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Chief Scientist at Aalborg Portland receives global distinction

Australian-born Duncan Herfort, who has been a member of the research environment at Aalborg Portland for years, is now being recognised for his work by being awarded the most significant and prestigious distinction in the field of research into cement and cement manufacturing.

The prize is awarded every two years during the annual world conference of VDZ (German cement manufacturers’ sector organisation). The award is based on recommendations from impartial parties and includes a cash sum of EUR 30,000. The award is called the “Klaus Dyckerhoff Prize” but is not related to the cement manufacturer Dyckerhoff.

Over the course of many years, Aalborg Portland has been keenly focused on preserving and developing a high level of R&D expertise. In these efforts, Duncan Herfort has been a key element in the in-house centre of expertise and a highly competent generator of ideas. He has managed to convert his vast theoretical knowledge into tangible practical results.

The manufacture of cement is a complex task in itself, where product develop-ment and optimisation requires extensive expertise. A practical example of Duncan Herfort’s contribution is when Aalborg Portland developed a modified version of low-alkaline sulphate-resistant cement in 2011. The environmental properties of the cement were improved, with 30% lower carbon emissions.  At the same time, the design of the cement was successfully improved to incorporate lower heat-generation properties.

In the area of white cement, Duncan Herfort has continuously contributed to optimising the unique properties of Aalborg White Cement, where its whiteness, strength properties and sulphate-resistance were particular areas of focus. Concurrent to Aalborg Portland’s global expansion in the area of white cement, Duncan Herfort has been in charge of optimising white-cement production processes and quality parameters at Aalborg Portland’s factories in China, Egypt, Malaysia and the US.

The properties and uniformity of Aalborg Portland’s cement continue to be the best compared to other cements. Through Duncan Herfort’s international network with leading players in the field of cement manufacture, his insight into sector developments is crucial. His insight renders him capable of ensuring that Aalborg Portland continues to be among the very best in the sector compared to other European cement vendors. His efforts and dedication help to ensure that customers and developers get value for money.

Duncan Herfort’s skills will contribute to creating strong cement solutions for our customers in the future as well. “We’re very proud that Duncan Herfort has received the world’s most important distinction in our field of research. Lower energy consumption, reducing carbon emissions and the cement types of the future are crucial areas of research which benefit our environment,” says Jesper Sand Damtoft, Director at Aalborg Portland, who manages the company’s R&D work.

The prize is awarded at VDZ’s world conference in Germany. It recognises a single researcher’s lifelong effort but also recognises that it is highly beneficial to have an innovative research environment closely affiliated with the production process.