Three of the persons to be awarded Honorary Doctorates, Professor Sumio Iijima, Professor Claudia Tesche and Professor Esko Ukkonen represent the research areas of the School of Science.
Professor Sumio Iijima works in the Universities of Meijo and Nagoya and in the NEC’s research centre in Japan. He is especially distinguished for his groundbreaking research on carbon nanotubes. Professor Iijima’s study of carbon nanotubes in the early 1990s generated unprecedented interest in carbon nanostructures and has since fuelled intensive research in the area of nanotechnology. Professor Iijima has received a number of honours and awards worldwide. He is a Foreign Associate of National Academy of Science (United States), a Foreign Member of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, a Member of The Japan Academy and a Foreign Member of The Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has received the Balzan Prize for Nanoscience (2007) and The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience (2008). Professor Sumio Iijima has a strong connection with Aalto University, in particular long-standing co-operation with the research group on nanomaterials.
Claudia Tesche is a professor and director of the Transcranial Stimulation Laboratory, Department of Psychology at The University of New Mexico, in the United States. She has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been a research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Laboratory. Her doctoral thesis was on the noise and optimisation of DC SQUIDs. Professor Tesche initiated, together with the late academician Olli V. Lounasmaa, a joint project between IBM and the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) to develop multichannel DC SQUID-based magnetoencephalographic (MEG) arrays. As a result of this project, Finnish brain researchers gained, for several years, an advantage over other scientists in applying MEG methodology to brain research, and the project also facilitated considerable development of MEG instrumentation in Finland and worldwide. Professor Claudia Tesche worked for eight years as a senior scientist and as a visiting professor in the Brain Research Unit of TKK’s Low Temperature Laboratory. She has received notable recognition for her work and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Professor Esko Ukkonen is a professor of computer science in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, in Finland. His research interests are algorithms and their applications, especially within the field of bioinformatics. Professor Ukkonen has made a significant contribution to raising Finnish research in this field to a level where it has received outstanding international acclaim. In addition to his extensive scientific output, he is also a distinguished supervisor of researchers. He has been one of the most important persons in founding the Helsinki Graduate School in Computer Science and Engineering, the joint graduate school of the Helsinki University of Technology (TKK)/Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. He helped establish the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology (HIIT) and has acted as a director of its Basic Research Unit. Professor Ukkonen was also the director of the Center of Excellence in Algorithmic Data Analysis of the Academy of Finland. He has also served as a pre-examiner and an opponent in several dissertations at TKK and Aalto University.