New professor will be adding reality checks to sustainable transformations

Friday 17 Dec 21


Karyn Morrissey
DTU Management
+45 93 51 89 66


Signe Krarup
Head of Division
DTU Management
+45 45 25 15 02
New professor in applied economics Karyn Morrissey wants her research to benefit successful sustainable transformations by reflecting society as it is.

Karyn Morrissey is new Professor in Applied Economics in the Sustainability Division at DTU Management.

“We are happy to have Professor Karyn Morrissey joining us,” says Head of Department Mette Wier. “She is highly qualified to further strengthen our ability to play a key part in ensuring that projects, aiming sustainable transformations, have impact.”

Karyn Morrissey ascribes her ability to ensure project’s impact to her background in applied research and fieldwork. Although coming from a background in ‘traditional’ economic education, Morrissey quickly learnt that when it comes to research in practice:

“Reality is more complex than classic economic theory might imply and I learned that the hard way,” Morrissey adds. 

“Earlier on, I worked on a project about access to technology where the aim was to get people in marginalised communities to use tablets. We provided the tablets, the wi-fi connectivity and explained how to use them, but they ended up gathering dust in a corner because we approached the issue from a purely economic viewpoint; low digital technology usage in marginal communities was an issue of access to resources, essentially a lack of disposable income. However, after failing the first time, we got to extend the project. Here we learned that it is, a person’s confidence and ability in being able to use technology and whether the technology is something that is accepted among their peers, that really drive digital technology uptake, not simply access to money”

Morrissey uses her knowledge and experience when working alongside colleagues from across institutions and countries as a co-author of the ‘Lancet Countdown: Tracking progress on health and climate change’.

“We are proud to house a professor with proven record of interdisciplinary work of that scale,” Head of Sustainability Division Signe Krarup says. “Morrissey is an important addition to the diverse team of highly skilled scholars in our division, particularly given our emerging focus on sustainable, societal wellbeing. Bringing a focus on health and socioeconomic outcomes, Morrissey allows our division to expand our research capacity to bring about the meaningful adaptation now required to live with the reality of climate change, while placing the needs of our people and communities at the centre of this work. 

Attractive research institution in an attractive setting

Professor Morrissey was attracted to DTU Management not only because of the opportunity to do research in a country with a high level of societal trust and a unique history of knowledge-based policy making but also because she could become part of a division led by a woman at a department headed by a woman.

“As a young female researcher, it means something to me that there are women in top positions at a technical university. I am here to learn.” Professor Morrissey explains.