Get to know our experts

Christian Breyer

Professor of Solar Economy
LUT School of Energy Systems

Naturally, the decision to move the whole family from Berlin to Lappeenranta was not an easy one. We had to leave what was safe and familiar behind and adapt to a new environment.


Developing a solar economy

A strong international professional, Dr Christian Breyer from Germany, moved with his family to Lappeenranta, because LUT offered him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:

A strong international professional, Dr Christian Breyer from Germany, moved with his family to Lappeenranta, because LUT offered him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:

Why LUT? Because the university gave me the opportunity to launch a new and different kind of professorship. A professorship in solar economy, especially renewable energy futures studies, is new even on a global scale.

The professorship provides a unique possibility to work as a researcher and teacher in the transition towards a sustainable energy economy.

Naturally, the decision to move the whole family from Berlin to Lappeenranta was not an easy one. We had to leave what was safe and familiar behind and adapt to a new environment. The fact that Finland has a good education system was very important to us.

My wife, who is a social worker and nursery school teacher, started a three-year vocational training that includes work placement and Finnish language studies. The children were admitted directly into daycare, which is crucial in terms of language skills and integration.

I hear my five-year-old son already masters the beautiful Karelian dialect. For us adults, learning Finnish has been more difficult. I can understand written language to some extent and I can navigate my way through a grocery store. Speaking and understanding spoken language has been much more challenging.

I have felt at home in LUT. The School of Energy Systems is very advanced. Its thinking is 10, maybe 20 years ahead of its time, which is as it should be in a university. The school also cooperates extensively with experts in different fields.

The student body is very international. At the moment, my team includes 11 members from 9 different countries and 4 continents. Together we are stronger.

Launching a new professorship requires a great deal of effort. Everything, including courses and research projects, must be developed from scratch. My job also requires media presence and networking. All this has its advantages and disadvantages.
My work involves a lot of travel. It is a pitythat we no longer have daily flights from Lappeenranta to Helsinki and Riga. The city should make an effort to get the airport up and running again.

  • Christian Breyer
  • Professor of Solar Economy, LUT School of Energy Systems
  • Dr.-Ing.
  • Born in 1977 in Kempten, Bavaria
  • Previous employers include the Reiner Lemoine Institute and Q-Cells
  • Family includes a wife and 3- and 5-year-old children
  • Enjoys hiking 

 

Paavo Ritala

Professor of Strategy and Innovations
LUT School of Business & Management

Researchers must first and foremost be enthusiastic and passionate.



Passion for research

Professor of Strategy and Innovations Paavo Ritala is excited in search and discovery of everything new. LUT keeps providing better and better possibilities to carry out high-quality research. Ritala says:

Research has intrigued me as a career alternative ever since I started my studies at the university and I became familiar with scientific research papers. When I was a kid, I wanted to become a writer, and that's what I get to do now as a researcher.

In research, I am fascinated by the possibility to create something new, learn about new phenomena, produce new information and work in international circles. Researchers must first and foremost be enthusiastic and passionate. Despite setbacks, you must try and try again and find new angles.

LUT is my alma mater. I started my business studies in 2002, got my Master's degree in 2006 and my doctorate in 2010. In the early 2000s, I was employed by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority in Helsinki, and I could have imagined staying in our nation's capital.

However, an interesting research project presented itself in LUT, and I wanted in on it.

I study business networks and innovations. I think about how a business can create value to its customer and the society through networking and innovations. I have especially focused on cooperation between competitors and how to make this cooperation successful.

At the moment, I'm also interested in sustainable value creation and how a business can use it to create a competitive edge.

Naturally, my job description also includes teaching and societal interaction. In addition, I became a supervisor in connection with the organisational changes: I head Strategy, Management and Accounting in the LUT School of Business and Management.

LUT has changed a great deal in the past decade. The goals are set higher, as are the requirements regarding the quality and quantity of work. Also the possibilities to carry out work of a high quality have increased.

It is exciting to see people and organisations evolve. When you follow the development up close, you may not be aware of it. Changes are noticed more easily by those who step back for a while.
 

  • Paavo Ritala
  • Professor of Strategy and Innovations, LUT School of Business and Management
  • Doctor of Science in Business and Administration
  • Born in 1982 in Turku 
  • Raised in Lappeenranta
  • Family includes a wife and a two-year-old daughter
  • Enjoys running marathons, playing the guitar and reading

 

Jouni Sampo

University Lecturer, Mathematics
LUT School of Engineering Science

Finding new solutions and optimal working methods is brain candy for me.


A new take on teaching

Mathematics teacher Jouni Sampo wants students to enjoy themselves and learn. According to Sampo, it's time to rethink the focus areas of teaching:

Teaching mathematics has been my primary occupation for the past couple of years. Most of my teaching duties consist of lectures. Even though lectures are largely monologues, courses involve a surprising amount of interaction with students.

The best thing about teaching is when you notice a student who started off at a lower skill level doing well, or when a student succeeds better than I ever did in my studies.

I have taught at LUT since my second undergraduate year, 1998. I completed my studies alongside my work and research. In 2005, I obtained my Master of Science degree from the Degree Programme in Information Technology, and in 2010 I obtained my doctorate.

In addition to teaching, I carry out research and administrative work in the School of Engineering Science. My job gives me great freedom to decide how I divide my time between different duties. However, sometimes I may have too many irons in the fire.

Research interests me because it does not involve working with ready-made solutions. Finding new solutions and optimal working methods is brain candy for me. I'd like to bring the same kind of joy of creation and discovery to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

The teaching of mathematics has certain standards and international textbooks which have been applied for the past 25 years. It's time to rethink the focus areas of teaching. Instead of working with equations made by others, students could build more equations themselves. Computer science is full of possibilities that aren't exploited enough.

Teachers are challenged by the fact that students' skills and goals differ widely. What works for one student won't necessarily work for another. The teacher must strike a balance between new solutions, teaching methods and the carrot and stick approach depending on the group.
 

  • Jouni Sampo
  • University Lecturer, Mathematics, LUT School of Engineering Science
  • Doctor of Science (Technology)
  • Born in 1978
  • Originally from Lappeenranta
  • Family includes a wife and 5- and 12-year-old children
  • Enjoys playing different types of games, given the time

LUT University

Lappeenranta Campus
Yliopistonkatu 34
53850 Lappeenranta, Finland
Tel. +358 29 446 2111

Lahti Campus
Mukkulankatu 19
15210 Lahti, Finland
Tel. +358 29 446 2111

All contact details