Kimmo Grönlund and Sepinoud Azimi receive recognition for successful research
At the opening of the academic year at Åbo Akademi University on 9 September 2021 Chancellor Carl G. Gahmberg presented two awards for successful research at the university.
The first prize is awarded to Kimmo Grönlund, Professor of Political Science at Åbo Akademi University.
Grönlund is one of Finland’s leading researchers in democracy development, opinion and election research. Grönlund has specialized in democracy development through experimental and empirical studies of alternative forms of democracy, especially deliberative democracy.
Grönlund conducts research in broad collaboration in the Nordic countries, Europe and the USA. Furthermore, Grönlund involves the end users – politicians, administrators and citizens – in the research process and develops inclusive, alternative forms of democracy building in collaboration with international, national and local actors.
Grönlund has also built a strong brand for Samforsk, The Social Science Research Institute at Åbo Akademi University and is himself an active commentator on current affairs in social issues in national media and social media, and also contributes in this way to popularizing the social sciences for the general public.
“Kimmo Grönlund is an internationally well-established researcher who has created a vibrant and successful research environment within his research field at Åbo Akademi University. He is an active scientist who really makes a virtue of interacting with society”, says Gahmberg.
Engagement within all three pillars of the university world
The second prize is awarded to Sepinoud Azimi, Docent in Biomedical Data Analysis and project researcher in Computer Science at Åbo Akademi University.
Azimi stands out for her high quality and innovative research and for actively cultivating research collaborations outside Finland.
Azimi’s research has primarily dealt with modelling and analysis of biomedical phenomena, first by computer science methods and recently through the utilization of machine learning methods. She heads a research project that investigates the possibilities of preventing miscarriages in pregnancy with the help of artificial intelligence. She also participates in research projects on developing new forms of cancer treatments through computer science methods.
Azimi also actively participates in the development of teaching, and she has created the first totally on-line educational package in computer science.
In addition to her merits in teaching and research, Sepinoud Azimi is strongly engaged in cooperation and relations with society. In recent years she has concentrated on questions of equality within IT and especially computer science
“Sepinoud Azimi’s level of engagement within all three pillars of the university world; teaching, research, and relations with society, is on an exceptionally high level. The Chancellor’s Prize is an excellent opportunity to support an ambitious and innovative IT researcher driven by interdisciplinary cooperation and engaged in creating inclusive and equal environments in both research and study”, says Gahmberg.
The recipients were chosen by a prize committee after reviewing the faculties’ suggestions and considering the quality and impact of the research. The prize sum is 25 000 euros for Grönlund and 15 000 euros for Azimi, and is given to the discipline the recipient represents.