Department of Applied Physics

Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize

Olli V. Lounasmaa in Argonne in 1962.
Olli V. Lounasmaa in Argonne in 1962.

The Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize is awarded once every four years to scientists who have made outstanding contributions to advances in low temperature physics and related fields. The prize, which was first awarded in 2004, is a tribute to the founder of the strong Finnish research tradition in both low temperature physics and neuroscience.

The establishment of the Prize Fund owes to the generosity of Kiti Müller (daughter of Lounasmaa) and the members of The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters for the endowment of the revenues obtained upon publishing the Memoirs of Olli V. Lounasmaa. Since 2016 the Fund also receives an endowment from Bluefors, a 2008 spin-off company from the Low Temperature Laboratory (established by Lounasmaa in 1965). Today the company is the world’s leading manufacturer of ‘dry’ ultra-low temperature (dilution) refrigerators.

The Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize consists of a 5,000€ award and support to attend the conference at which the prize is awarded.

Members of the 2020 Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize committee:

  • Eddy Collin (Institut NEEL, CNRS, Grenoble)
  • Michel Devoret (Yale University)
  • Milena Grifoni (University of Regensburg)
  • Pertti Hakonen (Aalto University)
  • Rich Haley (Lancaster University)
  • Koji Ishibashi (RIKEN)
  • Jukka Pekola (Aalto University)
  • Valery Ryazanov (Institute of Solid State Physics RAS, Chernogolovka)
  • Anssi Salmela (Bluefors)
  • Mika Sillanpää (Aalto University)

Nominations and supporting letters should be sent (preferably electronically in .pdf format) to the Chair of the Prize Committee:

Prof. Pertti Hakonen
Attention: Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize
Aalto University School of Science
Low Temperature Laboratory
Puumiehenkuja 2 B, Espoo, P.O. Box 15100, FI-00076 AALTO, FINLAND
e-mail: pertti.hakonen AT

A letter of nomination should include all of the following:

  • The basis for the proposed prize.
  • Citations to publications on which the nomination is based.
  • An assessment of the impact to the low temperature community.
  • Relevant biographical information, and current institutional affiliation.

Letters (no more than 4) from knowledgeable colleagues supporting the nomination are welcome and should be submitted along with the nomination material.

The deadline for the receipt of nominations and supporting letters is December 20, 2019.

    Michel Devoret

    Michel Devoret

    The fourth Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize was awarded to Professor Michel Devoret from the Yale University (New Haven, USA) for his pioneering investigations and applications of macroscopic quantum phenomena at low temperatures.

    Read more: Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize 2016 awarded to Michel Devoret

    Alexander Andreev 2012

    The third Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize was awarded to Academician Alexander Andreev the Director of the Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems, Moscow, Russia, for his pioneering research on the theory of superconductivity and quantum crystals.

    Seiji Ogawa 2008

    The second Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize was awarded to Dr. Seiji Ogawa from Tohoku-Fukushi University in Sendai, Japan, for his pioneering observations that have led to the emergence of functional magnetic resonance imaging of human brain function.

    John Clarke 2004

    The first Olli V. Lounasmaa Memorial Prize was awarded to Professor John Clarke from University of California, Berkeley, USA, for his pioneering research and development work on ultra sensitive magnetometers called SQUIDs.

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