LUT awards Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen as one of its honorary doctorates

On May 28, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT) awarded 16 new honorary doctorates as part of its past doctoral conferment ceremony. Jukka-Pekka Mäkinen, former President and CEO of Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, is named one of the Honorary Doctors of Technology.

“I was very honored to receive this title,” says Jukka-Pekka. “It shows LUT’s commitment to strengthen relationships over the years with companies in its local communities, like The Switch. And for me personally, I was able to fully enjoy the very special multi-day occasion with time to focus on celebrations in Lahti.”

The traditional academic event, held every four or five years, took place in Lahti for the first time. All of LUT’s previous conferment ceremonies have taken place in Lappeenranta. The days included a parade through the city, an evening ball and laying a wreath at the city cemetery.

Jukka-Pekka praises LUT for its special approach of combining academia with the local businesses. He says that this title helps recognize the joint work accomplished over the years with The Switch, now Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch.

“LUT was part of our startup story,” he says. “Olli Pyrhönen from LUT started as our first CTO. And over the years, the university has been heavily involved as a partner for the company, carrying our research and providing academic support. The Switch, in turn, has hired dozens of LUT graduates and provided a good opportunity for doctorial theses and career paths.”

Jukka-Pekka highly appreciates the flexibility that LUT has always had compared to other universities – and feels that this celebration highlighted the essence of LUT’s special approach. The warmth of the decorated persons and good discussions were extremely rewarding.

An honorary doctorate is the highest honor bestowed by a university. The title is awarded by the university as a tribute to especially accomplished persons in recognition of their achievements. The recipients of the accolade include many of the university’s long-standing partners in cooperation as well as highly influential figures in society and the world of science, such as professors and business executives.

The honorary title was conferred upon nine distinguished Finnish persons and seven international ones. Among them, there were 11 new Honorary Doctors of Technology and five Honorary Doctors of Economics and Business Administration.

Congratulations, Jukka-Pekka!