The Academy of Finland has selected new Centres of Excellence for the period 2022‒2029. Professor Kari Lehtinen and Associate Professor Siegfried Schobesberger from the Aerosol Physics Research Group at the University of Eastern Finland are members of the new Virtual Laboratory for Molecular Level Atmospheric Transformations Centre of Excellence.
The centre is led by Professor Hanna Vehkamäki at the University of Helsinki. In addition to researchers from the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland, the new Centre of Excellence also has members from Aalto University and Tampere University.
Understanding the formation of atmospheric aerosols is of vital importance. While they help to cool down the climate, they also deteriorate air quality, which leads to an increase in mortality. A key problem in predicting aerosol formation is the immense number and complexity of the compounds and processes involved.
“In the new Centre of Excellence, we will tackle these challenges by combining methods of atmospheric science and computer science, and by applying them in a virtual laboratory that explores atmospheric aerosol formation,” Lehtinen says.
“The goal is to interactively integrate state-of-the art experimental and theoretical methods from the fields of chemistry, physics, and artificial intelligence. This gives us an opportunity to address many yet unsolved problems of atmospheric science, such as to identify reactions responsible for the formation and growth of organic nanoparticles.”
“The virtual laboratory’s communications and visualisation campaigns will also give school children and the general public an opportunity to gain insight into atmospheric science, and into the scientific process in general.”
“The strong role played by the University of Eastern Finland in the new Centre of Excellence is the result of long-term investments in multidisciplinary climate research. Our researchers in this field are among the best in the world, and this is something we are very proud of,” Rector Jukka Mönkkönen says.
A total of 11 new Centres of Excellence were selected, with research groups from 11 universities and research institutes involved. The Academy of Finland’s call for Finnish Centres of Excellence attracted a total of 184 letters of intent.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Kari Lehtinen, tel. +358 40 867 7844, kari.lehtinen (a) uef.fi
Associate Professor Siegfried Schobesberger, tel. +358 50 339 0647, siegfried.schobesberger (a) uef.fi