10 years with CAHR - A real fairy tale

Wednesday 09 Oct 13

CV Torsten Dau

Born in Hannover 1965. Married and has two children, aged 7 and 11 years.

1987 First part of mechanical engineering education, Hannover

1992 Diploma Physicist University, Göttingen

1995 Developer of 'parallel electrical equivalent model that can predict how the inner ear and the brain perceive sound at different stages

1996-2002 Research and docent degree in psychoacoustics University Oldenburg

1999-2000 Research at Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Since 2003 Head of Centre for Applied Hearing Research, Elektro, DTU

2007 Danish business research Academy of Culture and Communication award for his bridge-building between the technical world scientific methods and humanistic world's understanding of man

2010 Early Career Award of the International Comission for Acoustics (ICA)

2010 PhD Supervisor of the Year Award DTU

2013 Head of CHeSS, Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences in parallel with CAHR.

” CAHR is a story or maybe more correctly a fairy tale so wonderful that not even Hans Christian Andersen could have made it,” Head of Elektro Department Kristian Stubkjær addressed the many guests filling the auditorium in building 341.

“So - once upon a time ... there were three hearing aid companies in the small kingdom. All three of them were very wise and very skilled and therefore they made the very best products in the whole world. Now, since they were all very wise, they decided that they wanted to gain even more wisdom. So together they went to the best university in the whole kingdom and said: We will give you a purse full of gold coins every year if you can find a young prince who can tell us everything about how people hear with their ears,” Kristian Stubkjær continued with a smile and the audience responded with laughter.

Head of Elektro Department Kristian Stubkjær brought smiles in everyone's faces with his fairy tale of CAHR

"Torsten Dau is a fantastic scientist and a good leader"
Kristian Stubkjær, Head of Elektro

In this case 'once upon a time' was back in 1999 and it actually took four long years till the 'prince' was found. 
In 2002 Torsten Dau from Germany, a highly skilled expert in the psychoacoustics research field, was approached for this special position as head of a new hearing research centre at DTU.
After a period of careful German consideration along with some support from his wife and some persuasion from the three leading Hearing Aids companies Oticon, Widex and GN ReSound, he finally accepted. And so Professor Torsten Dau was employed in the spring of 2003 and CAHR was inaugurated in October that same year.
Then the centre grew year by year, and today it is the ‘Hearing Systems’ group with both Centre for Applied Hearing Research and the brand new Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences (CHeSS) on a world class level growing to approximately 35 skilled researchers and new laboratories being built.
Also firms and industrial partners such as Brüel and Kjær, Phonak and Siemens support the PhD and MSc projects along with a worldwide cooperation with clinics, universities and research institutions.
Hearing Systems is now an educational institution producing active researchers and trained engineers for industry positions in technical audiology and hearing sciences. Students come from all over the world and the classes are taught in English. A shared research area across the two groups is the so-called Cocktail party problem, which investigates the auditory system’s ability to hear target signal in noisy environment.

 “You do not grow that fast without a lot of work and dedication. Torsten Dau is a fantastic scientist and a good leader. Moreover he has attracted very talented people. So all together we have ended up with a hearing research centre among the best in the world. I am not a specialist in hearing research myself. But last year we had an international evaluation of our research concluding that the activities of CAHR are world leading. Entering into this equation of success is not only the skilled people of CAHR but also the three companies GN ReSound Oticon and Widex supporting the center and also contributing to the whole activity platform in Denmark.  We thank them for their initiative and support," Kristian Stubkjær said.
Torsten Dau, Nicolai Bisgaard from GN ReSound representing the hearing aid industry, Stephan Ewert from University of Oldenburg who was there from the very beginning and Martin Bendsøe, Vice President at DTU also gave their versions of how it all happened in 2003, when CAHR started out as a small group of three people.
The auditorium was completely full, about 150 guests turning up during the day for the aforementioned speeches and technical session with representations from PhD and postdoctoral students giving an overview of current research topics in the Hearing Systems group.

In the breaks and before dinner the guests had the opportunity to discuss poster presentations in the hallway.
Here Efren Fernandez Grande, Postdoc from the Acoustics Group with CAHR PhD student Jens Cubick.

During dinner the Jazz trio ‘Käsbach, Madsen and Schierling’ entertained with great success, a magnificent cake with the new CAHR logo was presented for dessert, and after dinner a real ’cocktail party experience’ was taken outside the laboratories into the canteen for this special occasion.

Most people come from abroad and therefore the spoken language is English.
30 different countries were represented at the event.


In 1963 Acoustic Technology is established at DTU.

In 2003 Centre for Applied Hearing Research, CAHR, is established under the leadership of Torsten Dau, as part of Acoustic Technology.

The students share laboratories and facilities. The idea is that CAHR will pay special attention to the applied hearing research which hearing aid users will ultimately benefit from. In connection with the studies test persons are observed in a number of listening tests for the benefit of the hearing research.

In 2007 Hearing Systems is established as a department at DTU with CAHR as a center group.

The new research center, Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences, CHeSS is established in 2013 as a second center group under the Hearing Systems along with CAHR, and starts up now at same time as Torsten Dau can celebrate his tenth anniversary as Head of the Centre for Applied Hearing Research.