Current position and responsibilities at VTT
Prof. Matti Kokkala holds currently the position of Vice President, Strategic Research, Services and the Built Environment. In this role he is in charge of technology strategy, research partnerships and the management of the project portfolio in non-proprietary research on building & construction, traffic and transport, safety & security, and services. Matti Kokkala is also deputy to Executive Vice President, Strategic Research (i.e. Scientific Director) of VTT.
Research background and current research topics
Matti graduated from Department of Technical Physics of Helsinki University of Technology. During his studies he worked at the Low Temperature Laboratory developing applications of superconducting magnets. For the main part of his research career he was at the Fire Research Laboratory of VTT working broadly on different aspects of fire safety. As a Research Professor he was in a key role when developing the laboratory into an internationally well-known research unit.
In 2000 Matti started to focus on research management with a broader responsibility of building technologies. He was first the Research Manager in charge of a department with a staff of close to 100 experts. In the beginning of 2006 Matti became Vice President, Strategic Research being in charge of technology strategy, research partnerships and the management of the project portfolio in non-proprietary research on building & construction, traffic and transport, safety & security, and services. For the first two years he was also in charge of developing the applied materials research of VTT from a scattered activity of research teams around the whole organization into a research field with common strategy.
Recently, he was in a significant role in the development of the Research Agenda for the Strategic Centre of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Built Environment, a public-private partnership for coordinating and funding research in the form of a limited company (http://www.rymshok.fi). He was also elected to the Board of the company for a three-year period 2009 - 2013.
One of his current goals is to develop VTT towards being an internationally recognized R&D organization also for research and innovation in service business and technologies supporting services.
Throughout his career, Matti has been an active contributor to the international R&D community. His latest professional assignments include
Member of Board of Directors of Fulbright Center (Finland - U.S. Educational
Exchange Commission), 2010 -
Board Member & Chairman of the Programme Committee of CIB International
Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, 2007 - 2010
Member of the High Level Group of European Construction Technology Platform,
2005 - 2009 (http://www.ectp.org)
Doctor of Science (Technology)
Helsinki University of Technology, Dept. of Technical Physics, 1982; (dissertation: Applications of Superconducting Magnets in Magnetic Filtration and Separation)
Master of Science (Technology)
Helsinki University of Technology, Dept. of Technical Physics, 1977
Helsinki School of Economics, 2003
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 1981 - present
2006 – present
Vice President, Strategic Research
1986 - 2005
Research Professor of Fire Technology
1981 - 1986
Research Officer and Senior Research Scientist (Fire Technology)
Management assignments at VTT
2006 – present
Vice President, Strategic Research
- Services and the Built Environment 2009 -
- Technology in the Community 2007- 2009
- Applied Materials & Technology in the Community 2006 - 2007
2006 - present
Deputy to Executive Vice President, Strategic Research
2000 - 2005
Research Director & Research Manager, VTT Building and Transport
- Research Director, 2005
- Research Manager, Structures and Technical Building Services, 2001 – 2005
- Research Manager, Building Physics, Building Services and Fire Technology, 2000 – 2001
Research Manager, Head of Fire Research
Helsinki University of Technology, Low Temperature Laboratory, 1975 - 1981
1975 – 1981
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Assistant (teaching & research), and Research Assistant of the Academy of Finlnad
Extended visits abroad
1990 (2 months)
Fire Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan (Visiting Scientist, STA Fellowship)
1984 - 1985 (13 mo)
National Bureau of Standards (now NIST), Center for Fire Research (Guest Worker, Fulbright Scholarship)
Positions of trust and professional assignments
International Professional Organisations and Assignments
2010 - present
Fulbright Center, Finland - U.S. Educational Exchange Commission (http://www.fulbright.fi/), Member of Board of Directors
FIATECH (an initiative of the Construction Industry Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, see http://fiatech.org ). Member of Board of Directors
2007 - 2010
CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction, see http://www.cibworld.nl ), Board Member and Chairman of the Programme Committee
Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Member of Scientific Advisory Board
2004 – present
ECTP (European Construction Technology Platform, see http://www.ectp.org ), Member of the High Level Group 2007 - , Member and the contact person for the National Technology Platform Finland 2004 – 2007, Member of the Support Group 2006
Australian Fire Code Reform Centre Ltd; Commissioned to mid-term review of the Centre’s research, product, scope and direction, Chairman of the intl. review team
1994 - 2001
CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction), Coordinator (Chairman) of CIB W14: Fire
1994 - 2002
IAFSS (International Association of Fire Safety Science), Member 1986 - 2002, Member of Committee (Board) 1994 – 2002
1994 – 2002
International FORUM of Fire Research Directors, Member 1994 – 2001.
1994 - 1999
NORDTEST, Expert Group Fire, Member 1994 – 1999; Chairman 1997 – 1999.
Member of the Examination Committee / Opponent of altogether 7 PhD dissertations at University of Liege (Belgium), Lund University (Sweden), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), and Helsinki University of Technology (Finland).
Domestic Professional Organisations and Assignments
2009 - 2010
Ministry of the Environment; commissioned by Mr Jan Vapaavuori, Minister of Housing, as a one-man committee to evaluate and make proposals on the scope, impact, funding and organisation of research on building technology, housing, and land-use planning in Finland (see http://www.ymparisto.fi/default.asp?contentid=356770&lan=fi).
2009 – present
RYM Oy (Strategic Centre for Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Built Environment, an industry led public-private partnership to promote innovations), Board Member
2006 – 2007
Advisory Group of the Centre for New Materials, Helsinki University of Technology, Chairman
1995 - 2001
Council for Fire Research (Palotutkimusraati), Member of the Board 1995 – 2001; Vice Chairman 1995 – 1996.
1993 - present
Docent (eq. to Adjunct / Visiting Professor) at Helsinki University of Technology
Editorial Board Memberships
- International Journal of Fire Science and Technology (Japan), Editorial Board Member, 2006 – 2008
- Fire & Materials (UK), Associate Editor, 1994 - 97; Editorial Board Member 1998 - 2006
- Journal of Fire Safety Science (USA), Editorial Board Member, 1995 - 2005
- Fire Safety Journal (UK), Editorial Board Member, 1995 - 2005
- Journal of Fire Protection Engineering (USA), Editorial Board Member, 1998 - 2005
- Fire Science and Technology (Japan), Editorial Board Member, 1999 - 2000
- Magnetic Separation News (USA), Editorial Board Member, 1983 - 1986
Standardization committees and working groups
2000 – 2001
ISO/TC92/SC4/WG7 Fire Safety Engineering – Assessment, Verification and Validation of Fire Models and Computer Codes, Convenor, (Chairman)
1992 – 1999
ISO/TC92/SC4/WG2 Fire Safety Engineering – Fire Growth and Smoke Movement, Convenor (Chairman)
1994 - 2001
SFS/TK108/RAPA: Standardisation within Structural Fire Safety, Chairman 1994 – 2001 (national mirror committee to ISO/TC92 and CEN/TC127)
Publications and patents
For complete list of publications, see http://www.vtt.fi/publications/.
Decoration - Knight, First Class, of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, 6.12.2006, awarded by Ms. Tarja Halonen, President of Finland.
Certificate of Appreciation by the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors, October 2003
Fulbright Scholarship for Research in the USA, 1984
RIL Medal awarded by RIL - Finnish Association of Civil Engineers to the project team preparing the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Built Environment, 2009.
Prof. Matti Kokkala
Vice President, Strategic Research, Services and the built environment
+358 20 722 4800