"Catalyzing diversity in science": IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast

Aalto University organises the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast 2024 on 27 February. Everyone is welcome, but you need to pre-register by 22 February.

Now is your chance to meet other researchers!

Aalto University hosts the IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast 2024 in conjunction with the U.N. Day of Women and Girls in Science. Drop in any time during 09:00 and 10:45 at A Grid to join us for breakfast and discussion. 

Everyone -- all genders and all talents -- are welcome, but please pre-register by 22 February via this link:


  • 09:00 Welcome from host CHEM Prof. Jaana Vapaavuori, breakfast is served, networking starts (Agrid, lobby)
  • 09:30 CHEM Assistant Prof. Luana Dessbesell: Catalyzing diversity in science (AGrid, Jeti)
  • 09:45 Panel discussion: How to catalyze diversity in science?
    ENG Assistant Professor Mashrura Musharraf
    SCI Staff Scientist Martin Lennox 
    ELEC Assistant Professor Gopika Premsankar 
  • 10:15 Breakfast and networking continues (Agrid, lobby)
  • 10:45 Event ends

This event will be photographed for Aalto University communications and marketing purposes. If you wish not to be in the photos, please inform the photographer during the event and we will respect your wishes.

Professor Jaana Vapaavuori
Hosting the event is our guest speaker from 2023, Jaana Vapaavuori

Professor Jaana Vapaavuori (Department of Chemistry and Materials Science, Aalto University) received her PhD in Applied Physics in 2013. She leads the Multifunctional Materials Design Group, established in 2019. She has received multiple recognitions, such as the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship (Canada), the 2020 Young Researcher of the Year award from the Finnish Foundation of Technology Promotion, a European Research Council Starting Grant, and she is also leader of a Nordic Network Beyond e-Textiles.

Professor Dessbesell in a lab, wearing a green jacket

Assistant Professor Luana Dessbesell (Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems) completed her PhD in 2019, a techno-economic analysis and supply chain design for a forest biorefinery to produce value-added bio-based products from lignin, supervised by Profs. Charles Xu and Reino Pulkki (Lakehead University, Canada). She then moved to École Polytechnique de Montréal in Canada as a postdoctoral researcher to understand the role of digitalization and value chain management in developing competitive advantages in the forest sector transformation to the bioeconomy. She has also worked as a strategy specialist at EnVertis Inc. and the University of British Columbia's Bioproducts Institute. She now is an Assistant Professor in the Aalto Bioinnovation Center leading interdisciplinary research on the transition of sustainable bioproducts research to commercialization.

Mashrura Musharraf, photo by Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Assistant Professor Mashrura Musharraf (Department of Marine Technology) completed her PhD from Memorial University Newfoundland (Canada) in 2018, with research assistantships during her studies at Virtual Marine technologies, which simulates maritime rescue and training. Her research interest is in applying data mining, machine learning, and AI techniques to build and deploy human-centered systems and solutions and create a safer marine industry. With the successful demonstration of the world’s first fully autonomous ferry, it is anticipated that ship intelligence will continue to reshape the maritime industry in the coming years. While decision-making by autonomous systems is somewhat straightforward for local vessel operations, it would be fairly complex for ocean-going ships in harsh conditions. For marine operations in ice, optimized task performance is not the only issue, rather auxiliary criteria like safety and reliability are equally important. As the foundations for futuristic ships are being set, Musharraf's research aims to acknowledge the importance of interpretability and transparency of the AI algorithms that would replace or support the limited crew on board.

Martin Lennox stands in front of a leafy plant in the Kide building at Aalto University.

Staff Scientist Dr. Martin Lennox (Department of Applied Physics) received his PhD in chemical engineering on the synthesis of zinc/zinc oxide nanoparticle-carbon nanotube composites from McGill University (Canada) in 2014. After the doctorate, he worked as a specialist at two Canadian companies: in technical and operations at Performance Polymers Innovations and in test and process engineering at Angstrom Engineering Inc. (physical and chemical vapor deposition). Lennox also completed postdoctoral research on low-damage deposition of transparent conductive oxides as top contacts for transparent organic light-emitting diodes at the University of Ottawa and worked as a research associate on industrial projects for 3D metallic printed parts and surface-modified agricultural plastics as pesticide alternatives at Polytechnique Montréal (Canada). Lennox joined Aalto in Summer 2021 and serves on the Physics Diversity Team.

Color photo of a smiling person wearing a grey shirt with a blue sweater, long black hair in a ponytail

Gopika Premsankar (Department of Information and Communications Engineering) is a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Before joining Aalto, she was an Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki and had a short stint as a postdoctoral researcher at Ivey Business School in Canada funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. She obtained her PhD in 2020 from the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University. She has also spent time in research labs in VU Amsterdam, Duke University (USA), Nokia Bell Labs and IBM Research (Ireland). Her research interests are in networked systems, with a primary focus on enhancing the sustainability and performance of large-scale networks. Specifically, she is working on mitigating the carbon footprint and energy consumption of networked systems.

Earth and a pine seedling

Five things everyone needs to know about boosting the sustainable bioeconomy

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Mashrura Musharraf, photo by by Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Mashrura Musharraf: You don’t get to see a lot of women like me in academic leadership positions

'I think my shoes are quite unique, and so is my path. You don’t get to see a lot of women like me, a non-white female from Bangladesh, in academic leadership positions. Especially in a male-dominated field like marine technology.'

Students visiting a cultural landmark in Helsinki.

Students learn about Communications Engineering and Data Science at the Unite! summer school

The Unite! summer school on Communications Engineering and Data Science brought together 12 students from four European universities in the Unite! alliance, in fields such as computer science, engineering management, and electrical engineering.

Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation
Logo of the PHYS Diversity Team in Aalto colours

Department of Applied Physics Diversity Team

The Diversity Team of the Department of Applied Physics aims to build an inclusive, diverse and welcoming work environment

Department of Applied Physics
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