Finnish Science Award to Professor Heli Jantunen
Professor Heli Jantunen of the University of Oulu is the winner of the Finnish Science Award 2019. The award is granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture based on a proposal of the Academy of Finland. It was presented by Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko during the Science Forum.
The Finnish Science Award is granted every second year to a Finland-based researcher or research group in recognition of significant scientific achievement. This year’s award is EUR 100,000. The Finnish Science Award was established in 1997, and this was the twelfth time the award ceremony was held during the Science Forum. -University education and high-level research build new competence and innovation. They also help us make better use of information produced globally. New open practices and digitalisation have significant impacts on education and research and on how information is produced. We should keep in mind that the environments where the universities operate are becoming increasingly international and competitive, Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko said as she presented the award.
Grounds for the award: Professor Heli Jantunen (b. 1958) obtained a Doctor of Science in Technology degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of Oulu in 2001. After extensive master’s studies during the 1980s, she worked in the industrial sector for ten years, but came back to the University of Oulu in 2004. She first worked as Head of Research Group of Infotech Oulu, until appointed as Professor in Technical Physics in 2006 and to her current position as Director of the Microelectronics Research Unit in 2008. In Heli Jantunen’s career science, applications and industry meet in a way that is both innovative and effective. Heli Jantunen has won international recognition for her trailblazing work on electroceramics. Her main focus is on electronics fabrication techniques and development of new radio frequency, sensor and electronics applications. The technique developed by Jantunen’s research group enables to fabricate ceramic components at room temperature and integrate them with temperature sensitive materials such as semiconductors and polymers.
Professor Jantunen’s research is internationally networked and of a high scientific standard, and it makes a significant impact. She has published 228 peer-reviewed research articles which have been cited more than 5,900 times (Google Scholar 28 September 2018). Jantunen has supervised 14 doctoral theses and been the second supervisor in six doctoral theses. She has supervised more than 70 master’s theses. Even now she is supervising more than 30 doctoral and master’s students. She has been a pre-examiner and/or opponent of 23 doctoral theses in Finland, Sweden and the UK. Heli Jantunen’s research has received funding from many eminent sources, including the highly coveted Advanced Grant of the European Research Council ERC in 2012, ERC Proof of Concept funding in 2015 and 2018, and more than 30 projects funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Academy of Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes and EU Framework Programmes. Jantunen has also been involved in the 6Genesis Flagship Programme, where the focus is on developing wireless technologies.
Heli Jantunen has collaborated with more than 40 industrial partners and she holds as many as 76 patents. Professor Jantunen’s work has won recognition in numerous contexts and she holds many positions of trust, including:
- Honorary Doctor of Science in Technology, University of Linköping, Sweden 2014
- Honorary Professor, National Taipei University of Technology 2017–2019
- Academy of Technical Sciences, Member 2013 to present
- World Academy of Ceramics, Member 2013 to present
- Scientific Advisory Board for Defence (MATINE), Chair 2013–2018
- Academy of Finland, Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering, Member 2010–2015
45 times she has been invited to give a lecture or chair an international scientific conference.
Professor Heli Jantunen wishes to present her work as told by two of her researchers. On the video Mikko Nelo and Tuomo Siponkoski tell about the fabrication of electroceramics and how something new is created when an engineer and chemist team up together. By the technique developed by Jantunen electroceramics can be fabricated even at room temperature.