. I’m just going to be working part time. Congratulations with the position Charlotte: I’d like to wish the staff, yourself and the department all the best in the future," said the outgoing head of department.

Read more about the new department head, Charlotte Lauridsen, in this portrait published previously.

A lot of people wanted to take the floor at the reception, including Charlotte Lauridsen, who complimented the outgoing department head on his thoroughness and ability to get an overview by collating complex matters in large spreadsheets.

The chairman of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Christian Lund, expressed his gratitude for many years of co-operation with focus on research to benefit cattle farming. The centre director at ICROFS, Jakob Sehested, a former associate professor at the Department of Animal Science, was grateful for the professional management of the change from the department to ICROFS and for Klaus Lønne’s work on the ICROFS board.

Senior researcher and union representative Steen Henrik Møller thanked Klaus Lønne for many years of reliable collaboration, and his ability and willingness to work together to find the right solutions. Professor Jan Tind Sørensen highlighted Klaus Lønne’s research with an H index of 35 (WOS), and that Klaus Lønne is the first author of five highly cited articles. Professor Just Jensen also thanked Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen for many years of collaboration on many projects and he took co-responsibility for Klaus' employment as he was the director of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at that time.