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Lauri Saarinen Teacher of the Year 2024

Assistant Professor Lauri Saarinen has been honored as the Teacher of the Year by the Industrial Engineering and Management students at Aalto University.
In the photo Lauri Saarinen.
Lauri Saarinen

The Prodeko guild, representing students, conducted a survey to determine the recipient of the Teacher of the Year award. Lauri Saarinen was lauded for his exceptional ability to listen to students, respect their opinions, inspire them, and facilitate engaging interactions in his classes. The courses he teaches, alongside other esteemed colleagues, were highlighted as some of the best in the IEM master's program.

Lauri Saarinen is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Industrial Engineering and Management department of Aalto University and the head of Operations Management major. He is an expert in data analytics-based operations management, process improvement and planning of operations. In research and teaching he focuses on creating value with analytics using companies’ operational data and has specialized on questions related to value of local production, international supply chains and process improvement. 

“I am very thankful for the recognition from our students. Engaging with our curious, enthusiastic and ambitious students is rewarding and it is a great learning opportunity for myself. While I was a bit surprised with receiving the teaching award this year, as it has been personally somewhat demanding time, I note that I’ve found particularly rewarding to engage and interact with the students during lectures and in the classroom and it seems that this is also valued by our students. Although substantive topics are, of course, central in the curriculum and course design, as a tool for teaching I think that personal enthusiasm on the content and learning is vital. Enthusiasm is particularly contagious in the classroom, so for me and in my teaching lecture is not dead,” says Lauri.

The students of Industrial Engineering at Aalto University chose Lauri as the Teacher of the Year also in 2021 and the same year he was awarded the Faculty Teaching Excellence award.

Lauri received a diploma and a uniquely engraved bicycle pump from the guild, a nod to his passion for cycling. The award ceremony took place during the Prodeko community's largest annual event, the Prodeko Seminar, on May 17, 2024. This event brought together approximately 400 alumni, students, and faculty members from the industrial engineering and management community. The seminar’s theme, "Humans in an AI World," focused on the intricate balance between human capabilities and artificial intelligence.

Warmest congratulations to Lauri on receiving the Teacher of the Year award!

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