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Graduation ceremony returns to campus

After a long period of virtual events, the graduation event of the School of Engineering was held in the traditional fashion on campus on 16 March 2022. The festive event gathered almost two hundred graduates, their guests and Aalto University staff.
Kubilay Özen speaking at the School of Engineering graduation event
Kubilay Özen speaking at the graduation event.

Kubilay Özen, now an alumnus of the Master's Programme in Building Technology, spoke on behalf of the  graduates. He thanked the teaching staff for the support they received during the distance learning. Özen encouraged students to be active and not to hesitate to ask teachers and professors for help if there are things in their studies that are difficult to understand.

'My fellow students and I got a thorough explanation of the backgrounds and logic of the awkward theory for us. A similar desire to help students is rare at other universities. I believe this is part of Aalto’s uniqueness and one of the cornerstones of our university’s culture,' he said.

A total of 30 Masters of Science in Technology, six Bachelors of Science in Engineering and two Doctors of Science in Engineering received their diplomas at the celebration. The event was open to all who graduated between September 2021 and January 2022, numbering 198 in all: 34 B.Sc.(Tech.), 135 M.Sc.(Tech) and 16 D.Sc.(Tech.). Some of the students had already had time to apply for their certificates in the autumn, as the event could not be confirmed to be held in Otaniemi until February.

The 2021 master's thesis awards were also presented at the event. At the event, the prize of €1 000 was awarded to 14 students, including:

  • Sean ConnorFurther exploration of through hole extrusion welding applied to aluminum to polymer joints
  • Anni HalkoKestävän kehityksen johtaminen paikallistasolla. Tapaustutkimus Espoon edelläkävijyydestä
  • Werner HämäläinenStructural solutions and design process for architectural exterior elements of cruise ships
  • Milla KiiskinenUimahallien energiatehokkuus ja sisäilman laatu
  • Sampo LaineTorsional vibrations in electric powertrains
  • Leila SoinioThe role of built environment characteristics and residential selfselection on car use and active travel
  • Ilari TillikainenMeasurement of microstructurally small fatigue crack using digital image correlation
  • Janika Torkki, Vähähiilisen asuinrakennuksen LVI- suunnittelu
  • Anna-Elina VilénEnvironmental impact of activated carbon production from various raw materials

Award recipients absent from the ceremony:

  • Elis Kivi, Pohjanvahvistusmenetelmät Suomessa – käyttömäärät ja hiilijalanjälki 
  • Matthias Re, Simulation of the combined oxy-fuel combustion and electrolyte alkaline electrolysis for production of hydrogen 
  • Matti Sahlberg, Tulevaisuutta koskevan tiedon olemus ja merkitys alueidenkäytön strategisessa suunnittelussa 
  • Valtteri VainioPerformance of porous aerostatic bearings 

Reeta Kalliomäki, the study secretary, was responsible for arranging the graduation ceremony. Music for the event was provided by Retuperän WBK.

The next graduation ceremony, for the graduates of spring 2022, will be held on 15 June 2022 during Aalto University's Ceremony Week.

Graduate's speech

Kubilay Özen

Arvoisa dekaani, arvoisat tohtorit, diplomi-insinöörit ja kandidaatit, hyvät naiset ja herrat! I would be much happier if I was able to continue my speech in Finnish but I hope that will be possible in near future. I would like to welcome all of you, today, to our non-virtual graduation ceremony after two long years.  

My journey at Aalto University and Finland began in 2019. I came here from Turkey, and I was leaving my home, family, and my friends for the first time in my life. Though, the valuable friendships I made and the support I received from my professors never let me feel alone and stressed for a moment.

I would like to open up a little more about the support I experienced here. During our studies in difficult times of delivering tasks and meeting deadlines, I and my friends would visit professors and ask the theories that we had hard time understanding. And, the response we received was I think remarkable because sometimes they would spend their evenings with us just to explain thoroughly the theories and logic behind them. This is something that you don’t come across easily at any other university. I believe this is a unique characteristic of Aalto, and it is one of the keystones of Aalto’s culture. For this reason, I may easily recommend to my student friends please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have a hard time grasping an idea because this is the culture we are living in. It is this sharing that makes us better and improves us.

I was also among many others who experienced the pandemic at its core which made everything much harder including our studies and social lives. But, I observed that every person in our community was fully aware of this tough situation. And, this awareness really made a substantial difference where I never felt left out or misunderstood making things much easier for everyone. This is why I want to thank everyone for empathizing and clamping together to get over such a period.

Apart from these, I am working as a structural engineer in my field of studies, and I want to mention something that I try to remind myself every day. For many years, we have been lectured on and listened to how important sustainability is and ways to implement sustainable solutions in our professions. But honestly, we tend to forget to apply this knowledge in our daily lives and tasks. I just want to remind all new graduates how important it is to apply practically what we have learned to our daily routines and tasks to make difference for a cleaner world.   

Finally, even though we are here to celebrate our graduation, I am aware that we are all going through a sorrowful time and we feel deep sadness about the things happening right now in our world. I just want to say that it is our duty to prevent such things from happening and preserve peace within the world right now and in the future.

Thank you for listening.

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