Mikko Kanerva

Name, organization: Mikko Kanerva, Tampere University

Current position:  Associate Professor

Areas of expertise: Modifications of composites, finite element simulations, fracture mechanics of interfaces

Roles in FibreNet: supervisor, WP leader


Why is FibreNet an interesting project for you?

"The project has the heart of composites – right at the fibres and fibre-matrix interfaces – with huge amounts of experimental work done, there are extreme possibilities to deepen the understanding by numerical tools."




Where were you born/ where have you lived as a child?

My childhood was much about spending time at lakes. Home was located on an island by the lake Vesijärvi (direct translation: water lake). Despite the not-so-creative name of the lake it offered a very creative environment for a variety of free time hobbies.


My current hobbies range from gardening to horseback riding and motocross. This year has offered a very good spring and the beginning of summer for planting trees. I am waiting for plums and cherries.

Tell something about yourself, which other FibreNet people might not know yet:

For long, I was targeting to become an expert of aerodynamics. It was finally one of my supervisors who introduced the interesting side of solids.

How did you become a researcher/scientist?

I have tried to settle down to work in a company. Somehow the academic life has drawn the longer straw.

What do you like most in your current work?

Basically, to try becoming a professor, means having endless freedom in selecting one’s topic yet all must be clearly described, and a basis found for verification. This suits me better than anything.

What has been the biggest change in your working life, and how did you adapt to it?

I never thought that I would move to Tampere. Finally, both the city and the surrounding villages and the nature are together such a charming combination that the adaptation has become a love affair.

What has been the hardest decision you have made during the last years?

Not all people are fit to the ever harder academic world. To let go good people is always the hardest issue to decide upon.

How do you organize your time at work, reveal some of your effective time management tricks.

Really, my time management is not the best model to admire. I trust much hunch and the inevitable influence by the reality – the world is not concerned by the wishes of human beings to control and understand everything 100%.

What are the three most important things in your current job?

Making together, giving the freedom, observing.

Describe the best colleague or boss that you have worked with. What was it that especially impressed you?

On this level, I find it easy and sometimes also impressive to work with people who know what they are motivated by, what they want, what they like. Then we can start the work.

When was the last time you had to “sell” your idea to your team? How did you do it and what was the outcome?

Few weeks ago, I tried to sell some ideas for a “summer happening” to our research group. The current situation led us using Teams chat and Teams meetings i.e. collecting feedback via several applications. Now there are several people participating in the arrangements – I wait for August, which seems to be the most potential time for the event.

[From the editor: This intervew was done already last summer, hence the reference to August.]