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2013 Academy of Finland Awards go to Sven Bossuyt and Kari Kalliokoski

24 Oct 2013

The Academy of Finland recognised two distinguished researchers in Helsinki on Thursday 24 October 2013. The Academy of Finland Awards were presented to Academy Research Fellow Sven Bossuyt from Aalto University and Academy Research Fellow Kari Kalliokoski from the University of Turku.

Metallic glass researcher receives award for scientific courage

Academy Research Fellow Sven Bossuyt has shown considerable scientific courage and ambition in flexibly and broad-mindedly moving across scientific fields of study, from physics to materials science through mathematics to experimental mechanics. This solid background in multidisciplinary research gives Bossuyt an ability to make bold scientific leaps that, if successful, can hugely contribute to advancing both theory and practice. Bossuyt has actively participated in international research teams and has thereby accumulated a wide international collaboration network in some of the world’s top universities. He has a strong track record in research, but he is also a charismatic speaker, lecturer and teacher.

Bossuyt has established an internationally recognised research team at Aalto University, where, at present, his main research interest is in metallic glasses and digital image correlation. Metallic glasses are metals that were molten and retained the atomic structure of the liquid when they solidified. Quite a few liquid metals can be made into glass by using tiny droplets, thin sheets or ribbons that can be cooled in a fraction of a second. When an alloy is molten, atoms are mixed together in a dense, random packing. Upon cooling, it takes some time for the atoms to orderly rearrange into crystal structures. If the cooling is fast enough, the liquid still has the amorphous atomic structure of a liquid, but it is a solid – glass. Metallic glasses have a number of excellent mechanical properties, such as large elastic strain and ultra-high strength, and some have interesting magnetic properties, too.

Bossuyt is using digital image correlation to investigate what happens when an ultra-strong material is deformed: there can be dramatic differences between local and average deformations. For materials with ultra-high yield strength, such as metallic glasses, essentially all plastic deformation occurs close to the ultimate strength, so it tends to be highly localised. This deformation can be measured from a sequence of digital images taken of the object as it is being deformed. Bossuyt has developed special software to get detailed information on how the deformation in different parts of the test piece at different times contributes to the total deformation. The revolutionary software provides special patterns where almost every pixel provides information on the magnitude and direction of the displacement at a certain location. The software developed by Bossuyt and his team will be of great use for both the engineering and metals industry and the research community.

The Academy of Finland Award for Scientific Courage is granted to researchers who have shown exceptional scientific audacity, creativity or innovation in their work. The award can be granted for a novel or original research idea, for forward-looking work that crosses scientific boundaries or for a willingness to take risks in research.

Research into physical exercise recognised for social impact

Academy Research Fellow Kari Kalliokoski conducts research into the importance of physical exercise in health promotion. It is a topic that attracts much public interest and has great applicability and public health significance. Kalliokoski’s latest scientifically-proven results provide timely and reliable support for policy-makers so that they can draft accurate recommendations on physical exercise. Kalliokoski has an arsenal of ways to communicate his research findings to the public and he is actively engaged in increasing public awareness of the health effects of exercise. For example, he organised a campaign that brought free gym equipment to airports for passengers to use while they are waiting for their flight.

Kalliokoski’s base of operations is at the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Molecular Imaging in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research at the University of Turku. His research focus is on physical exercise, exercise physiology and the effects of physical exercise on the metabolic activity of various tissues of the human body. At present, Kalliokoski explores the health effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), specifically its potential in treating metabolic and circulatory disorders. Lack of time is one of the most common reasons why people do not exercise. Studies have shown that short, high-intensity workouts can match the health effects of traditional, lower-intensity aerobic exercise. HIIT especially seems to enhance glucose regulation and can thereby decrease the risk for type 2 diabetes and lower the cholesterol level.

There are still many open questions concerning HIIT, for example as regards its suitability for rehabilitation and its overall safety. This is the current topic of Kalliokoski’s research project, whose subjects are healthy middle-aged men, people with type 2 diabetes and cardiac patients. The projects results could help develop new recommendations on physical exercise and open up new opportunities for disease prevention and treatment.

The Academy of Finland Award for Social Impact is granted to researchers who have significantly contributed to increasing public awareness of scientific research or the researcher’s job, inspired interest in science, actively contributed to public debate in society, or otherwise strengthened the role, application and impact of science and research in society.

A way to give encouragement to researchers

This was the eleventh time that the Academy of Finland Awards were presented. Recipients shall have a research post as Academy Research Fellow or work as an Academy-funded Postdoctoral Researcher. Nominations are submitted by the Academy’s Research Councils to the Academy Board, who makes the final decision. The purpose of the awards is to recognise and encourage outstanding researchers with dynamic career prospects and to highlight goals and objectives the Academy considers important. Over the years, the Academy of Finland Awards have been granted to both male and female researchers. The recipients are presented with a mouth-blown ornament, entitled “The Moment”, by Miia Liesegang.

More information

  • Vice President for Administration Ossi Malmberg, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 003, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Sven Bossuyt, Department of Engineering Design and Production, Aalto University School of Engineering, tel. 050 431 9055, firstname.lastname(at)aalto.fi
  • Kari Kalliokoski, PET Centre, University of Turku, tel. +358 2 313 2782, firstname.lastname(at)tyks.fi

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Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Terhi Loukiainen
tel. +358 295 335 068

firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

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