An international competition for students aiming to recognise innovative thinking and pioneering solutions in the area of olefin, polyolefin or base chemicals research.
The Borealis Student Innovation Award is an international competition for students from all over the world. 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:
Over more than ten years of the competition, Borealis has seen over 270 applications from students representing more than 131 universities in 56 countries.
The Borealis Student Innovation Award consists of a certificate, the award, a unique networking opportunity with Borealis experts in May 2021 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.
A jury composed of high-level Borealis research representatives will assess the incoming abstracts.
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 2021 to be eligible for the award.
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, 2020 and the deadline is March 1, 2021.
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.
The PhD Thesis Award was presented to Nicolas D’Imperio from Uppsala University in Sweden for his thesis titled, “Olefins from carbonyls – development of new phosphorus-based cross-coupling reactions.”
The Master Thesis Award was presented to Esa Arola from the Aalto University in Finland for his thesis titled, “Reducing Sulfur Content in Return Gasoline – Techno-economic Evaluation.”
The Bachelor Thesis Award was presented to Sebastian Wasylewski from the Technical University of Vienna in Austria with his thesis titled, “The influence of the morphological structure of γ polypropylene on the strength.”
The PhD Thesis Award was presented to Helena Marion Weingrill from the Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria for her thesis titled, “Polymeric phase-change materials: applicability, functionalization and long-term stability.”
The Master Thesis Award was presented to Mario Messiha from the Montanuniversität Leoben in Austria for his thesis titled, “Impact of polyolefin impurities on lifetime relevant properties of polyethylene and polypropylene.”
The Bachelor Thesis Award was presented to Salah El Sadi from Al Azhar University Gaza for her thesis titled, “Removal of Nitrates from Drinking water Using Chia seeds.”
The PhD Thesis Award was presented to Nuria Martín García from KU Leuven in Belgium for her thesis titled, “Synthesis of small pore zeolites, controlling their physico-chemical properties for their catalytic application.”
The Master Thesis Award was presented to Enrico Carmeli from the University of Genoa in Italy for his thesis titled, “Validation of a method for the comparison of isotactic polypropylene nucleating agent efficiency.”
The Bachelor Thesis Award was presented to Svenja Schmidt from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany, for her thesis titled, “Studies of hydroxycarbonylation in microemulsion systems.”
The PhD Thesis Award was presented to Leila Maringer from Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, for her thesis titled, "Micro- and macroscopic approaches to polymer stabilizer analysis for solar thermal systems."
The Master Thesis Award was presented to Charlotta Weber from the Aalto University in Finland for her thesis titled, “Modelling and simulation of industrial purge bins."
The Bachelor Thesis Award was presented to Navid Mostofi Sarkari, a master’s degree student in Polymer Engineering and Colour Technology at Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) in Tehran, Iran, for his thesis titled, "Investigating surface adhesion attributed characteristics of XLPE blends used in low voltage cables insulations during the cross-linking process."
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."
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."
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."
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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."
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