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Page updated 5.12.2022
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Decorations awarded to members of Turku UAS staff

On Independence Day, the President of the Republic of Finland confers decorations upon citizens who have distinguished themselves in the service of Finland. From Turku UAS, decorations have been awarded to Ursula Hyrkkänen, Raimo Pärssinen, Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi, Markku Ikonen, Renja Leino-Andersson, Anne Merta and Ilkka Uusitalo.

Decorations of the Orders of the White Rose of Finland and the Lion of Finland are conferred upon citizens in recognition of outstanding civilian or military conduct in the service of Finland. Read more on the decorations on the page of the Orders of Finland .

Recipients of the decorations at Turku UAS with justifications

Ursula Hyrkkänen

Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Executive Lecturer, PhD, Ursula Hyrkkänen has worked at Turku University of Applied Sciences from 2001 in research and development tasks and as a supervisor. From 2020, Hyrkkänen has worked as an Executive Lecturer. Before her career at Turku University of Applied Sciences, Hyrkkänen worked at South Karelia University of Applied Sciences (nowadays LAB University of Applied Sciences) as a Lecturer and RDI Manager.

In her career, Ursula Hyrkkänen has in particular enhanced the development of the future forms of work, well-being and management practices in future work and environments. Her expertise includes ICT-based mobile work and developing the related management, promoting well-being at work and occupational health, and the methodology of developmental work research. She has over 50 scientific publications on the abovementioned topic. In her career, Hyrkkänen has also promoted the practices concerning the assessment and testing of individuals’ performance, mobility, and functional capacity.

Ursula Hyrkkänen's profile on Turku UAS' website

Raimo Pärssinen

Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Principal Lecturer Raimo Pärssinen has worked as the Director of Education in the faculty of Life Sciences and as a member of Turku UAS’ Executive Board for over 10 years. As the teaching in life sciences moved from Sepänkatu to Kupittaa in the turn of the 21st century, Raimo was involved in planning and implementing the extensive teaching facilities of the degree programmes in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology and Laboratory Technology on the Lemminkäisenkatu campus, for both theory and laboratory teaching (analytical laboratory, foodstuffs laboratory, microbiology laboratory, process hall, protein laboratory, clean room). Pärssinen has developed and launched several degree programmes at Turku UAS: Laboratory Analyst, Chemical and Materials Engineering and the Master’s degree programmes in Chemical Engineering and Diagnostics. He has planned, developed, and launched the training on cleanroom technology at Turku UAS and created the educational facilities for the first training on cleanrooms in Finland.

In teaching, Pärssinen has worked and still works as an active and popular Principal Lecturer in Chemical Engineering in the degree programme in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. He has been an active operator in RDI projects and promoter of cooperation with companies in the degree programme in Biotechnology since the early 21st century. Pärssinen has developed student tutoring and the thesis process in his field on a student-oriented basis. He has written e.g., the course books: Ammatillista biotekniikkaa ja geenitekniikkaa, Geenitekniikka. Pärssinen has been an active member in the international R3 Nordic cleanroom association and the Finnish local association for over 20 years. He has been the driving force in the association’s programme committee in organizing symposiums when they have been organized in Finland. For several years, he has been a member of the City Council of Parainen, and in the church and parish council of the Finnish parish in Parainen/Länsi-Turunmaa.

Raimo Pärssinen's profile on Turku UAS' website

Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi

Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Principal Lecturer Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi is a pioneer in the work on creative well-being in Finland. Throughout her career, she has studied the well-being effects of music and expanded the traditional music education. She trained as a musical therapist in the year 2000, and her doctoral dissertation was the first research project in the field of music at a university of applied sciences on the definition and application of the therapeutic meanings and potentials of music in music education. She has been involved in developing the specialization studies in music therapy at Turku UAS’ Arts Academy, the specialization education of community musicians and new Master’s degree programmes. In 2009–2014, Lilja-Viherlampi worked as a Research Manager at the Arts Academy and after that, in the research group on creative well-being and as the first Principal Lecturer in creative well-being in Finland. The national, multisectoral coordination centre Taikusydän coordinates the work on creative well-being at the Arts Academy. Its cooperation network covers the entire Finland, and it has yielded an online journal, a Nordic research network which brings together several higher education institutions and a peer-evaluated research publication. 

Lilja-Viherlampi has worked as the Degree Programme Leader of Master’s degrees at the Arts Academy and engaged in building nationally unique Master’s degree programmes in the field of creative well-being, conducted in cooperation with the health care field. The programmes cover applied arts and the new contexts of arts. Her work has significantly expanded the understanding of the importance of arts and culture in the education in the field of social services and health care and among professionals. 

Lilja-Viherlampi works as a guest lecturer in her field of expertise. She has also been a representative of Turku UAS in the culture council of Southwest Finland for several terms. In her spare time, she is a performing musician.

Liisa-Maria Lilja-Viherlampi's profile on Turku UAS' website

Markku Ikonen

Cross of Merit of the Order of the White Rose of Finland

Licentiate of Science (Technology) Markku Ikonen has for long worked in the positions of Senior Lecturer and Degree Programme Leader in the degree programme in Automotive and Transportation Engineering at Turku University of Applied Sciences. He has played a central part in the development of the education in automotive engineering and a pioneer in promoting the enhancement of energy consumption in traffic. He has had a significant impact on the research and development activities on automotive engineering at Turku UAS by bringing his researcher competence from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to Turku UAS. The focus areas of his research and development activities have been the environmental effects of traffic, the energy consumption of traffic, vehicles’ power sources and emissions.

Ikonen has extensive national and international networks. He is a member of the educational committee of FISITA, the international network for automotive engineers. FISITA is a significant, international umbrella organization of engineering associations and companies in the automotive field. Ikonen is a respected teacher and tutor among the students. He does not hesitate to accept challenges and when needed, will delight listeners with singing and music, for example at students’ graduation parties. 

Ikonen has been an active participant in social discussion in the form of different publications. He has published a book about energy-efficient driving, written several conference papers and topical articles for newspapers e.g., on fuel consumption and electric cars, thus opening complex technical viewpoints for ordinary drivers. He has also worked as a journalist in the largest Finnish magazine in the automotive field (Tuulilasi).

Markku Ikonen's profile on Turku UAS' website

Renja Leino-Andersson

Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Photography artist and Senior Lecturer Renja Leino-Andersson has had a long and significant career as a developer of the pedagogy in Finnish photography and fine art. She has played a central part in Turku UAS’ Arts Academy achieving its position as a renowned photography educator in Finland. As an artist and teacher, her strengths include uncompromising, excitable, and encouraging instruction and developing students’ own artistic expression. The visual artists who graduate from the Arts Academy have obtained excellent abilities to operate in the international field of contemporary art. Leino-Andersson has promoted the position of photography artists e.g., as a member of the Arts Council of Varsinais-Suomi in 1991–1993. In 2015, Leino-Andersson established a new, international art residence in the Turunmaa archipelago. The residence has increased its importance both artistically and regionally. For its part, the residence maintains the archipelago’s vitality and provides a unique setting for making e.g., socially topical ecologic art. Renja Leino-Andersson has been an active maintainer and discussion provoker in the archipelago in the field of contemporary art.

From 1987, Leino-Andersson has held several national and international private and group exhibitions. Her works are featured e.g., in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Photography, WAM Turku City Art Museum, EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art) and Helsinki City Museum and in the T-hospital building of Turku University Central Hospital. E.g., Svenska Kulturfonden, TAIKE, Frame, the Löfgren foundation and Konstsamfundet have awarded her several grants for artistic activities. She has also worked in several international art residencies. In 2021, Leino-Andersson was awarded the Art Prize of Southwest Finland, granted by Arts Promotion Centre Finland, in recognition as her extensive career as a central, national influencer in photography.

Renja Leino-Andersson's profile on Turku UAS' website

Anne Merta

Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Anne Merta is a Master of Sciences in Health Care, who works as a Senior Lecturer and Degree Programme Leader in the competence area of social services and education. Her career as a Lecturer in the field of social services and education spans over several decades in both Loimaa and Turku, and she has also engaged in customer work in the health care field e.g., as a manager of a housing unit for senior citizens in Kaarina. As a Degree Programme Leader, Merta has had a vital role in developing the degree programme in Social Services at Turku UAS. In particular, her handprint can be seen in blended degree and online education. In addition, she has had a significant role in opening paths to education in social services for students with an immigrant background. 

In addition to the degree programme in Social Services, Merta has been an important player in continuing professional education: she participated in Turku UAS’ first sexual counsellor training in 2002–2003. Since then, Turku UAS has organized the training in basic sexology (sexual counsellor) every year, and Merta has been the responsible teacher in nine groups which have undergone the education. In addition, Merta has worked as a trainer in the specialization education in Brain health promotion and in the job supervision training.

Anne Merta has done RDI project work in both national and international projects. The projects’ target groups have been found in the different stages of life, but Merta has particularly often participated in projects which promote the well-being of senior citizens. For example, in the Palliare project, Merta participated in developing multiprofessional support for those suffering from memory disorders and their next of kin. In the Green Sam project Merta engaged in seeking, experimenting, and establishing ecologically sustainable modes of mobility aimed at active senior citizens. In addition to the above, Merta is also an active participant in different associations. Now, she works as the Vice Chair of the board of Varsinais-Suomen Muistiyhdistys (“The Memory Association of Southwest Finland”) and as a member of the executive committee of the national Alzheimer Society of Finland. In addition, she also participates in the activities of the professional teachers’ association in Turku association and the Finnish Association for Sexology.

Anne Merta's profile on Turku UAS' website

Ilkka Uusitalo

Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland

Ilkka Uusitalo is a Doctor of Education, who works as a Senior Lecturer in the competence area of Social Services and Education at Turku University of Applied Sciences. He has worked as a lecture in social services in different decades in Tampere, Loimaa and Turku, first as a vocational teacher in vocational education and nowadays at Turku UAS. Earlier he also worked as a manager of continuing education and special advisor at Turku UAS.

Uusitalo obtained his doctorate in education in 2019 from the University of Turku. The topic of the doctoral dissertation was “Learning in the workplace in child welfare social work – preconditions and opportunities for the development of professional expertise”. The importance of the doctoral dissertation was recognized in the field of child welfare, and it was also covered by the media.

Ilkka Uusitalo completed job supervisor training in 1997 and since then, he has worked as a job supervisor and trainer in several workplaces in the field of social services, health care and education. At the different stages of his career, he has been involved in several training and development processes of different work communities in municipal organizations, associations, and companies. In addition, Uusitalo has over the years done RDI project work related to the topic.
Uusitalo has benefited his competence in job supervision also by training new job supervisors. Since 2015, he has been the responsible trainer of the job supervisor training organized by Turku University of Applied Sciences (60 ECTS in extent).

In addition to the abovementioned, Uusitalo has written several non-fiction and course books and published professional and scientific articles. He is a member of the Finnish Supervisor’s Association and the Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers and is politically active. In the county elections in 2022, Uusitalo was a candidate in the electoral district of Southwest Finland.

Ilkka Uusitalo's profile on Turku UAS' website