Finland's first sustainability science professorship established at LUT

Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has appointed Helena Kahiluoto, Doctor of Science (Agriculture and Forestry), as the first professor of sustainability science in Finland. The new professorship further contributes to LUT's already extensive expertise in sustainability science.

Kahiluoto's fields of specialisation include food security, climate change and water systems, and an equitable circular economy. Her previous employer was the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE). She also has extensive international experience in e.g. working for the UN. Kahiluoto was involved in creating the first global process for assessing science and technology in agriculture and food systems from the perspective of hunger and sustainability. 

Kahiluoto is excited about her new job.

"I'm very happy to be at LUT. I feel I am in the right place and I am going to give it all I've got. I am proud to be part of an organisation focused on the future with a strategy that paves the way in finding solutions to the world's problems."

Food security is a topic especially close to Kahiluoto's heart because it is of crucial importance to humankind.

"It has been proven that, for instance, migration and conflicts are often triggered by questions related to food and nutrition security. This can be seen also in the Syrian conflict, which was preceded by several years of crop losses resulting from factors such as climate change. The skyrocketing of food prices set off the events of the Arab Spring, which challenged the legitimacy of the administration in many Arab nations."

"Ensuring food and energy security and thus peace requires both local and global system innovations and an abundance of bold thinking."

Sustainability science is developing rapidly. Its purpose is to recognise and build ecological, cost-efficient solutions needed by society, businesses and individuals. Sustainability science emphasises that all aspects of sustainability – ecological, economic, and social – must be taken into consideration when searching for the best solutions. LUT possesses wide-ranging expertise in different areas of sustainability science; especially in the sustainability transformation of energy and food systems.

Further information:

Helena Kahiluoto, Professor, helena.kahiluoto@lut.fi, +358 40 511 8335

Lassi Linnanen, Professor, lassi.linnanen@lut.fi, +358 50 550 3305