Michael Larsen

Michael wears many hats during his day at Eriksholm, from maintaining our outdoor areas to assisting personnel where possible, and running correspondence with contractors working at the research centre.

What do you do at Eriksholm?

“I work as the caretaker for Eriksholm Research Centre. That means I handle many different janitorial and service-related tasks during my daily work. I take care of our beautiful castle gardens, run maintenance on our buildings, reach out to contractors whenever we need their assistance, and assist on a number of ad hoc tasks for the personnel.”

For how long have you been working here?

“I came to Eriksholm in February 2013. Before coming here, I spent 18 years as an electrician and handyman for a small company.”

What are some of the projects you have been involved with at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“My very first task when I came to Eriksholm in 2013, was to organize the many different types of materials which over time had been stored around the centre more or less accidentally. It took a while to get there, but it resulted in the storage room we now have, so everything is organized and accessible to everyone. Additionally, I was tasked with restoring parts of the 269,000 square foot castle gardens. Parts of it had been neglected before my arrival at the centre, and so it took about a year to bring the gardens back to the beautiful state they remain in today.On top of my day-to-day tasks, I also assist whenever we are adding new construction to the research centre, or working on maintenance. This involves everything from the gardens, to the buildings, as well as our parking lot.”

What do you like the most about working at Eriksholm Research Centre?

“I love the fact that Eriksholm offers me the opportunity to work independently. I get to use my multi-disciplinary background in a number of crafts, and apply it to the work I do every day here. Not two days are the same in my job and I am free to come up with creative and innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

It is also incredibly rewarding to get a peek inside the world of research, and interact with people from so many different scientific fields, and so many different backgrounds. Not only do I get to meet the great researchers at Eriksholm, but also our many guests who visit the centre every month. It is truly a privilege to work in a place that keeps pushing forward, that remains innovative, and keeps pushing in new directions. That is also the image I am trying to portray through my work; presenting Eriksholm as a Research Centre that is not lost to the past, but pushing forward.”

What are the three most important values in your life?

1. Faith – The most important thing to me is God. I am very active in the Danish church community, and offer volunteer services several times a week, to help out in our local community wherever we can.

2. Family – Family is an incredibly important thing to me. I have my wife and three children, two sons and a daughter, and the time I spend with them, is the best of it all. 

3. Integrity – I have made it a rule in my life to stand by my word. A promise is a promise, no matter what. That is what I offer people in my life, and it is what I hope for people to offer me in return.”

Where do you see Eriksholm Research Centre in five years?

“From passing by the premises on the road out front, to walking through the doors into the research centre, I want Eriksholm to be an inviting place; one that you will want to see. I want people’s first thought, when they drive past our research centre, to be ‘that looks beautiful’, and their first feeling, when they walk into the centre, to feel welcome. I am also hoping we will make better use of our vast space. We have the perfect area to make use of our outdoor meeting spaces, and the beautiful environment we work in. I hope we will open up more and more for the idea of having alternative meeting formats, not only amongst ourselves internally, but also when guests are invited. This place is a memorable one, after all.”

What do you do in your spare time?

“I operate a small family business with my oldest son, where we install equipment for concerts around the country. That means we install lights, microphones, speaker systems, you name it. It is very rewarding work, even if it inevitably chips away your weekend hours. In addition to that, as I mentioned earlier, I am very active in the local church in the town I live in. We organize visits to local retirement homes, we set up events for the kids in our local communities, and try to make everyone feel invited and welcome.  My family and I also have a small vacation home in Sweden, which we like to visit every now and again when time allows. It is situated right by a lake, and it is a beautiful sense of serenity you get, sitting there by a campfire late at night.”