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Heli Koukkari

Current position at VTT
Research Co-ordinator, Senior Research Scientist

Research background and current research topics

From 1982 to 1990, R&D topics concerned mainly structural performance of concrete structures and development of experimental methods; from 1991 to 1998 the activities concerned R&D of composite and mixed construction, and quality assurance of steel structures. Since 1998, the projects dealt mainly with overall performance and accessibility of buildings as well as R&D on building systems. In 2001 and 2002, work concentrated to product approval, certification and quality assurance, also at European level. Since 2004, the work content has been diverse from Structures R&D to marketing and selling activities and development of internal service and innovation processes. Work experience includes five years as Group/Team Manager and two years as Customer Manager.

Currently, main topics concern eco-efficiency of products, buildings and built environment, and innovation processes in the real estate and construction sector.

Current major research projects at VTT

Scenarios for real estate and construction sector, VTT’s Innovation Programme “Eco-efficient intelligent built environment”

Procore-Prospects of collaborative research and innovation for the built environment


Master of Science (Technology), Helsinki University of Technology, 1979

Licentiate of Science (Technology) - predoctoral postgraduate degree worth about 120 ECTS credits - Helsinki University of Technology, 2002

Work history

1.1.2008 - Research Co-ordinator, Senior Research Scientist Co-ordination of R&D in the field of built environment, VTT

1.1.2008 - 31.5.2008 Special teacher of courses for strength of materials and design of building envelopes, Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia

1.1.2007 - 31.12.2007 Customer Manager, emphasis on construction products, VTT

1.1.2007 - 31.5.2007 Special teacher courses for strength of materials and design of concrete structures, Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia

1.1.2006 - 31.1.2006 Customer Manager, Team leader for Structures R&D, VTT

1.1.2004 - 31.12.2005 Group Manager for Structures R&D, VTT

1.4.2003 - 31.12.2003 Leading Assessor Certification and European technical product approvals, VTT

1.1.2002 - 31.3.2003 Group Manager for Quality inspection and testing of wooden products, VTT

1.6.1990 - 31.12.2001 Senior Research Scientist Research and product development of steel-concrete composite and steel structures & Quality inspection of sandwich and steel structures, VTT

1.1.1996 - 31.12.1998 Member of the Steering Committee of Quality Inspection of Steel Structures TLT ry

15.9.1994 - 15.12.1994 Visiting scientist TNO Technical research centre of the Netherlands

1.1.1984 - 31.5.1990 Research Scientist, including Group manager for experimental structures research in 1989, VTT Laboratory of Concrete and Silicate Technology

2.5.1982 - 31.12.1983 VTT’s Co-ordinator of the “Research Hall” building project

1.1.1980 - 30.4.1982 Structural designer for new buildings and renovations Mikko Vahanen Consultants, Helsinki

Positions of trust and professional assignments

  • VTT Internal network of LCA researchers. Co-ordinator 2009.
  • FP7, Research Fund for Coal and Steel. Evaluator of proposals 16.-20.11.2009.
  • The European Network of Building Research Institutes ENBRI, Member of the RTD Committee 1.10.2009 -
  • E2B Association, Member of the Working Group 2, Buildings, 13.5.2009 -
  • International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction CIB. Member of the Committee TC71 Research and Innovation Transfer. 1.6.2008 -
  • Co-author of the Research Agenda and proposal of the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for Built Environment, RYM-SHOK, to the Ministry of Employment and Economy. Helsinki January 2009. A honorary medal was awarded to the preparatory team of the RYM-SHOK proposal by the Association of Finnish Civil Engineers, RIL.
  • Conference Sustainable Building SB10, Sustainable Building Affordable for All, Member of Scientific Committee. Algarve, Portugal 17.-19.3.2010.
  • Conference Sustainable Building SB07, Member of Scientific Committee. Lisbon, Portugal, 12 – 14, September 2007.
  • European Convention for Constructional Steelwork ECCS, Member of the Technical Committee TC14, Sustainable and Eco-efficient Steel Building 1.2.2008 -
  • 3rd Int. Conf. Clients Driving Innovation: Benefiting from Innovation. 12-14.3.2008 Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Organised by Cooperative Research Centre CRC for Construction Innovation. Session Chair.
  • Vice-Chair of COST C25 Action, “Sustainability of Constructions - Integrated Approach to Life-time Structural Engineering” 3.10.2006 -
  • European Steel Technology Platform ESTEP, Member of WG 3 “Construction and Infrastructure”, 1.9.2004 –; Co-author of the Strategic Research Agenda of ESTEP on steel construction.
  • COST Action C12, Improving buildings structural quality by new technologies, member of the WG 3 "Urban design" and member of the Editorial and Scientific Committee, 2001 - 31.1.2005.
  • Member of Working Groups of the European Organisation for Technical Approvals, EOTA:
    02.05/01&02, Cold Storage Premises
    02.04/01, Metal Frame Building kits
    02.04/02 Concrete Frame Building Kits.

  • Lecturer on ETA and CE marking procedures in liaison meetings, 2000 - 2003.
  • Co-ordinator of the national EOTA organisation of VTT (EOTA = European Organisation for Technical Approvals) VTT Building and Transport 2001 - 2003, Member 2000.
  • Member of the Certification Group of VTT Building and Transport 1997 - 2003.
  • VTT’s representative in the accessibility group of the Future Home Institute at University of Industrial Design and Art Helsinki, 25.3. - 31.12.1998.
  • European Convention for Constructional Steelwork ECCS, Member of the Working Group 7.6, Composite slabs 1.7.1989 - 15.3.1997; co-author of the ECCS publications.

Selected publications

Koukkari, H. 2010. Transformation of a research centre toward an innovation partner in the construction sector. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management 17(2010)1, p.89-98. ISSN 0969-9988.

Koukkari, H. & Nors, M. (eds.) 2009. Life cycle assessment of products and technologies. LCA Symposium 6.10.2009, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT Symposium 262. Espoo. ISBN 978-951-38-7585-5.

Koukkari, H. 2009. Interdisciplinary Methods in Life-time Structural Engineering (Keynote lecture). Graditeljstvo i odrzivi razvoj – Civil Engineering and Sustainable Development. Belgrade, Serbia 4.-5.6.2009. Society for Testing Materials and Structures of Serbia & Faculty of Civil Engineering of the University of Belgrade. p. 167 - 180.

Koukkari, H. 2008. LCA of an existing building (Keynote lecture). Symp. on Urban habitat constructions under catastrophic events. COST Action C26 & University of Malta. Valletta, Malta, 23.-25.10.2008. ISBN 978-99909-44-42-6. p. 505 - 508.

Koukkari, H. & Sarvaranta, L. 2005. Ageing challenges in the construction sector . International Journal of Strategic Property Management. Vol. 9 (2005) No: 2, 91 - 97.

Heli Koukkari's publications in VTT Publications Register

Additional information

Heli Koukkari
Research Co-ordinator, Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 6816

Additional information

Heli Koukkari
Research Co-ordinator, Senior Research Scientist
+358 20 722 6816