Aalto University

Aalto University Magazine

Aalto University's stakeholder magazine focuses on science and art, technology and business – we describe how they converge and write about the people behind our stories. The magazine comes out twice a year.
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Printed copies are distributed to our Aalto Alumni Circle members and other stakeholders.

Facsimile copy of the latest issue

A selection of Aalto University Magazine articles

Jukka Jokinen_Flip_2018_2_photo Jukka Jokinen
Aalto Magazine, Research & Art Published:

How will e-scooters transform urban spaces?

We often think of electric scooters as part of the switch to eco-friendly mobility but their role in urban landscapes is more complicated.
Mashrura Musharraf ja Sauli Eloranta seisovat aurinkoisena päivänä merenrannassa. Etualalla näkyy rantakiviä, taustalla meri. Musharraf tervehtii kuvaajaa hymyillen kuten laivan kapteeni, "vieden kättä lippaan".
Aalto Magazine Published:

Launching autonomous vessels in our waters

In years to come, autonomous ships could reshape the entire maritime industry, say marine technology experts Mashrura Musharraf and Sauli Eloranta.
Tom Lindholmin henkilökuvaan on yhdistetty piirroskuva, jossa on lentokone ja voimalaitos.
Aalto Magazine Published:

Oops: A journey that would not happen today

Tom Lindholm is the Managing Director of Aalto University Executive Education Ltd and Head of Lifewide Learning at Aalto University. In the late 1990s, his master’s thesis involved travelling to power plants around the world.
Punaiseen kukkamekkoon pukeutunut Eliisa Lotsari katsoo hymyillen kameraan, taustaseinällä on suuri sinisävyinen lasitaideteos
Aalto Magazine Published:

Everyday choices: Eliisa Lotsari, do you ever go ice swimming?

This academy research fellow and assistant professor delights in cold water, both in nature and in the lab.
Illustration of a group of people. Photographer: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Each issue has its theme presented by the main story

How does trust occur in our networked everyday lives? What happens when we exceed the limits of the body? What is wise failure like?  We have covered these themes in the recent issues of Aalto University Magazine. In the main story, the reader is introduced to the theme of the magazine by an interesting group of experts from different fields.

Piirroskuvassa on kuvitteellinen vihreän ja sinisen sävyinen kaupunkinäkymä, jossa ihmishahmoiset suunnittelijat siirtelevät eri osia, kuten teitä ja puistoja, paikasta toiseen kuin pelissä.

Urban planning in an intersection of a thousand wishes

How can we make a city flourish when one resident hopes for more forests and another wants parking lots? Data and keen listening can help, say urban planners and researchers.

News
Kuvituskuvassa on vaaleanpunaisella pohjalla mustavalkoiset ihmiskasvot ja niiden yläpuolella sinisävyinen piirroskuva aivoista. Kasvojen ympärillä on yksittäisiä sanoja kuten "jungle" ja "tomato" sekä aivosähkökäyrää symboloiva aaltoviiva.

Artificial intelligence to assist the brain

Neuroscience and neurotechnology are gaining a fresh ally in the form of artificial intelligence, which can assess dementia risk and enhance the effectiveness of depression treatments.

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Piirroskuvitus Aalto University Magazinen kansista. Kuvassa on kaksi ihmishahmoa kävelemässä, taustalla erilaisia ympäristöjä mm. kaupunki, metsä, vuoristo. Kuvittaja: Satu Kettunen.

Four years and lots of tears – three experts tell how they succeeded in making the change

Many entrepreneurs and researchers set their goals based on a realisation that something needs to be done differently. The change they envision might be a new product or material, or it can be a new way to do things. Implementing change isn’t always easy, however, and it demands a stomach for uncertainty, say Professor Michael Hummel and entrepreneurs Annu Nieminen and Richard Nordström.

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Piirroskuva ihmisestä digimaailmassa, piirros: Sanni Wessman

The builders of digital trust

A society gone online needs encrypters, white hats and appropriately suspicious citizens.

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Teemajutun kuvitus, kuva: Noora Typpö

Weak signals bring messages from the future

Weak signals help us see the present more precisely and build better futures.

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Valokuvassa on kaksi talitiaista oksalla, toinen lintu seisoo toisen päällä. Kuva: Sanna Kannisto.

Try, fail, try again, fail better

Failure is an unavoidable part of life, but does failure have to be all bad? How about failing upwards and forwards?

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Miika Aittala. Photographer: Mikko Raskinen.

Aalto's alumni tell their career stories

Every year, 2 000 students graduate from Aalto University. Where do they end up in their careers? In each issue of the magazine, we interview an interesting alumnus/alumna who tells, "how I became me."

Siniseen asun pukeutunut Maija Jokela istumassa pyöreän pöydän ääressä neuvotteluhuoneessa, taustalla suuren sohvan oranssi selkänoja.

Alumna Maija Jokela's work is displayed around town

The construction industry is more diverse than its reputation, realised Ramboll Finland’s Managing Director Maija Jokela during her first summer job.

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Muotoilija Lincoln Kayiwa työhuoneensa ovella

Designer Lincoln Kayiwa wants to create heirlooms

Finland seemed a bit like destiny for this Ugandan-born entrepreneur and Aalto alumnus.

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Kasvokuva Sini Merikalliosta, hänellä on yllään tumma villapaita, jossa on raitoja. Kuva: Aleksi Poutanen.

Alumna Sini Merikallio and the makings of an astronaut

Veterinarian and former space researcher turns her gaze back to the stars.

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Sami Marttinen kuvattuna Swappien tehdastiloissa.

Conquering the world with refurbished phones

Sami Marttinen bought a phone through an online flea market, but never actually got the device. This incident spurred the creation of used iPhone refurbisher and seller Swappie, which is growing rapidly across Europe.

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Miika Aittala. Photographer: Mikko Raskinen.

Investigating the secrets of neural networks

Researcher Miika Aittala applies AI tools known as neural networks on graphics problems at MIT in Boston.

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Karla Nieminen. Kuva: Veera Konsti.

Self-taught relationship virtuoso

Karla Nieminen gives courses on relationship skills and networking. She tests her theses in practice, too, because she used to be “so bad” at being social.

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Henkilökuvassa Helsinki Design Weekin perustaja Kari Korkman. Kuvaaja: Aleksi Poutanen.

Design emissary

It is possible to cooperate with any and every person, Kari Korkman believes. The founder of Helsinki Design Week is inspired by brainstorming.

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Tiina Tuurnala kuvattuna toimistossaan, kuva: Aleksi Poutanen

For her beloved Baltic Sea

As a little girl, Tiina Tuurnala would take her family’s motorboat around nearby islets to catch ship wakes. Now, she is at the helm of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association and is steering the maritime industry towards a low-emission future.

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Aallon alumni Ksenia Avetisova katsoo peiliin järven rannalla, kuva: Aleksi Poutanen

Alumna Ksenia Avetisova is a human at the heart of technology

Ksenia Avetisova moves around the virtual world as part of her job, but what brought her to Finland was a live rock gig.

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Kuvassa Pasi Herranen, Orvokki Ihalainen ja Panu Miettinen

On the go

Our feature story takes you on a journey.

Tiiliseinä, jonka vieressä vaaleanpunaisia kukkia, taustalle korkeita, vanhoja taloja.

A human-friendly, giant insect hotel emerged in the middle of the city

Alusta, built from clay and populated by plants, is a sanctuary for pollinators and a meeting place for all living things

News
A boy jumping on a mixed reality trampoline in Superpark

A lighter path to exercise

The psychology of motivation coupled with mixed reality games can get kids moving

News
Camilla Inkeroinen ja Hanna Vanhanen

Researchers develop the perfect recycled fertilizer for forests - saves 88% of energy normally used but still not legal

Finnish forests are typically nourished with fertilisers containing energy-intensive nitrogen and phosphorous mined in Morocco. Researchers have now developed an ecological alternative with ingredients sourced from a waste processing plant. It is good for forests and the environment – but legislation has to change first.

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Kolme miestä pelaamassa rugbyä, kuva: Aki-Pekka Sinikoski

A sport for gentleman thugs

Rugby is a tough contact sport that requires players to absorb constant hits while maintaining absolute trust in their teammates in every situation – not unlike research work.

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Kuvassa Pasi Herranen, Orvokki Ihalainen ja Panu Miettinen

Anything but an ordinary greenhouse

A wood-structured windowless greenhouse consumes only half as much energy as a traditional glass greenhouse. In addition to producing food, Pasi Herranen’s invention could generate electricity and excess heat in the future.

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Aallon alumni Riikka-Leena Leskelä seisoo purjevenetaulun edessä. Kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Aalto alumna returned to the university bench - 'The discussions held at lectures were amazingly smart and beneficial'

Aalto alumna Riikka-Leena Leskelä returned to the school bench to find new directions for her management work. One thing she learned was that she’d been doing exactly the right things all along.

News
Marja Rastas. Kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Everyday choices

This column focuses on the personal choices experts make related to their field of research.

Punaiseen kukkamekkoon pukeutunut Eliisa Lotsari katsoo hymyillen kameraan, taustaseinällä on suuri sinisävyinen lasitaideteos

Everyday choices: Eliisa Lotsari, do you ever go ice swimming?

This academy research fellow and assistant professor delights in cold water, both in nature and in the lab.

News
Researcher Ayush Bharti jumps and smiles in a hallway

Everyday choices: Ayush Bharti, can AI fix a dropped Wi-Fi connection?

This postdoctoral researcher boosts wireless communications with signal interaction models.

News
Laura Sivula valokuvattuna ulkona, kaupunkimaisemassa, taustalla näkyy kerrostaloja, kuvan oikeassa yläkulmassa on männyn oksa, Sivula on pukeutunut mekkoon, jonka helma hulmuaa, hänellä on jalassa valkoiset tennarit.

Everyday choices: As an expert of lifewide learning, what skill did you learn most recently, Laura Sivula?

The Head of Aalto's Summer School and an expert of life-wide learning is constantly trying to learn new things.

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Kaie Kubjas katsoo lähikuvassa sivulle, hänet on kuvattu lasiseinän läpi, jolloin seinälle kirjoitetut matemaattiset kaavat heijastuvat hänen ylleen.

Everyday choices: Kaie Kubjas, why does mathematics feel safe?

For a professor of mathematics, logical thinking is as important as the provability of results.

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Professori Tuukka Saarimaa seisomassa tyhjällä nurmikentällä, joka sijaitsee Helsingin keskustassa Oodi-kirjaston ja musiikkitalon välisellä puistoalueella. Kuvaaja: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Everyday choices: How would you fill waste land, Tuukka Saarimaa?

Whether land gets used to build a park or a high-rise, this Professor of Urban Economics would ensure that any solution is the result of careful consideration.

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Professori Nitin Sawhney istumassa rannalla, kuva: Veera Konsti

Everyday choices: Nitin Sawhney, how do we cooperate in times of crisis?

Professor of Practice Sawhney examines the role of technology and cooperation in crisis using transdisciplinary human-centered design practices.

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Professori Caterina Soldano pitelee käsissään sähköpiuhojen muodostamaa vyyhtiä. Kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Everyday choices: What’s your favourite gadget, Caterina Soldano?

Professor Soldano wants to develop less intrusive devices, but believes that the best way to manage electronics overuse is to turn off your smartphone’s notifications.

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Pauliina Ilmonen rakentaa tornia lego-palikoista kuvattuna työhuoneessaan. Kuva: Heidi-Hanna Karhu.

Everyday choices: Pauliina Ilmonen, can you tolerate uncertainty?

Ilmonen, Assistant Professor of Statistics, would not shun risks even if cattle started falling down from the sky.

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Marja Rastas. Kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Everyday choices: What are arts teachers needed for, Marja Rastas?

The world contains a void in art education, says Lecturer of Visual Arts Pedagogy.

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Zero-energy Luukku house. Photo: Montse Zamorano Gañán

This is how science can revolutionize our daily lives

The science stories shed light on current top-level research at Aalto.

Vihreä-musta-valkoisessa piirroskuvassa on silmälasipäinen henkilöhahmo, jolla on päässään tohtorinhattu, jonka päällä on elektroniikasta tuttu virtanäppäimen symboli.

Smart buildings make life easier and use less energy

In a smart building, the lighting system learns how occupants move throughout the building, transport robots talk to lifts, and users are guided to available workspaces by a mobile app. A new doctoral school at Aalto University is set to boost development in the field of smart buildings.

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Alexis Kouros, jolla on yllään valkoinen paita ja päässään kuulokkeet, tutkii edessään istuvan, paidattoman nuoren miehen rintakehää laitteella. Taustalla istuu kolmas mies työskentelemässä tietokoneella. Pöydällä on laitteita, joissa näkyy käyriä ja mittaustuloksia.

Researchers developed a new medical device to replace the stethoscope

With the aid of AI the device could enable faster and more accurate diagnoses. It is being developed by the Vital Signs research group.

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Olli Ikkala ryhmäkuvassa portaikossa viiden tutkijan kanssa, Ikkala seisoo portaikon edessä ja katsoo tutkijoita, tutkijat seisovat rappusilla peräkkäin.

Material can be trained like a Pavlov dog – Professor Olli Ikkala and his team develop new materials

The sharpest tip of materials science is coming up with answers to questions such as can materials ‘learn’ new properties or how to keep a cancerous tumour alive outside the body.

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InteraktiiQuantum Garden on interaktiivinen elektroninen valotaideteos, jota koskettamalla teoksen värit muuttuvat. Tummasävyisessä kuvassa kaksi kättä kurkottaa eriväristen valoantureiden päälle.

Quantum literacy for all

What do computers, cell phones and GPS navigation have in common? And what about digital cameras, solar panels and fibre optics? The answer is that the functioning of these devices is based on quantum phenomena.

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Älyhanskat henkilön kädessä, kuva: Mikko Raskinen

Technology to guide rehabilitation patients by the hand

Smart gloves, virtual goggles and artificial intelligence will be part of the health care of the future.

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Illustration of various ALD applications by Ida-Maria Wikström.

A layer just a few atoms deep can work wonders

The atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique developed by Tuomo Suntola revolutionised information technology in the 2000s. Now researchers are using it to make better catalysts, solar cells of record efficiency and hybrid materials that transport medicines and generate electricity from bodily waste heat.

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Zero-energy Luukku house. Photo: Montse Zamorano Gañán

Creating zero-energy houses, non-toxic glitter and fossil-free glue with wood

Building wisely with wood is an efficient way to combat climate change. It’s possible to build almost anything with wood if we develop our expertise and adjust our attitudes, an expert says.

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Biodesign, kuva: Kalle Kataila

Precision solutions for healthcare

Biodesign Finland projects utilise biomaterials to repair tissue damage and support the recuperation of mental health patients with environmental design. Identifying needs correctly forms the point of departure for all this.

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Tohtorikoulutettavat Noora Yau ja Konrad Klockars seisovat vierekkäin valkoista taustaa vasten. Heidän välissään on pystysuora puinen levy, joka on pohjaväriltään musta, mutta pinnassa on kirkkaita sinisiä ja keltaisia kuvioita. Kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Two experts, the same object of passion

Sharing the interest makes a good conversation.

Mashrura Musharraf ja Sauli Eloranta seisovat aurinkoisena päivänä merenrannassa. Etualalla näkyy rantakiviä, taustalla meri. Musharraf tervehtii kuvaajaa hymyillen kuten laivan kapteeni, "vieden kättä lippaan".

Launching autonomous vessels in our waters

In years to come, autonomous ships could reshape the entire maritime industry, say marine technology experts Mashrura Musharraf and Sauli Eloranta.

News
Marjo-Riitta Diehl ja Miisa Mink seisovat vaaleassa portaikossa rappusilla. Diehl on heittänyt ilmaan paperilennokin, joka leijailee Minkin kasvojen yläpuolella. Molemmat hymyilevät.

Women's networks build on many strengths, from having a clear focus to an absence of masculine energy

A professor and an entrepreneur talk about what women's networks can offer: inspiration and advice, peer support, and even help landing a new job.

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Yhteiskuvassa Juudit Ottelin ja Matti Kuittinen seisovat vierekkäin ja katsovat kohti kameraa. Ottelinin kädessä on pieni musta 3d-tulostettu pääkallo, Kuittinen pitelee käsissään työmaakypärää, jossa on kuulosuojaimet.

Insulation from old jeans, walls from waste concrete – less guilt and more solutions are needed for construction

The biggest environmental act would be not building at all. But a circular economy can also mitigate the environmental impact of construction.

News
Tohtorikoulutettavat Noora Yau ja Konrad Klockars seisovat vierekkäin valkoista taustaa vasten. Heidän välissään on pystysuora puinen levy, joka on pohjaväriltään musta, mutta pinnassa on kirkkaita sinisiä ja keltaisia kuvioita. Kuva: Jaakko Kahilaniemi.

Parallel paths: Designer and materials scientist conjure up glimmering colours out of wood

Designer Noora Yau and materials scientist Konrad Klockars have used wood to conjure up a colour, which is transparent yet glows like a copepod in shallow water. The pair’s good chemistry and open attitude towards asking silly questions is a great help in their work.

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Milica Todorovic and Patrick Rinke. Photographer: Venla Helenius.

One atom at a time

AI is not only changing the way we process data, it’s changing how we carry out research, period.

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Hertta Vuorenmaa ja Eero Vaara. Kuva: Venla Helenius.

Changing work presents a wealth of research topics

Is there anything stable left in work life? At least constant change, say Future of Work researches, and advocate joining forces in work related research.

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Themes and published issues

Read the facsimile copies at issuu.com

31   Living spaces, October 2022
30   Bodily boundaries, April 2022
29   The art of change, October 2021
28   Trust in the digital world, April 2021
27   Leaving a trace, October 2020
26   Trial and error, April 2020
25   University as an influencer in society, October 2019
24   Continuous learning, April 2019
23   Artificial intelligence, October 2018
22   Sustainability, April 2018
21   Human-centered living environments, January 2018        
20   Game changers and the new work, October 2017        
19   Multidisciplinarity, April 2017        
18   Art and creative practices, December 2016       
17   Entrepreneurship, October 2016 (in Finnish only)       
16   Materials research, May 2016        
15   Global business dynamics, December 2015        
14   Health technology, October 2015        
13   Aalto University five years, May 2015        
12   Research, December 2014        
11   Educating game changers, October 2014        
10   Big data, March 2014        
09   Health care, December 2013        
08   Energy, October 2013        
07   Creativity, May 2013        
06   Entrepreneurship, March 2013        
05   Housing and living environments, December 2012        
04   Bioeconomy, October 2012        
03   Time – solutions of a new generation, May 2012        
02   Wellbeing, February 2012        
01   Risks, October 2011       

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