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SCI Awards 2023 celebrate the people of our school

Winners of the annual awards were announced at the dean’s Christmas lunch on 14 December. Check out whose outstanding work was acknowledged this year!
SCI Dean's lunch
The lunch was served at A Bloc. Photo: Matti Ahlgren

People of the School of Science were acknowledged with awards at the dean's Christmas lunch on 14 December. The annual SCI Awards are a way to celebrate the marvelous work people have done during the year. The winners were nominated by our own community.

The awardees are listed below.

Winners of SCI Awards Innovation of the Year Award.
Matti Mikkola, Yohann Le Bourlout, Sanjeev Ranjan, Gösta Ehnholm and Heikki Nieminen. Photo: Matti Ahlgren

Innovation of the Year Award

An ultrasound-enhanced fine-needle biopsy (USeFNB)

Yohann Le Bourlout*, Emanuele Perra*, Gösta Ehnholm*, Jouni Rantanen*, 
Minna Rehell**, Mira Naukkarinen**, Kristofer Nyman**, Nick Hayward*, Saif Bunni*, Matti Mikkola*, Jetta Kelppe**, Jaana Rautava**, Jussi Tarkkanen**, Sanjeev Ranjan*, Timo Atula**, Kenneth P.H. Pritzker***, Katri Aro**, Heikki J. Nieminen*

*Aalto University; **Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki; ***University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto 

‘The team has contributed towards better cancer diagnostics via ultrasound-enhanced fine-needle biopsy (USeFNB). It is anticipated that the new ultrasonic needle could bring improvements in the biopsy yield and quality, which would improve diagnostics in cancer management and help both clinicians and patients. After years of hard work by the research team, the first tumor biopsy with the ultrasonic needle was conducted at HUS on 1.9.2023.’

Also nominated: Robin Ras et al.: Smart Bubbles; Jacky Loo et el: Colorific; Thomas Pfau and Aalto Research Software Engineers

Read more abou the first biopsy.

Frank Martela. Kuva: Nita Vera.
Frank Martela. Photo: Nita Vera.

Scientific Communication Award

Frank Martela, DIEM

‘Frank Martela has become our own happiness ambassador on a global scale. Frank has written about topics of meaning and happiness for Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, and CNBC, and given interviews for tens of international media outlets, such as New York Times, Fox News, New Scientist, and Discover Magazine, among others. He also launched the “Art of Living” MOOC that aims to give participants a moment to stop and think about their lives to be able to live a more self-selected, self-endorsed life in the future.’

Also nominated: Enrico Glerean; Riitta Hari et al.: Tunteiden kehokartat; Veli-Matti Saarinen, Tuomas Tolvanen, Mia Illman, Mikko Nyrhinen, Veikko Jousmäki, Toni Auranen; Rami Kunnas ja Marita Kattelus; Aalto NeuroImaging research infrastructure: Organizing visits to the ANI infrastructure

Ondrej Krejci ja Enrico Glerean voittivat SCI Awards 2023 -palkinnoista yhteisöpalkinnon.
Ondrej Krejci and Enrico Glerean.

Community Award 

Making Waves: Enrico Glerean and Ondrej Krejci (NBE, PHYS)

‘Making Waves event series was started in 2020 from the initiative of Stavrina Dimosthenous, Milica Todorovic and Ondrej Krejci. Originally the seminar series was focused on addressing the gender imbalance in academia, but the scope has since widened to cover also other aspects of diversity. Over the years also Matthew Allinson, Barbara Keller and Cintia Pacchiano have contributed to the organization and the initiative is funded by the SCI Diversity and Inclusivity Fund. During the past years Enrico Glerean and Ondrej Krejci have continued the work facilitating conversations on equality and diversity open for everyone in the Aalto community. By the end of 2023 there have been altogether 13 Making Waves events and the series will continue also in 2024. 

Enrico and Ondrej are active advocates for diversity and inclusion also outside Making Waves. Thanks for always speaking up about these matters!’

Also nominated: Maryam Borghei, Santeri Ruuskanen, Martin Lennox; Susanna Marttala and Tiina Maltzeff; Silvia Cotroneo, Risto Ilmoniemi & the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation group

Esa Saarinen voitti Vuoden opetuspalkinnon 2023 SCI Awardseissa.
Esa Saarinen. Photo: Matti Ahlgren

Teaching Award

Esa Saarinen, DIEM

‘Esa Saarinen’s lectures continue even though he has officially retired. A year ago, Filosofia ja systeemiajattelu lecture series had more than 2.5 million viewers and listeners on YouTube and Spotify, having spent around 1 million hours on the lectures, making it more than 100 years in total. The lectures have a strong atmosphere and their impact on thinking is significant, if a little mysterious. Esa is definitely a pioneer of life-wide learning!’

Read more about the lectures in Finnish.

Hans Moen saapui vastaanottamaan SCI Awardseissa jaetun palkinnon.
Hans Moen came to accept the award on behalf of the other teaching assistants of the Machine Learning course. Photo: Matti Ahlgren.

Teaching Assistant of the Year

This year we have two winners in this category.

Teaching assistants in Machine Learning course: Fanni Ojala, Joel Honkamaa, Nasibullah Nasibullah, Hans Moen, Minttu Alakuijala, Caglar Hizli, Ya Gao, Nam Chu, Juho Immonen, Beatriz Glaser, Behram Ulukir, Egor Eremin, Hans Tiwari, Hiep Nguyen, Hung Nguyen, Khanh Ha, Nghi Vo, Trung Nguyen, Vivian Phan. Department of Computer Science

‘The course was extremely large, 941 registered students. The TAs organized coding assignments and a project. Everything went smoothly and the work of the assistants got good feedback from the students.’

Anette Vehniäinen voitti Vuoden opetusassistentti -palkinnon SCI Awardseissa 2023.
Anette Vehniäinen.

Anette Vehniäinen, Differentiaali- ja integraalilaskenta

Anette was nominated by a student, who highlighted that she helped every student personally during the Differentiaali- ja integraalilaskenta 2 course and some even long after the course ended.

Also nominated: Roni Mäenpää, Tom Georg Railio, Eetu Pakkanen

Martin Lennox won the service person of the year prize at SCI Awards 2023.

Service Person of the Year

Martin Lennox, PHYS

‘Martin has only been at PHYS for 2 years, but what a difference he has already made! He is the one driving all our efforts improving the status quo in health and safety forward. He recognizes long-standing issues in our daily operations and has solved many big and small problems in the background. Martin is dedicated and efficient, has a no-nonsense approach but remains humorous and is a great colleague. On top of that he has also substantially contributed to our Diversity Team and is simply fun.’

Also nominated: Anton Alestalo, Kaija Virolainen, Petri Kanninen, Jaakko Autio; Suvi Niemelä and Tiina Maltzleff; Noora Suominen de Rios, Aalto Scientific Computing: Richard Darst, Enrico Glerean, Jarno Rantaharju and Thomas Pfau; Eeva Lampinen, Raita Heiskanen, Minna Günes, Susanna Marttala, Katariina Toivonen and Marja Niemi

SCI Awards celebrate excellent work at our school in 2022

The recipients were revealed at the school’s Christmas party, which this year took place on-site after two years of celebrating remotely.

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