Metso's Mika Viljanmaa Receives Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2012

Mika Viljanmaa (left) receives the 2012 Marcus Wallenberg Prize from H.M. the King of Sweden on October 1, 2012 in a ceremony in Stockholm. In the background, the chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Marcus Wallenberg. Photo: Janne Eriksson.

Oct. 3, 2012 (Press Release) - During a ceremony at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm on 1 October, the Swedish King, His Majesty Carl XVI Gustaf awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Prize 2012 to Mr. Mika Viljanmaa for his ground-breaking development of metal belt calendering technology resulting in better paper print surfaces with less fibre materials and higher production efficiency.

Calendering is done to improve the paper surface and thus print quality. Compared to conventional calendering, the metal belt calendering technology enables manufacturing of paper and board with better surface smoothness at a desired level of stiffness and bulk, but using 3-10% less fibre raw material. In addition, it consumes less energy and yields higher production efficiency than other calendering concepts. It is particularly suitable for low cost fibres such as recycled fibres and thus enables development of new cost-competitive paper and board products.

“The metal belt technology has the potential to make a major positive impact on the industry and the environment. It can be seen as a platform technology which has the potential to radically change paper — and board-making concepts. We are also highly impressed by the strong breakthrough nature of the research, which I think stands out as an extraordinary example of “thinking out of the box,” said Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation at the award ceremony.

The Laureate, Mr. Mika Viljanmaa, M.Sc., was born in 1966 in Finland. He started his career in 1996 as a development engineer at Valmet Corporation (now Metso Paper), Jarvenpaa, Finland, where he also completed his Master’s thesis as a Helsinki University of Technology student. Since 2003 he was in charge of calendering research and development at Metso Paper and since 2009 he has been responsible for R&D in surface treatment technology.

The Marcus Wallenberg Prize The Marcus Wallenberg Prize was instituted to encourage scientific achievements within the forestry and forestry-related sectors. This year it was awarded for the 29th time. The prize winners receive 2 million Swedish Crowns.