Honorary Doctors at the University of Eastern Finland 2014

In the Doctoral Conferment Ceremony at Joensuu campus on 28-30 August 2014, the university conferred 12 honorary doctorates upon scientifically or socially distinguished persons chosen by the faculties. Honorary doctorate is the most prestigious acknowledgement that the academic community can bestow on an individual.

Philosophical faculty:

faculty of science and forestry:

faculty of social sciences and business studies:


Honorary Doctors of the Philosophical Faculty:


Professor Petra Engelbrecht

An Honorary Doctorate in Education will be conferred upon Professor Petra Engelbrecht. She is Professor of Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Education of Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK.

Professor Engelbrecht's research focuses on equity in education, the implementation of inclusive education and teacher education as well as research capacity in higher education.  She has led several international research and knowledge exchange projects, including "Strengthening 'school-based practice' of pre-service teacher education programmes in the West Bank and Gaza" funded by the World Bank, and "A comparative analysis of teachers' roles in inclusive education in England, Finland, Lithuania, South Africa, Slovenia and China". Professor Engelbrecht's visits to the University of Eastern Finland have opened new avenues for international collaboration between the UEF and, for example, the North West University South Africa and Canterbury Christ Church University.

In 2014, Professor Engelbrecht chaired a Teacher Education Review Panel of the Academy of Finland. Her life-long interest in human rights issues has also led her to memberships in various international organisations and working groups, including the UNESCO-UK Working Group on "Education for All" 2010–2011.


Translator Kersti Juva

An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Translator Kersti Juva. Her career in translating English literature into Finnish dates back to 1972. More recently, in 2008, the Arts Council of Finland appointed her Artist Professor.

The professional profile of Kersti Juva is impressively diverse. She is an esteemed, productive translator whose portfolio includes literature classics by William Shakespeare, Laurence Sterne, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, not to mention her translations of children's literature classics such as A. A. Milne's Winnie-The-Pooh. The Finnish translations of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novels are among Kersti Juva's most well-known works. She has also translated several contemporary prose works (A. S. Byatt, Jayne Anne Phillips, Jhumpa Lahiri), detective stories (Dorothy L. Sayers), plays (Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, Tom Stoppard) and radio plays. Her translation of the BBC sitcom Men from the Ministry, or Knalli ja sateenvarjo in Finnish, remains highly popular and is rebroadcast frequently.

Kersti Juva has published several articles on the translation profession and the charm of translating. She has also shared her extensive, in-depth expertise through lectures and courses focusing on the translation of literature. Furthermore, she actively participates in the social debate on language, literature and translation as a blogger for the Institute for the Languages of Finland.

Kersti Juva has been recognized with several awards for her translations, including the Finland Award in 1998, the Agricola Prize in 1999, and the Prize for Life's Work awarded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation in 2006.


Professor Bernd Kortmann

An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Professor Bernd Kortmann. He is Full 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 in Germany.

Professor Kortmann is especially known for his research addressing non-standard varieties of English from a typological perspective. Among his most significant achievements are A Handbook of Varieties of English (2004), The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English (2012), both published by De Gruyter Mouton, and the subsequent, extended open access  Electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English (2013). These works offer researchers a unique opportunity to learn about the grammar of different variants of English spoken around the world.

In 2002, Professor Kortmann attended the international "Methods in Dialectology" conference in Joensuu. Since the conference, cooperation between Professor Kortmann and researchers of English in Joensuu has been on-going on a permanent basis. In 2010, Professor Kortmann visited a seminar of the Global English consortium, which is coordinated from Joensuu. Furthermore, researchers on the Joensuu Campus have had opportunities to visit research groups of the University of Freiburg. Professor Kortmann also 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 made it possible for several doctoral students in the field of linguistics to work in Freiburg.

Professor Kortmann's contacts to Finland also encompass plenaries at national and international conferences and membership in the scientific board of the Finnish Dialect Syntax project, which comprised part of the European-wide European Dialect Syntax consortium involving several Finnish linguists.


Professor Miia Rannikmäe

An Honorary Doctorate in Education will be conferred upon Professor Miia Rannikmäe. She is Professor of Science Education and Head of the Science Education Centre at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

Professor Rannikmäe's research interests focus on scientific literacy, the nature of science, context-based teaching, inquiry-based learning, and the professional development of teachers. She has extensive experience in the development of science education, as well as in research addressing teaching and learning. She has extensive experience in working as a chemistry teacher and she maintains strong links to the local Estonian chemistry teacher associations and to science teacher associations around the world as a member of the Executive Committee of ICASE (International Council of Associations for Science Education). Her experience and publications in the field of teacher education and continuing professional education for teachers is vast.

In 2003–2004, Professor Rannikmäe was a member of the High Level European Commission Group on Increasing Human Resources for Science and Technology in Europe, which constituted part of the Science and Society programme of the European Union. The group's report, Europe needs more Scientists, put forward recommendations on how to develop science education. Professor Rannikmäe has also participated in several European-wide projects of the EU, the British Council, and UNESCO. In 2003, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Iowa in the USA.

Professor Miia Rannikmäe collaborates with the School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher
Education, more specifically with the school's research group focusing on promoting more relevant science education and learning.


Doctor Alice-Mary Talbot

An Honorary Doctorate in Theology will be conferred upon Doctor Alice-Mary Talbot. She is Director Emerita of Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, a prestigious research institute of Harvard University located in Washington, DC. From 1997–2009, she directed the programme in Byzantine Studies, and edited the journal Dumbarton Oaks Papers.

Doctor Talbot has profoundly influenced the international field of Byzantine Studies, and raised awareness of Byzantine civilization in the United States and Europe. She was co-founder of the North American Byzantine Studies Conference and has served as President of the Medieval Academy of America. She is one of the most well-known and most cited modern-day scholars of Byzantium. Her research and publications have focused on monasticism, the cult of saints, lay piety, and the lives of women. Doctor Talbot has served on the editorial board of several scientific journals in the field of Byzantine Studies, and is an expert on the translation of Byzantine hagiography and the edition of Medieval Greek texts. She has received several awards and recognitions for her work, especially her editorship of the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, which won the R. R. Hawkins Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book of 1991.

Since her retirement Doctor Talbot continues to publish actively, edits the Byzantine Greek series of the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, and lectures in the United States and Europe. She has visited Finland as a guest of the Finnish Society for Byzantine Studies, and served on the editorial board of Acta Byzantina Fennica.


Honorary Doctors of the Faculty of Science and Forestry:

Professor Zhores I. Alferov

An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Academician, Professor Zhores I. Alferov. He is a long-standing Director of A. F. Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Academician Alferov is one of the leading modern-day photonics researchers, and his intelligent inventions have applications in our everyday life. His pioneering theoretical and experimental physics research has led to the discovery of novel ways to control electron and photon currents in heterostructural semiconductors, in artificial crystals, and in semiconductors with different chemical compositions. Indeed, lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), transistors and solar cells developed through applications of semiconductor heterostructures are used all over the world in modern data transfer and storage systems as well as in space technology. Academician Alferov has set up training centres in the leading institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Furthermore, he held a teaching position at the Department of Physics of the University of Joensuu in 1990.

In 2000, Academician Alferov was awarded, together with Herbert Kroemer and Jack S. Kilby, the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics. In 2001, he was awarded the international Kyoto Award, which is the Japanese equivalent to the Nobel Prize, and in 2010 he received a UNESCO Medal for contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies. Since 1995, Academician Alferov has been a member of the Russian State Duma.


Docent Tuomo Kauranne

An Honorary Doctorate in Agriculture and Forestry will be conferred upon Docent Tuomo Kauranne. He is the founder and CEO of Arbonaut Ltd., and he also holds a research and teaching position in applied mathematics at Lappeenranta University of Technology. Over the past twenty years, he has actively combined academic research with business expertise.

Docent Kauranne is a long-standing partner of the Faculty of Science and Forestry. His business activities are genuinely international and serve as a good example of a successful spin-off company. In its business and R&D activities, Arbonaut Ltd. utilises expertise in forest sciences, mathematics and computer science. The company has worked towards developing measurement methods for carbon emissions trading relating to the mitigation of climate change. The company is also known as an innovative information systems supplier in the forest sector.

Docent Kauranne's company is a significant source of employment and training opportunities for students in Joensuu. The faculty's students in international Master's degree programmes have often found employment in the multicultural company, while for the faculty's domestic students, the company has provided experience in international business culture. Docent Kauranne is an important representative of the business sector who actively participates especially in the international activities of the School of Forest Sciences.


Professor Sergey P. Tunik

An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Professor Sergey P. Tunik. He works as a Chemistry Professor and Vice-Rector for Research at Saint Petersburg State University. His research field is coordination and organometallic chemistry. He is specialised in the chemistry of late transition metals, nanoscale molecular assemblies and the spectroscopic characterization methods.

Professor Tunik and his research group have developed effective methods for the synthesis of novel families of polymetallic compounds. Tailoring the composition and architecture of the metal and organic constituents has opened a convenient way of fine tuning the reactivity and physical characteristics of these aggregates. His current research is focused on the photophysical aspects of the functional inorganic molecules and materials, particularly on design of the nanoanalytic complexes for practical applications in optical bio-molecular visualization.

Professor Tunik has developed fruitful research collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and has been influential in creating close ties between the University of Eastern Finland and Saint Petersburg State University. A manifestation of the collaboration is a large number of joint publications, which include more than fifty papers published in peer-review international journals. The exchange of students and researchers has been very active in the time span of past fifteen years. Professor Tunik's contribution to the collaboration has been invaluable.


Honorary Doctors of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies:


Professor Eiki Berg

An Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy will be conferred upon Professor Eiki Berg. He is Professor in International Relations at the University of Tartu in Estonia. Previously, he served as the Dean of Tartu University's Faculty of Social Sciences, and he is one of the founders of the Centre for EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu.

Professor Berg is one of the main characters responsible for the reform and internationalisation of social sciences in Estonia in the post-Soviet era. His research interests are multidisciplinary and diversely address the fields of geopolitics and political geography. Professor Berg has published extensively in the field's leading international journals and his contribution to the international debate on the study of borders and border areas is considerably active.

Professor Berg has held several significant positions in the field's leading scientific journals and international research organisations, such as the International Geographical Union, IGU, and the Central and Eastern European International Studies Association, CEEISA. Since the 1990s, cooperation between Professor Berg and researchers at the University of Eastern Finland has been close. Professor Berg has served as an academic expert for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, and he has participated in research projects funded jointly by the Academy of Finland and the EU's Framework Programme for Research. As a member of the Estonian Parliament and the European Parliament, Professor Berg has been able to promote the societal impact of research at the highest possible level.


Executive Chairman Reijo Karhinen

An Honorary Doctorate in Economics and Business Administration will be conferred upon Executive Chairman Reijo Karhinen. He has been Executive Chairman of the OP-Pohjola Group since 2007 and, prior to that, he occupied several executive positions within the OP-Pohjola Group.

Besides a career with the OP-Pohjola Group, he has also made an extensive and praiseworthy career as a social opinion leader. He is an active participant in the debate on the financial markets and decision-making relating to economic policy. He has significantly influenced the preconditions of the financial sector and business at large to operate in Finland.

Executive Chairman Karhinen has held several domestic and international positions of trust. He has, among other things, been the Chair of the Finnish Federation of Financial Services and the Vice-Chair of the Confederation of Finnish Industries and the Central Chamber of Commerce. He has also been a board member in the European Banking Federation and in the Unico Banking Group representing co-operative banks.

Karhinen has been awarded several significant distinctions and, in 2009, he was awarded the Finnish honorary title vuorineuvos.


Minister Lauri Tarasti

An Honorary Doctorate in Law will be conferred upon Minister, Emeritus Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland, Lauri Tarasti.

Lauri Tarasti has worked as a lawyer in senior positions in public administration and as a judge. He was Legislative Counsellor at the Ministry of Justice from 1974 to 1982, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment from 1983 to 1994, and Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court in 1994 - 2007. During his career and also after his retirement, Tarasti has served as a government-appointed investigator for issues related to electoral legislation, election and political party financing, building of legislation, and sports ethics and doping. His expertise has been widely used in many areas of the society. Both in his professional career and his expert positions, Tarasti is known for his analytical approach, efficient working methods and insightful understanding of the social aspects of law. He has also held numerous positions of trust in the fields of culture and sports. He was Secretary General of the first World Championships in Athletics held in Helsinki in 1983.

Minister Tarasti has published extensively, and especially noteworthy are his works Suomen vaali- ja puoluelainsäädäntö, Vaaliehdokkaiden ja puolueiden rahoitusopas, Kunnallisvaaliehdokkaiden ja puolueyhdistysten vaalirahoitusopas and Yhdistysoikeus (together with Heikki Halila). He has also written numerous legal articles and articles for newspapers, and he has shared his expert opinions in different media. Tarasti is one of the most well-known Finnish lawyers of his time.


Professor Klaus Töpfer

An Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences will be conferred upon Professor Klaus Töpfer. He is Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). He has made an impressive career in research, in German politics, and in the United Nations.

Professor Töpfer graduated with a Master's level degree in Economics and he obtained his PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Münster in 1968. In 1978, he was appointed Professor of Spatial Research and Planning at the University of Hannover. His political career culminated in minister positions in the Federal Government of Germany. Between 1987 and 1994, he served as Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. In this role, he significantly advanced environmental legislation in Germany and actively promoted climate change mitigation measures on various global forums. On his second term from 1994 to 1998, he served as Minister for Regional Planning, Housing and Urban Development. He was also a representative of the Christian Democratic Union in the German Bundestag from 1990 to 1998.

Professor Töpfer was appointed Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, in 1998. During his term as Executive Director, the University of Eastern Finland concluded an agreement of cooperation with UNEP, establishing a framework for active collaboration between the institutions. After his career with UNEP, Professor Töpfer continued his career in research.

Professor Töpfer has received several awards and recognitions for his work promoting sustainable development.