The Academy of Finland awards Ville Vuorinen for his research on the spread of the COVID-19 disease

Ville Vuorinen, who studies the physics of air and fluid flows, is awarded for his exceptional scientific courage and creativity, as well as for his work to promote the social impact of science.
Portrait of Professor Ville Vuorinen

The Academy of Finland awarded the 2022 Academy Awards to Ville Vuorinen, who works as a professor of energy technology at Aalto University, for applying computational flow dynamics methods to the study of aerosol spread in connection with the COVID-19 disease, and to Riikka Puhaka, an academy researcher at the University of Helsinki at the Lahti University Campus, for her significant research on the interaction between the environment and health.

Both of the awardees have demonstrated their ability to conduct high-quality and impressive research. Their research topics and research results have also received extensive international media attention in The Guardian, BBC and CNN, among others.

Basic research is needed to solve social problems

Ville Vuorinen and his research group carry out 3D flow simulations on supercomputers. In this way, it is possible to obtain accurate information, for example, about the air flows around the wind turbine or hydrogen combustion concepts and flames. Energy efficiency and zero emissions are at the core of Vuorinen's research.

During the corona pandemic, Vuorinen used flow simulations to understand the spread of viruses in breathing air along with indoor air flows. A scientifically creative and interdisciplinary research project on the importance of aerosol spread in the COVID-19 disease was born out of social need. The results of the study contributed to the measures to combat the pandemic from the perspectives of updating mask recommendations and improving ventilation.

'I'm fascinated by the connection between theory and the reality that can be seen with the naked eye, and the fact that we can simulate many everyday flows that occur in our environment quite accurately. I want to understand the physical explanation for the things under investigation', says Vuorinen.

Flow simulation methods have been chosen for Vuorinen's career due to the versatility of the methods. He leads a research group focused on flow calculation and energy conversion. The research methods used by the group can be widely applied in various multidisciplinary applications of society, and the methods are not limited only to energy technology. According to Vuorinen, the scientific community is learning to simulate more and more challenging flow phenomena, which may also involve chemical reactions or changes in the state of the flowing substance.

Since 2014, Ville Vuorinen has worked as an assistant professor in the field of energy technology at Aalto University's School of Engineering, and he was appointed a professor in 2022. Vuorinen graduated as a D.Sci (Tech.) in 2010 from Aalto University. Vuorinen has made research visits to Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States. In the years 2013–2016, he was a research doctor at the Academy of Finland. Vuorinen has had academy project funding in the years 2018–2022, 2020–2021 and 2020–2024. In addition, Vuoriinen has funding from Business Finland, and other important financiers of his research have been the companies Andritz, Meyer and Wärtsilä.

The Academy of Finland awards the award to a researcher who has shown exceptional scientific courage, creativity or open-mindedness in his work. The awarded researcher has made scientific research or the researcher's work known in a significant way, increased interest in science through their activities, participated as a researcher in social debate or otherwise promoted the importance, utilization and impact of research in society. The prize is awarded to a researcher whose scientific career still has a significant part ahead of him.

This year, the academy awards will be awarded in connection with the Science Forum on June 15, 2023. 

Contact information:

Ville Vuorinen
Professor of energy technology
Te. +35850 361 1471
ville.vuorinen (at)
School of Engineering
Aalto University

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