During their 50 years together ”Polin Kemistit 67” have seen the transformation of the chemical industry
On 13 September 1967 a group of excited young students waited for their first lecture to begin at the Helsinki University of Technology. These young people were selected to study chemistry in order to become Masters of Science in Technology. Exactly 50 years later, on 13 September 2017, a book “Tupsulakit toimeliaina – fukseista vaikuttajiksi” was published at a jubilee seminar held at the Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering to celebrate the group’s joint history and the 100-year-old Finland. In the book, 38 group members share their memories and experiences of their study time and the accomplishments achieved in their working life.
“Polin Kemistit 67” was the last class which had to go through the demanding four-week-long qualifying course. They organised regular get-togethers during their whole study time. The group continued meeting each other also after graduation despite the hectic family and working life. For the last ten years, they have seen each other once a year.
About 50 persons from “Polin Kemistit 67” attended the jubilee seminar, where Dean Janne Laine gave a presentation on Aalto University. “Lectures never attracted this many people”, the audience laughed.
When “Polin Kemistit 67” graduated, it was the early 1970’s and a threshold of the recession caused by the energy crisis. Nevertheless, everyone found their position in working life, whether it was in industry, research, technical service, education, or in public administration. Many saw from a vantage point when new, growing and more international chemical industry arose in Finland. In the book, there are stories about changes that took place: companies listed on a stock exchange, changed hands as a result of a fusion or corporate acquisition and became more international.
The stories also tell about the complete attitude change in environmental and safety issues in the chemical industry. There is more legislation now and it is more advanced and diversified. Technology has improved and new techniques have been developed. Finland becoming an EU member has also been a significant change. During all this time, it has been great to have one another to give advise and help in new and difficult situations, tells the class of “Polin Kemistit 67” in their book.
“Polin Kemistit 67” want to give their book to new students at the School of Chemical Engineering in the coming three years as an encouragement in their studies. Chair of the jubilee committee, Riitta Viinanen, presented the book to representatives of Prosessiteekkarit ry, Kemistikilta ry and Polyteekkari Museum. Prosessiteekkarit will deliver the books to all new students. (Photos: Helena Seppälä)