Decorations and current affairs at the Provost’s Morning Coffee

In December, the President of Finland granted decorations to a number of members of the Aalto community on Independence Day.

Among these were four members of the joint services staff. Provost Ilkka Niemelä invited joint services staff to a morning coffee event in which he then gave out the decorations and congratulated the recipients. Tiia Tuomi and Erja Laurila-Hellman were present at the event, Kaija Koskelo and Leena Meilahti were not able to attend, but the decorations will be handed to them later.

Decorations granted by the President of Finland

Provost Ilkka Niemelä (left) handed the President's decorations to Erja Laurila-Hellman (2nd from left) and Tiia Tuomi (right). HR Manager Rita Heinrichs congratulated also.

HR Director Tiia Tuomi received the medal of Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland. Tiia Tuomi has developed the University’s HR services during a demanding process of change and with a reforming approach. She has also played a central role in the planning and implementation of the strategy and resource dialogue processes.

University Lecturer Erja Laurila-Hellman received the medal of Knight of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. Erja Laurila-Hellman has developed teaching of Russian-language corporate communication and teaching materials in a most noteworthy way.

Head Accountant Kaija Koskelo was awarded a First Class Medal of the Order of the White Rose of Finland with Golden Cross. Kaija Koskelo has worked as head of the accounting team and developed accounting processes and quality management. Ms Koskelo has demonstrated very strong commitment and responsibility in her work.

Management Assistant Leena Meilahti received a First Class Medal of the Order of the White Rose of Finland with Golden Cross.Leena Meilahti has been a valued member of the work community and always ready to take hold of new challenges. She has also demonstrated exemplary commitment, responsibility and a positive attitude to change.

Many congratulations to all receivers!

Excellent achievements

Provost Ilkka Niemelä continued by sharing news on current University matters. Among other things, he mentioned the Nobel Prizes awarded to Professors Holmström and Kosterlitz, recently-granted ERC funding, the smart crane donated for use in research and teaching on the industrial internet, active entrepreneurial activities, and our successes in field-specific rankings for our key research areas.
‘It looks like the results for lasts year will be excellent: in terms of numbers of degrees, for example, we will be exceeding the new targets set with the Ministry of Education and Culture at all degree levels’, Niemelä said.

Funding model rewards for achievements

Aalto University’s funding model has been revised. Ilkka Niemelä stated that profitability will be an increasingly central basis for university funding. Aalto’s University Board confirmed in December the budget for this year.

Ilkka Niemelä also expanded on the moving process within the campus.
‘There are several relocation projects under way in the different schools. For example, the School of Electrical Engineering is relocating away from Otakaari 5, where renovation work will begin and the building will be shaped into a centre for growth business. The units of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture have moved into the adjacent Otakaari 7 building’, Niemelä explained.

Objective discussions getting under way

HR Director Tiia Tuomi spoke about the objective discussions that have begun.
‘It is important that everyone takes time to consider, together with their supervisor, their achievements and successes, goals for the coming period, ways to track these goals, and their personal development in their work. Let’s also remember to give feedback to one another. This year there will also be salary discussions, although our economic situation is very tight, so there is not much capacity for salary increases’, Tiia Tuomi explained.

Service changes reflected in service locations

Project Manager Riikka Mäki-Ontto presented on the current implementation of the services development programme.
‘Many changes to services will be introduced over the next few years. The large university projects for campus development and digitalisation will have a strong impact on both services and service location’, Riikka Mäki-Ontto stated.
‘In the future, the services will be more end-user-oriented and will be provided by multi-professional service teams. The services will be offered to end-users both digitally and through service points which are located close to them.  Changes to the working environment will focus on bringing in digital tools and supporting cooperation and communality among teams’, Mäki-Ontto explained.

The Dipoli renovation work will be completed in Spring 2017. The use of the facility will take into account changes in working culture and customer-orientation, and the building will contain generous amounts of shared work spaces catering for different activities.

‘Those moving into Dipoli will mostly be staff from Lämpömiehenkuja 2. Additionally, there will be “Hot spots” for flexible working in Otakaari 1. The idea is to work where it is the most suitable at the time with end user in focus.’

‘A work environment survey and work profiling exercise will be carried out during the spring for the service staff moving into Dipoli, and this will serve to identify different work practices. Also as part of the Dipoli move, a network analysis will be piloted, which will help with identifying the most important customers as well as needs for connection between different activities. The network analysis will support planning of the multidisciplinary service teams and their location on the campus’, Riikka Mäki-Ontto added.

Provost Ilkka Niemelä discussing with Head of Legal Kristiina Kemetter over a cup of coffee.


Aalto University Current Issues, Ilkka Niemelä (pdf)
Objective discussions, Tiia Tuomi (pdf, slides in English start on page 5)
Services new ways of working, Riikka Mäki-Ontto (pdf)

  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!

Read more news

Dr. Swarnalok De and logos of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Aalto University and MMD group
Research & Art Published:

Dr. Swarnalok De receives a one-year grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation

Awarded for research on the development of wearable healthcare sensors for autonomous health monitoring of the aging population
Unite! student holding a sign that says Get inspired, grow together, Let's Unite!
Cooperation Published:

Four student projects receive funding through Unite! Seed Fund

The Fund aims to activate students from the nine Unite! universities to jointly pursue new activities.
Studies Published:

Mind & Study - toolbox for being well in studies (3cr) coming up in English and in Finnish

Popular course "Mind & Study - toolbox for being well in studies" will be organized in Finnish and English in the 4th period!
Sandra Kaabel
Appointments Published:

Sandra Kaabel has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Ph.D. Sandra Kaabel has been appointed five-year fixed term Assistant Professor position at the Department of Chemistry and Materials Science as of 1 April 2024. The field of the professorship is Organic Synthesis Technologies.