At a ceremony during the 27th International Conference for
Coastal Engineering, recently held in Sydney, Australia, DHI Director Torben Sorensen received the 2000 International Coastal Engineering Award. ASCE's Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean
Engineering Division selected Torben Sorensen as the award
recipient. The award citation reads:
"In recognition of his outstanding leadership, lifetime achievements and continuing contributions in, and to, coastal engineering through research, professional practice and communications"
The Chairman of the Coastal Engineering Research Council, Professor Robert G. Dean (to the right), was very happy "to extend this public recognition Torben Sorensen so richly deserves"
Torben Sorensen is internationally renowned and recognised for his professional leadership, particularly as Managing Director of Danish Hydraulic Institute, from the establishment of the institute back in 1964 until 1996 where he let a new generation take over the organisation. He still is a member of the DHI team as a director of special assignments. Torben Sorensen's contribution to the development of the port and engineering profession are many, but may be described under two main headings: leadership and internationalism.
The creation of an internationally operating specialised consulting organisation was primarily due to his visionary approach and ability to attract and support imaginative talents. Being a student of Professor H. Lundgren he supported the development of coastal engineering based on the principles of natural sciences, but without sacrificing the importance of engineering intuition. This is most recently expressed in his Key Note speech to the 26th International Conference on Coastal Engineering to which he gave the title: "The Art of Coastal Engineering".
Torben Sorensen’s support of unique ideas is best exemplified by his invitation to Professor M B Abbott to develop his ideas of a system of hydrodynamic models for engineering applications within the framework of DHI. The further development of the models and diversification of activities to also include the modelling of river problems, groundwater and urban drainage has over the years made DHI one of the most important developers and suppliers of hydrodynamic and environmental software on the international scene.
Torben Sorensen has always taken a great interest in the international engineering community. On two occasions he took the initiative to invite colleagues to the International Conference on Coastal Engineering in Copenhagen, 1974 and 1998. He also took a particular interest in third world problems and wished to give coastal engineers from these countries better opportunities to exchange ideas and experience. This was the idea behind the initiative to organise a series of successful conferences on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC).
Torben Sorensen has made his mark on the engineering profession nationally and abroad, which, combined with his strong interests in people and cultures, has turned DHI into an organisation with an international profile and staff. We at DHI share the joy displayed by TS (as he is affectionately known) at this nomination and are also very proud of him and his achievements. Congratulations TS!