University news

Heroes of research and teaching awarded in the Annual Celebration

The traditional annual celebration of the University of Jyväskylä was held on 6 March. In the event, awards were granted to distinguished researchers and teachers from the University. The awards were donated by the Jyväskylä University Foundation. In addition, the awards of Ellen and Artturi Nyyssönen Foundation and Aino Sallinen Trust were also handed in the event. The programme of the event included performances from the VUO orchestra and the body percussion group KOPS.

Research Popularisation Award to Professor Jouni Taskinen

The Research Popularisation Award (€5,000) was given to Professor Jouni Taskinen from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science.

Taskinen has significantly increased awareness of nature conversation among citizens and has increased cooperation with associations, foundations and authorities.

Experimental research aiming to rehabilitate and restore the reproductive capability of almost extinct freshwater pearl mussels lead to a breakthrough in the development of laboratory rehabilitation methods and protection work in 2018. The study has been conducted in cooperation with various nature conversation operators, foundations and the international science community. Taskinen has communicated in many ways about the need to protect the endangered species and has provided real-time information in various channels on the study, which is located in the field of ecological management and conservation biology.

Best Teacher Award to Alexei Lobski

The Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä selected Alexei Lobski, a university teacher of Russian language and culture, as the recipient of Best Teacher Award (€3,400).

Studying Russian is hard work and requires a lot of effort especially at the beginning of studies. Alexei Lobski’s motivating attitude and passionate approach to teaching inspire students and bring the joy of learning into their Russian studies.

According to students, Alexei Lobski is a charming personality who motivates students and makes learning interesting. He believes in everyone regardless of their skill level and encourages students wholeheartedly.

Best Dissertation Award to a researcher of magnetic molecule structure

The Best Dissertation Award (€3,400) was granted to PhD Akseli Mansikkamäki for his doctoral dissertation in chemistry, Theoretical and computational studies of magnetic anisotropy and exchange coupling in molecular systems.

Mansikkamäki studied the electron structure and characteristics of new magnetic molecules by using computer-aided calculation methods and theoretical models of physics.

The dissertation consists of a summary and eight partial publications from which seven have been published in leading international chemistry publication series.

The theory part in the summary of the dissertation is exceptionally large and covers the theoretical basics of quantum mechanics, quantum chemistry methods and magnetism comprehensively.The experimental part of the summary links the achieved results to the latest findings in the field of research.

The Best Supervisor awardee is enthusiastic and promotes dialogue

The Best Supervisor Award (€3,400) was granted to Peppi Taalas, the Director of the University Language Centre.

Taalas is easy to approach and her leadership style is based on dialogue.She has sense of humour and she looks to the future with a genuinely encouraging and inspiring approach.

Her leadership style is systemic: she is always able to keep the big picture in her mind and can see interconnections between things. She trusts in the employees’ expertise and also has the courage to share responsibility. She also dares to tackle difficult situations, which further enhances the community spirit.

Taalas has very extensive domestic and international networks and she also takes care of that her subordinates become part of different networks. She has launched many forms of activity and teaching innovations that contribute to the development of the community.

Innovation Award to a developer of business based on the research of artworks

The Innovation Award (€3,400) was handed to Senior Researcher Hanna Pirinen from the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies.

Pirinen led successfully the multidisciplinary RECENART - Research Centre for Art project, supported by Tekes, in 2014–2016.The project developed new kind of international service business in the field of artwork research.

Pirinen is an experienced project leader who, thanks to her project expertise and scientific skills, made a solid team of representatives from various disciplines and completed the multidisciplinary project successfully. RECENART Oy was established in spring 2016 and in 2018 it merged with AA&R, a company that conducts research in works of art. The company has offices in Muurame, London, New York and Austin and has customers all over the world.

The award of Ellen and Artturi Nyyssönen Foundation to Lotta-Riina Sundberg

The award of Ellen and Artturi Nyyssönen Foundation (€5,000) is granted to a young researcher who has significantly promoted scientific research at the University of Jyväskylä and has enhanced international research cooperation. This year the award was granted to Associate Professor Lotta-Riina Sundberg from the Department of Biological and Environmental Science.

Sundberg has conducted groundbreaking research by studying bacterial diseases that trouble fish farming and developing new types of treatment based on viruses.She has also expanded conceptions about the development of viruses.

Sundberg completed her doctoral degree in Jyväskylä in 2005 and since then has rapidly become a top researcher in her field. Currently she leads a research group of 12 scientists.  

The grant of Aino Sallinen Trust to Mirka Saarela

The grant of Rector Emerita Aino Sallinen Trust (€10,000) is meant to support the careers of young researchers in particular in their work abroad after completing the dissertation. The grant was awarded to Postdoctoral Researcher Mirka Saarela from the Faculty of Information Technology.

Saarela has studied data mining methods that help to find new information on the Finnish education system. Her research in data analysis strengthens the University’s multidisciplinary research orientation at the interface of information technology and learning. She will use the grant to make research visit to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the USA.

More information:

Communications Manager Liisa Harjula, tel. 040 805 4403, viestinta@jyu.fi