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Rock engineering expert Topias Siren has been appointed Professor of Practice at Aalto University

‘I’ll bring students a lot of lessons from working life to be combined with theoretical knowledge,’ promises Topias Siren.
Työelämäprofessori Topias Siren
Topias Siren, Professor of Practice. Photo: Sweco.

PhD Topias Siren (b. 1982) has been appointed Professor of Practice at Aalto University's School of  Engineering, in the field of rock engineering and structural mechanics for the period 1 October 2022 – 30 September 2025. The position is located at the Department of Civil Engineering.

At the same time, Siren will continue in his main job at Sweco as Department Manager of rock engineering, to which he was appointed in 2020.

Topias Siren has more than 14 years of experience in rock building design. In addition to his work, he completed his doctorate in engineering at Aalto University in 2015 in the field of rock mechanics and technical geology. The dissertation dealt with rock damage mechanisms.

Siren specializes in particularly demanding rock mechanics, where rock behavior is studied and modeled and the capacity and load of rock reinforcement bolts are calculated. Rock mechanics is comparable to the mechanics of structures in structural design.

"Rock construction is a particularly important field right now, when underground construction is increasing in urban areas. Topias Siren has extensive and versatile expertise in rocks and rock mechanics. I appreciate the expertise he brings to the use of our students, who with the help of Siren get to know not only the basics but also the solutions to the very demanding challenges of rock mechanics", says Gary Marquis, dean of the School of Engineering.

"The combination of working life and the academic world is close to my heart. In addition to working life, I have worked in the university world for years as a part-time teacher, doctoral student and researcher. I left the university for a while when I transferred to Sweco to establish the new rock engineering department. Now I'm looking forward to returning part-time to the academic world. With me, I bring the students a lot of lessons from working life to be combined with theoretical knowledge", states Topias Siren.

Siren has experience in, among other things, renovations of water supply tunnels, careful mining planning in the vicinity of water supply tunnels and the design of an underground wastewater treatment plant. Since 2020, he has been the responsible rock structure designer and chief designer of the Katri Vala heat pump plant, which uses purified wastewater. The facility operates under the Katri Vala park in Sörnäis, Helsinki.

Siren has been responsible for the stress state damage analyzes related to the rock structure design of the underground nuclear waste disposal facility, ONKALO, located in the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant area, and the durability of the reinforcement structures under the increasing load caused by nuclear fuel over a long period of time.

Topias Siren is the vice-chairman of the board of the Finnish Rock Mechanics Committee and is active in the Vuorimiesyhdistys, Finnish Association of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. In 2021, he was awarded the Eero Mäkinen bronze merit medal. In addition to peer-reviewed publications, he has written numerous research reports and conference publications.

Professor of practice positions are fixed in term and part-time in nature, intended to bring in leaders and experts from companies or the public sector to act as developers and bridge builders between the university and relevant industries. The job profile is weighted toward teaching.

Contact information

Topias Siren
[email protected]
Aalto University School of Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering

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