Finnish Science Award goes to Prof Ikkala

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Olli Ikkala, Professor of Physics of Aalto University received the Finnish Science Award 2023, said the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release.

Minister of Science and Culture Petri Honkonen presented the Award at the Science Forum held at Helsinki Music Centre on Thursday.

The Finnish Science Award is granted to a Finland-based researcher or research group in recognition of significant scientific achievements.

Ikkala’s research interest is to develop new functional materials that are often inspired by materials found in nature.

His internationally recognised career is based on a combination of profound multidisciplinary expertise, networking skills and an ability to train new researchers.

The award is granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture based on the proposal of the Board of the Academy of Finland.

The Science Award, which amounts to EUR 100,000, was established in 1997 and is granted every second year. This was the 14th time it was awarded.

“Experts in science and research play a crucially important role in Finnish society. Through research and education based on it, scientific professionals contribute to the success of our country and promote Finland's international reputation and networks. This work deserves high praise,” said Honkonen.

Olli Ikkala, born in 1953, worked as Professor of Polymer Physics and Molecular Nanostructures at Helsinki University of Technology, later Aalto University, in 1999–2018. Since 2018, he has worked as an Aalto Distinguished Professor at Aalto University’s Department of Applied Physics. Ikkala has worked as an Academy Professor appointed by the Academy of Finland twice, in 2005–2010 at Helsinki University of Technology and in 2012–2016 at Aalto University.

He graduated with a doctoral degree in the field of physics in 1983. After that, Ikkala worked in industry for ten years before returning to Helsinki University of Technology in 1994.

Ikkala is a two-time recipient of the European Research Council’s (ERC) Advanced Grant (2012–2016 and 2017–2022). He was a visiting scholar at Joseph Fourier University in France in 2007 and in 2015–2017.

His research is highly multidisciplinary, combining in-depth expertise in physics, chemistry and materials science. The aim of his research is to develop new functional materials based on hierarchical self-assemblies, biomimetics, and materials originating from nature.

Ikkala was awarded the Emanuel Merck Award in 2002 and the Humboldt Research Award in 2019. He has held several different research evaluation positions in Europe and in the United States.

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