The Michigan Engineer News Center

Art, economics, and engineering in Finland

Prof. Kamal Sarabandi reviews a University focused on collaboration| Short Read
EnlargeProfessor Sarabandi (3rd from the right) chaired a panel to review and assess Research, Art, and Impact at Aalto University in Finland. To his right are University President Ilkka Niemela and Dean of Engineering Gary Marquis.
IMAGE:  Professor Sarabandi (3rd from the right) chaired a panel to review and assess Research, Art, and Impact at Aalto University in Finland. To his right are University President Ilkka Niemela and Dean of Engineering Gary Marquis.

Kamal Sarabandi, Rufus S. Teesdale Professor and Director of the Radiation Laboratory, took a week out of his packed schedule to accept an invitation to evaluate the progress of Aalto University in Finland.

Aalto University was formed in 2010 from a merger of the Helsinki University of Technology (established 1849), the Helsinki School of Economics (established 1904), and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (established 1871) to strengthen innovation in Finland. Sarabandi led a panel to review the College of Engineering and School of Electrical Engineering.

“It’s important to see what other institutions around the world are doing, especially those that are daring to break with tradition,” said Sarabandi.

Aalto University and its leaders believe in collaboration across disciplines and a lack of hierarchy. To encourage open discussion, the top leaders of the University work in an open environment with no walls – even sharing desks. This creates a unique culture that is appreciated by faculty and students alike.

The University is a strong supporter of student led projects that combine art and science with economics and the business school, and of course engineering.

An example of a specific collaboration that impressed Sarabandi started with Chemical Engineering researchers who used a process to get cellulose out of trees – this was turned into fabric, then fashioned into designs and showcased at a fashion show.

Sarabandi also enjoyed the interactions with fellow panelists from around the world and learning about their institutions. “It was very enlightening.”

Professor Sarabandi (3rd from the right) chaired a panel to review and assess Research, Art, and Impact at Aalto University in Finland. To his right are University President Ilkka Niemela and Dean of Engineering Gary Marquis.
Portrait of Catharine June

Contact

Catharine June
ECE Communications and Marketing Manager

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

(734) 936-2965

3301 EECS

BepiColombo approaching Mercury. Credit: European Space Agency

U-M researchers to help unravel Mercury, solar system mysteries

In ESA's BepiColombo mission, an examination of the particles in Mercury's upper atmosphere will shed light on what the planet is made of. | Medium Read