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GETA Final Seminar, October 30, 2013

Posted on 06 Feb 2014 12:28:38.

GETA was founded in 1994 and had its active period during 1995-2013. The final Seminar was held at Hotel Kalastajatorppa, Helsinki, October 30, 2013. The reason for ending is the decision of the Ministry of Culture and Education to give the universities the power to establish own local graduate schools. Aalto ELEC Doctoral School started at spring 2013. The last graduate schools will end by 2015.

GETA organized a whole day seminar to its doctoral students, alumni, supervisors and personnel. Participants were from all GETA universities, Tampere, Oulu, Turku and Jyväskylä and the number was 70.


Programme (pdf.)

Seminar Presentations:

GETA  Ari Sihvola, Prof., GETA Director, Aalto University
Electronics  Jari Nurmi, Prof., GETA Board member, TTY
Telecommunications, Markku Juntti, Prof., GETA Alumni,  Univeristy of Oulu
Automation, Heikki Koivo, Prof., GETA Board member, Aalto Univeristy
Jussi Ryynänen_Prof., GETA Alumni, Aalto University
Annamaria Mesaros , GETA Alumni, Tampere University of Technology

About GETA 

GETA article at Aalto Inside
Artikkeli GETAsta Aalto Insidessä


The Graduate School in Electronics, Telecommunications and Automation (GETA) was established in the early 1990s, when the Ministry of Education developed a national graduate school system. The current director, Professor Ari Sihvola, talked about GETA 's roots at the closing seminar held in November.

‘The graduate school system was created to ensure funding for doctoral students, to encourage young students to pursue postgraduate studies and to ensure the female students are also represented, particularly in natural sciences fields’, said Sihvola.


On average, GETA students are about 30 when they defend their dissertations, and women account for approximately 18% of all students. In particular, the number of international students has grown rapidly in recent years. Today more than half of all funding recipients come from outside Finland. Over the years, a total of 155 different courses and seminars have been held at GETA. The annual cruise and Ruka seminars may have been most popular with the students. By the end of October, 260 doctors of science had graduated from GETA. 

With around 70 student positions, GETA has been the largest graduate school in Finland. It has also been called the best graduate school in Finland, and has received positive feedback from students and co-operating partners alike. Marja Leppäharju, who has been the coordinator of GETA right from the start, is grateful to current and former students.

GETAn johtoryhmästä kuvassa Janne Heikkilä, Marja Leppäharju, Ari Sihvola ja Jari Nurmi

‘Without you, we would never have become the best graduate school in Finland. GETA has been able to choose the cream of the crop, as less than one fifth of applicants are selected for the programme. Now everyone else wants to be just like us’, says Marja in praise. 

The world has changed in 18 years

Professor Emeritus Iiro Hartimo, who was the director of GETA from 1995-2007, described how he was so interested in students' achievements in their dissertations that he met all GETA students at least once a year in conjunction with monitoring of academic performance. This made it possible to influence matters such as guidance. Professor Sihvola continued this practice.

‘This kept me up to date on what was happening nationally in the GETA research area’, stated Hartimo.

Janne Heikkilä, Matti Pietikäinen, Heikki Koivo, Ari Sihvola, Yrjö Neuvo, Marja Leppäharju ja Iiro Hartimo

Hartimo and Anneli Ahvenniemi, Aalto University’s senior adviser for doctoral education, recalled the early days of GETA when applications were forwarded in 12 paper copies as opposed to the electronic format of today.

‘The caretakers brought in boxes of paper on hand trucks that were then used to take the applications for mailing’, explained Ahvenniemi.

Many things changed during GETA’s lifespan. Use of the Internet become commonplace and this made administration easier.

GETA seminar 2013‘I’ve had a front row seat on technology development. Many modern technical devices that are in daily use today were still on the drawing board in the 1990s’, recalled Marja.

The closing seminar for the Graduate School in Electronics, Telecommunications and Automation (GETA) was held at Kalastajatorppa on 30 October 2013. The event was attended by GETA alumni, current students, dissertation supervisors and other people that influenced its activities. GETA’s member universities are the Universities of Oulu, Turku and Jyväskylä and Tampere University of Technology. The activities of GETA and other national graduate schools will conclude at the end of this year or, depending on the start of funding, in 2015 at the latest.

Article by Milla Eronen, Photos by Aino Huovio (except the last one)