Mentoring in Finland

Mentoring is a coaching process in which an experienced individual (the mentor) advices a junior partner (mentee) on their skills and experience. Mentoring assists those who are facing barriers in progressing forward with a project or who may lack knowledge about a particular technology or service. The Mentor Programme of RECENT project is designed to match up the knowledge, skills, insights and capabilities of mentors with mentees who need practical and strategic one to one advice and guidance. The mentor contributes independent, informed observation and advice to aid decision making.

As a part of the RECENT project, the partners in the University of Oulu is aiming to have an energy network. Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit has 8 mentors. Service users can benefit from the advices the mentors provide. The focus of this mentoring programme is to create hands on approach and a closer collaboration between mentoring and training.

Mentors in Energy and Environmental Engineering Research unit, University of Oulu

Eva Pongrácz, Professor, Head of the Unit


Prof. Eva Pongrácz is head of the Energy and Environmental Engineering research unit at the Faculty of Technology. Her main research focus is smart and sustainable energy systems, decentralized energy solutions, decarbonization and resource efficiency. She has lead several Academy of Finland projects, the current focusing on Smart energy networks and decarbonization goals until 2050. She also has an extensive collaboration network and project experience across the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. She also have plenty of teaching, supervising and advising activities.

Areas of Expertise

  • Smart and sustainable energy systems
  • Resource efficiency
  • Decentralized energy solutions for the North
  • Waste management
  • Sustainability assessment
  • Sustainable regional development

Sari Piippo, Research Doctor


Dr Sari Piippo works in RECENT project as a research doctor. The project aims to increase energy knowledge in rural communities and help them to have more energy efficient public infrastructure capable of handling climate change related risks. Her previous research topic was “Sustainable bioeconomy: cascade use of biomass and bio-waste management.” She has research expertise in the field of ecology (PhD in 2010) (e.g. endangered plants and restoration) and in engineering (e.g. utilization of waste, recycling, zero waste). She also has pedagogical qualification and has teaching and advising activities.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Bio-waste management
  • Waste-to-energy technologies
  • Cascade use of biomass
  • Northern ecosystems
  • Restoration ecology

Antonio Caló, Research Doctor


Dr Antonio Caló works in Smart Energy networks 2050 project. His background is in Physics and he is an expert in nuclear energy. His most recent research is focusing on distributed energy and smart energy solutions. He has acquired pedagogical qualification and is teaching in several courses.

Areas of Experise:
  • Smart Grids
  • Distributed Energy
  • Nuclear Energy

Jean-Nicolas Louis, Research Doctor


Dr Jean-Nicolas Louis works in Smart Energy networks 2050 project. His is an expert in smart grids and smart energy solutions. He also researches LCA and environmental impact concerning energy systems. He is also teaching.

Areas of Expertise
  • Energy Systems
  • Environmental Impact
  • Smart Grids
  • Smart Houses
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Computational Modelling

Arja Sarpola, Research Doctor


Dr Arja Sarpola is working in FREED project. She is an expert of water chemistry and hydrometallurgy and has extensive knowledge in the laboratory sector. She majored in inorganic chemistry and received her DTech in year 2007 in environmental and water technology at Oulu University. Her deep understanding of laboratory analysis and practices is based on her a long career as laboratory technician before the academic graduation. She has also acquired pedagogical qualification from Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

Areas of Expertise
  • Water Treatment
  • Energy Innovations

Jenni Ylä-Mella, Research Doctor


Dr Jenni Ylä-Mella is expert in WEEE recovery system, consumers’ attitudes toward WEEE and the quality of waste material flow. She also has knowledge in municipal solid waste management and recovery networks. Her most recent research focus on recovery of critical material. She also has pedagogical qualification and has teaching activities.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Recovery of Critical Materials
  • Resource Management
  • Waste Management and Recovery Infrastructure
  • Electronic Waste, WEEE
  • Circular Economy

Niko Hänninen, Project Manager


Phil.Lic. Niko Hänninen has a long-term experience in project management, planning and financing.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Management and Finance
  • History

Victor Pavlov, PhD Student


Victor Pavlov has been working within a team of specialists in northern environmental technology research in the University of Oulu - under several international projects: related to water services, renewable energy and sustainable community development. He has received education in three Fennoscandian countries: Russia, Norway and Finland. All higher education degrees, including current doctoral studies, are in Environmental Engineering. He is interested in the Arctic issues, in general, and specifically in oil spill response in the northern cold water environment.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Renewable Energy
  • Arctic Marine Environmental Protection
  • Sustainability Assessment of Oil Spill Response Methods