People of TECH: Emilia Peltola
The People of TECH series presents personnel from various departments and functions at the Faculty of Technology, the newest and fastest growing faculty at the University of Turku. First, let us introduce Emilia Peltola.
What is your role in the faculty?
I am an associate professor in materials technology and I am responsible for health technology materials master program in the materials engineering program.
What is your research topic and how did you end up with it?
My interest in the interaction between technology and humans started already in high school. My path began in the musculoskeletal diseases research group of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Helsinki, where I focused on research on the interaction of materials and bone. After completing my dissertation, I expanded my perspective to Aalto University's research project on electrochemical sensors. My background enabled me to delve into the research of material and human interfaces, especially in the area of bioelectrical interfaces. My enthusiasm extends widely to the behavior of materials in a biological environment, and to how functionality can be correlated with the properties of materials.
What is it like building a new faculty?
Building a new faculty opens up a wonderful opportunity to act according to one's own vision without the need to dismantle old structures. However, at the same time, significant challenges arise when several areas have to be developed at the same time: the large number of recruitments, establishing your own research group, creating new course content and defining the entire operating culture require a lot of work. The best thing about this process is the good spirit in our materials technology unit, which is reflected in sincere cooperation and willingness to help each other. It is also crucial that difficulties are not hidden, but learned from together.
What kind of collaborative projects are you involved in?
I lead the Climate Smart Health Technologies consortium, which includes the Department of Computing from our faculty, and Aalto University, the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute. Recently, a MED-EL company representative visited our course, and I myself participated as a panelist in the Siemens Healthineers webinar. In addition, we cooperate with companies, for example through students' diploma theses.
What inspires you in your spare time?
I get inspiration from nature, cultural experiences, cozy cafes, building Legos and crafts.
Tell a surprising fact about yourself.
I may have a tendency towards making atypical choices. As a child, my main hobby was playing the baritone horn. Right now, I do parkour!