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Karl-Erik Michelsen

Karl-Erik (Kalle) Kristian Michelsen
Born May 5, 1957 Ähtäri

Mater of Arts 1984, Licentiate 1993, PhD 1993 (Finnish History), University of Helsinki; Master of Arts 1988 (Sociology of science and technology) University of Pennsylvania

Professor 1993–, Lappeenranta University of Technology
Project director 2000–03, Academy of Finland
Research coordinator 1997–99, Academy of Finland
Associate professor 1995–96, Department of History, University of Helsinki
Docent 1993– (Finnish History), University of Helsinki
Junior research fellow 1991–94, Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla)
Research associate 1988, University Of Pennsylvania
Research associate 1984–85, 1988–90, Department of History, University of Helsinki

Research themes: the history of science and technology, change in modern industrial society, enterprises in change, and the study of complex societal change.

Valtio, teknologia, tutkimus (‘The state, technology and research,’ 1993)
Viides Sääty (‘The fifth estate,’ 1999)
Työ, tuottavuus, tehokkuus (‘Work, productivity, efficiency,’ 2002)
Suomalainen ydinvoimalaitos ( ‘A Finnish nuclear power plant,’2005)
Global Innovator (2006)
KONE- perhe, yritys ja yrittäjyys teollisuuden vuosisadalla (‘The Kone family, enterprise and entrepreneurship in a century of industry,’ 2013)

Research projects:
Suomen lehdistön historia (‘The history of the Finnish press,’1985)
American Genesis (1987–88)
Metsätieteellisen tutkimuksen historia (‘The history of forest science research,’1993–95)
Suomen tieteen historia (‘The history of Finnish science,’1996–97)
We have never been modern (1997–99)
Osaaminen Suomessa (‘Expertise in Finland,’ 2001–03)
Europe goes critical (2007–09)
History of Nuclear Energy and Society (2015–18)

Awards and special achievements:
Finnish Society of Electronics Engineers prize 2002
Finnish Society for the History of Technology Silver Badge of Merit
Erkki Laurila Award 2007, Finnish Nuclear Society
Award of recognition 2014, Finnish Business School Graduates prize for literature 2014
Award of recognition 2014, Society of the Friends of History

Photo: Teemu Leinonen, Lappeenranta University of Technology
Written by Karl-Erik Michelsen (Olli Siitonen & Tiia Niemelä, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

My best memory from the University of Helsinki

I have many good memories from the University of Helsinki, but there’s one that beats them all. It was the end of 1989 and I was a research associate at the Department of History. It was right before Christmas and all was quiet and dark at the Department. Professor Matti Viikari dropped in to his office and we sat in the coffee room discussing the way of the world. We switched on the TV and were able to watch live the unfolding of event in the Romanian Revolution and how Nicolae Ceausescu fled somewhere by helicopter, from where he was ultimately brought back and executed. Dr Viikari was known as man of immense wisdom, a man who was now witnessing on TV the end of an era. Many of the ideas I had learned, and which he had taught, lost their meaning that dark December day. The University was probably the best possible place to experience all that.

Photo: Aino Kuhmonen.


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