People

Reseach Management Group

Olli-Pekka Brunila Research manager South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Olli-Pekka Brunila works as a Research Manager at Xamk’s logistics and seafaring RDI unit, specialized in sustainable and green maritime logistics. He has over a decade’s worth of experience in maritime logistics research, having also worked at the University of Turku as a researcher and as a Project Manager. Olli-Pekka has been a member of KMRC network for over a decade and is now a member of the executive team. He is also a member of HaminaKotka Port’s board and a substitute councillor at the city of Kotka. He has a MSc in Environmental technology and a BSc in Logistics, and he is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Turku, Economic Geography. His PhD thesis title is “Are Ports Future Ready? Digitilisation and sustainability as key value drivers for ports in the Baltic Sea region”.

Justiina Halonen Research manager South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Tommi Inkinen Professor University of Turku Tommi Inkinen is a Professor of Economic Geography at the University of Turku. His main research interests include innovation and technology geography, maritime studies, and industrial systems. These include regional and social structuring of innovation, technology integration, regional development, and logistics of transport. He’s recent books include “Geographies of Disruption” (with Tan Yigitcanlar) by Springer (2019); and “Smart Cities and Innovative Urban Technologies” (edited with Tan Yigitcanlar and Mark Wilson) by Routledge (2021). Inkinen is a current chair of the International Geographical Union’s (IGU) Innovation, Information and Technology Commission. He is also a current member (2022–2024) of the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Academy of Finland.

Anna Kiiski Executive director Kotka Maritime Research Association Anna Kiiski acts as the Executive Director of Kotka Maritime Research Center (KMRC). Anna is a long-range professional when it comes to the international RDI cooperation, particularly in topics related to maritime safety and logistics and marine environmental impacts. She has been leading and supervising preparation of several international project funding applications targeted to research, regional development, and business cooperation. She also has a long experience of fostering interactions between scientific community and society.

Sakari Kuikka Professor University of Helsinki Ph.D. Sakari Kuikka works as a full professor in fisheries biology, in the University of Helsinki. He is specialized in Bayesian decision analysis and probabilistic interdisciplinary modelling of socio-biological systems. In addition to fisheries science, an important part of his research is focused on oil spill risk analysis. He is the head of Fisheries and Environmental Management Group (FEM group).

Annukka Lehikoinen Research Director Kotka Maritime Research Association Dr. Annukka Lehikoinen works at the Kotka Maritime Research Association (KMRA), acting as the research director of the Kotka Maritime Research Centre (KMRC). Annukka is specialised in cross-disciplinary (socio-eco-technical) systems analyses with focus in human-environment interaction and sustainable management. Since 2006, she has worked in numerous multi-disciplinary projects, applying integrative and participatory methods for knowledge co-production and evidence syntheses with research teams and stakeholders. In her work as research director, Annukka plans and coordinates activities of the KMRC researcher network, facilitating both the internal collaboration, and the network’s interaction with the stakeholders and knowledge end-users.

Mashrura Musharraf Associate professor Aalto University Dr. Mashrura Musharraf joined the Marine Technology group at Aalto University in early 2021 as an Assistant Professor. She received her PhD (2018) and M.Eng. (2014) in Computer Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. She has been an active researcher since 2012 with a vision to apply data mining, machine learning, and AI techniques to build and deploy human-centered systems and solutions and create a safer marine industry. Her expertise includes knowledge elicitation from subject matter experts, human performance data collection by conducting full-scale experiments in marine simulators, integration of different data types, and predictive and diagnostic data analysis using machine learning methods. The choice of the analytic tools used in her research is heavily influenced by their interpretability. As the foundations for futuristic ships are being set, her current and future research aims to achieve interpretability and transparency of the AI algorithms that would govern the decision-making in ship design and operation.

Osiris Valdez Banda Associate professor Aalto University Osiris Valdez Banda is an Assistant Professor of Marine Technology, leading the Research Group on Safe and Efficient Marine Systems at Aalto university. His research focuses on the analysis of marine risks and safety systems engineering with applications in the concepts of smart shipping and ship winter navigation. His work focuses on the development of methods, processes and tools for modelling and analysing the risks, safety and efficiency of the entire maritime ecosystem with focus on guiding the ship design processes and the management of maritime traffic operations.

Reseacher Network

Mohammad Mahdi Abaei Postdoctoral Researcher University of Turku Mohammad Mahdi Abaei holds an individual research fellowship at University of Turku, Collegium for Science, Medicine and Technology. He completed his PhD from Australian Maritime College at the University of Tasmania. He is also a former postdoctoral researcher at University of Exeter, TU Delft and NTNU. His research works focus on marine and offshore engineering with addressing challenges regarding fluid-structure interactions, reliability engineering and data-driven approaches for the health monitoring of complex marine operations in extreme load conditions. He has contributions in developing effective stochastic dynamic models for the structures, robust decision-making, and innovative structural reliability methods for improving the performance of marine and offshore structures.

Elias Altarriba Project manager South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Elias Altarriba holds a Licentiate of Science (tech.). He has been working at the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, in the focus area of Logistics and Seafaring, since 2017. He has participated in both international and national projects (COMPLETE, COMPLETE PLUS, MEPTEK, ScarOil, SÖKÖSaimaa, SÖKÖSuomenlahti). Prior to that, Elias has worked as a teacher at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, as a junior researcher at the Lappeenranta University of Technology and in the technical service of an automotive import company. Elias has also recently joined the doctoral school of Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences at the University of Helsinki, as a PhD candidate.

Ahmad BahooToroody Postdoctoral Researcher Aalto University Since September 2020, Dr. Ahmad BahooToroody has been working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Marine and Arctic Technology Group of Aalto University, Research group on Safe and Efficient Marine Systems. With a Ph.D. in Reliability Engineering from the University of Florence (Italy), he was invited to liaise with researchers at TU Delft (The Netherlands), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) and University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom). His PhD research focused on risk-based asset integrity modeling of the automotive process, and he completed both the comprehensive exam and oral defense with distinction. Ahmad’s research interests stand at uncertainty quantification, resilience and trustworthiness of engineering operations, condition-based maintenance optimization, and application of probabilistic methods and machine learning tools in dynamic modeling. He has been keen to pass on his knowledge and experiences through supervising the undergraduate and graduate students and advising Ph.D. candidates.

Sunil Basnet Doctoral candidate Aalto University Sunil Basnet is a doctoral candidate at Aalto University, Department of Marine Technology. He has background in Naval Architecture with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. The doctoral research focuses on integrating Model-Based System Engineering into the Risk management framework for complex maritime operations such as Remote Pilotage operations.

Victor Bolbot Postdoctoral Researcher Aalto University Dr. Victor Bolbot is a post-doc researcher at the Research group on Safe Marine Systems of Aalto University. Prior to joining the group, Victor has worked as a Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, where he also received his doctoral degree in 2020. Victor has received his M.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 2016. During his studies as a Master and PhD student Victor has received multiple awards for his outstanding performance from distinguished organisations such as DNV, IMarEST, Limmat Stiftung, Thomaideion, TRA VISIONS 2020. Victor’s research interests focus on but are not limited to safety and cybersecurity assurance of complex and autonomous marine systems. He is currently involved in AutoMare, ECAMARIS and FinnPilot projects.

Meriam Chaal Doctoral candidate Aalto University Meriam Chaal is a doctoral candidate at Marine Technology group of Aalto University. Her research focus is on risk management applied to autonomous ships. She received a first Master degree is Ship Machinery Operation from the Tunisian Navy in 2012 and another in Maritime Safety and Environmental Administration from the World Maritime University, Sweden in 2018. She has 5 years of experience as Engineer Officer (Seafarer) on-board large passenger ships.

Miina Karjalainen Project researcher Kotka Maritime Research Association Miina Karjalainen is a Project Researcher (PhD, marine biology) at the Kotka Maritime Research Association. Main duties: coordinator of the projects, following their financial progress, ensuring the quality of their outputs and communicating their results to the EU funding instruments, target groups and the general public. Project themes: invasive alien species, maritime safety, oil spill risks, maritime spatial planning, and the effects of maritime traffic to the environment.

Alexandr Kondratenko Postdoctoral Researcher Aalto University Dr. Aleksandr Kondratenko is a postdoctoral researcher at the Marine Technology research group of Aalto University (Finland), where he also received his doctoral degree in ship design. Since getting his Master’s degree in 2014 at SMTU (Russia), he worked for five years as a research engineer in R&D (KSRC, Russia), making scientific reports and research software for private and state customers. His research field includes applied optimization of ships and maritime transportation systems (e.g., for open and ice-covered waters) and studying the possible ways of ships decarbonization.

Ketki Kulkarni Research Fellow Aalto University Ketki Kulkarni is a research fellow in Marine and Arctic Technology at Aalto University. She is currently working on building decision support capabilities for winter navigation using simulation-optimization techniques. She specializes in the use of advanced simulation software for industrial applications. Prior to this, she worked in Singapore Management University, where she managed the design and implementation of a decision support tool for port gate management. She is not only interested in contributing to the methodology literature, but also in developing efficient tools that are used by organizations for their daily operations. She finds packaging the research work (math and sim models) into usable solutions exciting and challenging.
Vappu Kunnaala-Hyrkki RDI specialist South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences Vappu Kunnaala-Hyrkki (M.Sc. (Admin.)) works as a RDI Specialist at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk). She coordinates and supports the application of international project funding. She has research background in the field of maritime safety and has focused especially on pilotage and corporate social responsibility aspects.
Mirka Laurila-Pant Postdoctoral Researcher University of Helsinki Mirka Laurila-Pant is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on topics related to environmental decision-making and risk management, as well as promoting environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation and maritime safety. To study and tackle with these topics, she has applied formal decision analysis and parameter estimation models by utilizing Bayesian statistics.
Fang Li Postdoctoral Researcher Aalto University Dr. Fang Li obtained his D.Sc. degree from the Marine Technology Group of Aalto University and has worked as post-doctoral fellow since December 2020. His field of specialization is Arctic marine technology. Prior to the doctoral period, he received his BE degree from Dalian University of Technology, China on Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, and M.Sc. degree from the Nordic master program at NTNU and Aalto on Maritime Engineering. His research interests are ice-going ship performance simulation, ice load estimation and winter navigation.
Cong Liu Doctoral candidate Aalto University Cong Liu is a doctoral candidate studying at Marine Technology Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aalto University. The main task of his work focuses on intelligent winter navigation. Big data analytics and machine learning methods are implemented. His research aims to help mariners and maritime management authorities better understand the winter operations and support the development of intelligent decision-making system for winter navigation.
Lianliang Lu Postdoctoral Researcher Aalto University Dr. Liangliang Lu works as a postdoctoral researcher in Aalto University and University of Helsinki. He obtained doctoral degree in Marine and Arctic Technology from Aalto university and master degrees in Maritime Engineering from both Aalto University and Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has some working experience as a naval architect in shipbuilding and design in Shanghai after bachelor degree and as an ice engineer in TOTAL in Paris after master degree. His research interests are on maritime risk management especially in ice conditions, including traffic analysis, oil spill and response modelling, and ice loads. He is currently involved in CBC SIMREC project focusing on accidents and oil spills in extreme conditions and LRF CEPOLAR project focusing on scenario-based risk management for ships in polar waters.
Emilia Luoma Doctoral candidate Emilia Luoma is a PhD candidate in the doctoral school of Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI), at Helsinki University Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme. She holds memberships of the research group of Fisheries and Environmental Management (FEM), cross-university research community of Kotka Maritime Research Centre, and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). In her PhD, Luoma studies how the sustainability of maritime traffic and the related activities in the Gulf of Finland can be improved. She is specialized in working with stakeholders and analyzing their views and thoughts using interviews, conceptual mapping and probabilistic elicitation of causalities as the methods.
Piia Nygren Project specialist Kotka Maritime Research Association
Eunice Olanyi Postdoctoral Researcher University of Turku Eunice Olanyi has a Ph.D. in Business and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku, Department of Geography and Geology. Her research activities include maritime business, transport economics, maritime capital investments analysis, financial engineering, modeling methodologies for value networks, data analysis, as well as sustainable strategies for international coalitions & business alliances. She has managed and participated in different successful project implementations across Europe, some in partnership with non-EU and African countries.
Sari Repka Project manager University of Turku Project Manager, Centre for Maritime Studies, Brahea Centre – University of Turku
Vesa Tuomala Project manager S-E Finland University of Applied Sciences Vesa Tuomala works as a Project Manager in the logistics and seafaring RDI unit of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk). He has a broad experience and career in the ICT sector earlier, and over a decade of maritime safety and security as an officer and seafarer onboard passenger and cargo vessels. For the last three years, he has been working with the sustainability and cybersecurity of ports and maritime industry, pedagogy of maritime simulators, and the future of autonomous vessels. Vesa has education in leadership and project management from Henley Management College (MBA), degree of Master Mariner from Xamk, and studies in cybersecurity. He has publications on sustainability, safety and security in the port and maritime industry, IoT and maritime cybersecurity, and oil recovery.
Sami Vikkula Doctoral candidate University of Helsinki Sami Vikkula has M.Sc degrees in both business and environmental sciences. He has nearly ten years of work experience in the corporate sector, in financial management and business development roles. Currently he is doing his doctoral studies regarding environmental protection, environmental risk analysis and management. In his thesis work, Sami is developing a model for predicting the effects of oil spills on fish stocks, including economic indicators of impacts. In this work he applies Bayesian inference and probability calculus.