Aalto University: Aalto Pioneering Excellence awards given to School of Arts, Design and Architecture communications team and School of Engineering Majakka project

‘Matti Sundberg Quality Foundation was founded in 1982. The new Aalto Pioneering Excellence Award is now being given to teams that are developing excellence at Aalto University’, says Elisa CEO Veli-Matti Mattila, the Chairman of the Award committee.

Based on an endowment to Aalto University, the Foundation has awarded quality grants since 2002, while the updated Aalto Pioneering Excellence Award further emphasises the importance of activity that advances excellence in research, education and all university operations. The first awards were handed out in Dipoli on 12 October.

‘The winning teams also help others achieve more’, says Jouko Lampinen, Dean of the School of Science.

The award is shared by two teams. The first recipient of the prize is the communications team of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and its members Sini Koskimies, Enni Grundström and Krista Kinnunen. The team’s activities have developed communications of Aalto University as a whole, and improved the effectiveness of for instance research communications, for both researchers and the recipient.

‘The team has been proactive, and has transcended boundaries, seeking a new approach while bringing visibility to the work of students of fashion, for example’, says Professor Tuuli Mattelmäki, who presented the award.

Aalto University Pioneering Excellence_Award, Majakka project team. Photo: Mikko Raskinen
From left: Maija Taka, Amy Fallon, Lauri Ahopelto, Venla Niva, Matias Heino, Marko Kallio and Olli Varis
The second recipient is the Majakka project, which focuses on developing doctoral education at the School of Engineering, and its team members Olli Varis, Maija Taka, Lauri Ahopelto, Amy Fallon, Venla Niva, Matias Heino, Pekka Kinnunen and Marko Kallio.

‘High-quality doctoral education is one of the tenets of the research activities of universities. The Majakka project has developed a strategy to make doctoral education more systematic, while making the guidance and supervision of doctoral dissertation projects more sustainable. The activities of the Majakka project team have brought innovation to doctoral education for example, by encouraging experts and international partners to collaborate with researchers at Aalto University. Majakka is also pioneering the development of a thriving and successful academic community’, says Professor Risto Rajala on behalf of the Award committee.

Honorable Mention went to the Aalto Thesis project of the School of Business, which focuses on the development of theses, with Laura Sivula and Silva Saulio as its members.

‘Typical of the activities of the candidate for the prize is a multidisciplinary approach to development. A structured approach is a good way of ensuring the advancement of a thesis. It also offers good starting points for developing thesis quality’, says Professor of Practice Maria Clavert, a member of the Award Committee.

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