Prof. M. Kulmala was awarded the 1997 Smoluchowski prize which was presented to him during the European Aerosol Conference in Hamburg on September 17. The prize was given for "outstanding contributions to aerosol nucleation and condensation processes in binary and multicomponent systems relevant to atmospheric aerosols".

The development of diamond-coated joint endoprostheses by Prof. Asko Anttila, Doc. Reijo Lappalainen, Prof. Seppo Santavirta and Doc. Yrjö T. Konttinen (the latter two from Helsinki University Central Hospital) has been awarded third prize in an idea competition "Idusta Ideaksi ja Ideasta Yritykseksi". The competition was arranged by Terveydenhuollon tekniikan säätiö, the Health Care Technical Foundation. This recognition of the invention indicates that biomaterials research has great potential.

Optical instrument design

The active development of optical instruments has been a long-standing activity in the Molecular Physics research group. Among recent projects, the design of the objective for the IntraCam video camera has been particularly successful. The camera is intended for intra-oral work and is manufactured by the Finnish company Planmeca Oy. Planmeca Oy has a long-standing reputation as a first-rank manufacturer of, for example, dental imaging equipment.

The main goals of the optical design was to produce a very compact and light construction in order to allow the camera to be as self-sufficient and flexible as possible. The optical design was performed using simple optimizing methods developed by Assoc. prof. Folke Stenman in the course of the instrumental work and teaching activities in optics at the Physics Department.

The camera project is a good example of efficient interaction between industrial product development work at a high level and purely academic research and teaching. The project group was awarded 2nd prize in 1997 for the camera design by the President of the Republic among 400 contestants in the INNOSUOMI Anniversary Innovation Contest arranged by SITRA, the Finnish Indepence Fund for industrial product development work on the occasion of its 30th anniversary and of the 80th anniversary of the independence of Finland.

F. Stenman, "Education in Applied and Instrumental Optics at the University of Helsinki" in Fifth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics, Christian H. F. Velzel, Editor, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 3190 (1997) 254-360

Assoc. prof. Folke Stenman has also designed the optics for ultralight binoculars mounted on spectacles which have received a mark of distinction in the INNOSUOMI contest. The binoculars are manufactured by the Merident Oy company mainly for use by dentists.