The Faculty of Engineering and Business is led by Juha Kontio
Let’s solve all the unsolved issues one by one when necessary, wrote Dean Juha Kontio in TUAS intranet. Wise words from a man who was handed a huge faculty to take care of. At the beginning of 2018, Turku University of Applied Sciences combined two faculties into one faculty, Engineering and Business.
Text and photo: Anne Kuusisto
Caption: The everyday target of Dean Juha Kontio is that the contents of his inbox fit on one screen.
There are now three faculties in Turku University of Applied Sciences, namely Engineering and Business, Arts Academy, and Health and Well-being. In addition, there is a fourth administrative entity, the Unit of Corporate Services. These four parts form Turku University of Applied Sciences.
The Faculty of Engineering and Business is the biggest of all the four. My days have certainly been full of action, laughs Dean Kontio, for whom the organizational renewal brought the responsibility for the huge faculty.
The new faculty is home to over 300 staff members and 5800 students, which means it is the size of approximately a medium-sized university of applied sciences. Moreover, according to Kontio there hasn’t been lack of questions or emails lately. Policies, strategies and processes are underway.
"Last autumn we already worked hard in order to facilitate everyone to find their own place in the new faculty. People participated actively. I hope that the benefits of this integration will become clear to everyone now that these two fields of education that have been operating within our organization for a long time combine their forces for real."
In early spring, Heads of Education and Research shall be appointed for different competence areas, after which the positions of staff members will be reviewed according to their skills.
"There is a lot of competence in the organization. Many people might fit several different roles, so the big question is how to gain the greatest advantage. Although I’m sure we can locate the most suitable role for all staff members, we need to inevitably recruit new staff", Kontio believes.
Genuinely towards new
Dean Juha Kontio believes in his faculty.
An educational organization must constantly renew. The objective of combining the educational fields of engineering and business is to create something genuinely new. There is strong willingness to witness what will happen in the interface between engineering and business.
"We still need to increase the level of competence. We are proud of our education and other operations, and of course of our students, but our region demands for more and more of technical and technological competence. The need for top experts is increasing. We are going to participate in that process."
According to Kontio, the challenge for TUAS is to educate increasingly competent specialists for the constantly changing needs of working life. Our competence must be agile and we have to harness it to be utilized by the regional industry through a fresh way of thinking. In networks, we need to have our finger on the pulse. Preferably, we should always be one step ahead.
"We have to know working life extremely well. The Faculty of Engineering and Business has to be along in the changes taking place in maritime industry and with Valmet Automotive. We should also envisage even further in accordance with Innopeda, our pedagogical approach. Good examples of doing exactly so are the electric rallycross car that is being developed and the new battery technology."
Nothing is permanent. "Well, the laws of physics are likely to be", Kontio remarks.
"As educators, we have to be courageous and make new, innovative openings, and we also need to create completely new activity. When we also develop our education and RDI activities to be even more specific and in-depth, we are heading in the right direction."