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SAMK and Aalto University start collaboration: experts educated to metal sector

The companies in the region of Satakunta, especially in the field of process industry, have been in urgent need of highly educated specialists. SAMK, Aalto University, Satakunta metal refining enterprises and the City of Pori have started collaboration to meet this need.

16.6.2020 | By: Inna Saarinen | Photo: Aino Pelto-Huikko

Student group wearing safety workwear and standing at copper slag landfill.

A group of students led by Senior Lecturer Riitta Dersten (on the right) made an excursion to Boliden Harjavalta final copper slag landfill in February as a part of Environmental Legislation course.

– In autumn 2020, a new Process Engineering path will be started for the first time at SAMK in the degree programme of Energy and Environmental Engineering. After completing this path, it is possible to apply to Aalto University to pursue studies in the Master´s degree Sustainable Metals Processing education, explains Meri Olenius, Energy and Environmental Engineering Education Coordinator.

– Customized studies provide the kind of competence, which help the students to succeed in their studies at Aalto University. The study module has been designed so that it offers the same competences as we have in the Bachelor´s degree education in Chemical Engineering, describes Ari Jokilaakso, Professor of Metallurgy at Aalto University.

Metal refining must be developed because the demand for metals has increased. In addition, recycling has become an important part of the process. In order to make circular economy possible, highly educated specialists are needed, and there is a shortage of them in the region.

Local companies have undertaken to provide the Process Engineering path students and Sustainable Metals Processing education students jobs for practical training, summer employment, Bachelor´s and Master´s theses.

When students can be hired in companies already at an early stage of their studies, their commitment to the company improves. The field is a significant employer in Finland. The metal refining industry accounts for 12 – 15 % of the Finnish export.

Win-win by cooperation

To Meri Olenius the best thing in all this is that everybody wins. Besides visibility, higher education institutions get a new kind of synergy in tuition. Hopefully the region of Satakunta can make young experts also stay in the region; the economy in the area will have highly educated specialists. Students, for their part, naturally benefit from high-quality education provided by cooperation.

Marika Seppälä, Dean of the Faculty of Technology at SAMK tells that cooperation with Aalto University is a source of pride for SAMK.

– Cooperation serves both our students and the companies in our region. I believe that together with Aalto and the companies in the region we will bring about great things.

The City of Pori is also glad to participate in cooperation.

– It´s wonderful that the City of Pori has been able to contribute to the emergence of this cooperation, at least by concretely getting SAMK and Aalto University to sit around the same table, Aino-Maija Luukkonen, the Mayor of Pori tells us.

The metal refining companies in Satakunta involved are Outotec, Nornickel, Aurubis, Boliden Harjavalta, Cupori and Luvata.


For more information:
Meri Olenius, Team Leader, tel. 044 710 3345,

16.6.2020 | By: Inna Saarinen | Photo: Aino Pelto-Huikko

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