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Problem-solving skills and growing as a human being – studies in technology provided a good foundation for careers of the alumni

‘In working life, you will inevitably face situations where you need to learn completely new skills. That is when something you have learned in your studies can offer surprising advantages.’
Jouni Envall

An interest in mathematics and science made Lauri Riuttanen, Ville Pale and Jouni Envall (in the photo) apply to the field of technology.

‘I ended up applying to the degree programme of electronics and electrical engineering, as electronics was my hobby when I was younger. During my bachelor’s work, I became interested in LED technology, and my studies focused on semiconductors as well as micro- and nanotechnology,’ Process Engineer at Ametek Finland oy Lauri Riuttanen says.

Ville Pale knew at an early age in high school that he wanted to study technology. ‘During a course in quantum mechanics of the bachelor’s studies, I felt that this is something I want to learn more about. I specialised in nanotechnology and optics, which were both major subjects in my Master of Science (Technology) and doctoral degree.’ Pale works at VTT Memsfab in the role of Technology Platform Manager. He is responsible for customer project management and expert work related to silicon photonics.

Jouni Envall, on the other hand, applied to the then Helsinki University of Technology, as the degree programme offered everything he was looking for from his studies and career.

‘The training felt like a good mixture of science, industry and production, as well as what seemed like limitless opportunities for innovation,’ says Envall who works in the electric sail group of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. His main responsibilities are the development of production methods for the electric sail tether as well as the small satellite payloads of the electric sail tether.

Summer jobs in a laboratory added something concrete to the studies

According to the alumni, the most engaging thing in studying was the freedom to decide on the pace and direction of one’s studies, as well as learning new things and challenging oneself.

To Jouni Envall, part-time and summer jobs at a laboratory of measurement technology were revolutionary, as he got to build real measuring systems straight away. A stint at the laboratory of measuring technology which started from a summer job, led him until writing the writing of his dissertation. Work in the laboratory was significant also in another way:

‘To me, the most significant learning period of my entire studies was my time in the laboratory of measurement technology first as a research assistant, and then as a researcher and a post-graduate student. Measuring hardware and software built with my own hands created a satisfactory amount of concrete matter around the skeleton of theory studies.’

The alumni are of the view that the training has been useful for their working life in many ways.

‘As a whole, the studies have offered a large package. In brief, I would say that the studies provided plenty of resources for solving different problems,’ Lauri Riuttanen states.

Also Ville Pale is along the same lines: ‘As a matter of fact, everything I learned in the Master's and Doctoral phase has been useful in some way. Naturally everything I learned in Micronova's cleanroom has been of crucial importance.’

Jouni Envall tells a few examples of how, in working life, he has made use of the knowledge he gained in his studies.

‘In the working life of an engineer you will inevitably, however, face situations in which you need to learn completely new skills. That is when you can have some surprising use of the information you learned during your studies. I needed a smartly programmed micro controller in my work, but when there was nobody around with the necessary programming competence, I stated that it is time to dig from my memory all that is left from the one wide-range course of C-programming that I completed at the Helsinki University of Technology during the Ahtisaari Presidency. I learned a completely new skill when the tether payload of Aalto-1 Satellite was built. That is when I stated that it was best I learned how to use the CAD tool and draw our mechanics myself,’ Envall explains.

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