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Paavo Penttilä awarded Hayashi Jisuke Award for 2022

The Cellulose Society of Japan has awarded Paavo Penttilä the Hayashi Jisuke award for outstanding international achievements in the field of cellulose research. Penttilä is currently working as an Academy Research Fellow leading the “Biobased Materials Structure” research group at Aalto University, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems. The award was officially bestowed at a special ceremony held last week at the International Cellulose Conference ICC2022+1 in Hiroshima, Japan.

The award was officially bestowed at a special ceremony held in September at the International Cellulose Conference ICC2022+1 in Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: Patrik Ahvenainen, Aalto University

Dr. Penttilä has devoted his research efforts on investigating the structure of hierarchical cellulosic materials by X-ray and neutron scattering. He has applied these techniques in various research cases, resulting in more than 50 scientific articles with a wide network of co-authors around the world. Paavo Penttilä has received several research grants, including the Academy of Finland Research Fellow grant for 2021-2026.

Paavo Penttilä has made significant contributions to the interpretation of scattering data measured from cellulosic systems, which includes the development of a data analysis model for wood. In his research, Dr. Penttilä has used scattering methods specially to study the interactions between wood and water at nanoscale. This research has yielded fundamental information on the water-induced swelling behaviour of microfibrillar structures within wood cell walls and a better understanding of the effects of moisture on cellulose crystals. Most recently, Dr. Penttilä has adopted tools from machine learning to enable efficient analysis of large amounts of scattering data from wood.

The award also acknowledges Dr. Penttilä’s efforts in international exchange activities. He has actively promoted international collaboration and connected European and Japanese researchers, by making visits to research groups at Japanese universities and building collaborations with researchers from both communities. During the three weeks following the award ceremony, he will be staying as visitor at Kyoto University under a fellowship of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He is also actively contributing to scientific societies, being currently an Alternate Councilor of the Cellulose and Renewable Materials Division of the American Chemical Society and Secretary of the Finnish National Committee for Crystallography.

Previously only one Finn has received this acknowledgement, Professor Eero Kontturi from Aalto University in 2017. Previous Hayashi Jisuke award winners.

I feel extremely happy and honored having received this prestigious award. It is an indication that I am on the right path, and motivates me to continue cellulose research in an international context - says Dr. Penttilä


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