5. Karelia Symposiumin kutsuvierasluennoitsijat 2019

Dr. Tobias Keplinger

Dr. Tobias Keplinger is group leader of the “Functional Wood Materials Characterization Group” at the Institute of Building Materials/Wood Materials Science at ETH Zürich. Before he has worked as PostDoc and completed his PhD with a thesis on versatile strategies for wood cell wall functionalization in 2016 at the same institute.

By profession he is a chemist and studied at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria. His current research interests are the development of novel hybrid wood based materials, the nano-structural and chemical analysis of wood functionalization processes by Confocal Raman Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy, and the fabrication of new types of wood based composite materials equipped with excellent mechanical properties, functionality and formability.

Research Prof. Ali Harlin

Research Professor Ali Harlin describes himself as an industrial inventor. It is an apt description, seeing as he has created some 60 patented inventions. Harlin’s areas of expertise cover the petrochemical, machinery and forest industries. He is currently in charge of VTT’s bioeconomy research agenda, where his focus lies on, for example, developing substitutes for plastics. Harlin has an extensive career both in academia and industry. His focus in industry has varied from petrochemistry to cable machinery, giving him a wide perspective on innovation policy. Research commercialisation is also one of his main interests in his current position as a research professor. He has also been involved in several startups, where he has been able to apply his expertise comprehensively.

Assistant Prof. Lauri Rautkari

Prof. Rautkari is leading a research group “Wood Science and Technology” at Aalto University, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems since 2014. The main aim of the research group is to develop sustainable processes and products, especially in the area of wood modification. Nowadays the group is concentrating more and more fundamental research on wood-water interactions. Rautkari is author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and author of another 60+ conference papers.

Before tenure track professorship (currently assistant professor II), he was a postdoc at Edinburg Napier University (UK). During his doctoral studies (2008-2012) he was working in different universities: Aalto University, Bern University of Applied Science (CH) and Oregon State University (USA). Recently, in 2018 he was a visiting professor at Uppsala University for 2 months.


CEO Jukka Kantola

Mr. Jukka Kantola, CEO, NC Partnering Ltd, has broad experience of the woody biomass related industries. He has held various executive positions in Europe and in Asia. Hence, he has a profound comprehension of the challenges and opportunities of these economies. Jukka is widely networked in the bioeconomy sector and he has a good grasp of the new and emerging applications for the wood.

He has established NC Partnering, a novel bio-consulting company focusing on the versatile valorisation of woody biomass for novel applications. Mr. Kantola is a great advocator for the bio-economy and is tenaciously facilitating novel and existing biomass applications. He and his company has played active role to advocate bioeconomy in practice. They have been launching biorefineries and currently they are major operator for KaiCell Fibers venture. He is also a founder of World BioEconomy Forum. 

Mr. Kantola holds a Master of Science degree from the Aalto University. He also holds an eMBA from the Rutgers University. He is married with three sons.

Associate Prof. Antti Haapala

Tenure track Associate Professor Antti Haapala studies different ways of converting woody biomass in industrial processes and the application areas for the refined products. He is a senior researcher in the recently established Wood Materials Science research group and a docent of applied physics at the University of Eastern Finland Kuopio campus. Current interests in research range from functional composite materials innovations and biomass valorisation processes to industry-academia research partnerships and bioeconomy business activities. This includes systematic development of the UEF research infrastructures related on wood, fibre and biochemicals refining, testing and analysis. Research activities focus on natural fibre based materials and biorefining, the processes and analytics yielding to more than 55 scientific publications. 

Prof. Reijo Lappalainen

Prof. Reijo Lappalainen received his PhD degree in Physics at the University of Helsinki, Finland in 1986. From 1990 to 1992 he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. After that he acted as a senior researcher or associate professor at the University of Helsinki until 1999. He has been a professor of Biomaterials Technology at the University of Kuopio 1999–2010 and at the University of Eastern Finland since 2010. Recently R. Lappalainen has been very active in the development of ultra-short pulsed laser ablation techniques, wood distillate coatings, composites, novel nanomaterials and bio-based products. Furthermore, new methods related to spectroscopic analysis and lithography have been developed and utilized. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed scientific articles and more than 40 patents.

4. Karelia Symposiumin kutsuvierasluennoitsijat 2018

Dr. Leif Gustavsson

is Professor of building technology at Linnaeus University, Sweden. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, an MSc in Civil Engineering and an MA in Psychology from Lund University. His main field of research is systems analysis from a bottom-up perspective linked to sustainable development, especially building construction, energy efficiency, renewable energy, forestry and the interaction between these fields. The aim of his research is to increase understanding of how resource- and cost-efficient systems with low environmental impact can be designed, analysed and implemented.

Dr. Jussi Mattila

was born in 1966 and is married with three adult children.  His has completed his Master of Science (Civil engineering, Structural engineering) degree at the Tampere University of Technology in 1991; and Doctor of Technology  (Civil Engineering) degree at the Tampere University of Technology in 2003. He is currently an adjunct professor of Construction Materials and Life-span engineering at the Tampere University of Technology 2011-. Mattila has published more than 100 publications mostly dealing with assessment and renovation of concrete structures. His main duties include: Research Scientist work at different academic levels in Tampere University of Technology, Civil Engineering 1991-2009; CEO at Finnish Concrete Association 2009 – 2012; and CEO at Finnish Federation of Concrete Industries 2012 -.

Mr. Petri Heino

is a forester by profession; he studied the marketing of forest products at the University of Helsinki. After completing his education he started a long career in the promotion of Finnish wood construction, lobbying for organizations such as Puuinfo & Wood Focus and the Finnish Forest Industries Federation. He was also engaged in projects for the Nordic Timber Council.

Heino then worked as a Research Manager at the Kymenlaakso University of Applied sciences for 4 years. The focus of the R&D was on interior design solutions with wood. Restorative environment design principles were designed as a result of this work. 

Heino is currently responsible for the national wood building program at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland. His ongoing dialogue in business and social life with Finnish architects and other members of the building and construction ecosystem has enabled him to understand and firmly grasp the realities and possibilities of wood in the building sector.

Jun. Prof. Dr. Christopher Robeller

leads the Digital Timber Construction group DTC at TU Kaiserslautern. Previously he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication NCCR dfab at ETH Zurich, as a doctoral assistant at the Timber Construction Laboratory IBOIS at EPFL Lausanne, and as a research associate at the Institute of Computational Design ICD, at the University of Stuttgart. Christopher holds a Doctor of Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL, and a Professional Diploma in Architecture with Distinction from London Metropolitan University. His research of innovative timber structures, design for assembly and digital fabrication is widely published in scientific journals, books, conferences and exhibitions, and received the best paper award at the Advances in Architectural Geometry conference in 2014. The research has been implemented in experimental structures including the ICD/itke pavilion 2010 and the IBOIS curved folded wood pavilion, as well as buildings such as the timber folded plate structure for the Vidy Theater in Lausanne.

3. Karelia Symposiumin kutsuvierasluennoitsijat 2017

Dr. Lennart Salmén

is a principal scientist at the Research Institutes of Sweden, RISE. His research interests have mainly been devoted to the understanding of the relationship between the properties of the wood polymeric constituents and the macroscopic physical properties of fibres, wood and paper materials exploring new and innovative techniques for enhancing the understanding of the built-up of the wood cell wall. Studies of softening phenomena, cell wall properties, micro-mechanical modelling, water interaction, mechano-sorptive creep, dimensional stability, fatigue of wood and mechanical pulping are among the areas of published work. Much of the work has been devoted to the interaction of the cellulosic material with moisture where especially the development of moisture induced dynamic FTIR has been shown to give new insights. In recent years, Salmén has been mostly active in the Biorefining area in upgrading the wood polymers for new products and especially of understanding the structure of cellulose in relation to its interaction with water and its dissolution properties.

Dr. Niklas von Weymarn

has a doctoral degree in bioprocess engineering. He has also studied economics and innovation strategies. His job career begun in 1999, when he took on the position of Research Scientist at Cultor Technology Center (Cultor is today a part of DuPont). He has since hold the positions of Project Manager, Team Leader, Program Manager and Technology Manager at Aalto University, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. and CLIC Innovation Ltd. He is currently Vice President for Research at Metsä Fibre, a part of Metsä Group. In that role he is managing the development of new bioproducts related to Metsä Group’s bioproduct mill in Äänekoski, Finland. Niklas was part of the industrial core team that set up the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) and together with the European Commission, the Bio-based Industries Public-Private Partnership. He is Board Member of BIC and the Forest-based Sector Technology Platform.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peer Haller

has published about 200 papers in journals and proceedings. He holds several patents in wood technology and construction and has received numerous national and international distinctions such as Schweighofer Award 2005, Wilhelm Klauditz Award 2006, IKU Award for Climate and Environment by the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Voice of the German Industry – BDI. During 1979-1984, Professor Haller studied mechanical engineering at Fachhochschule Offenburg, Deutsch-Französische Hochschule Saarbrücken/Metz and Institut National Polytechnique de la Lorraine. Later, in 1987, he defended his doctoral thesis in fracture mechanics at the Institut National Polytechnique de la Lorraine. In the late 1980´s he conducted postdoctoral studies at Tokyo University on wood physics as a visiting scientist of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. After this, he worked as a research assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, chair of Timber Structures. Since 1994, Dr. Haller has been working as a professor at Technische Universität Dresden, Department of Civil Engineering, Chair of Timber Structures. In 2009, he was invited professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Dr. Andreja Kutnar

is an associate professor in the field of wood science at University of Primorska, Slovenia and acting director of the InnoRenew CoE Renewable materials and healthy environments research and innovation centre of excellence. She is an executive board member of international organization InnovaWood and a director on the board of the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). In 2014, Dr. Kutnar co-authored a book “Contemporary Slovenian Timber Architecture for Sustainability” published by Springer International Publishing AG in a Series Green Energy and Technology. Furthermore, in 2016 Dr. Andreja Kutnar co-edited a scientific book “Environmental Impacts of Traditional and Innovative Forest-based Bioproducts” published by Springer International Publishing AG in a Series Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes. She is coordinating H2020 Teaming project Renewable materials and healthy environments research and innovation centre of excellence (InnoRenew CoE). Furthermore, she is the chair of COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach (ModWoodLife). In 2016, she received recognition of "Prometheus of Science for excellence in communication" for a successful multi-level communication in wood sciences and supporting the enforcement of the sustainable development paradigm.