New Management Team for the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

DIEM employs more than 100 people including 18 professors.

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management introduced a new management team in the beginning of the year 2017. The department is headed by professor Risto Rajala, with professor Mikko Jääskeläinen serving as the vice head of the department for education, and professor Robin Gustafsson as the vice head of the department for research. The three focus areas of the Department are led by professor Markku Maula (Strategy and venturing), professor Eila Järvenpää (Entrepreneurial leadership) and professor Kari Tanskanen (Operations and service management).

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management is one of the most productive departments in Aalto University. In total there are about 160 persons working in the department, including 18 professors, over 30 senior and postdoc researchers, and a large number of doctoral students.

“It is a great honor to serve this department and be part of its faculty. We have intriguing opportunities in developing our teaching and research in the selected areas of focus, which include strategy and venturing, entrepreneurial leadership and operations and service management,” says Risto Rajala.

The department conducts leading research and impactful education in these areas for the creation, renewal and transformation of technology-based business.

Dr. Risto Rajala is Associate Professor in Service Engineering and Management and the Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management.

Risto’s own research focuses on digitalization of operations and services, management of complex multi-actor systems, digital platforms for business, value creation in industrial ecosystems, service transformation, and institutional change in technology-intensive industries. Risto holds a PhD in Information Systems Science and his specialties include service engineering and management, innovation management, organizational and strategic change, and technology entrepreneurship. Risto’s work has been published widely in refereed scientific journals and academic meetings. He is a board member in the European Association for Research on Services and an Adjunct Research Professor in Technology Innovation Management at Carleton University, Canada.

Dr. Mikko Jääskeläinen is Assistant Professor of High-growth Entrepreneurship and the Vice Head of the Department for Education. In the position, Mikko is in charge for the educational programs of the department and chairs the Department’s Education Council.

Mikko’s research focuses on entrepreneurship and strategic management, including the perspectives of intrapreneurial renewal and emerging industry networks, with a specific interest on venture capital and financial industry. In addition to Industrial Engineering and Management, Mikko develops and leads the education for entrepreneurship as the responsible professor of Aalto Venture Program minor. His own teaching focuses on entrepreneurship and corporate renewal. Mikko has previously acted as Professor in Strategic Management at Aalto University, and holds D.Sc. (Tech), M.Sc. (Tech), and M.Sc. (Econ).


Dr. Robin Gustafsson is Assistant Professor in Strategic Management and the Vice Head of the Department for Research. In the position, Robin is in charge for research leadership as the Chair of the DIEM Research board. Also, he acts as the Director of the doctoral education of the Department.

Robin’s own research focuses on corporate and business strategy formulation and strategizing in industry shifts. This includes research on narrative strategies in nascent industries and markets, platform strategy, and strategy and organization of open research, innovation, and platforms. Robin teaches advanced courses in strategy, platform strategy and design, and technology and innovation strategy at the Masters, doctoral, and MBA level. In his research he takes a longitudinal empirical approach (both historical and real-time) for investigating strategic action, organizing, and strategic reasoning in industry wide shifts. Robin’s research has been published in top tier journals, such as Academy of Management Journal, International Journal of Management Reviews, Research Policy, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Organization Studies. Robin’s research provides input to corporate and firm strategizing and organization in industry wide change, open digital platform strategzing and design, governance of open research and innovation communities, and innovation and industry policy.

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