Professor Jyrki Saarinen received his D.Sc. (Tech.) degree in 1995 from Helsinki University of Technology (TKK), now Aalto University, where he is still Adjunct Professor of Micro-Optics. He also holds an MBA from TKK Executive School of Business. In 1990's he was Guest Research Fellow in École Polytechnique, Montreal, Canada; Osaka University, Osaka, Japan; and Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; and Invited Professor in Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne, France. From 1998 to 2013 he worked as Senior VP and Member of the Board at Heptagon, which he co-founded and then built to the world-leading developer and manufacturer of advanced micro-optics with over one thousand employees and operations in Singapore, Switzerland, and Silicon Valley, where he lived seven years before starting his professorship in 2013.
His areas of research on photonics have been diffractive optics, ion exchange technology, micro optics, and optical scatterometry by applying neural networks. Prior photonics he was engaged in biomedical engineering and physiology. At Heptagon he was engaged in a wide range of novel photonics applications and their development projects with large corporations, SME's, and start-ups from Europe, Asia, and Northern America. He identified major breakthrough products and market segments as well as acquired high-profile customers (in 2016 Heptagon was acquired by ams AG for valuation up to $920M).
At UEF his main research topic is 3D printed photonics. As a professor on Photonics Applications and Commercialization he is also involved in novel applications and in improving photonics business as well as increasing international knowledge on photonics business opportunities. He teaches and lectures on various topics on applications of photonics, commercialization of high tech, entrepreneurship, and business development at UEF, UEF’s executive MBA program and Aducate center, and Karelia University of Applied Sciences, and as visiting lecturer in various universities, entrepreneurs societies etc. in Finland and elsewhere. At UEF he is Head of the Institute of Photonics and Head of the Department of Physics and Mathematics.
He is President of Photonics Finland, and past president of Finnish Physical Society and past executive director of European Optical Society. In Photonics21 he belongs to its Board of Stakeholders representing UEF. He is also non-executive Board Member, Advisory Board Member, advisor&mentor and portfolio entrepreneur in start-ups and SME’s. He holds a HHJ (Approved Board Member) and a HHJ PJ (Approved Chairman of the Board) from Finland Chamber of Commerce.