Cuts in state funding had a strong effect on the operations of the entire field of higher education in 2016. TUT was among those who had to adapt their operations, resulting in a challenging year for our staff. Fortunately, we were able to successfully carry out other readjustment measures besides personnel cuts, as well.
TUT continued building its profile and invested in internationalisation and tenure track recruitments. TUT appointed a President and Vice Presidents as well as Deans for the five faculties for the new term. The Support Services unit made plans for organising its services in the new organisation structure, which emphasises the faculty level, implemented at the beginning of 2017. New functions set up by the services include the risk management function, which extensively covers overall safety and security as well as financial risk management.
The challenging year has proven that the people at TUT are prepared to act in the middle of change. These change management skills will be needed as the Tampere3 process progresses. However, we must simultaneously support our staff members’ enthusiasm for development to retain it as our strength in the future as well.
Hanna Rinne, Director of HR Services
For the University, the role of a TUT Industry Professor is an important link between industry and the world of research. Close relations support the development of teaching as well as research activities. Tero Joronen (DTech) was made a TUT Industry Professor in August.
“My professorship will cover power plant and combustion technology, among other things. I have a broad range of expertise in industrial product development, and I have accumulated experience in several industrial processes and research communities.”
What Joronen brings to TUT is insight into the needs and hopes of industry as well as quick remedies to product development needs. Joronen will divide his working hours between Valmet and TUT.
TUT Industry Professor is a position reserved for highly distinguished and successful experts. A person in this position is expected to significantly enhance TUT’s social impact and visibility.
The first person to be appointed as TUT Industry Professor was Jukka Pekkanen (DTech) in 2016.
The students chose Markku Hedman, Professor of Housing Design, as the 2016 Lecturer of the Year. According to the reasons stated by the Student Union of TUT, “Rather than elevate himself above the students, Hedman acts as an unbiased discussion partner.”
Markku Hedman says that his approach is the result of a crucial insight that he has gained as a teacher.
“The teacher and the student are on the same level as people, and their interaction should not involve a position of authority. From the perspective of the meaningfulness and effectiveness of teaching, the teacher must be able to teach the subject matter better than the student can,” Markku Hedman says.
“Interacting with talented and smart students is pleasant and rewarding by itself. Students who are advanced in their professional skills also have very interesting ideas and solutions to offer. I am constantly learning something new from them.”
Hedman considers the recognition award from the Student Union to be an award for the entire teaching team in housing design.
French-born Laeticia Petit, who has made a long career in Finland, has started working at TUT’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) as Assistant Professor. Her areas of expertise include photonic glass materials and glass-ceramics.
Petit’s aim is to develop new types of glass materials for use in fields such as photonics and biomedical sciences.
“We are developing new types of glass for use in new fibre lasers or biosensors. For instance, they can be utilised in recognising and monitoring infections,” Petit says.
The newly appointed tenure track professor brings valuable special expertise to TUT. Petit’s accomplishments over the last 15 years include two patents and more than a hundred notable international publications that have garnered over 1,200 references.
“TUT seems to me like an excellent place for both my work and my personal development. I’m pleased to be able to work at ORC and with the university’s other units.”
In 2016, TUT recruited 24 new tenure track professors, which strengthened the university’s profile and renewal.
The Board of the TTY Foundation has decided on the appointment of four full-time Deans for the term 1 January 2017 – 31 December 2020. The Deans will lead the operations of their faculties and be responsible for the faculties’ research and educational activities in accordance with the university’s strategy. The President, Vice Presidents and Deans form TUT’s Management Group.
TUT sought Deans for the four faculties that started their operations according to the new organisational structure at the beginning of 2017.
The Board appointed Lecturer Heli Harrikari (PhD) as Dean of the Faculty of Business and Built Environment.
As Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, the Board appointed Professor Jyrki Vuorinen (DTech).
As Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, the Board appointed Pauli Kuosmanen (DTech).
As Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Electrical Engineering, the Board appointed Mika Grundström (DTech).
“In addition to the candidates’ previous experience and management skills, the decisions were affected by the overall balance in TUT’s Management Group regarding diverse backgrounds and competence. This combination will secure both stability and renewal in the group,” President Mika Hannula comments.
Postdoctoral Researcher Suvi Santala’s dissertation Developing Synthetic Biology Tools and Model Chassis: Production of Bioenergy and High-Value Molecules received the Dissertation Award of the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland. The work in question is the first dissertation written on the topic of synthetic biology in Finland.
Synthetic biology combines engineering sciences and biotechnology. The aim is to improve the well-being of humans and the environment by producing valuable molecules for the bioenergy, pharmaceutical, and polymer industries in a sustainable manner. Among other things, it combines known DNA components creatively.
“The elements can be used to build molecular-level devices that steer their host cells to act in the desired manner – just like factories. This makes it possible to biologically and safely produce compounds that do not necessarily occur naturally,” says Suvi Santala.
“In the future, we will not be dependent on certain natural materials, such as oil. Instead, we will be able to utilise almost anything as source materials, from simple sugars to waste streams from agriculture and industry.”
Tampere University of Technology is a work community consisting of 1,600 experts from a variety of fields. Internationality is an integral part of all our activities, as 22 per cent of our staff originate from outside Finland. In 2016, TUT made further investments in internationalisation and tenure track recruitment. We welcomed 24 new tenure track professors into our staff.
|International staff members||22|