Five new honorary doctors in technology at Aalto in 2024

The ceremonial conferment will take place on campus in June.
Honorary doctors 2024

The schools of technology at Aalto University have granted five honorary doctorates to distinguished persons in the fields of science, technology and society. The honorary doctorates will be conferred on 14 June 2024 in the ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees at Aalto University.

Aalto University schools can grant honorary doctorates and doctoral insignia at conferment ceremonies to individuals with strong ties to Aalto University and impressive achievements in science and technology or significant contributions to other societal or cultural activities. The honorary doctorate is the highest honour an university can award.

To provide an opportunity for all audience to come and listen insights to the exceptional careers of the honorary doctors, we arrange Honorary Doctors' Talks on Thursday 13 June. Event is open to all, see the link on the bottom of the page.

Honorary doctorates 2024 of technology will be awarded to:
Chief Executive Officer Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, Marimekko
Chief Technology Officer Petteri Alinikula, SAAB Finland
Professor Ashok Kumar, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Professor Cecilia Tortajada, University of Glasgow
Professor Marjo Yliperttula, University of Helsinki

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko
Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, photo Sergei Pavlov

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marimekko

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko, President and CEO of Marimekko Corporation, has boosted Marimekko into sustainable growth both in Finland and internationally. She became President and CEO in 2015 when she was only 33 years old, and in 2021, she received the Executive of the Year award and the Change Manager of the Year award for her exceptional success. Alahuhta-Kasko has worked at Marimekko for nearly two decades now.  

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko is an alum of Aalto University School of Business. Some of her several positions of trust include board membership of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Finnair Plc and the Climate Leadership Coalition. 

Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko has acted as vice chair of the honorary delegation of the Aalto University Student Union AYY since 2016, where she has promoted interaction between the student union and the rest of society and supported the student union amid societal changes. Moreover, she has promoted the development of stakeholder group relations of Aalto School of Business as a member of the Alumni Advisory Board and has been often featured as a guest speaker at Aalto University events. 

Petteri Alinikula
Petteri Alinikula, photo Kuvatapio

Petteri Alinikula, Chief Technology Officer, Saab Finland

Petteri Alinikula is the Chief Technology Officer at defence and security company Saab Finland. He has built a notable career in mobile technology and innovations: before joining Saab, Alinikula spent two decades in various research leadership roles at Nokia where he had a key role in expanding international connections and promoting cooperation with universities.  

Alinikula has a doctorate in electrical engineering from Penn State University and he is an alum of Aalto University’s precedent, Helsinki University of Technology. He has authored several scientific articles and conference publications. Alinikula is also one of the founders of Avaava Digital Oy, a company focused on website accessibility, and he has held several positions of trust in various technology organisations. Alinikula is a sought-after conference speaker on mobile technology, industry innovations, sustainable development and accessibility. 

Alinikula has led the cooperation and strategic partnership between Aalto University and the Saab group since its initiation in 2017. This cooperation has been very extensive, with both scientific and commercial impact. The joint research programme of Aalto and Saab has produced several master’s theses, doctoral theses, scientific articles and inventions.  

Ashok Kumar
Ashok Kumar, photo personal files

Ashok Kumar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur  

Ashok Kumar is a globally awarded researcher and pioneer in bioengineering. He is currently a Professor of Bioengineering at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), where he also leads the IIT Kanpur-La Trobe University Research Academy, and acts as the Head of Environmental Science and Engineering. He has also served as a visiting professor at several universities internationally, including Aalto University. He holds several positions of trust in scientific and societal bodies and has also founded a start-up company developing biomedical applications. 

During his extensive scientific career, Kumar has innovatively promoted the application of new advanced biomaterials for biomedical applications. Some of his major research achievements have been designing new approaches for critical defect healing of bone, liver, diabetic wounds, and peripheral nerve and developing extracorporeal bioartificial liver support bioreactor. He has significantly integrated and expanded the fields of natural sciences, engineering, and medical biomaterials sciences in India.  

Kumar has actively collaborated with Aalto University in novel biomaterials, biopolymers, their additive manufacturing, and their biomedical applications since 2015. He has showed excellent leadership in establishing strong and long-standing academic collaboration between India’s and Finland’s top research institutions. 

Cecilia Tortajada
Cecilia Tortajada, photo Millennium Technology Prize

Professor in Practice Cecilia Tortajada, Water resources management, University of Glasgow

Cecilia Tortajada is an internationally renowned scientist and policy advisor with over 25 years of experience in water, environment, and natural resources management. She currently works as Professor in Practice in Environmental Innovation at the School of Social and Environmental Sustainability, University of Glasgow, studying the impacts of global changes on water resources, environment, food, and societies.

During her exceptional career, Tortajada has been linking pioneering scientific work with policy advice at the top international level. Working as an advisor for several organisations and development agencies, governments, and development banks worldwide, she has promoted sustainable development, equity, and development issues on the international water agenda.

Tortajada has been working closely with Aalto University and its predecessor for over 20 years. She has had an important contribution to Aalto’s water and development research and education. The joint projects with Tortajada have been instrumental in formulating the water and development research approach and agenda to be maximally policy-relevant and impact oriented, while targeting towards the highest academic standard.

Marjo Yliperttula
Marjo Yliperttula, photo Marja-Liisa Puranen

Professor Marjo Yliperttula, biopharmacy, University of Helsinki 

Marjo Yliperttula is an internationally renowned researcher and innovator in biopharmacy. She is currently a professor at the University of Helsinki, where she leads a research programme focused on the development of biomaterials. Earlier Yliperttula has worked in companies such as Nokia, KSV Instruments and Orion Pharma, as well as the French atomics research centre in Paris. She is also a member of the Scientific Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Research Council of Finland and a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.  

Yliperttula is one of the most important researchers internationally in the development of biobased nanomaterials for biomedical applications. She is included in 14 patents. Globally successful products include the GrowDex cell culturing medium and the FibDex wound dressing, used in several hospitals, developed in cooperation with UPM. In 2016, Yliperttula received the Innovation Award from Chemical Industry Federation of Finland for her work with cellulose nanofibril hydrogels. 

Yliperttula has conducted extensive and multidisciplinary cooperation with Aalto University for over two decades, focusing on the use of nanocellulose in biomedical applications. Her support, expertise and networks have had a major positive impact on the success of projects and the academic careers of many researchers.  

Further information

Tatu Pohjola

Tatu Pohjola

Senior Communications Specialist
U908 Communications Services
Doctoral hats, 2016

Honorary doctors at Aalto University

All the conferred Honorary Doctors at Aalto University and the preceding universities of technology, business, and arts and design.

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Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees in Technology 2024

The 2024 Ceremonial Conferment of Technology at Aalto University

Academic events and traditions
Aalto University Graduation Party celebration in 2018. Photo by Aalto University / Heli Sorjonen

Academic events and traditions

Academic events cover the entire academic year from Aalto Day One all the way to the Ceremony Week with the graduation party and ceremonial conferments. Tenured professors' Installation Talks and public defences spread throughout the academic year.

Honorary doctors 2024

Honorary Doctors' Talks 13 June 2024

The five honorary doctors of Aalto University give insights in their areas of expertise. Open to all audience, welcome!

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