Silvia Tolu (Photo: private photo)

Researcher in Neuro-robotics receives AEG Elektron Jr. Award

Tuesday 24 Nov 20


Silvia Tolu
Associate Professor
DTU Electro
+45 45 25 39 28


About the awards

The AEG Elektronfonden’s Elektron Award is presented once a year to “promote technical scientific developments within electrotechnology, and in this way contribute to giving Danish industry’s current and future employees a constantly richer higher education.” 

This year the foundation presents the AEG Elektron Junior Award, which is an extra award that honours a particularly talented researcher.

The AEG Elektronfonden foundation was established by the then managing director of AEG Danmark, Preben Momsen, in 1989. For several years, the annual award ceremony took place at a festive event to mark the start of a new season at the Tivoli amusement park in Copenhagen. However, when AEG Danmark ran into financial difficulties and was divested in the 1990s, DTU assumed responsibility for the award ceremony. Since the foundation was first established, the president of DTU has always had a seat on the foundation’s board.

Assistant Professor Silvia Tolu from DTU Electrical Engineering was recently awarded with this year's AEG Elektron Junior Award.

The winner of 2020’s AEG Elektron Junior Award is Assistant Professor and researcher in Neuro-robotics Silvia Tolu from the Automation and Control group at DTU Electrical Engineering. The foundation AEG Elektronfonden grants this extra award that honours a particularly talented researcher.

In the field of Neurorobotics, Silvia researches how to develop novel bio-inspired adaptive control systems that integrate biological neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) methods. Silvia's research work combines robotics, computational neuroscience and control theory in an innovative way. Her vision for the future is to open revolutionary robotics paradigms and to discover methods and technologies, which can be used for diagnosis and rehabilitation of neurodegenerative diseases, and eventually during treatment.

Silvia holds three master's degrees: in Electronics Engineering, Computer Networks Engineering, and in Applied Linguistics. She has a PhD in Computer Engineering and Networks from the University of Granada in Spain with a thesis entitled ‘Bio-Inspired Motor Learning Models for Robot Control’.

Silvia has been employed at DTU since 2015, where she started as a Postdoc fellow. One year later, she won a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship entitled 'Biomodular' that was awarded by the EU commission for its contributions to AI research. She was later employed as an assistant professor at DTU Electrical Engineering. Silvia has significantly contributed to the work done within the huge and prestigious Human Brain Project by coordinating the DTU team involved in the Neuro-robotics subproject. She has also been an invaluable driving force behind several applications for private and EU-related funds, and for Innovation Fund Denmark.

In 2019, Silvia received a grant from Direktør Dr. Techn. A.N. Neergaards og Hustrus Fond for the research project 'Bio-Inspired Compliant Control for Safe Human-Robot Interactions'.

Silvia has published her research in top ranked journals and conference proceedings. In addition to her research, Silvia is the main teacher responsible of the course '31377 Bio-inspired control of robots' and co-teacher in '31300 Linear Control Design 1' and '27020 Interdisciplinary Bioengineering' courses. Furthermore, Silvia is a popular supervisor for master's thesis students, and she has been co-supervising PhD students in Neuro-robotics.  

In the application for the foundation it is stated that Silvia "shows initiative and incredible enthusiasm in her field of research", and that she is also "a great inspiration and role model for students and younger colleagues". Professor Ole Ravn and Head of Department of DTU Electrical Engineering Preben Jørgensen wrote the application.

AEG Elektronfonden
The traditional AEG Elektron Award goes to Associate Professor Sarah Renée Ruepp from DTU Fotonik.

Due to the current Covid-19 situation, DTU, who manages the foundation, postpones this year's AEG Elektronfonden reception to next year, and merges it with next year's award ceremony.