Katrianne Lehtipalo ja Vesa Julin, kuvat Aleksi Kylmälahti

Väisälä Prize 2022

Väisälä Prize 2022 was awarded to Assistant Professor Vesa Julin and to Assistant Professor Katrianne Lehtipalo.

Mathematician VESA JULIN earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in 2010. Even before the completion of his dissertation, Julin worked as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and his postdoctoral career continued as a researcher at the University of Naples. Julin worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher funded by the Academy of Finland in 2013–2016 and as an Academy Research Fellow in 2017–2022. Since 2020, Julin has worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Jyväskylä.

“Chance has played a large part in my career. I had plans to head to Germany after the completion of my dissertation when I happened to see a lecture on isoperimetric inequalities by the Italian mathematician Nicola Fusco. His fierce passion for mathematics and cast-iron professionalism made a great impression on me. And as a postdoctoral position happened to be available in Fusco’s research team in Naples, I did not hesitate for a moment”, Julin says.

Vesa Julin’s research project funded by the Academy of Finland pertains to partial differential equations, variational calculus, and geometric measure theory. His research focuses on the existence, regularity, and stability theories. Julin studies geometric equations that can, for example, be used to examine a drop of water in zero gravity. If the drop is not affected by external forces, it remains spherical, but if it is disturbed by an external force, it will begin to vibrate irregularly and may break up into smaller droplets. This is a question of stability that relates to an isoperimetric problem, which could, in addition to mathematics, have applications in material sciences as well, for example.

“Creative problem-solving is key in the field. The problems are challenging and finding solutions to them feels great. Solving problems with other scientists is the greatest”, Vesa Julin sums up. “The work is also international. At the moment, my partners in all my projects are located outside of Finland.”

Vesa Julin’s research has achieved substantial international recognition. He has contributed to approximately 30 research papers, most of which have been published in leading mathematical journals. Julin’s research creates links between mathematical analysis and geometry.

“The Prize gives me confidence to continue my research. I dream of writing the perfect article that would be remembered for years to come.”


The research of physicist KATRIANNE LEHTIPALO focuses on the measurement of nano particles and particle creation processes in the atmosphere. Lehtipalo earned her doctorate in aerosol physics at the University of Helsinki in 2011, after which she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and a visiting researcher at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland. Since 2018, Lehtipalo has worked as an Assistant Professor on the Associate Professor level at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) at the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Her work is related to the development of the European infrastructure for atmospheric research, which includes the design of international field measurement campaigns and the related management and training.

Lehtipalo is leading the work carried out in Finland as part of a series of aerosol physics and atmospheric chemistry tests conducted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN, which are used to study the creation, growth, and dynamics of aerosol particles in order to understand and combat climate change. Among Lehtipalo’s major research achievements, her key contributions to the development of measuring instruments and analysis methods, especially with regard to the observation of small 1–5 nanometer aerosol particles and understanding their physics and dynamics, are worth mentioning.

“With atmospheric science and aerosol physics, I am particularly motivated by the fact that the research focuses on natural phenomena that can be measured in concrete terms, and which also are of large-scale importance to the society. Aerosol particles are directly linked with air quality and climate issues”, Lehtipalo says.

“I want to contribute to the production of relevant and reliable data and the scientific understanding that is needed to support air quality and climate action. I dream of a world where we realize how valuable clean air is and act accordingly.”

Katrianne Lehtipalo is a highly prolific researcher and has published 130 scientific articles. Her articles have been published in several top climate science journals, as well as in leading multidisciplinary science journals such as Nature and Science.

“It is a great honor to receive the Väisälä Prize. I work hard for the scientific and work community and for education and the mentees, so I feel that the prize is also a recognition of this work instead of just individual scientific achievements”, Lehtipalo says delightedly.