Aalto Excellence Recognition given to 18 projects in education and research-based innovations

The awarded Excellence Recognition projects have developed innovations with potential to spread outside the academia.

In this way, the projects renew practices both in education and in business, design, engineering, and technology. Later during this spring, each project will be featured both as a video and text article.

Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University, and his top management team, have awarded three projects per each Aalto school with Excellence Recognition. The awarded 18 initiatives deal with either developing education or research-based innovations in business, design, engineering, and technology.

Excellence Recognition projects have demonstrated societal impact, multidisciplinarity and tight co-operation with businesses or other societal partners outside academia. The Excellence in Teaching initiatives educate game changers with enthusiasm and capability to solve the grand challenges of our time.

“It was really a pleasure to get so many good proposals and to see how much is happening at Aalto at any given time. We are happy and proud of the achievements and we want our whole community to learn more about the awarded projects,” Tuija Pulkkinen, Aalto University’s Vice President for Research and Innovation, says.

Both the Aalto community and wider public has a chance to get to know the Excellence projects during the coming spring as Aalto Communications Services publishes a series of stories about the awarded initiatives. Each project will be featured both as a video and text article.

Excellence Recognitions awarded annually

The leadership of each Aalto school proposed maximum four educational and four research innovation projects. President and his leadership team assessed the applications based on the achievements of the academic year of 2016–2017. The Excellence Recognition awards were given for the first time. In the future, they will be awarded annually.

”The mission of Aalto is wider than just producing research-based applications or taking part in active societal interaction,” Kristiina Mäkelä, Provost of Aalto University, says. ”With the Excellence recognitions, we want to highlight projects that represent the core of Aalto strategy – solving grand challenges and renewing practices in business, design, engineering, and technology. The awarded projects are great examples of this kind of work.”

Projects awarded with Excellence recognition

1) Excellence in Education (one per each school)

ARTS –School of Arts, Design, and Architecture

Project: University-Wide Art Studies (UWAS)

University-Wide Art Studies (UWAS) began with a single course, and then piloted 15 courses on artistic thinking and creative skills for all Aalto students, in every school and discipline, that fostered a lasting interest in, and significant impact on transdisciplinary education.

People involved: Kevin Tavin, Harri Laakso, Juuso Tervo, Mari Kekola

BIZ – The School of Business

Project: Hackathon Project #PSHACK

PS-hackathon is a new, Aalto cross-school course, which has been created together with Accenture to promote digitalization and open innovation in public sector organizations based on real cases.

Persons involved: Johanna Bragge, Katariina Kemppainen

CHEM – School of Chemical Engineering

Project: Programming in Chemical Engineering course

A new transdisciplinary programming course was implemented from scratch using the state-of-the-art blended learning tools available at Aalto.

Persons involved: Antti Karttunen, Juhani Teeriniemi

ELEC – School of Electrical Engineering

Project: Electrical Engineering Workshop is both a course and a laboratory space which is being developed based on ideas from students, industry, and other relevant partners

Persons involved: Kimmo Silvonen, Keijo Nikoskinen

ENG – Scool of Engineering

Project: WAT Master’s Programme has developed an ambitious and well-functioning way to educate game changers through active PDCA cycles and portfolio & mentoring process across three levels

Persons involved: Riku Vahala, Marko Keskinen

SCI – The School of Science

Project: Collaboration of students, alumni and faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) have resulted in significant increase in wellbeing of students.

Persons involved: Mikko Jääskeläinen

2) Excellence in enhancing business, design, engineering, and technology, and research-based innovations (two per each school)

ARTS – School of Arts, Design, and Architecture

Project: Wood Program / Wood Architecture Working Group

The past year included numerous national and international awards, nominations and recognition for projects and thesis works carried out by an inter-disciplinary working group of architects, material scientists and engineers.

Persons involved: Pekka Heikkinen, Philip Tidwell, Willem van Bolderen, Mark Hughes, Lauri Rautkari, Katja Vahtikari, Monika Österberg, Hannu Hirsi, Gerhard Fink, Karola Sahi

Project: Sotera Institute

A research unit having long experience and in depth knowledge on Social and Health Care environments. Operating within the Department of Architecture at Aalto University, since 1983 (35-year jubilee in 2018).

Persons involved: Pirjo Sanaksenaho, Teemu Kurkela, Jarmo Suominen, Erkki Vauramo, Ira Verma, Jonna Taegen

BIZ – The School of Business

Project: AEI: Aalto Economic Institute project: Spectrum Audition 2016 by Department of Economics

Aalto Economic Institute (AEI) working group successfully contributed to an auction design

that allocated licenses for wireless broadband networks and raised EUR 66 000 000 of revenue.

Persons involved: Matti Liski, Oskari Nokso-Koivisto, Juuso Välimäki

Project: SET: Smart Energy Transition by Department of Management Studies

A multi-disciplinary consortium that aims at enhancing the possibilities of Finland to benefit from the ongoing global transition of energy systems.

Persons involved: Raimo Lovio, Armi Temmes, Sampsa Hyysalo, and non-Aalto partners

CHEM – School of Chemical Engineering

Project: AaltoCell

Clean technologies research group has developed a new process to produce MCC (Microcrystalline cellulose, product trademark is AaltoCell™). Its IPR is owned by Aalto University and it will be installed at least to Kemijärvi biorefinery by Boreal Bioref Ltd.

Persons involved: Olli Dahl, Kari Vanhatalo, Kari Parviainen, Eero Kontturi, Päivi Laaksonen

Project: IONCELL-F

The IONCELL-F process allows the environmentally friendly production of man-made cellulose fibers for textile and technical applications in the form of staple fibers or endless filaments in a quality superior than current fibers on the market such as viscose or Tencel® fibers.

Persons involved: Herbert Sixta, Michael Hummel, Pirjo Kääriäinen, Pekka Oinas, Ville Alopaeus, Petri Uusi-Kyyny

ELEC – School of Electrical Engineering

Project: Take-5 test network

Department of Communications and Networking has built a 5G test network including self-made software implementations of core and radio access network components.

Persons involved: Jose Costa-Requena, Kalle Ruttik

Project: Aalto-1 – the first Finnish satellite

Aalto-1 was large multidisciplinary project, uniting space technology students and enthusiasts at Aalto. Students designed, built and tested the whole satellite.

Persons involved: Jaan Praks, Keijo Heljanko, Martti Hallikainen, Mikko Syrjäsuo, Jari Holopainen, Pekka Forsman, Esa Kallio, Raimo Sepponen, Ville Viikari, Kai Zenger

ENG – School of Engineering

Project: 3D Culture Hub

During the past academic year, MeMo Institute for the Built Environment has launched a cooperation initiative for a wider application of 3D measuring and visualization technologies in the fields of culture and arts, already reaching first concrete examples produced in cooperation with the Finnish Broadcasting Company(YLE), FGI/NLS, National Museum  of Finland & Humak University  of Applied Sciences & dozens of other partners.

Persons involved: Hannu Hyyppä, Matti Vaaja, Matti Kurkela, Juho-Pekka Virtanen, Marika Ahlavuo, et al

Project: Water Doctoral Education

New cooperation model to the doctoral education in water engineering – a pilot project.

Persons involved: Olli Varis, Matti Kummu, Marko Keskinen, Maija Taka, Lauri Ahopelto, Amy Fallon, Matias Heino, Marko Kallio, Pekka Kinnunen, Venla Niva, and 20 Master’s students.

SCI – School of Science

Project: Augmented Climbing Wall

Augmented Climbing Wall is a novel Augmented Reality sports environment, a research project with award-winning publications and wider global media visibility than probably any Finnish research project ever, and now also a rapidly growing start-up (Valo Motion), which has sold the system to over 35 countries.

Persons involved: Perttu Hämäläinen, Raine Kajastila, et al.

Project: Canatu

Invention of the novel nanocarbon material i.e. carbon nanobud (CNB) and its application in the flexible electronics, especially as the new type user interface (UI) called 3D touch sensor.

Persons involved: Esko I. Kauppinen, Hua Jiang, Albert G. Nasibulin, David P. Brown

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