AlumniWeekend brings together old and new students in Finland's 'Silicon Valley'

On an October Saturday, the AlumniWeekend seminar brought a record number of participants to the School of Electrical Engineering.

In addition to three parallel series of lectures, the renewed event offered perspectives into the development of Aalto University and the Otaniemi area.

Keijo Nikoskinen, Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering, explained that the ongoing changes are visible in teaching, research and the organisation of the school.

The main focus areas for research are ICT technology, energy and the environment, micro- and nanotechnology, and health and wellbeing. The number of professors at the school is 50.

'Through the introduction of larger departments, we wish to enhance cooperation between professors and the various areas of research. With the reform of teaching, our students have even greater opportunities for multidisciplinary studies,' Nikoskinen stated.

Easy travel by metro and other public transport

The Otaniemi Campus will be reformed. With the renovation of the facilities in Otakaari 1, it will become the centre of bachelor-level education at Aalto University.

– The investment decision on the new campus building has been made. The Väre building, to be completed in 2017, will house the School of Arts, Design and Architecture that will also move to Otaniemi. The Otaniementie road will be partly closed from cars and replaced by a high-speed tram line,' explained Aalto University Provost Ilkka Niemelä.

Aside from the metro, significant investments will be made in the development of public transport in the area.

'We are building a campus for its future users, who are not even born yet. In the future, the fastest way to get to Otaniemi will be by public transport.'

New businesses from the high tech cluster

Otaniemi has not been dubbed the Silicon Valley of Finland for nothing: 5 000 researchers and a total of 16 000 high tech professionals from more than 110 countries work in the area.

'Several startups, many of which have been successful in the international market, too, were originally established in Otaniemi. The area has seen significant investment in entrepreneurial activities, which can be seen in events and organisations such as Startup Sauna, Design Factory and Slush, a non-profit event for startups,' explained Ari Huczkowski, CEO of Otaniemi Marketing.

According to Huczkowski, approximately 8 500 enterprises in the ICT field are located within a 15-minute drive from Otaniemi. What is still missing from Otaniemi, then?

'We need more things for people to do after 5 pm. The metro coming here will solve that to some extent, as commercial facilities will also appear in connection with the entrance points to the metro.'

The AlumniWeekend seminar was organised by Aalto University Alumni and Corporate Relations; alumni organisations for electrical and communications engineering (Sähköklubi), bioinformation technology (BioDI), automation and systems technology (Automaatio- ja systeemitekniikan alumnit); School of Electrical Engineering’s guilds for students of electrical engineering (Sähköinsinöörikilta), bioinformation technology (Inkubio) and automation and systems technology (Automaatio- ja systeemitekniikan kilta); a club for students of electrical engineering (Sähkövoimatekniikan kerho); and the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering.

Väre won Campus 2015 architectural design competition, which was arranged by Aalto University Properties Ltd. More information.

  • Published:
  • Updated:

Read more news

Taija Votkin showing 360 camera use and Tomi Kauppinen and Jutta Tavaila recording a podcast episode
Cooperation, University Published:

Workshop day for teachers: 360° environments and podcasts

On Tuesday 4.6. a workshop day consisting of 360° environment creation and podcast production provides a way to get to know these media in practice. Feel free to join both workshops or one of them according to your time and interest.
Nine large blocks of ice formed an art installation at Kansalaistori square in Helsinki 2021
Cooperation, Research & Art, Studies, University Published:

Aalto ARTS Summer School explores the significance of water through the lens of art

The theme of School of Arts, Design and Architecture’s Summer School this year is water, and its significance is explored in a multidisciplinary way through the perspectives of art, film and digital.
Researchers in front of Dipoli in a snowy landscape in Otaniemi
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Preserving intangible cultural heritage through immersive XR experiences

Aalto University’s Department of Art and Media is coordinating a European wide project on preserving intangible cultural heritage and using it to address societal challenges with the help of immersive XR environments.
Niskanen and Otsuka
Cooperation Published:

A peek into research on electrospinning of Functional Polysaccharide Derivatives

We had the honour of hosting a guest speaker, researcher Issei Otsuka, from the University of Grenoble Alpes at our ‘Coffee and Science’ event. Dr. Otsuka is visiting Finland on Researcher Short Mobility program which is aimed for the establishment of scientific partnerships between France and Finland.