Risto Sarvas receives School of Science teaching award

20.12.2016

Adjunct Professor Risto Sarvas from the Department of Computer Science is an inspiring and energetic teacher, who values his students.

Risto Sarvas, who works as a service designer and company culture engineer for Futurice, enjoys teaching at Aalto University. Photo: Futurice.

The Athene Guild for students of Information Networks gives the following reasons for the decision:

'Risto Sarvas is a teacher, who values students and who students value. He motivates students to work and learn, as well as to think for themselves. 'Risto makes an effort to continuously further develop his courses and to utilise different methods in his teaching. Additionally, Risto always provides support and inspiration, and he is genuinely interested in his students.'

Risto Sarvas earned both an MSc and a DSc (Tech.) from the Helsinki University of Technology. He has worked as a researcher and teacher both in Finland and abroad. Currently, Risto works as a service designer and company culture engineer for software company Futurice and as a teacher and supervisor at Aalto University.

Mr Sarvas is now in his sixth year of teaching service design as well as topics related to technology and society at Aalto. His courses are exceedingly popular.

'Amazing, baffling and moving! My students really are amazing,' Risto Sarvas reacted, when hearing that he was to receive the award.

'As I teach, I continue to learn as well. There are no correct or incorrect answers to the topics I teach. They are all dialogues in which we bring different viewpoints into play, and students are key players in this process.

According to Mr Sarvas, digitalisation is transforming companies and, for this reason, companies covet the new ways of thinking and new expertise demonstrated by students. This is why the upper management of companies is also especially interested in company culture.

'It is not enough for an organisation to be functional, management must have a thorough understanding of new ways of thinking and digital technology and be passionate about these,' Mr Sarvas sums up.


The School of Science award for teaching has been given annually on the basis of varying reasons. This year, the school's guilds were asked to submit nominations. Risto Sarvas was given the award on the basis of a nomination by the Athene Guild.