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Awards and honours for professors of the School of Chemical Engineering

Prof. Orlando Rojas, Prof. Patrick Gane and Prof. Eero Kontturi of the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, have been acknowledged for their significant work.

New members of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters were given their membership diplomas. Professor Orlando Rojas far left in the first row. (Photo: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters)

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters organised an event on 11th September on "Tieteen tila” (State of science). At the event, Professor in Bio-based Colloids and Materials Orlando Rojas received the distinguished Membership of the Academy.

The Finnish Academy of Science and Letters promotes scientific research and functions as a link between scientists representing high-quality science to increase scientific interaction. Membership of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters is a highly esteemed accomplishment in a researcher’s career.

The event, dedicated to the new members of the Academy, was part of the seminar series "Tieteen vuosi 2017" (Year of Science 2017). The seminars publicise Finnish science throughout the country’s 100-year history, to the current day and into the future. The series is part of the official Suomi Finland 100 programme.

A special scientific honour for Professor Patrick Gane

On 20th September at a ceremony in Plymouth, England, Professor in Printing Technology Patrick Gane was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Science to acknowledge his lifelong contributions to scientific research and its application to industry, which, in the words of the citation, “have led to concepts and products, which have touched directly the quality of people’s lives”.

Much of the work referred to arose during Professor Gane’s dual tenure at Aalto University, former Helsinki University of Technology, beginning in 2006, and as Vice President of R&D at Omya International AG in Oftringen, Switzerland, a position held since 1995. The link to academia began when first laying the foundation of a more fundamental approach including personnel development, as researchers in his team benefited from using his network of university and institute contacts to gain higher academic awards whilst working on core industrial research projects.

“It would not be possible for one person alone to achieve what has been reached over the last decades. This award, therefore, is an equal honour to my research student team past and present, and colleagues at all levels, and especially for the vision and financial support given through industrial sponsorship and international grants,” Professor Gane says. “This award is hard evidence that Aalto’s scientific reputation and relevance to industry runs high,” he continues.

Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Plymouth presented Patrick Gane with an Honorary Doctor of Science. (Photo: University of Plymouth)

Hayashi Jisuke award for Professor Eero Kontturi

Eero Kontturi, Associate Professor in Bio-based Materials, received a Hayashi Jisuke Award from the Cellulose Society of Japan.

Professor Kontturi is one of only four scientists worldwide (other winners from Japan, South Korea and UK) to receive this prestigious international award this year, for his outstanding achievements in the field of cellulose chemistry. The award is given to international scientists only every fifth year.

The publication scope of Professor Kontturi is diverse, ranging from ultrathin films and surface analytics to wood and cellulose chemistry, but the red line running through his whole scientific work consists of interfacial, physico-chemical phenomena in cellulosic materials. Professor Kontturi has pioneered several surface science related approaches with cellulosic materials, like the first accounts of interfacial polymer blends in ultrathin films incorporating cellulose. He has also applied his know-how and experimental templates with cellulose to the interpretation of more generic physical chemistry, for example, to explain 2D fractal formation or advancing certain surface analytical techniques, thus making cellulose and cellulosic materials more known outside the traditional cellulose community.

Professor Eero Kontturi received the award at a special ceremony in Fukuoka, Japan, on 18 October. (Photo: Orlando Rojas)

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