Doctoral Conferment Ceremonies of the University of Eastern Finland
The university's first Doctoral Conferment Ceremonies will be held at the Joensuu campus on 28-30 August 2014, and at the Kuopio campus on 4-6 June 2015.
The Doctoral Conferment Ceremony is a way for the University of Eastern Finland to show its appreciation for persons who have completed a doctoral degree. For doctorate holders, on the other hand, the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate their academic achievements. In these first Doctoral Conferment Ceremonies of the University of Eastern Finland, the university will also confer honorary doctorates upon scientifically or socially distinguished persons representing the university's disciplines.
Further information on the Doctoral Conferment Ceremonies will be published in these web pages. Registration for the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony to be held at the Joensuu Campus was closed on 20th May 2014. The registration for the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony to be held at the Kuopio Campus is open. Dead line for registrarion is 30 January 2015.
Conferment ceremony ball and cruise - high points of the festivities
The three-day programme of the doctoral conferment ceremony held on the Kuopio Campus climaxed in the conferment ceremony ball on Friday evening and in the conferment ceremony cruise on Lake Kallavesi on Saturday. In the ball, the newly conferred doctors danced traditional dances with their companions. The programme also featured the handing over of the marshals' ribbons and an address to a friend, given by the Vice-Chair of the Doctors' Committee, Merja Tarvainen, DSocSc, and an address to the dawn, given by the Chair of the Conferment Committee, Professor Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen. On board of Queen and Ukko, the doctoral conferment cruise took the participants to Alahovi wine yard, where Esa Hiltunen, DSc (Econ. & Business Admin.) and Henri Siljanen, PhD, held their speeches.
Below you will find some photos from the ball and the cruise. Photos: Raija Törrönen
Conferment ceremony ball
Conferment ceremony cruise
Kuopio Campus witnessed largest doctoral conferment ceremony yet
The doctoral conferment ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland was celebrated with great festivity in Kuopio today. The university conferred a total of 146 doctorates, which is more than in any other doctoral conferment ceremony held on the Kuopio Campus before. In addition, the university conferred 12 honorary doctorates. After the ceremonial conferment of the doctoral degrees at the Kuopio Music Centre, the doctoral procession walked through the city centre to an ecumenical service at the Kuopio City Theatre.
According to Rector Jukka Mönkkönen, the doctoral procession as part of the Kuopio cityscape is a festive symbol of the relationship between the university and the campus city.
"Although science is international by nature and although the main goal of universities is to be internationally successful, the significance of regional interaction should not be forgotten. The success of the campus cities is dependent on the university; however, the success of the university is also dependent on the campus cities and their attractiveness," Mönkkönen said in his welcoming address.
In the ceremony, the doctorates and honorary doctorates were conferred by distinguished professors representing all of the faculties participating in the conferment ceremony in Kuopio. The Conferrers of Degrees were Dean Jukka Jurvelin of the Faculty of Science and Forestry, Academy Professor Asla Pitkänen of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Professor Juha Hämäläinen of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.
Pitkänen, who gave the Degree Conferrer's address in the ceremony, encouraged the scientific community and young researchers to have a positive attitude towards the constant change of the operating environment. "Our most successful researchers are those who have been quick and open-minded to react and adapt to changes in their existing methodological and conceptual operating environments.
"Today's generation of young researchers needs to have the skills to operate in a culture where change is an integral part of a successful operating environment rather than another new thing to stress about," Pitkänen said.
Joakim Riikonen, PhD, was selected as the university's Primus Doctor. The Primus Doctor is the the first person upon whom a doctorate is conferred after the conferring of the honorary doctorates. The duty of the Primus Doctor is to represent the doctors to be conferred in the ceremony and demonstrate their learnedness by answering a question posed by a professor representing the Primus Doctor's field.
Developing the use of nanoporous materials as drug carriers in his doctoral dissertation, Riikonen answered Professor Vesa-Pekka Lehto's question of how nanoporous should be made use of in the administration of pharmaceuticals. "Nanoporous materials provide an easy way of controlling the nanoscale structure of pharmaceuticals. Consequently, they provide an affordable and safe way of exploiting some of the opportunities in nanomedicine," Riikonen said.
The festivities will continue until late in the evening with traditional dances in the ball, as well as with an Address to the Dawn, to be held by the Chair of the Conferment Committee Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen. The doctoral conferment festivities began on Thursday with a Studia Generalia lecture and Torch Ceremony, and the three-day programme ends in a Conferment Cruise on Saturday.
Text: Ulla Kaltiala, photos: Raija Törrönen
Making torch of science visible
"In today's world, it's not enough to just train researchers. The university needs to guide people struggling to stay afloat in the river of information to sources of research-based information. The barriers between reliable information and information seekers need to be dismantled. I believe research training has given you excellent abilities to guide your community towards increased transparency and openness," said the Chair of the Doctors' Committee Mikko Taina, MD, encouraging the doctors to be conferred on the Kuopio Campus.
Taina spoke in the Torch Celebration on Thursday evening. The Torch Celebration constitutes part of the three-day programme of the doctoral conferment ceremony ongoing on the Kuopio Campus on 4-6 June.
The doctoral conferment ceremony is a prestigious academic festivity, where traditions play a major role; however, new traditions can also be created. The Torch Celebration involving torch polishing and hat-fitting ceremonies on the eve of the actual ceremonial conferment is a new tradition at the University of Eastern Finland. The theme of the celebration, torch, comes from the university's torch-like doctoral emblem that is attached to the doctoral hat.
"The University of Eastern Finland has chosen to use a torch, representing torchbearers of science, in its doctoral emblem. I hope that the torch of the University of Eastern Finland serves as a worthy successor to the cape of the University of Kuopio and the sword of the University of Joensuu," Taina said in his welcoming address.
A playful, yet solemn farewell to the cape and the sword familiar from previous years' conferment ceremonies was given at the Torch Celebration by Doctors' Committee members Antti Lipponen, PhD, and Maria Lankinen, PhD. A classy replica of the Olympic Torch of 1952 served as the torch of science.
"I don't think any of us could have completed our doctoral degree without the encouraging approval and support of our near and dear ones," said Henri Siljanen, PhD, hosting the evening. According to him, the role of the near and dear ones was made visible by inviting them to the hat-fitting ceremony.
The evening continued with dinner and dance and, at the end of the evening, Katariina Nissinen, PhD, recited good night wishes focusing on the enchanting atmosphere of night. According to her, night is a time for the most interesting discussions - and sometimes also for doing science.
Text: Ulla Kaltiala Photos: Raija Törrönen
Conferment ceremony lectures: better world calls for common responsibility
Ensuring justice, safeguarding welfare and protecting the environment are issues that concern everyone. Common responsibility was highlighted in the Studia Generalia lectures held on the Kuopio Campus, as well as in the discussions that followed. The lectures constituted part of the university's doctoral conferment ceremony ongoing between 4 and 6 June. The speakers were persons upon whom the university will confer an honorary doctorate, and they all represent the top international level in their fields.
"Inaction is an act of complicity"
"Genocides are something that don't just happen by coincidence. There will always be people who are planning them, people who are willing to conduct them, and people who let them be conducted. Silence is a form of words and inaction an act of complicity," said Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta in her presentation.
Ranta will be conferred an honorary doctorate in dentistry, and she is internationally known especially for her work in forensic teams appointed by the EU, the UN, the Council of Europe, and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
According to Ranta, conflict situations could often be prevented, if there were political will to do so. Furthermore, conflicts do not end in the signing of the peace treaty, but post-conflict care and justice are needed. "Trendy truth and reconciliation commissions do not replace trials against people guilty of human rights violations."
Something to learn - even by the Nordic Countries
"People's attitudes can change the world. For example, when solving social problems, it plays a role whether we see them as shared or not," said Professor of Social Work Staffan Höjer of the University of Gothenburg. His lecture focused on global issues in social welfare.
Höjer will be conferred an honorary doctorate in social sciences, and his research extensively addresses global issues in social welfare. He has also led several international research and development projects in his field. "Traditionally, social welfare is seen as a local issue; however, questions relating to, for example, immigration, are global in nature."
In Sweden, the number of minor asylum seekers who have come to the country without their parents is growing. "The number has grown from 4,000 children to 8,000 children in one year, which poses great challenges to child protective services. When I told my Jordanian colleague about this, he pointed out that Jordan is a country of six million people, and three million of them are refugees from Iraq and Syria. Could we learn something from them? Too often we from the Nordic Countries participate in international cooperation thinking that we are the only ones with something to give."
Particulate air pollution continues to kill
Human health is affected by the state of the environment, and atmospheric particles are known to cause serious health hazards. Professor Richard Flagan of California University of Technology said in his presentation that polluted air is often the problem of people with lesser means who can't choose their place of living. Flagan is one the world's leading researchers of aerosol science and technology, and he will be conferred an honorary doctorate in philosophy. Particulate air pollution is a topical problem especially in large cities in the developing countries; however, the problem itself is not a new one.
Professor Richad Flagan and reseach coordinator Anu Liikanen.
The Great Smog of London in 1952, caused especially by the burning of coal in households, killed thousands. Moreover, in today's China, the life expectancy of people living north of the Huai River is five years shorter than that of people living south of the river. The reason is that people in the north have been given free coal to heat their houses in the winter.
Measuring particulate exposure is challenging due to, for example, nanoparticles that are increasingly used in many industrial products. "When air particulate concentrations are measured as a mass, nanoparticles don't weigh much. However, they can travel from the air we are breathing into our body, all the way to the cellular level, and there is growing evidence of their adverse health effects."
The good and the bad homing-associated molecules
Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen explained in her presentation how homing-associated molecules can be used in the treatment of cancer and inflammation. Jalkanen will be conferred an honorary doctorate in medicine, and she works at the University of Turku and at the National Institute for Health and Welfare. She is one of the world's leading researchers studying lymphocyte migration in the human immune defence system.
Academic Rector Jaakko Puhakka and Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen.
Homing-associated molecules guide immune defence cells to places where they are needed. "Sometimes, however, the immune defence system makes an error, resulting in the accumulation of white blood cells in tissue." This is what happens in, for example, autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and psoriasis.
"Cancer, too, uses homing-associated molecules to spread, and metastases are what make cancer lethal."
Researchers are interested in developing drugs targeting the function of homing-associated molecules both for the treatment of inflammation and cancer. In patients suffering from arthritis, for example, an antibody inhibiting the function of the homing-associated molecule VAP-1 has shown promising results.
University addresses global challenges
The Studia Generalia lecture was presided over by the Academic Rector of the University of Eastern Finland, Jaakko Puhakka, who also gave a presentation on the university's role in solving global challenges. The university has identified four global challenges it seeks to find solutions to through multidisciplinary, internationally networked, thematic research areas. These challenges are Ageing, lifestyles and health; Learning in a digitised society; Cultural encounters, mobilities and borders; and Environmental change and sufficiency of natural resources.
Puhakka pointed out that the solving of global challenges calls for a new kind of synthesis of different viewpoints and approaches. In the final discussion, all speakers highlighted the need for multidisciplinary cooperation and dialogue.
In the doctoral conferment ceremony on the Kuopio Campus, a doctoral degree will be conferred on 146 young doctors and 12 honorary doctors. Honorary doctorates will be conferred upon Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta, teollisuusneuvos Heikki Väänänen, Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen, Professor Christian Langton, Professor Richard C. Flagan, Professor Tamás Freund, Professor Göran K. Hansson, Professor Graham Russell, Professor Staffan Höjer, Professor Robyn Thomas and Doctor Virginia K. Saba.
Text: Ulla Kaltiala, photos: Raija Törrönen
From Human to Global Health - lectures by honorary doctors in Kuopio on 4 June
Lectures by Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta and other honorary doctors to be conferred at the doctoral conferment ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland will be heard in a Studia Generalia lecture event in Kuopio on Thursday, 4 June.
The theme of the Studia Generalia lecture event is From Human to Global Health. The lectures are held in room CA101 in the Canthia building (Yliopistonranta 1C, Kuopio) at the University of Eastern Finland on Thursday 4 June 2015 from 13:15 to 15:30. The event is open to everyone and coffee will be served after the lectures.
The speakers are Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta, Professor of Social Work Staffan Höjer of the University of Gothenburg, Aerosol Researcher, Professor Richard C. Flagan of California Institute of Technology, and Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen of the National Institute for Health and Welfare and the University of Turku, who is a merited researcher of the human immune system. All of the above-mentioned persons will be conferred an honorary doctorate in the university's doctoral conferment ceremony. Academic Rector Jaakko Puhakkawill preside over the event.
The series of lectures will start with Puhakka's presentation focusing on the role of the university in solving global challenges. The lecture topic of Ranta, who has worked in forensic teams in many conflict zones around the world, is Justice for the Living, Justice for the Dead. According to her, people who have lost their near and dear ones have the right to know what happened. Jalkanen's lecture will focus on homing-associated molecules, which may open up new opportunities for the treatment of cancer and inflammation. Flagan's lecture will focus on particulate air pollution. Air pollution is a significant health risk, and its mechanisms are increasingly well understood. Höjer, on the other hand, will focus on global issues in social security and how we could benefit from the experiences of others. The lectures by Flagan and Höjer will be in English, and the lectures by Puhakka, Ranta and Jalkanen in Finnish. Bilingual abstracts are provided in the lecture programme.
Creating new Doctoral Conferment Ceremony traditions in Kuopio on 4-6 June 2015
The University of Eastern Finland will hold a doctoral conferment ceremony at the Kuopio Campus on 4-6 June 2015. The conferment ceremony will witness the conferring of 146 doctorates upon persons who have defended their doctoral thesis at the University of Eastern Finland or at the University of Kuopio, as well as the conferring of 12 honorary doctorates. Honorary doctorates will be conferred upon Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta, teollisuusneuvos Heikki Väänänen, Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen, Professor Christian Langton, Professor Richard C. Flagan, Professor Tamás Freund, Professor Göran K. Hansson, Professor Graham Russell, Professor Staffan Höjer, Professor Robyn Thomas and Doctor Virginia K. Saba.
A Studia Generalia lecture (mainly in Finnish with some lectures in English) under the theme Terve ihminen - hyvinvoiva maailma ("A healthy human being - a well-being world") featuring some of the honorary doctors will be held on Thursday, 4 June. The lecture is open to everyone interested. On Thursday evening, the doctors get together for a torch ceremony, which is a new tradition involving a torch polishing and hat fitting ceremony.
The ceremonial conferment of the doctoral degrees takes place on Friday, 5 June, at the Kuopio Music Centre. After the ceremony, the conferment ceremony procession walks from the Kuopio Music Centre via Puijonkatu, Kauppakatu and Sairaalakatu to the Kuopio City Theatre for an ecumenical service. The participants in the procession include the newly conferred doctors and honorary doctors, the university's Rector, Academic Rector and Director of Administration, as well as professors, honorary doctors from earlier years, and other invited guests. The procession is organised weather permitting. The festivities climax in the traditional banquet and ball held in the evening.
Thursday 4 June 2014
- 13:15–15:30 Studia Generalia lecture Terve ihminen – hyvinvoiva maailma. Canthia, auditorium CA101
- 20:00–24:00 Torch Celebration, Kuopio Music Centre, Hall of Light
Friday 5 June 2015
- 11:30 Getting together for the procession, Kuopio Music Centre, Hall of Light
- 12:00 Doctoral Conferment Ceremony. Kuopio Music Centre, Concert Hall
- 15:45 Procession from Kuopio Music Centre to Kuopio Theatre
- 16:30–17:15 Ecumenical Service, Kuopio Theatre
- 19:00 Banquet, Restaurant Scandic Kuopio
- 23:30–03:00 Ball, Late Night Snack and Address to the Dawn, Kuopio Music Centre, Hall of Light
Saturday 6 June 2015
- 11:45 Getting together at the Kuopio passenger harbour
- 12:00 Conferment Ceremony Cruise
- 12:30-15:00 Lunch at Alahovi wine yard
- 14:00-15:30 Return to the Kuopio passenger harbour
Representatives of the media are welcome to attend the doctoral conferment ceremony.
Registration of reporters and photographers to the doctoral conferment ceremony and requests for interview:
Communications Officer Ulla Kaltiala, ulla.kaltiala(at)uef.fi, tel. +358 40 745 6463
For further information on the doctoral conferment ceremony, please contact:
Professor Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Chair of the Conferment Organising Committee, tomi-pekka.tuomainen (at) uef.fi, tel +358 40 3552 956
Primus and Ultimus Doctors of Kuopio conferment ceremony represent medicines expertise from two faculties
Joakim Riikonen, PhD, has been selected as the Primus Doctor, and Harri Makkonen, MD, as the Ultimus Doctor of the doctoral conferment ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland to be held at the Kuopio Campus on 5 June.
The conferment ceremony will witness the conferring of 146 doctorates upon persons who have defended their doctoral thesis at the University of Eastern Finland or at the University of Kuopio. From among the promovendi, the Doctors' Committee traditionally selects a Primus/Prima and an Ultimus/Ultima Doctor. These persons have written an outstanding doctoral thesis and they enjoy a specific honorary status in the conferment ceremony. The Primus Doctor is the first promovendi upon whom a doctorate is conferred in the ceremony. The Primus Doctor also answers a question posed by a professor in his or her discipline and thus, as a representative of the promovendi, demonstrates their learnedness. The Ultimus Doctor, on the other hand, is the last promovendi upon whom a doctorate is conferred in the ceremony. The Ultimus Doctor gives a response to an address given to the newly conferred doctors in the banquet and ball.
Primus Doctor Joakim Riikonen (born 1981) completed his PhD at the Faculty of Science and Forestry in 2012. His doctoral thesis focused on the use of nanoporous materials as drug carriers. By loading drugs inside nanoporous carriers, it is possible to obtain significantly higher drug concentrations than by using traditional drugs. In addition to an outstanding doctoral thesis, the Doctors' Committee also regarded as Riikonen's merits his impressive performance in the public defence of the thesis. The opponent, Honorary Professor Leigh Canham of the University of Birmingham, deemed the public defence as one of the best in his career. According to the Doctors' Committee, basic research focusing on the problems of drug therapy at the interface of semiconducting materials and drug research combines the key strengths of the Kuopio Campus. Riikonen continues his work as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Eastern Finland.
Ultimus Doctor Harri Makkonen (born 1981) completed his MD at the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2010. His doctoral thesis focused on the effects of androgen on prostate cancer cells. A new antiandrogen proved more potent than old-generation drugs in inhibiting the binding of androgen receptor on chromatin, and elevated androgen receptor levels did not weaken its effect as much as the effect of old-generation drugs. Although the role of androgen in prostate cancer is well-documented, Makkonen's doctoral thesis provided significant additional information on the genetic regulatory mechanisms of prostate cancer. In the conclusion section of the thesis, he showed that he has an exceptionally profound understanding of the topic. Today, Makkonen works as a physician and team leader in the Kuopio Health Centre.
"The Doctors' Committee hopes that receiving these distinctions of Primus Doctor and Ultimus Doctor will encourage the recipients to continue their promising research career," says Mikko Taina, Chair of the Doctors' Committee.
The doctoral conferment ceremony in June will witness the attendance of a record number of promovendi at the Kuopio Campus. The majority of them, 135 persons, have completed their doctoral degree after the establishment of the University of Eastern Finland in 2010. All in all, 19 of the 146 promovendi completed their doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Science and Forestry, 25 at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, and 102 at the Faculty of Health Sciences. 93 of the promovendi are women and 53 are men.
For further information, please contact:
Chair of the Doctors' Committee Mikko Taina, tel. +358 40 8429 161
Registration for Doctoral Conferment Ceremony in Kuopio open until end of January
Registration for the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony to be held at the Kuopio Campus of the University of Eastern Finland on 4-6 June is open until 30 January.
The Doctoral Conferment Ceremony is an academic rite of passage in which those who have completed their doctoral degree formally receive the regalia associated with this status. Persons who have completed a doctoral degree at the Faculty of Science and Forestry, at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, or at the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland no later than early 2015 may participate in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony. Furthermore, persons who have completed their doctoral degree at the University of Kuopio are also welcome to participate.
"I warmly recommend that all those who have completed a doctoral degree take part in the ceremony. The ceremony is a nice combination of festive academic tradition and having fun together. I have plenty of good memories from my own Doctoral Conferment Ceremony and looking back on it now, I'm really pleased that I decided the participate. Besides an opportunity to be part of an academic tradition, it was a chance to meet old friends and also to make new ones," says Professor Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Chair of the Conferment Organising Committee.
"If you haven't quite decided yet, the decision is easy: participate."
Old and new traditions
At the University of Eastern Finland, the doctoral regalia comprise the doctoral hat, the university's doctoral emblem, and the doctoral diploma. The doctoral emblem was used, for the first time, in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony at the Joensuu Campus last year, and it symbolises torch-bearers of science. The University of Eastern Finland wants to create traditions of its own, and this is why the sword used in the ceremonies of the University of Joensuu and the traditional cape used in the ceremonies of the University of Kuopio are no longer used in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremonies of the University of Eastern Finland.
In addition to the ceremonial conferment of the doctoral degrees, the three-day festivities include a doctoral procession, an ecumenical service, a banquet and a ball, as well as a cruise. In addition to conferring doctoral degrees upon promovendi, the university also confers Honorary Doctorates. The doctoral procession and the Studia Generalia lectures held by the Honorary Doctors are open for the general public to follow.
The traditional programme of the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony also includes new elements. For example, the ceremony rehearsal to be held in Kuopio on Thursday will end in a new hat-fitting ceremony "I'm guessing that in any case, we'll hear some references to the old cape and sword ceremonies, says Dr Mikko Taina, Chair of the Doctors' Committee.
"Now that the university has a symbol for its doctoral education, I'm sure we'll draw attention to the torch-bearers of science theme."
The ecumenical service will take place in the renewed facilities of Kuopio City Theatre, where the doctoral procession will head from the Kuopio Music Centre after the ceremonial conferment of the degrees.
The first Doctoral Conferment Ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland was held in Joensuu last August.
The registration form for the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony to be held at the Kuopio Campus is available at www.uef.fi/promootio. The website also includes, for example, a detailed programme, further information on the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony, as well as instructions on the dress code and how to order the doctoral hat.
For further information, please contact:
Honorary Doctorates conferred upon scientific and social influencers in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony in Kuopio
The University of Eastern Finland will hold a Doctoral Conferment Ceremony at the Kuopio Campus on 4-6 June 2015. A total of 12 Honorary Doctorates will be conferred, not only upon pioneering scientists, but also upon persons distinguished in the fields of business, society and humanitarian work. An Honorary Doctorate is the highest distinction the university may confer upon a person.
Experts of ultrasound, fine particles and wood sector
The Faculty of Science and Forestry will confer three Honorary Doctorates. An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Professor Christian Langton and Professor Richard C. Flagan. An Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture and Forestry will be conferred upon Mr Heikki Väänänen, holder of the Finnish honorary title of teollisuusneuvos.
Professor Christian Langton is Theme Leader for Injury Prevention and Trauma Management, and Head of the Industry Engagement and Commercialisation Portfolio at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He is the developer of the technique of broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) for the assessment of osteoporosis.
Professor Richard C. Flagan is Chair of the Faculty at California Institute of Technology, and Irma and Ross McCollum - William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science & Engineering. He is one of the leading researchers in aerosol science and technology, contributing to a better understanding of fine particle formation in the atmosphere. Professor Flagan's research has opened a way to the discovery of novel ways to synthetize nanoparticles for engineering applications, and to measure nanoparticle size distributions.
Mr Heikki Väänänen is the Chair of the Board of Karelia Finland Ltd. and former CEO of Karelia Upofloor Ltd. He is a long-standing wood sector entrepreneur, and he has made an impressive career as a person of influence in the industrial and cultural sectors in eastern Finland. In 2014, Mr Väänänen established a fund under his name at the University of Eastern Finland to support the university's research addressing the wood sector.
Leading researchers of medicine and pharmacy
The Faculty of Health Sciences will confer six Honorary Doctorates. An Honorary Doctorate in Medicine will be conferred upon Professor Tamás Freund, Professor Göran K. Hansson and Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen. An Honorary Doctorate in Pharmacy will be conferred upon Professor Graham Russell, an Honorary Doctorate in Dentistry upon Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta, and an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy upon Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner Jyrki Katainen.
Professor of Neuroscience Tamás Freund is Head of Department of Neurosciences at the Péter Pázmány Catholic University, and Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in Budapest. He is one of the leading scholars in the field of functional neuroanatomy and his research has led to major discoveries related to the operational principles of the cerebral cortex, most notably of the hippocampus.
Göran K. Hansson is Professor of Cardiovascular Research at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation, and Secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine. His pioneering research has shed light on the role of inflammation in atherosclerosis, and he discovered that immunosuppressant drugs inhibit the recurrence of disease after angioplastic procedures on atherosclerotic arteries.
Working at the University of Turku and the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Academy Professor Sirpa Jalkanen is one of the world's leading researchers in the area of lymphocyte migration in the human immune defence system. Her research is expected to achieve pioneering results particularly in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and in preventing the spread of cancer.
Graham Russell is Professor of Musculoskeletal Pharmacology at the University of Oxford and at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He is an esteemed researcher of bisphosphonates, and his research largely serves as a foundation for the clinical development of bisphosphonates. Today, bisphosphonates are the leading drugs used for the treatment of bone diseases worldwide.
Honorary Doctorates conferred upon Helena Ranta and Jyrki Katainen
Forensic Dentist Helena Ranta, upon whom an Honorary Doctorate in Dentistry will be conferred, is an experienced lecturer in the field of dentistry, and a researcher of forensic medicine, forensic dentistry and international humanitarian law. She is internationally known for her contributions to the work of forensic investigation teams operating under the mandate and guidance of the EU, UN, Council of Europe, and Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Characteristic of Dr Ranta is her unyielding assertion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and she has also brought up the concept of the human rights of the dead.
An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred, not only on behalf of the Faculty of Health Sciences, but also on behalf of the entire university, upon Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, whose political career is impressive. He was the Prime Minister of Finland in 2011–2014 and, before that, Finance Minister during two terms. He also served as a Member of the Parliament and as Chairman of the National Coalition Party. In 2006–2012, he was one of the Vice-Presidents of European People's Party. Currently, he is Vice-President of the European Commission with the responsibility for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness. Vice-President Katainen has his roots in eastern Finland.
Developers of welfare services, information management and organisations
The Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies will confer three Honorary Doctorates. An Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences will be conferred upon Professor Staffan Höjer, an Honorary Doctorate in Health Sciences upon Dr Virginia K. Saba, and an Honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration upon Professor Robyn Thomas.
Staffan Höjer is Professor of Social Work in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. His research interests focus on the professionalization of welfare professions, the organisation of welfare, global issues in social work, and the development of knowledge in social work research and practice. Professor Höjer has led several international research and knowledge exchange projects in his field.
Dr Virginia K. Saba is CEO and President at SabaCare Inc., Distinguished Scholar Emerita at Georgetown University, and Adjunct Professor at Uniformed Services University. She has served in a variety of roles related to healthcare information technology and nursing informatics, and pioneered the integration of computer technology in health care. She also instituted the acceptance of nursing informatics as a new nursing specialty by the professional nursing organisations.
Robyn Thomas is Professor of Management and Associate Dean for Research at Cardiff Business School in Cardiff University in the UK. Professor Thomas' research is concerned with the operation of large-scale, complex organisations. Her research has examined the role of middle managers and professionals in strategic change, resistance to change, and forms of "bottom up" change in public and private organisations. Her work has also been influential in informing policy and practice in both the public and private sectors.
In addition to the conferment of the Honorary Doctorates, the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony will also feature the conferment of doctorates upon persons who have defended their dissertation at the university. Persons who have completed their doctoral degree in a subject represented at the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, or the Faculty of Health Sciences by 31 December 2014 may participate in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony to be held at the Kuopio Campus.
For further information and print-quality photos of the Honorary Doctors, please see http://www.uef.fi/en/promootio/kunniatohtorit
Nearly one hundred doctorates were conferred - festivities continue in Joensuu
The main event of the first Doctoral Conferment Ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland, i.e. the ceremonial conferment of degrees, took place in a festive atmosphere today. A total of 97 doctorates were conferred, and 12 of these were Honorary Doctorates conferred upon persons chosen by the faculties. The doctoral conferment ceremony is an academic rite of passage in which those who have completed their doctoral degree formally receive the insignia associated with this status. At the University of Eastern Finland, the insignia of the doctoral status are the doctoral hat and its emblem, and the doctoral diploma.
The degrees were conferred upon the promovendi by three Conferrers of Degrees. The Conferrers of Degrees are distinguished professors appointed by the three faculties operating on the Joensuu Campus of the University of Eastern Finland. The Conferrer of Degrees of the Philosophical Faculty was Professor Lea Siilin, and the Conferrer of Degrees of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies was Professor Markku Tykkyläinen. The Conferrer of Degrees of the Faculty of Science and Forestry was Professor Tapani Pakkanen, who also conferred the Honorary Doctorates.
Festivities continue until Saturday
After the ceremonial conferment of degrees, the doctors and other guests formed a procession and walked to a conferment ceremony service. The festivities will continue with a banquet and ball to be held in Hotel Kimmel in the evening. Several speeches will be heard during the banquet and ball and, traditionally, the Conferrer of Degrees will be carried out of the room in a sedan chair. After the ball at midnight, a toast to the rising sun will be heard, and the night will continue with informal socialising and dancing. On Saturday, the festivities will culminate in a cruise and lunch at Restaurant Utran Uittotupa.
In Finland, the doctoral conferment ceremony tradition has been in use throughout the history of Finnish universities, and each university has also brought its own additions to the tradition. In doctoral conferment ceremonies, traditions play a key role, although the ceremonies also adapt to times.
The doctoral conferment ceremony is a way for the University of Eastern Finland to show its appreciation for persons who have completed a doctoral degree. For the doctorate holders, on the other hand, the doctoral conferment ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate their academic achievements.
Honorary Doctors planted their commemorative trees in Linnunlahti Arboretum
All over the world, trees symbolise stability, wisdom and faith in the future. Today, 12 Honorary Doctors attending the first Doctoral Conferment Ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland planted their commemorative trees in Linnunlahti Arboretum maintained by the City of Joensuu by Lake Pyhäselkä. The planting of the commemorative trees is a way for the Honorary Doctors to continue a tradition that was started already at the University of Joensuu.
This year, the commemorative trees planted by the Honorary Doctors are mainly Finnish conifers and broad-leaved trees, and they are an excellent addition to the commemorative trees planted in Linnunlahti Arboretum earlier. The commemorative trees also symbolise the role of Finnish forests and domestic wood species as enablers of sustainable forest-based bioeconomy, and as creators of well-being for society at large.
In today's ceremony, the Norwegian spruce was chosen as the commemorative tree of Professor Petra Engelbrecht, the Scots pine as the commemorative tree of Translator Kersti Juva, and the Silver birch as the commemorative tree of Director General Reijo Karhinen. The Norway spruce, Scots pine and silver birch are widespread nearly all through Finland, and for the Finnish forestry sector, they are the most important wood species financially.
The Siberian larch was chosen as the commemorative tree of Professor Eiki Berg, the European aspen as the commemorative tree of Minister Lauri Tarasti, the small-leaved lime as the commemorative tree of Professor Zhores I. Alferov, the English oak as the commemorative tree of Professor Sergey P. Tunik, and the Norway maple as the commemorative tree of Professor Klaus Töpfer. These wood species, too, can be grown for the purposes of the forestry sector, especially in the southern parts of Finland. They are also used in landscaping and as decorative trees in Finland.
The weeping spruce was chosen as the commemorative tree of Doctor Alice-Mary Talbot, the Serbian spruce as the commemorative tree of Professor Bernd Kortmann, the Swiss stone pine as the commemorative tree of Professor Miia Rannikmäe, and the bird cherry as the commemorative tree of Docent Tuomo Kauranne. In Finland, all of the above are used in parks and as decorative trees.
The father of the idea to plant commemorative trees during the university's doctoral conferment ceremonies is Professor Kim Von Weissenberg, who used to work in the Faculty of Forestry. Commemorative trees have been planted in 1989, 2004 and 2009. After today's ceremony, a total of 47 commemorative trees have been planted.
Master of Ceremonies, Associate Professor Anu Puusa gave a toast to the planted trees and their growth. She was pleased that the planted trees leave a living, growing imprint of the Honorary Doctors in eastern Finland.
"The tradition also fits nicely with the profile of our university and the region of eastern Finland: expertise in forestry is one of the main focus areas of our region and university. This is particularly true of the Joensuu campus, which boasts strong, widely recognised international expertise in the field. In addition, our university is located in a region with the richest forest resources in Finland."
Doctoral conferment ceremony is an experience for Honorary Doctors, too
The first Doctoral Conferment Ceremony of the University of Eastern Finland is a unique and exciting experience also for many of the persons who will receive an Honorary Doctorate.
"This is an honour and a privilege," says Professor of International Relations Eiki Berg of the University of Tartu, upon whom an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred in the ceremony to be held in Joensuu.
"As the youngest of the Honorary Doctors, it feels especially great to be included among all these distinguished scholars. Furthermore, the Finnish doctoral conferment ceremony traditions are new to me. Everything is done very meticulously and the festivities are a real show!"
Professor Berg has been involved in the establishment of the Centre for Russian Studies at the University of Tartu, for which the VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland is a natural partner. The universities of Tartu and Eastern Finland have played key roles in expanding international cooperation in the field of border studies. "When our cooperation began 15 years ago, we border studies scholars formed only an unofficial network, so we've come a long way."
Professor Berg says that cooperation with researchers in Joensuu has been important for his personal research career and for the reform of social sciences in Estonia in the post-Soviet era. "Professor Ilkka Liikanen, Director of the VERA centre, has been a really good partner to collaborate with. Contacts to researchers elsewhere in the world have opened a window to the world."
According to Professor Berg, cooperation within the Framework Programmes of the EU have been of utmost importance, and he anticipates joint research openings also within the new Horizon 2020 programme.
"Academic research meets finance and politics - in a good way"
Being conferred an Honorary Doctorate is a great honour also for Professor Bernd Kormann from Germany. "This is especially true now that I've seen the other Honorary Doctors. I cannot help but wonder whether I really play in the same league," he says, laughing.
"The doctoral conferment ceremony is an interesting way to bring people representing different fields and topics together. Academic research meets finance and politics, in a good way. It's also great to see that the doctoral conferment ceremony tradition here is alive and well. Despite all the formalities, the atmosphere is nice and relaxed."
Professor Kortmann will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy, and he is Professor of English Language and Linguistics and Director of the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (FRIAS) for the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Freiburg. Cooperation with researchers in Joensuu, and especially with the current Dean of the Philosophical Faculty, Professor of English Markku Filppula dates back many years. Their common research interests include global variation of the English language, dialects, and language contacts.
According to Professor Kortmann, cooperation especially in the field of PhD training is important. He played a significant role in the conclusion of a cooperation agreement between the Finnish doctoral programme Langnet and the Hermann Paul Centre for Linguistics at the University of Freiburg. This agreement has promoted PhD student mobility between the universities. "It is important to provide young researchers with opportunities for networking."
Charmed by the commemorative tree
"I'm really excited about this opportunity to participate in the doctoral conferment ceremony. I've been waiting for this for months already," says Dr Alice-Mary Talbot.
"It is interesting to meet the other Honorary Doctors and to see the Finnish doctoral conferment ceremony traditions, which are very different from their American counterparts. The idea for the Honorary Doctors to plant their commemorative trees is especially charming and unique. It feels nice to know that I will now have a tree of my own here," Dr Talbot says.
Dr Talbot is Director Emerita of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, a prestigious research institute of Harvard University. Dr Talbot has profoundly influenced the international field of Byzantine Studies, and her link to the University of Eastern Finland was established via the Finnish Society for Byzantine Studies at the turn of the millennium, when Professor Matti Kotiranta was the society's chairman.
Dr Talbot has made her expertise available to Finnish researchers of all ages by giving presentation feedback, by evaluating academic theses, and by reviewing articles submitted for publication in the Finnish Acta Byzantina Fennica series.
"In a field as narrow as Byzantine Studies, it is important to actively share one's expertise and knowledge. It's also very nice to work with young researchers," Dr Talbot adds.
Professor Bernd Kortmann and Dr Alice-Mary Talbot are Honorary Doctors chosen by the Philosophical Faculty, and Professor Eiki Berg is one of the Honorary Doctors chosen by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. A total of 12 Honorary Doctorates will be conferred in the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony at the Joensuu Campus on 28–30 August 2014. The Honorary Doctors are scientifically or socially distinguished persons chosen by the faculties operating on the Joensuu Campus. An Honorary Doctorate is the highest distinction the university may confer upon a person.