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Jukka Pekola was born in 1958 in Pihlajavesi, Finland.
In 1982 he completed an M.Sc. in Technology (Physics) at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), now Aalto, and in 1984 gained his doctorate with a thesis on critical flow and persistent current experiments in superfluid helium-3.
He continued his work on the superfluid with a postdoc in the physics department of the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a return to HUT to a position of group leader in the low-temperature laboratory.
In 1992 Pekola moved to the University of Jyväskylä, co-founding the first nano-physics laboratory in Finland, and joining the faculty in 1995. His new research programme in the physics of nanoscale devices has led to many breakthroughs and landmark results.
He returned to Helsinki in 2002, where he is now full professor of quantum nanophysics at Aalto. There he founded the PICO research group in the low temperature laboratory which he heads to this day.
In 2001 Pekola was elected to the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters and to the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences in recognition of his contributions to both fundamental and applied physics.
He was awarded the Theodor Homén Prize by the Finnish Academy Sciences and Letters in 2016.
The prize presentation will take place at the 29th International Conference on Low Temperature Physics (LT29), Sapporo, August 2020.
The Simon Memorial Prize, established in 1957, commemorates the outstanding contributions to science of Sir Francis Simon. The prize is an international prize with no restrictions on nationality. It is awarded for distinguished work in experimental or theoretical low temperature physics.
The Simon Memorial Prize is generously supported by Oxford Instruments Inc.
This article was originally published on the Institute of Physics website