23 Honorary Doctors to be conferred in the 10th Conferment Ceremony

There will be 23 honorary doctorates conferred in the tenth Conferment Ceremony of the University of Oulu, shared by all faculties, on 19th to 21nd May 2017.

Conferment of an honorary doctorate is the highest honour that the University can confer to a person. The University has invited persons for conferment, who have distinguished themselves on the fields of science represented in the University of Oulu. Many of them have collaborated significantly with researchers in the University of Oulu.

In addition, invitations have been made to persons who have distinguished themselves significantly in other ways in the society and for the benefit of operations of the University of Oulu.

Below is the list of persons (with short descriptions of their merits or field of research) to be conferred honorary doctorates:

Faculty of Architecture

Architect, Academic Juha Leiviskä
Internationally awarded architect and academic Juha Leiviskä has continued the tradition of modern architecture and skillful use of natural light in the churches, schools, libraries and embassies he has designed. He has designed the Church of St Thomas and the parish center in Oulu, both of which were completed in 1975.

Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

Professor Bjørn R. Olsen
Bjørn R. Olsen is professor of developmental biology and cell biology in Harvard, and a leading researcher of cellular matrix. Among his research topics are genetics, cell biology, development biology, and vascular biology. Many researchers in the University of Oulu have received an excellent postdoctoral researcher education in his research group.

Professori Joel Sussman
Joel Sussman is an internationally recognized expert of structural biology. He has impacted the international networking of structural biology research in Oulu. In this work his channels of influence have been the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), and the international organizations of structural biology.

Faculty of Humanities

Artist, Novelist Hannu Väisänen
Hannu Väisänen is an internationally acclaimed, versatile, and many times awarded novelist and artist, who is originally from Oulu. He received the state award for literature 2015 for meritorious and versatile work in the field of literature. He has published several novels and had many exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

Professor Martin Kusch
Martin Kusch is an expert in sociology of scientific knowledge, and in philosophy of science technology. After his dissertation in the University of Oulu in 1989 he has been making a career in international top universities such as the universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, and from 2009, Vienna. As a University of Oulu alumnus and docent he has participated in a significant way in the guidance of several doctoral students and postgraduate students, and he has especially furthered the internationalization of the researchers on his field.

Professor (emeritus) Raymond D. Kent
Raymond D. Kent is the internationally best known and most influential researcher of speech and speech sciences in the last 50 years. His output includes several hundreds of original articles published in acclaimed international journals, invited reviews, monographies, and edited books. He has collaborated in research with researchers in the University of Oulu.

Oulu Mining School

Professor Richard J. Walker
Richard J. Walker is a specialist in isotope geochemistry and pioneer in developing Re-Os and Pt-Os systems and applying them in the study of the chemical evolution and ore formation of the Earth, Moon, and Mars. He has been in long-lasting collaboration with the Department of Geosciences (now Oulu Mining School) in ore research on the Fennoscandian Shield.

Faculty of Education

Professor Paul Kirschner
Paul Kirschner is a researcher of learning and technology-assisted learning, who does active and long-spanning research collaboration with the Faculty of Education in the University of Oulu. Kirschner is involved, together with researchers in the Faculty of Education, in a research project (2014-2017) funded by the Academy of Finland, and in international joint publications. He is also actively participating in the directing of dissertations.

Professor Jóhanna Einarsdóttir
Jóhanna Einarsdóttir is a researcher in childhood research, early childhood education, and ethics of childhood research. She is working in active collaboration with the Faculty of Education in the University of Oulu in two projects funded by Academy of Finland and in one Nordforsk-funded project in 2010-2015, among other things.

Faculty of Science

Professor Sami Solanki
Some of Sami Solanki’s fields of study are solar physics, and the interaction between the Sun and the Earth. He is active in scientific collaboration with the University of Oulu in, for example, several joint publications.

Professor John A. Agnew
John A. Agnew works as Professor of Geography in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He studies issues in political geography and geopolitics, themes in the sovereignty of nations, and the relationship between location and politics. He is in active collaboration with the University of Oulu through joint publications, among other things.

Professor Antti Kupiainen
Antti Kupiainen is professor of mathematics in the University of Helsinki. His specialty is mathematical physics. Kupiainen has been selected Academy Professor three times. He has directed the unit of excellence in the Academy of Finland, which the University of Oulu is part of, for two terms. He has twice been invited speaker in the International Congress of Mathematicians.

Faculty of Medicine

Professor Leena Bruckner-Tuderman
One of Leena Bruckner-Tuderman’s fields of research is molecular biological and clinical study of skin’s connective tissue and its diseases. She is the professor and director of the dermatopathy clinic in the Alberg-Ludwigs university in Freiburg. She is an alumna of the University of Oulu.

Director of Hospital District Hannu Leskinen
Hannu Leskinen is director of the Hospital District of Northern Ostrobothnia. He is currently also working as reporter for the social and health care organization model. Hannu Leskinen has been a central figure in promoting clinical education and research as collaboration between the Hospital District and the University of Oulu. He was involved in founding Medical Research Center, the centre for clinical research, among other things.

CEO, Industry Advisor Heikki Kyöstilä
Heikki Kyöstilä acts as the CEO of the company he founded, Planmeca Group, which manufactures dentistry instruments and devices. Planmeca is one of the most successful Finnish health technology exporters. The company has collaborated in development and research with the University of Oulu ever since dentistry education began here.

Oulu Business School

Professor Gautam Gowrisankaran
Gautam Gowrisankaran is a leading researcher in the study of modern industry. He is also studying the modelling of vertical integrations. Gowrisankaran has developed a balance solution for the foundation of the functionality of fusions. He works in close collaboration with the energy economics research group in the Department of Economics of the Oulu Business School.

Councilor of Commerce, CEO Timo Levo
Timo Levo is CEO of Oulun Osuuspankki (Oulu Cooperative Bank), chairman of the board of the Oulu Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the board of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Oulun Osuuspankki has grown and developed during his term into one of the biggest cooperative banks in Finland. Oulun Osuuspankki has been active in finding solutions in the structural change of information technology, especially after the OP Group set up a development unit in Oulu. Levo has had a strong impact in the positive development of the economic life of the Oulu region. He has been involved in developing education both in the Oulu Business School and in the Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

Faculty of Technology

Professor Lauri Lajunen
Lauri Lajunen served as Rector of the University of Oulu in 1993–2014. During his term Lajunen furthered the development of the University of Oulu into an international science university. Lajunen has also held several national and international positions of trust, which have been significant for the social impact of the University.

Chief Technology Officer Matti Härkönen
Among Matti Härkönen’s fields of research are catalytic air discharge control and heterogenic catalysis. He is licentiate of technology and works as manager of technology in Ecocat India Pvt. Ltd. Härkönen and the companies he represents have been in close collaboration with the University of Oulu. As result of the collaboration, several joint projects, dissertations and other degrees, and joint publications have been born.

Emerita Director of Research Danielle Ballivet-Tkatchenko
Danielle Ballivet-Tkatchenko studies, among other things, heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis and chemical utilization of carbon dioxide. She works as research director emerita in the Molecular Chemistry research unit in the CNRS Institute (CNRS-University of Burgundy) in Dijon, France. Tkatchenko has been a central contributor in the research on utilization of carbon dioxide in the University of Oulu. This collaboration has resulted in several international joint products and publications, and dissertations.

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Professor Behnaam Aazhang
Behnaam Aazhang is a renowned and often cited researcher of telecommunications technology and related signal processing, network technology, and information theory. He has collaborated actively with the University of Oulu since 1994. Aazhang worked as Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) in the University of Oulu during 2007-2013. Aazhang has significantly aided the content, development of research traditions and methods, and the internationalization of the research done in the communication laboratory and the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) research unit. Aazhang has also directed many dissertations, among other things.

Professor Anita Lloyd Spetz
Anita Lloyd Spetz has worked as Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) in the University of Oulu in 2011–2015. Her field of research encompasses SiC-FET gas sensors for difficult conditions, including sensoring of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); biosensors, resonator sensors and graphene sensors, and other advanced sensor technologies and the required data analysis. In the University of Oulu, she has studied and developed, for example, a method for detecting toxicity of particles for cells, which will make it possible to test various health effects without animal testing.

CEO, Industry Advisor Jorma Terentjeff
Jorma Terentjeff is an alumnus of the Department of Electrical Engineering in the University of Oulu. He has been an important force in the Finnish technology industry for 40 years by working in managing positions in corporations and serving in the boards of several technology companies. He has been chairman of the Council of External Relations of the University of Oulu from 2013.

Conferment Ceremony

Last updated: 11.4.2017