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TAU gets four new Academy Research Fellowships in natural sciences and engineering

Published on 16.5.2023
Tampere University
Aerosolifysiikan mittausvälineitä.
Photograph: Jonne Renvall/Tampereen yliopisto
The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering has decided to grant funding for 59 new Academy Research Fellow posts. At Tampere University, funding was received by Panu Karjalainen, Siddharth Parameswaran Iyer, Payam Shams Ghahfarokhi and Nikita Durandin.

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering allocated €35 million to the new posts. The average sum awarded was some €590.000 for the four-year period starting in autumn 2023.

Academy Research Fellowship funding is intended for early-career researchers on a fast career track who have formed international networks and are conducting scientifically excellent and high-impact research that contributes to scientific renewal.

The funding is allocated to the Academy Research Fellow’s organisation, which manages its use.

The Research Council received 398 applications, meaning that the success rate was just over 15%.

This was the first application round where funding was allocated based on the Academy’s reform of the funding schemes available to early-career researchers.

The applications were peer-reviewed by panels of international experts. The selections were based on the personal competence of the applicants, taking into account their career stages. Emphasis was also placed on the scientific quality of the research.

Methods for emerging aerosol pollutant studies in cold climate

In his project, Panu Karjalainen develops new measurement techniques to quantify realistic estimates of gaseous and particulate phase emissions from several vehicle categories.

Transportation emissions are one of the major causes of global warming and bad air quality.

With the road traffic and non-road mobile machinery system renewal, Karjalainen’s project focuses on better nanoparticle sampling and detection and studies the role of renewable fuels and their potential effects.

The Academy Fellowship project combines expertise ranging from the construction of new instruments, understanding the emission factors of single vehicles and the parameterisation of experimental results for further use. This approach can shed new light on the way different vehicle development scenarios will affect our future.

Gas-phase oxidation of volatile organic compounds

The name of Siddharth Parameswaran Iyer’s project is Oxidation without oxidant: High energy aromatic oxidation (HEARO).

Parameswaran Iye investigates the gas-phase oxidation of aromatic volatile organic compounds, a class of the hydrocarbon emission burden caused by human actions. These compounds pose serious health risks as many of them are carcinogenic and their gas-phase oxidation leads to fine particulate matter, or aerosol, that are a major cause of premature death.

The project will use a combination of quantum chemistry and flow reactor and chamber experiments to uncover novel reaction pathways of aromatic oxidation. The project will also provide a better agreement between models and measurements.

The new knowledge gained in the project will inform better policy decisions and help to lessen the uncertainties of past, current, and future climate scenarios.

Efficient oil spray cooling system for electric car motors

In his project, Payam Shams Ghahfarokhi will investigate the use of spray cooling systems of electric car motors.

With a growing interest in green technologies and sustainable transport, hybrid and pure electric power trains are attracting much attention. The demand for lightweight and high-power density motors offers a clear motivation for developing advanced thermal management methods and integrating them into conventional cooling approaches. The oil spray cooling method is one of the latest examples of cooling methodologies.

The goal is to develop systematic analysis and design methodologies to realise an effective thermal management system.

Light-activated materials for bio-scaffold fabrication and controlled drug release applications

Nikita Durandin investigates light-activated materials.

Photo responsive systems for controlled drug release, tissue engineering and cellular therapies have emerged in the recent years. However, most of them require phototoxic blue/UV light with poor tissue penetration. 

The project will help to solve the problem with a method that enables the production of light deeper in the tissue with a safe and less toxic red light.

Academy of Finland's press release 16 May 2023