Student Innovation Award

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an international competition for students from all over the world. This year's competition marks the tenth anniversary of the award. Following Borealis' trailblazing mission of value creation through innovation, our award aims to recognise your innovative thinking and pioneering solutions.

The award recognises and rewards the three best thesis research papers (one for a bachelor's degree graduate, one for a master's degree graduate and one for a doctorate degree graduate).

The thesis work shall focus on one of the following research areas:

  • Polyolefin catalysts
  • Olefin and polyolefin processes
  • Polyolefin polymer properties
  • Enhanced olefin analysis and polyolefin characterisation methods
  • Polyolefin applications
  • Sustainability in or with polyolefins or base chemicals (i.e. circular economy, recycling, etc.)
  • Discoveries in the polyolefin world that have a practical relevance for society
  • Base chemical processes (ammonia, nitric acid, fertilizer, urea, melamine, phenol)

What can I win?

The Borealis Student Innovation Award consists of a certificate, the award, a trip to Stenungsund, Sweden, in May 2018 to visit our Innovation Centre with a unique networking opportunity and a monetary sum of EUR 5,000 for the doctorate degree graduate awardee, EUR 2,000 for the master's degree graduate awardee and EUR 1,000 for the bachelor's degree graduate awardee. The winners will also have the opportunity to present and discuss their thesis work with members of the Borealis research team.

How are the three awardees selected?

A jury composed of high-level Borealis research representatives will assess the incoming abstracts.

Who can participate?

Graduates in the area of sustainability, chemistry, polymer chemistry, polymer science, polymer analytic, technical chemistry, mechanical and industrial engineering or applications with a particular focus on polyolefins, olefins or base chemicals. Your thesis should not be more than two years old and must be finalised by the end of February 2018 to be eligible for the award.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Borealis Student Innovation Award, please follow the instructions below to submit your application via email.
The Borealis Student Innovation Award application must be in English and consist of the three parts listed below. The application period begins September 1, 2017 and the deadline is March 31, 2018.

  1. Application Cover Sheet (download here as an interactive PDF)
  2. A maximum two-page abstract on your thesis
  3. Your curriculum vitae (CV) (maximum two pages)

Please send these materials to StudentInnovationAward@borealisgroup.com. Please note that your application will not be considered unless you submit all required documents with a fully completed Application Cover Sheet.

Winners

Winners 2016-2017

On 16 May 2017, Borealis presented the winners of the 2016-2017 Student Innovation Award at the Researcher Day in Porvoo, Finland. A jury of high-level Borealis research experts selected the winners in the three categories.

The PhD Thesis Award was presented to Ester Laguna-Gutierrez from the University of Valladolid in Spain for her thesis titled, "Understanding the foamability of complex polymeric systems by using extensional rheology."

Ester Laguna-Gutierrez © Borealis
Ester Laguna-Gutierrez from the University of Valladolid (Spain) and SVP Innovation & Technology Maurits van Tol (Borealis)
Photo: © Borealis

The Master Thesis Award was presented to Stefano Caputo from the University of Salerno in Italy for his thesis titled, "Synthesis and applications in the self-healing of aircraft materials of a new Hoveyda-Grubbs catalyst."

Stefano Caputo © Borealis
Stefano Caputo from the University of Salerno (Italy) and SVP Innovation & Technology Maurits van Tol (Borealis)
Photo: © Borealis

The Bachelor Thesis Award was presented to Nanjunda Shanmuga Velu from Ecole Nationale Superieure d´arts et Metiers in Paris, France, for his thesis titled, "Synthesis of carbon nanostructures through catalytic decomposition of polymer precursors."

Nanjunda Shanmuga Velu © Borealis
Nanjunda Shanmuga Velu from Ecole Nationale Superieure d´arts et Metiers in Paris (France) and SVP Innovation & Technology Maurits van Tol (Borealis)
Photo: © Borealis

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an international competition for students aiming to recognise innovative thinking and pioneering solutions in the area of olefin, polyolefin or base chemicals research. This year marks the ninth year of the award, which is a key element in Borealis' support for the development of new talent and the stimulation of thought processes in chemicals and polymers. The winners were given a trophy as well as a monetary reward on behalf of Borealis by SVP Innovation and Technology Maurits van Tol.

Congratulations to the Winners!

Winners 2015

On 18 May 2016, Borealis presented the winners of the 2015-2016 Student Innovation Award at a special Researcher Day in Linz, Austria. A jury of high-level Borealis research experts selected the winners in the three categories.

The PhD Thesis Award was given to Alberto García-Peñas from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, for his thesis titled, "New Architectures based on Isotactic Polypropylene: Synthesis and Molecular Characterization, Competition between Polymorphs and Properties Evaluation."

The Master Thesis Award was given to Melanie Baumgartner from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, for her thesis titled, "Biodegradable organic electronics."

The Bachelor Thesis Award was given to Michael Müller from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria for his thesis titled, "Characterization of the dynamic-mechanical behaviour of embedding materials used for solar modules."

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an international competition for students aiming to recognise innovative thinking and pioneering solutions in the area of olefin, polyolefin or base chemicals research. The award is a key element in Borealis' support for the development of new talent and the stimulation of thought processes in chemicals and polymers. The winners were given a trophy as well as a monetary reward.

Congratulations to the Winners!

Winners 2014

On 22 January 2015, Borealis presented the winners of the 2014 Student Innovation Award at the annual Borealis Innovation Day in Linz, Austria. A jury of high-level Borealis research experts selected the winners in the three categories.

The 2014 Borealis PhD award was given to Pouyan Sardashti from the University of Waterloo, Canada for his thesis in the field of environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) of polyethylene. The main focus of Mr. Sardashti's doctoral research was to obtain reliable indicators to identify, quantify, and finally to improve ESCR of PE resins.

Doctorate Thesis Award: Pouyan Sardashti for the best doctoral thesis "Methodologies for Obtaining Reliable Indicators for the Environmental Stress Cracking Resistance of Polyethylene". Image f.l.t.r.: Mark Garrett, Pouyan Sardashti, Maurits Van Tol.

The awardee in the master thesis category was Sachin Chalapati from the University of Borås, Sweden. In his master thesis, Mr. Chalapati described a new method applicable for depolymerisation of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) to fuel grade molecules increasing the efficiency by a factor of 3 by using super acidic ionic liquids.

This year, for the first time, the best bachelor thesis was awarded as well. This prize went to Anna Kalteis from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria for her work in macro- and micromechanical modelling of bionic structures.

Bachelor Thesis Award: Anna Kalteis for the best bachelor thesis "Macro-/Micromechanical Material Modeling based on Bionics". Image f.l.t.r. Mark Garrett, Anna Kalteis, Maurits Van Tol.

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an international competition for students aiming to recognise innovative thinking and pioneering solutions in the area of olefin, polyolefin or base chemicals research. The award is a key element in Borealis' support for the development of new talent and the stimulation of thought processes in chemicals and polymers. The winners were given a trophy as well as a monetary reward.

Congratulations to the Winners!

Winners 2013

Borealis once again recognised outstanding academic research in the fields of olefins and polyolefins with the announcement of its 2013 Borealis Student Innovation Award winners.

German scientist Mr. Thomas Kröner and PhD student Mr. Ali Goger were presented with the 2013 Borealis PhD Award and 2013 Borealis Master Thesis Award respectively at the 19th Borealis Annual International Innovation Day in Porvoo on 16 January 2013.

f.l.t.r.: Mark Garrett, Borealis CEO; Ali Goger; Maurits Van Tol, Borealis Vice President Innovation & Technology

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is a key element in Borealis' support for the development of new talent and the stimulation of thought processes in chemicals and polymers. The Award, which includes a monetary prize, acknowledges the most innovative research papers for master's and doctorate degree students working in olefins and polyolefins.

A jury of independent academics and Borealis representatives granted the 2013 Borealis master thesis award to Ali Goger for his work on the modelling of counter-rotating twin screw extrusion, specifically intermeshing counter-rotating twin screw extruders (ICRTSE). Mr. Goger’s thesis explores the operational characteristics of ICRTSE and how different changes in screw design and operating conditions can improve productivity and melt quality.

The 2013 Borealis PhD award was given to Thomas Kröner for his thesis, which was a fundamental experimental and modelling study of reaction kinetics and mass transfer kinetics in the polymerization of high impact polypropylene under relevant industrial conditions. The main focus of the work was developing a model to identify mass-transport limitations during the second phase of the polymerization process.

Winners 2012

Borealis once again recognised outstanding academic research in the fields of olefins and polyolefins with the announcement of its Borealis Student Innovation Award winners 2012.

Canadian scientist Dr Indira Thapa and Austrian PhD student Alexander Kogler were presented with the 2012 Borealis PhD Award and 2012 Borealis Master Thesis Award respectively at the 18th Borealis Annual International Innovation Day in Stenungsund on 17 January 2013.

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is a key element in Borealis' support for the development of new talent and the stimulation of thought processes in chemicals and polymers. The Award, which includes a monetary prize, acknowledges the most innovative research papers for master's and doctorate degree students working in olefins and polyolefins.

f.l.t.r.: Mark garrett, Borealis CEO; Alexander Kogler; Indira Thapa; Maurits Van Tol, Borealis Vice President Innovation & Technology

A jury of independent academics and Borealis representatives granted the 2012 Borealis master thesis award to Alexander Kogler for his work on Heteropolar Polypropylen-Ferroelectrets, in which he indicates how flexible and bendable keyboards can be realized. Mr Kogler has developed a highly flexible keyboard based on voided polypropylene films that can be easily rolled and/or crumpled, without being destroyed. The thesis describes how to make the voided propylene films intelligent by means of electrical poling and demonstrates how basic research can be turned into practical applications.

The 2012 Borealis PhD award was given to Indira Thapa for her thesis which addresses the issue of selectivity in the oligomerization cycle. Mrs Thapa's thesis work achieves a number of significant breakthroughs, including isolation of an intermediate species providing a direct correlation between metal oxidation state and type of catalytic behaviour. Other results include the discovery of various catalysts, capable of producing greater than 99% pure 1-octene.

Winners 2011

The 2011 winner of the Borealis Student Innovation Award for the best Master thesis went to Rana Qudaih. Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology, said that Rana Qudaih showed “in a very comprehensive way” the recycling possibilities of crosslinked polyethylene cable materials: “The broadness and applicability of her work was impressive.” Alfred Stern also complimented Rana as the first female winner of the master thesis award. Rana Qudaih received a monetary award of EUR 3,000 for her research.

Rana Qudaih, winner of the master thesis award, and Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology

The 2011 winner of the Borealis Student Innovation Award for the best doctoral graduate thesis is Dr. Said Mehdiabadi for his research on "Synthesis, Characterization and Polymerization Kinetic Study of Long Chain Branched Polyolefins Made with Two Single-Site Catalysts." According to the jury, Dr. Mehdiabadi was able to present a new pathway for polyolefin catalysis leading to structures of high industrial relevance. Dr. Mehdiabadi received a monetary award of EUR 5,000.

 
Said Mehdiabadi, winner of the PhD thesis award, and Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology

Winners 2010

Borealis Senior Vice President Alfred Stern (middle) with the 2010 Borealis Student Innovation Award winners Dr. Vassileios Touloupides (left) and Jukka Räsänen

The 2010 winner of the Borealis Student Innovation Award for the best doctoral graduate thesis is Dr. Vassileios Touloupides for his research on “Mathematical Modeling and Simulation of an Industrial a-Olefins Catalytic Slurry Loop Reactor Series.” Dr. Touloupides is a Greek citizen who graduated from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2005 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He continued his studies as a PhD candidate and is currently attending medical school also at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Dr. Touloupides’ findings were published in Computer Aided Chemical Engineering and submitted to Molecules. He received a monetary award of EUR 5,000.

At the master’s degree level, Jukka Räsänen was awarded the Borealis Student Innovation Award for his master thesis “Optimisation of the Recovery Section of a Polyolefin Catalyst Manufacturing Process.” Mr. Räsänen is a Finnish citizen and graduated from Lappeenranta University of Technology in Lappeenranta, Finland with a BSc degree in Chemical Engineering. He continued his studies at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden in the area of Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering under the supervision of Professor L. Vamling (Chalmers), K. Nyfors (Borealis) and M. Lylykangas (Borealis). His findings led to one patent application in the area of catalyst production technology. Mr. Räsänen received a monetary award of EUR 3,000 for his research.

Winners 2009

Awardees Matteo D'Amato and Amir Jabri with Alfred Stern, Vice President Innovation and Technology, and Mark Garrett, CEO, both Borealis

The 2009 Student Innovation Award for the master's degree graduate is awarded to Matteo D'Amato for his work on polymeric nanocomposite fibres. In his thesis, he studied the impact of introducing nanoparticles to polyolefin base high-performance fibres. Matteo D'Amato is Italian and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Trento last October.

The Innovation Award for the doctorate degree was given to Amir Jabri. His PhD thesis, which was sponsored by the Dutch Polymer Institute, was an experimental study of how the transition-metal catalysts used in polyolefin production function on a molecular level. Dr. Amir Jabri, a US citizen, graduated from the University of Ottawa, Canada in 2009 and currently works in the area of computational chemistry. He published his findings in the renowned scientific journals, "Angewandte Chemie" and in the "Journal of the American Chemical Society".

A jury composed of independent academics and Borealis representatives assessed the incoming abstracts and selected the winners from more than two dozen submissions. The jury's decision stated that the contributions of Mr. D'Amato and Dr. Jabri are characterized by a combination of beautiful experimental works with excellent theoretical explanations.

The Borealis Student Innovation Award is open to graduates throughout the world in the fields of chemistry, polymers or applications with a particular focus on polyolefins, olefins or melamine. The awardees were invited to present their theses during the Borealis Innovation Day event, which took place in Stenungsund, Sweden in January 2010.

Borealis ran a limited pilot programme during 2008, which proved to be successful and has led to the introduction of the full award scheme in 2009. One of the 2008 awardees now works for Borealis.

"At Borealis, we believe in our strategy which is based on value creation through innovation," states Alfred Stern, Borealis Senior Vice President Innovation & Technology. "The Student Innovation Award is a programme which supports this strategy. As we nurture these young talents, we invest in the future of plastics and in the prospect of our whole industry."

"I would like to thank all the nominees who applied for the Borealis Student Innovation Award," says Christian Paulik, Manager for External Research and Funding at Borealis. "And of course, congratulations to the 2009 Student Innovation Award winners. Both of them have made an outstanding contribution to innovation and I am confident that their scientific work will have an impact on future research and product development."

Winners 2008

Dr. Andrea Ravasio - Winner of 5,000 Euros

Andrea Ravasio, awardee, with Christian Paulik, External Research Manager and Alfred Stern, Vice President Innovation and Technology, both Borealis

For his doctoral degree on norbornene-based polyolefins by post-metallocene catalysts, Italian student Dr. Andrea Ravasio received 5,000 euros. Ravasio's doctoral dissertation was carried out at the University of Pavia, under Professor Maurizio Licchelli and Incoronata Tritto. Professor Tritto says that Dr. Ravasio showed himself to be very talented in the design and synthesis of organometallic compounds and copolymers.

"What singled out Andrea was his comprehensive knowledge of catalysis for olefin and cyclo-olefin copolymerization," says Christian Paulik, Manager for External Research and Funding at Borealis, in explaining the decision of the jury to give the doctorate award to Dr. Ravasio.

Andreas Fuchs - Winner of 3,000 Euros
Andreas Fuchs, awardee, with Alfred Stern, Vice President Innovation and Technology, Borealis

Austrian student Andreas Fuchs (and today Service Engineer for the department for Advanced Polymer Characterisation at Borealis) yields 3,000 euros for his masters degree thesis on scavengers and chemical bonding for defined volatile components in polyolefins.

"Andreas Fuchs studied for his masters degree at the Johannes Kepler University, Linz, under the tutelage of Professor Oliver Brüggemann, who describes him as "one of the best co-workers I have worked with in my career".

Fuchs' thesis shows new ways to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from polyolefins. "This work is set in the real world," says Christian Paulik. "Andreas's findings might well help in the development of future polymers."