Jarkko Niiranen

Jarkko Niiranen

Associate professor
Civil Engineering
Associate professor
Professor (Associate Professor)
Department of Civil Engineering

I work as a tenured Associate Professor in Computational Structural Engineering at Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto University.

During 2013–2018, I worked as an Academy Research Fellow funded by Academy of Finland. I was appointed as August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor at Technische Universität München (TUM) for May–August 2018, and accordingly Honorary Fellow of TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS).

I am proud to note — in these days of hype and confusion — that I work in a field in which digitalization started on large scale in the 1970s and 1980s via the software developments of the Finite Element Method (FEM) for which the seminal contributions of engineers and mathematicians date back to the 1950s and 1960s, having roots in the mathematical works of Hrennikoff and Courant in the 1940s. It should be emphasized that typically the focus of computational engineering is neither in organizing simple data in a digital form for data mining nor in brute force number crunching rather than in making computers to simulate, via physico-mathematical models and mathematical algorithms, the laws of nature for predicting the consequences of complex (chemico-physical) phenomena taking place in nature or in engineering artifacts — phenomena that are most often impossible, or far too expensive, to implement in laboratory environments.

The theoretical focus of my research group is close to my personal research background in the crossroads of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Numerical Analysis with a focus on physico-mathematical models and numerical methods for the mechanics of solids and structures — touching such classical fields as Computational Mechanics, Structural Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials and Computational Structural Engineering. My research team focuses on models and methods for mechanics of solids and structures, especially on finite element methods (FEM) and isogeometric analysis (IGA) for mechanics of thin structures, such as plates, shells and beams, combined with both classical and generalized continuum theories. Our activities range from continuum models and related numerical methods all the way down to programming, software issues and applications, such as structural analysis and design as well as integration of Computer-Aided Design / Building Information Modeling (CAD / BIM), Computer-Aided Engineering / Finite Element Analysis (CAE / FEA) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Most recently, I have been focusing on modeling lattice structures and metamaterials as well as the microstructure of 3D-printed metals.

The applicational focus of my research group is on small-scale research and teaching projects accomplished by multi-faceted Design+Analysis teams focusing on computational methodologies in structural engineering combined with parametric and algorithmic architecture and design. Our primary focus is now on isogeometric methods for thin-walled structures. New materials and digitalized production technologies will be essential side topics as well, with links to research groups of our site university working on complex materials and digital design methodologies, especially. Modeling materials with a microstructure is an important goal of our computational approach.

Altogether, we are interested in collaboration within both academic research topics and ambitious industrial applications in the aforementioned fields.


During my MSc studies and after the graduation, I worked as a Structural Analyst Trainee (KCI Konecranes VLC, 1995–1996) and then as a Structural Analysis Software Developer for a few years (Engineering Office FEMdata, 1997–2002), before starting my doctoral studies (Department of Mathematics, Helsinki University of Technology, 2002–2006).

After finishing my DSc Thesis, I have worked as an Assistant in Structural Mechanics (Department of Structural Engineering and Building Technology, Helsinki University of Technology, 2006–2008), Academy of Finland Post-doctoral Researcher (Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Aalto University School of Engineering, 2009–2012), Teaching Researcher (2012–2013) and Visiting Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Institute for Applied Mathematics and Information Technologies, Pavia, National Research Council, Italy, 2012–2013).

In 2013, I was appointed as an Assistant Professor in Computational Structural Engineering at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Aalto University School of Engineering, and soon after an Academy Research Fellow. In 2019, I was appointed as a tenured Associate Professor.

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Areas of expertise

Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Computational structural engineering, Computational mechanics, Finite element methods, Thin structures, Generalized continuum mechanics, Isogeometric analysis, Mechanics of materials, Adaptive methods, 216 Materials engineering, 113 Computer and information sciences, 212 Civil and construction engineering, 111 Mathematics, Construction engineering, Computational science, Applied mathematics

Honors and awards

August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor 2017 / TUM Excellence Initiative

Award or honor granted for academic career Department of Civil Engineering Dec 2017

Honorary Fellow of TUM Institute for Advanced Studies

Award or honor granted for academic career Department of Civil Engineering Dec 2017

Academy of Finland Research Fellow

Academy of Finland Research Fellowship, 9/2013--8/2018
Award or honor granted for academic career Department of Civil Engineering Jan 2013

Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher

Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, 9/2009--3/2013
Award or honor granted for academic career Department of Civil Engineering Jan 2009


Anisotropic strain gradient thermoelasticity for cellular structures : plate models, homogenization and isogeometric analysis


Kirchhoff–Love shells within strain gradient elasticity : Weak and strong formulations and an H3-conforming isogeometric implementation

Viacheslav Balobanov, Josef Kiendl, Sergei Khakalo, Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering

Lattice structures as thermoelastic strain gradient metamaterials

Sergei Khakalo, Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Composites Part B: Engineering


Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Rakenteiden mekaniikka

Parametric modelling of cellular beam and plate structures by orthotropic strain gradient thermo-elasticity

Jarkko Niiranen, Sergei Khakalo, Viacheslav Balobanov 2019 Proceedings of the 32nd Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics

Variational formulations, model comparisons and numerical methods for Euler–Bernoulli micro- and nano-beam models

Jarkko Niiranen, Viacheslav Balobanov, Josef Kiendl, S. B. Hosseini 2019 MATHEMATICS AND MECHANICS OF SOLIDS

A six-variable quasi-3D model for static analysis of laminated composite plates using isogeometric analysis

Loc V. Tran, Magd Abdel Wahab, Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Numerical Modelling in Engineering - Volume 1 Numerical Modelling in Civil Engineering, NME 2018

Continuum damage modelling of quasi-brittle materials by using the material point method

Quoc Anh Tran, Tuan Nguyen, Wojciech Tomasz Sołowski, Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Proceedings of the 32nd Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics

Nonlinear bending of microarchitectural thin beams within strain gradient elasticity

Loc Tran, Jarkko Niiranen 2019 Proceedings of the 32nd Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics