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Rector Emeritus Bengt Stenlund has passed away 

Rector Emeritus Bengt Stenlund has passed away after a brief illness. Stenlund was Professor of Polymer Chemistry and was Rector of Åbo Akademi University in 1988–1997.

Bengt Stenlund
Rector Emeritus Bengt Stenlund

After his years as rector, Bengt Stenlund returned to his professorship (1979–2002) at the faculty then known as the Faculty of Chemical Engineering (KTF), in technical polymer chemistry, where he also served as dean from 1982 to 1985. Stenlund was Pro-Rector at Åbo Akademi University in 1985–1988. He retired from the post of professor at the age of 63 but continued to work part-time in a project promoting interest in studies in science and technology until 2010.

Stenlund was born on 17 August 1939 in Kristinestad, Finland. He studied chemistry at Åbo Akademi University and obtained a PhD in physical chemistry and wood processing technology in 1970. His research has focused on polymeric materials, including plastic processing, and the development of composite materials. His work was particularly focused on the application of polymeric materials for medical purposes, such as precise drug delivery. During his career, he published about fifty scientific articles and reviews in Finnish and international journals. He also worked as a researcher at the Central Laboratory of the Wood Processing Industry in 1965–1977. 

Stenlund was a member of the Board of Åbo Akademi University from its inception in 1982 to the end of his rector’s term in 1997 and was its chairman from 1988 to 1997. 

Stenlund was conferred the title of Jubilee Doctor of Technology at the Doctoral Conferral Ceremony at Åbo Akademi University in May 2022 and an Honorary Doctorate at Karlstad University in 2000. Stenlund was also an honorary member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Finland (STV). He has held positions of trust in several Nordic and European university bodies, such as the European University Cooperation CRE (now EUA), the Nordic Industrial Fund, and the Forest Products Industrial Research Centre (FPIRC).  Stenlund has been chairman of the Academy of Finland’s Scientific Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering and has also held a number of evaluation assignments for several European universities.  

In his private life, Stenlund had an interest in literature and music. Even after retirement, he was involved in a number of associations related to his professional life, such as The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, Tekniska Föreningen i Finland (TFiF) and reunions with former fellow students. He was also involved in the pensioner’s club Åbo svenska pensionärsklubb, the cultural association Svenska bildningens vänner i Åbo, Svenska Klubben and the Freemasonry. He was rewarded the Order of the White Rose of Finland for his efforts.

Åbo Akademi University extends its deepest condolences to his family and honours its Rector Emeritus by flying the flag at half-mast at the university’s main building on 16 November 2023.