Academic events and traditions

Honorary doctors in technology 2019

Aalto University declared seven new Honorary Doctors of Science in Technology in June.
Aalto University / Matti Rajala
Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Enrique J. Lavernia is the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of the University of California. For almost three decades, he has cooperated with the Helsinki University of Technology and, later, Aalto University. After completing his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he began collaborating with Mauri Veistinen, who later went on to found Neorem Magnets Oy. Professor Lavernia maintained a close connection with Professor Emeritus Veikko Lindroos and he has served as doctoral thesis opponent and an evaluator for professorships dealing with materials science several times. Professor Lavernia served as a member of the School of Chemical Engineering’s scientific advisory council in 2012–14. His significant input substantially furthered the council’s efforts to develop the University and especially the field of materials science. Professor Lavernia has always cooperated positively with Aalto University. He has also arranged study trips for our students, for example by hosting the Metal Club in California. Professor Lavernia’s career in science and his efforts to develop the University have both been exceptional.  

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Matti Kauhanen is the Business Unit Technology Manager of the ABB Group’s Drives division. Since 2000, Matti Kauhanen has played a key role in establishing the long-term, active and multi-faceted cooperation that exists between ABB and Aalto University. He has served as ABB’s lead representative and promoter in several major research projects realised at Aalto with funding from ABB. These projects have yielded more than 100 scientific papers, ten doctoral theses and several patents. Kauhanen has also regularly acted in an expert capacity and in positions of trust associated with the development of Aalto’s teaching and research. For example, he was a panellist during a visit by the School of Electrical Engineering’s scientific advisory council in October 2016 and at the Professors’ Summit in June 2017. He also served as an industry representative in the Energy RAI interview in August 2018. Kauhanen has regularly arranged visits to ABB facilities by Aalto personnel and guests such as opponents and conference participants. 

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Arvo Kokkonen completed his Master’s degree in surveying at the Helsinki University of Technology in 1981. Now, he is the Director General of the National Land Survey of Finland. He has worked actively to develop cooperation between the National Land Survey and the Helsinki University of Technology and, later, Aalto for some 20 years. This cooperation has prompted involvement in many international events. During his tenure at the helm, the National Land Survey and Aalto University have signed a cooperation agreement, established a co-funded professorship and modernised the agreement concerning the Department of Built Environment’s activities. In addition, Arvo Kokkonen has developed navigation-related collaboration with Aalto’s marine technology researchers as well as the National Land Survey’s cooperation with Aalto University’s Metsähovi Radio Observatory.  

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Marja Makarow is Director of Biocenter Finland, and former Vice-President of the Finnish Research Council — Academy of Finland (2012—2016), Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation (2008–2011) and Vice-Rector of the University of Helsinki (2003—2007). She holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Helsinki, where she was professor of Applied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2003—2012. She served as Vice-chair of the board of the Aalto University in 2008—2012 and chaired the founding board of the Tampere University in 2017—2018. Marja Makarow is Board Member of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology EIT, the University of Geneva and the University of Arts Finland. She was member of the Finnish Prime Minister’s Research and Innovation Council and of the European Research Area Board advising the EU Commissioner of Research and Innovation in 2007—2012. Marja Makarow chairs Technology Academy Finland that awards one of the world’s most prestigious innovation prizes, the Millennium Technology Prize. 

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Jukka Mäkelä has served as the Mayor of Espoo since 2011. He graduated with a Master’s in engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology in 1992. Aalto University’s School of Engineering named Jukka Mäkelä its Alumnus of the Year 2018. Jukka Mäkelä has been an active participant in the development of Aalto University’s Otaniemi campus, contributing to its growth into a unique, world-class innovation ecosystem. He has played a key role in the decision-making that has led to the western expansion of the Helsinki metro system and Espoo’s current status of being an attractive university city. 

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Jussi Pesonen has worked as the President & CEO of UPM Corporation since January 2004. He has also served on the company’s Board of Directors since March 2007. In addition, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Finland Chamber of Commerce and ICC Finland as well as the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Forest Industries Federation, where he is also a member of the working committee. He is also a Board member at the Confederation of European Paper Industries and the East Office of Finnish Industries Oy. Pesonen served on the Board of the Helsinki University of Technology in 2008–09. Jussi Pesonen has significantly promoted UPM-Aalto cooperation in the forest-based sector. Over the last 10 years, the forest products industry has undergone substantial changes that have had an impact on the economy as well as on the provision of related education. The research collaboration between Aalto University and UPM led to the establishment of the joint UPM, Aalto and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland venture the Finnish Centre for Nanocellulosic Technologies in 2008. In just three years, this research centre developed into a global leader with the aid of basic and applied research. UPM and Aalto University have together developed new sustainable materials and many lectures and several Master’s theses in the industrial fields have demonstrated the important role played by this company also in education. 

Aalto University / Matti Rajala

Markku Tilli is the Senior Vice President of Research at Okmetic Oy. He completed a materials science degree (physical metallurgy) at the Helsinki University of Technology  (HUT) in 1974. Up to 1980, he worked at HUT in various research and teaching positions related to crystal growing technologies. In 1981–84, he was in charge of process research and development for the Silicon project, HUT’s pilot silicon wafer manufacturing facility. From 1985, he has worked at Okmetic Oy in various research, development and customer support management functions. He has been involved with microsystems since 1983, when he developed a process to manufacture two-sided polished silicon wafers for micromachined sensors. Since then, he has developed new types of silicon wafers for microsystems, such as special epitaxial wafers as well as SOI wafers. Markku Tilli has supported Aalto University professors from the schools of electrical engineering, science and chemical engineering by suggesting several research topics and by introducing industrial perspectives to the training of doctoral candidates. Markku Tilli is an exceptionally open-minded and internationally networked technology expert, who has not only worked for the benefit of his own company, but shown a willingness to boost overall Finnish technological competence and expertise in his field. 

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