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Jussi Nikander appointed chair of the Finnish University Network for Geoinformatics FIUGINET

FIUGINET serves as a forum for Finnish collaboration in university-level geoinformatics research, teaching and societal impact.
Jussi Nikander
University Lecturer Jussi Nikander

'My aim is to strengthen the network's role especially in geoinformatics education,' says University Lecturer Jussi Nikander, who was appointed chair of FIUGINET on Tuesday, 4 May during the annual National Geoinformatics Research Days.

'The units that provide geoinformatics education tend to be small, which results in a lot of overlapping work in basic education given by universities. On the other hand, the resources required for specialised courses are scarce and expertise limited. I believe that, through collaboration, we can create more resources for teaching that could be used in both Finnish and foreign universities. At the same time, we would be able to offer better basic education in geoinformatics and a larger number of advanced courses,' outlines Nikander.

Jussi Nikander, DSc (Tech.), has a wealth of experience in geoinformatics. He first graduated with a master's degree in technology from the computer science programme of Helsinki University of Technology in 2005, but ended up choosing the visualization of spatial algorithms as the topic for his doctoral dissertation. In 2009, he left the computer science department for the geoinformatics research group at the Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics.

After completing his doctorate, Nikander worked with agricultural technologies for five years at Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) before moving to a geoinformatics lecturer's position at Aalto University.

Nikander has been a teacher for two decades, beginning in 2001 with a stint as a lecture assistant at HUT. This was followed by work as the head assistant on a course dealing with data structures and algorithms from 2002–2004 and various teaching duties during his doctoral research.

'A course on spatial algorithms at the Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics was the first one I ran on my own, in 2010. These days I teach half a dozen courses in the School of Engineering. I am also the teacher responsible for geoinformatics topics in the bachelor's thesis seminar of the Energy and Environmental Technology major,' Nikander says.

FIUGINET (Finnish University Network for Geoinformatics) coordinates and develops geoinformatics teaching in Finland. In addition to Aalto University, it includes the University of Helsinki, the University of Turku, the University of Oulu, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Lapland and the IT Centre for Science CSC. fiuginet.fi/frontpage/

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