DTU honorary alumnus 2022: Jacob Lundgreen Philipsen

Photo: Bjørg de Meza

Education from DTU: MSc in Engineering (1995), PhD (1999)

Current job: CEO, Advalight

Grounds for the appointment:

Jacob Philipsen started at DTU in 1990 and graduated in 1995, after which he began a PhD within communication, specifically optical fibres. Both as a Master’s and PhD student, Jacob was exceptional and graduated with the highest average so far from DTU — supposedly 34 13 grades (highest grade at the time) and a single 11 grade (second highest grade at the time).

Jacob’s PhD was the starting point for a strong career in the management of high-tech companies. After a few years abroad, he was headhunted for a CEO position as a mere 29-year-old in a Danish company originating from DTU. Since then, Jacob has been the director of a number of engineering companies in a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications, hearing aids, the space industry, and he is currently in life science, where he leads Advalight, who makes medical lasers.

Alongside his director positions, Jacob has been extremely active as an advisor, mentor and board member in a number of activities and companies related to DTU. Among other things, as a member of DTU Physics’ advisory board, as an external lecturer at DTU’s board education and as a co-founder and board member of several successful DTU startups, including Norlase and OCTlight.

On a personal level, Jacob is extremely generous with his knowledge, his network and his experiences — and he is in every way a positive and energetic person. Back in time as a student at DTU, he was highly valued as an assistant teacher and as a supervisor for both exam project students and other PhD students.