Tenured Professors’ Installation Talks
Aalto University celebrates its tenured professors with popular talks by the new tenure track professors of Associate or Full level.
Welcome to hear about Aalto University’s research!
Professors and topics:
“From photons to behaviour: Resolving neural circuit function at quantal resolution”
Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering
School of Science
”Doing design research in public”
Department of Design
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
All talks will be held in English and are open for everyone: professors, students, faculty, staff, and the public. The multidisciplinary talks will be followed by a reception hosted by Ilkka Niemelä, the President of Aalto University.
Petri Ala-Laurila (b. 1975 in Finland) Petri Ala-Laurila received his doctorate in Engineering Physics in 2003 at Helsinki University of Technology. He did two distinct postdoctoral periods in the USA: in Boston during 2004–2008 at the laboratory of Dr. Carter Cornwall, and in Seattle 2008–2012 at the laboratory of Dr. Fred Rieke. In 2012, Ala-Laurila returned to Finland to establish his highly integrative research program originally at the University of Helsinki and later also at Aalto University.
His research is situated in the intersection of biology and physics. Ala-Laurila uses the retina in the back of the eye to reveal the neural basis of the remarkable performance of our visual capabilities. The retina – an accessible part of the brain – can reveal fundamental principles of neural computations. Ala-Laurila works especially in dim light conditions where the circuits mediating visual signals are well-defined, and visual signals originate only of a small number of photons.
In these conditions, the function of individual neural circuits can be related to the overall performance of the entire visual system. Together with his team, Ala-Laurila wishes to understand how visual information gets encoded in the visual system and how the brain decodes or reads this information – to fundamentally understand how the brain works.
Methodologically this means combining cutting-edge electrophysiology with precise manipulations of retinal circuit function, mathematical modelling, and measuring visually guided behaviour in both mice and humans.
In 2014, Ala-Laurila won the Academy of Finland Award for Scientific Courage for showing exceptional scientific audacity, creativity and innovation in his research. Recently, he was selected as the organizer of the European Retina Meeting 2019 and will bring one of the most prestigious meetings in his research field for the first time to Northern Europe.
Petri Ala-Laurila, D.Sc. (Tech.), has been appointed Professor of biophysics at Aalto University School of Science 20 February 2018.
Guy Julier (born 1961, Jersey, British Isles) received his PhD degree in Design Culture Studies from Leeds Metropolitan University, UK in 2000. He was Senior Lecturer and Head of Critical and Contextual Studies there, 1991–2001, and Professor of Design, 2001–2010. In 2011 he became the Victoria & Albert Museum Principal Research Fellow in Contemporary Design and also, from 2012, Professor of Design Culture at the University of Brighton. He has been William Evans Visiting Fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2008, Honorary Professor at the Glasgow School of Art, 2005–2010 and Guest Professor, University of Southern Denmark, 2013–2014.
Professor Julier's research covers the investigation of past, present and future developments in design in the contexts of economic, cultural and social changes. Early work explored design in the transitions of Spain and Hungary from state-dominated to market economies. Subsequently, he pioneered Design Culture Studies as a scholarly field. Most recently, his work has centred on methods within design activism, social change and public sector innovation, supported through several grants from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. His current research explores possibilities for new design thinking for post-neoliberal economic contexts.
In Leeds, Professor Julier founded DesignLeeds in 2005, a research and consultancy unit specialising in urban regeneration and community development. He has served on advisory boards to the UK Crafts Council, Design Council and the Associate Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group, was a board member of Barcelona's Fundación Historia del Diseño, 2005–2012, and sits on numerous academic journal editorial boards. He has advised and reviewed for research councils across Europe.
Guy Julier, Ph.D., has been appointed Professor of Design Leadership at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture on 27 November 2017.
Producer Minna Pajari
Aalto University, Communication services
Installation Talks 2018: 31.1, 25.4 and 24.10