Honorary doctorate shows appreciation for research

Professor Juha Hyyppä who is the director of the Centre of Excellence in Laser Scanning Research at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI), a part of the National Land Survey of Finland, was granted an honorary doctorate on 3 October 2015 by the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Professor Hyyppä was awarded the honorary doctorate for being "a world-leading technical researcher in remote sensing of forests and as such an important partner to the faculty (of forest sciences)."

Juha Hyyppä's comments on the honorary doctorate: "To me this is agreeable, because I have a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering and I have done a lot of research related to forests and significantly influenced the taking into use of laser scanning technology in the forestry sector in Finland."

"SLU acknowledged this by granting me an Honorary Doctorate in Forest Sciences. This was exceptional, as a distinguished person is usually granted an honorary doctorate in his or her own field. In my case this would have been in Technology. I am much more proud of my Honorary Doctorate in Forest Sciences, and I can take advantage of my Doctorates in Electrical Engineering and in Forest Sciences through my research in, for example, forestry technology."

"Finland is still partly dependent on forestry exports", continues Juha Hyyppä, "and the project COMBAT, which recently received strategic research funding from the Academy of Finland, and which is led by Professor Harri Kaartinen from FGI, has forestry technology as one of its points of focus."

The honorary doctorate is, according to Juha Hyyppä, also proof of how science and research are valued in Sweden. Juha Hyyppä notes that the situation in Finland can be seen in the fact that top scientists are moving abroad. "Four people from the Centre of Excellence and from my department have already transferred to a foreign professorship and two have moved abroad for other reasons during the last couple of years. New fields are not granted money from the State budget and there is not enough money available through competitive grants for new fields either. This is a clear message about how scientific research is valued here."

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Department Director Professor Juha Hyyppä, e-mail firstname.lastname@nls.fi

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