Career story in 60 seconds – new professors introduce themselves at networking event

Love, critical thinking and even a little craziness needed in educating game changers, professors consider.

The networking event at Aalto University has become a popular tradition, during which new professors are given an opportunity to tell the story of their careers - in 60 seconds.

‘All in all, some 150 professors, who come from every continent except Africa, have introduced themselves at these events,‘ exclaims Eero Eloranta, Vice President, Education. He also challenged professors to reveal their contribution to the education of game changers.

Eeva Berglund, Adjunct Professor of Environmental policy and urban studies at the Department of Design highlighted the Creative Sustainability Master's degree programme, which combines architecture, design, construction and business. ‘The students in this degree programme are really going to change the world.’

Daniele Boffi, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis spoke about the importance of working with upper secondary school students. ‘With math, it's always a love-hate thing. I wanted to convince everyone that it's definitely worth loving. Mathematics is not just a theoretical playing around with numbers - it's the launchpad for a great many practical inventions.’

Pia Fricker, Adjunct Professor of Computational Methodologies in Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture is from the Department of Architecture. ‘I want students to fall head over heels in love with technology and then create incredible things with it.’

Riikka Purunen, Associate Professor in Catalysis Science and Technology, emphasised the importance of critical thinking. ‘I also want to teach students how research can be communicated effectively.’

Keynote speaker, Adjunct Professor Marko Turpeinen, is head of the Digital Content Communities research group and serves as Director of EIT Digital Finland (European Institute of Innovation and Technology). Prior to Aalto, he worked in the private sector at, for example, Alma Media and Neste Oil, and also conducted research at UC Berkeley and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Discussing the digital revolution, Turpeinen emphasised Aalto's role. ‘Artificial intelligence will change everything, and Aalto has all the tools to be a leader in bringing about that change.’

Professors Marjatta Louhi-Kultanen, Pekka Nikander, Antti Palmujoki and Henri A. Weijo also introduced themselves at the event. The career stories of all the professors making their introductions as well as their colleagues Rohit Sonika, Silvan Scheller and Marjaana Kella can be found in a nutshell in these presentations.

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