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New research posts in natural sciences and engineering

8 May 2013

The Academy of Finland has allocated EUR 20.3 million for research posts in the fields of natural sciences and engineering. The Academy’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering decided to fund 46 three-year research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher and 20 five-year research posts as Academy Research Fellow. Within the September 2012 call, the Research Council received 305 applications for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher and 184 applications for research posts as Academy Research Fellow.

Postdoctoral Researchers internationally mobile

The average age of the new Postdoctoral Researchers is 32. Both women and foreign nationals account for one-third of the grantees. The research carried out by the new Postdoctoral Researchers covers a wide spectrum of the fields of natural sciences and engineering, for instance electronics, physics and computer science.

The new Postdoctoral Researchers are researching, for instance, the following topics:

Katja Hynynen, DScTech, (Lappeenranta University of Technology) is investigating the diagnostics of the wind energy conversion system. She will be examining the state of the system by using the process data of the turbine and by preventing the diagnosed unfavourable operation conditions far as it is possible. The wind turbine is controlled so that the energy production is optimised and the favourable operating states are used. The life-cycle energy production of the turbine is optimised by minimising the downtime of the turbine caused by component faults.

Russell Lake, PhD, (Aalto University) is working to build a detector in order to implement quantum computing with microwave photons. Microwave photons can be trapped within electrical circuits to carry information to and from ‘quantum bits’ in a promising new prototype for quantum computers. However, a critical missing component limiting the computer hardware is a detector that is sensitive enough to measure just a single microwave photon generated within the circuit. This detector will be a major breakthrough in quantum electronics and is also expected to have a revolutionising long-term impact on wireless technologies.

Toni Björninen, DScTech, (Tampere University of Technology) is working to develop implantable and wearable antennas for body-centric wireless sensing systems. Wireless body-centric sensing systems are in great demand in the fields of biomedicine, personal healthcare, and safety and security. They provide long-term solutions to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, sophisticated means for drug delivery, vital signs and healing process monitoring, and an overwhelming amount of data to guide the medical personnel in their work as well as to monitor the safety of personnel operating in harsh environmental conditions. The results of Björninen’s project will provide novel means for optimising antennas to operate on-body through the full characterisation of the electromagnetic antenna-body interactions and interfacing the implant antennas optimally with ultra-low-power microelectronics. Combined with new electronics materials and fabrication methods, these optimisation techniques will produce highly miniaturised implant antennas and wearable antennas seamlessly integrated with clothing.

From Postdoctoral Researcher to Academy Research Fellow

The applications for Academy Research Fellow funding were of a high quality, and the Research Council could fund only every tenth applicant. Of the grantees, 75 per cent have previously had or presently have Postdoctoral Researcher funding from the Academy. The average age of the new Academy Research Fellows is 36. Most of the grantees had research experience from abroad of more than six months after gaining their doctorate.

The new Academy Research Fellows are researching, for instance, the following topics:

Lauri Lehtovaara, PhD, (University of Jyväskylä) is investigating the optic properties of monolayer-protected metal nanoparticles. Monolayer-protected metal nanoparticles (MLP-MNPs) are a special class of metal nanoparticles which have a well-defined atomic structure. A metal core is covered by a single layer of molecules which stabilises and protects the core. They have a number of potential applications in, for instance, catalysis, heavy-metal scavenging and biomedical imaging. The obtained information can be used to predict and explain optical fingerprints of newly discovered MLP-NMPs and to design MLP-NMPs with desired optical properties to motivate and inspire experimental work.

Simo Saarakkala, PhD, (University of Oulu) is working to establish the 3D histopathological grading of osteoarthritis (OA) by using cutting-edge CT technologies in vitro and finally to test the established grading with clinical CT scanner in vivo. More than 200 human osteochondral samples from patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty will be imaged with nano/micro-CT devises as well as with a clinical high-end CT devise. Tissue molecular composition and high-resolution structure will be quantified in 3D from the data. On the basis of this information, a novel 3D histropathological grade will be developed by using statistical classification algorithms. Finally, the developed 3D histropathological grading of OA will be applied clinically in vivo.

More information:

Postdoctoral Researchers:

  • Science Adviser Maaria Lehtinen, tel. +358 29 533 5061, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Johanna Törnroos, tel. +358 29 533 5124, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Jari Laamanen, tel. +358 29 533 5067, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Academy Research Fellows:

  • Science Adviser Jan Bäckman, tel. +358 29 533 5010, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Vesa Varpula
tel. +358 29 533 5131
firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

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