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Best dissertations awarded on opening day

Published on 4.9.2023
Tampere University
Cesar Pereida Garcia received the dissertation prize in the field of technology and Íris Santos in the field of society. Antti Pemmari, who received the prize in the field of health, is not in the picture (Photograph: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University).
The authors of the best dissertations and the Publisher of the Year title were awarded on the opening day of the new academic year.

The City of Tampere’s Research Grant Committee awarded three dissertation authors whose works have been assessed as being the best at Tampere University in 2022 and which had received the grade ‘approved with distinction’ by a Faculty Council. The prize is €5.000.

In the field of technology, the prize was awarded to Doctor of Science (Technology) Cesar Pereida Garcia for his dissertation that concentrates on data security titled Side-Channel Analysis and Cryptography Engineering: Getting OpenSSL Closer to Constant-Time.   

The dissertation research was conducted as part of an ERC project funded by the European Research Council. The dissertation improves internet safety by combining research on cryptography, software engineering and side-channel attacks. In addition to its academic impact, the dissertation has also played a significant practical role as the results have been applied by several encryption software. 

The examiners unanimously rated the dissertation as being among the 10% best dissertations in its field.

The dissertation in the field of health was awarded to Doctor of Medicine Antti Pemmari for his dissertation in the field of epidemiology titled Macrophage and Chondrocyte Phenotypes in Inflammation. The dissertation analyses macrophage and chondrocyte phenotypes in inflammation.

The results of the study were assessed as being medically interesting, novel and significant and they can be used in both scientific research and the development of drug therapies for osteoarthritis.

In the field of society, the recipient was PhD Íris Santos who completed her dissertation titled Externalisations in the Portuguese Parliament and Print Media in the field of education. The dissertation is a cotutelle collaboration project between Tampere University and the University of Lisbon, and it received the highest grade at both universities.

Santos’s dissertation investigates numerous reasons and ways in which international elements operate as tools of delegitimisation and become part of national education policy processes. The work expands and systematises existing theory on the comparative research of education policies. The examiners found the dissertation to be well-argued and very well written.

In an awards ceremony hosted by the University of Tampere Foundation and the Industrial Research Fund at Tampere University of Technology, the Societal Impact Award and the open science promoter titles were also conferred as were TREY student union’s prizes for the best teachers and The Good Teaching and Teaching Developer Award.

The Foundations also awarded all dissertation authors whose dissertations received the grade ‘approved with distinction’ last year. The prize sum is 1.500€ and it was conferred to 37 people

Publisher of the Year title was conferred to three researchers

The Publisher of the Year titles were conferred to Doctoral Researcher Mete Ahishali from the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Doctoral Researcher Sinja Taavitsainen from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology and Academy Research Fellow Anna Elomäki from the Faculty of Social Sciences. The prize sum is €2.000.

Candidates for the Publisher of the Year award were searched from among all the researcher profiles in the TUNICRIS Research Information System. 

The candidates were selected on the basis that they are either doctoral students or recent doctoral graduates and that their researcher profile is good and updated. 

The aim of the awards is to encourage researchers who have demonstrated they have adopted the culture of open science in their research and publishing activities and possibly also in the opening of their research data. In addition, the researchers have paid attention to their own visibility and impact.

The Foundations want to encourage researchers to communicate their research to both the scientific community and the public in line with the principles of scientific publishing.


Industrial Research Fund at Tampere University of Technology has a mission to support research and other activities undertaken at Tampere University in the fields of engineering. The Fund fulfils its mission by giving out grants and scholarships to support research in technology-based disciplines at Tampere University. The Fund awards approximately one million euros on an annual basis to support research at Tampere University.

The University of Tampere Foundation established in 1973. According to the foundation’s charter, the foundation’s purpose is to support activities and research conducted at Tampere University in the fields of social sciences, health sciences, humanities and natural sciences and in social research, business and management studies, educational sciences and research and education in the arts.