Demand for doctors of engineering
With companies needing top professionals, there is both need and demand for doctors of engineering. This is what Matti Kauhanen says. He is Business Unit Technology Manager of the ABB Group’s Drives division and will be conferred an honorary doctorate today on Friday.
“There is a need for doctors because requirements have increased. Previously, people who had graduated with a master of science degree worked in demanding product development projects, but today, such people also include doctors of science”, Kauhanen says.
“While the willingness of companies to employ doctors is naturally dependent on the general economic situation, at present, there is a need for them. Companies are pleased to hire doctors on account of their strong conceptual and theoretical competence, as doctors also rapidly develop into top experts in their field of speciality at the company and are able to see the big picture of the subject matter,” Kauhanen comments.
Osman Yilmaz, who will be conferred at a Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees in Technology on Friday 14 June, says that he has greatly benefited from his doctoral studies in his work at Ericsson.
“One of the most important lessons that doctoral studies teach you is how to manage long-term projects - their planning, implementation and completion. Mastering one’s own subject matter and setting the research objectives will not always suffice; one must also learn completely new skills,” Yilmaz says.
Doctors for company needs
“‘Doctoral studies are a huge personal investment and require years of committed effort. When a doctor is employed by a company, they have already spent years familiarising themselves with the most recent research in their field of speciality, bringing their competence to the company. Through research, companies may find new solutions,” says Dean of the School of Electrical Engineering Jyri Hämäläinen.
Kauhanen is thinking along similar lines. He would like to see doctoral training to become more targeted in the future.
“Doctoral training has to meet company needs. A company must be able to define its strategic key competence areas where it needs long-term expertise, and the university must be able to respond to such needs. At best, entire research programmes could be built around key areas, and, around them, their funding as well,” says Kauhanen, by way of stating his vision.
ABB and Aalto University have a long tradition of fruitful collaboration. From ABB’s viewpoint, the main benefit that it gains from collaboration with Aalto University is the knowledge that the university produces and the university’s competent people. Joint innovation activities, patents and other intellectual property rights resulting from such activities are also important.
“Doctors bring depth and a theoretical perspective to demanding expert and product development projects. A strong international viewpoint, innovative capacity and readiness to work with concrete practical tasks are also required of them,” Kauhanen comments.
Doctors satisfied with their degrees
If companies are satisfied with doctors’ competence, so are doctors with their degrees. In winter 2018, Aarresaari, a career services network of Finnish universities, conducted a survey on how doctoral graduates from 2014 were employed.
All the surveyed doctors from the School of Electrical Engineering were employed at the time of the survey. A hundred per cent were satisfied with their degree from the career point of view. More than four fifths of the respondents were able to take advantage of the knowledge and skills they learned in their doctoral studies in their current employment, and felt that their current work was connected to their thesis topic.
Daytime event of the conferment ceremony live on line
The Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees in technology will be held on Friday, 14 June in Dipoli. The main event of the day is the Ceremonial Act of Conferment at which the new doctors are accepted as full members of the scientific community. The symbol of the conferment is the doctor's hat. After the day ceremony the celebration continues with a promotion dinner and dance.
Text: Niina Norjamäki