Pauline Colinet from Lyon visits IMC

We had the pleasure of having PhD student Pauline Colinet from the University of Lyon in France visit us for a couple of days. Pauline will be having her dissertation defense about computational chemistry early next year and wanted to come here to learn how we make hackmanite and do its measurements. For her part, Pauline showed what the sophisticated batch files of computational chemistry look like and how she commands the massive calculation clusters. We have collaborated a lot with her, and hopefully the collaboration will continue in the future! Splendid couple of day with her!

Pasi’s dissertation defense tomorrow

Pasi Salonen will have his doctoral dissertation defense tomorrow 5.11.2021 from 12:00 in lecture hall XXII in Agora. The title of his thesis is “Aminophenolato Complexes of Mo, W and V In Catalytic Alkene Epoxidation and Cathecol Oxidation“. The event can be followed on Zoom. More information here:

https://www.utu.fi/en/news/events/dissertation-defense-chemistry-msc-pasi-salonen

Meet Teemu Taam, our newest member

Meet our newest member, MSc student Teemu Taam from Oulu. We interviewed him with three questions.

1. Why did you choose intelligent materials chemistry?
The world is constantly changing and the circular economy emphasizes low waste. For me, making the most of any potential side streams is extremely important. The chemistry of intelligent materials could be just that. Thus, I am challenging myself by becoming familiar with intelligent materials from a circular economy perspective and meeting the demands of modern society. That’s why I set out to head to the line of organometallic materials, get answers, and maybe bring something new.

2. What interests you particularly in chemistry?
– I am a friend of classical chemistry. Traditional analytical methods of inorganic and organic chemistry as well as demanding syntheses keep the motivation high. Versatile analytical techniques are also inspiring, as the analysis of each synthesis product is like the final culmination of a suspenseful story, which either brings great satisfation or complete disappointment.

3. What do you do in your free time?
– Literature is very important to me. Relaxing reading as well as producing written outputs help maintain a diverse vocabulary. Outdoor activities and nature are my second place to relax. In nature, hiking and berry picking during late summer and fall keeps the mind fresh.

Welcome to the group, Teemu!

Zamaneh’s last day, Sami sees his teacher after 14 years

Every year we have one or two interns from Turku Vocational Institute (Turun ammatti-instituutti). Teacher Jouni Jantunen and doctoral candidates Sami and Hannah held a skills demonstration review for our intern Zamaneh Baradari who spent her last day here at IMC. The joy of reunion was immense because Jouni was Sami’s physical chemistry and chemistry calculations teacher in the vocational institute in 2004–2007, and they hadn’t seen each other after 2007 before this day.

Jouni (left) and Sami.

Let’s meet next year again, Jouni!

Roosa wins best poster prize!

Roosa Vastamäki with her poster.

The Chemist Club of Turku awards annually the prize for the best poster in connection with the Kemian kevät (Spring of chemistry) event of the Department of Chemistry of the University of Turku. The categories of this Antti Vesala prize are

  1. The board of the Chemist Club’s selection for the winner.
  2. The public vote, which is open to all members of the Chemist Club of Turku and the students and staff of the Department of Chemistry.

This year, Roosa Vastamäki, our group’s MSc student with a poster titled “A zeolite-free microwave synthesis of hackmanites“, was chosen as the winner of the first category. Congratulations, Roosa, well done!

Mika selected as Adjunct Professor of the Year 2021!

The joint Academic Day of the staff of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University was celebrated on March 25, 2021. The Academic Day is held annually at the end of March in honor of the Royal Academy of Turku, founded in 1640. The recipient of the Vuoden dosentti (Adjunct Professor of the year) diploma is also announced on that day.

This year, Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society selected Mika Lastusaari, the leader of our research group’s photonic materials team, as the Adjunct Professor of the year. Brilliant work and congratulations, Mika!

Mika at an NBC symposium giving a presentation. Credits Marko Junttila.

Tiina Mahlamäki, President of the Turun Yliopistojen Dosenttiyhdistys ry (The Adjunct Professors’ Society of the Universities of Turku) society, said in her introduction that the selection criteria have emphasized not only the Adjunct Professor’s academic merits but also social impact and interaction.

Ari Lehtonen from the society continued with detailed description about Mika’s achievements: “Mika is an active researcher and has published almost 200 articles on inorganic materials chemistry, most of all photonic materials and light-emitting materials. He has produced a large number of new luminescent materials with many practical applications and has also filed many patents on these materials. In addition, he has studied natural luminescent materials: the well-known Bologna stone and hackmanite minerals, and solved the mystery of the luminescent properties of these materials.

Mika has also published a lot of research on learning and teaching chemistry, and the way he works is well illustrated by the fact that he started university pedagogical studies but did not settle for 10 credits or even 60 credits: he did his second dissertation on the subject. Not only is Mika a good researcher and a good teacher, he also knows how to compose, sing and play guitar, and he has composed and produced the theme song for the Inorganic Materials Chemistry Research Group and the group’s music video on YouTube.

Esko Salojärvi’s dissertation defense

Fe complex from Esko’s dissertation, imaged by Adj. Prof. Anssi Peuronen

Esko Salojärvi is having his dissertation defense on Friday, February 19, at 12 o’clock on Zoom. The opponent is Professor Timo Repo from the University of Helsinki, and our Adjunct Professor Ari Lehtonen acts as the custos. Esko’s thesis with the subject “The optical and magnetic properties of redox-active d-block metal complexes with non-innocent ligands” can be found here:

https://www.utupub.fi/handle/10024/150852

The news (in Finnish) can be found here:

https://www.utu.fi/fi/ajankohtaista/tapahtumat/vaitos-kemia-fm-esko-salojarvi

Meet Mousumi Dey, our newest MSc student

Meet Mousumi Dey, MSc, our newest student who travels all the way from Tampere to carry out research in Mika’s group. She chose inorganic chemistry because organic feels sometimes quite hard (I think many of us inorganicists can relate to that!), and from the beginning she has been interested in nanotechnology, batteries, and photochromic materials, to name a few.

Mousumi obtained her MSc degree in India and has now come to our group to learn more about luminescence and photochromic materials as an inorganic chemistry MSc student. Colors are a natural thing for her since she is very artistic, as you can see here in her artwork samples:

https://inorganic.utu.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Mousumi_Artwork_Samples.pdf

Anssi Peuronen has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor

Anssi Peuronen, PhD, was appointed Adjunct Professor by Rector’s decision on January 12, 2021. We interviewed him with three questions:

1. What is your specialty in the field of inorganic chemistry and what interests you the most?

My interest lies in structural research and the study of how the information of the exact atomic structure of a compound/material as well as its organisation in the solid state can be utilised to understand and predict its properties and used in the design of new functional materials. In particular, I focus on the study of crystalline materials using X-ray crystallography, albeit other methods such as NMR, mass spectrometry, and computational chemistry are also important in my research. My current research topics include ion-selective supramolecular compounds, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and catalytically active compounds wherein determining the exact atomic structure is often particularly important.

2. How did you end up in Turku?

I am originally from an area called Pohjanmaa (Ostrobothnia), but I attended a university for the first time in Jyväskylä, Department of Chemistry, in the early 2000s. After graduating with a master’s degree (2009), I worked at the University of Jyväskylä’s Department of Chemistry as an Assistant and later as a University Teacher and a Doctoral student. My dissertation on Inorganic and Analytical chemistry was completed in 2014, after which I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher in a project funded by the Academy of Finland (2014–2018) in the research group of Manu Lahtinen and as a visiting researcher in the research group of Professor Kari Rissanen. I joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Turku with the help of postdoctoral funding granted by the Academy of Finland in 2018. While working in Turku, I paid a 6-month research visit to the University of Sheffield, in Professor Lee Brammer‘s research group. After my postdoctoral term, I will continue in the Inorganic Materials Chemistry research group as a University Teacher.

3. What do you tend to do in your free time?

I spend my free time with my two kids and by planning home renovation projects. Consuming music and producing music-like sounds as well as outdoor activities, fishing, and dreaming of a classic car are my favourite hobbies.