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Women in Photonics

Photo: Photonics Finland member Vexlum

In the Women in Photonics session we will hear leading businesswomen’s views on the current state of the photonics industry, future business trends and in-demand skills in companies. In the session we will also hear their views on possible “silent signals”, areas that might have strong potential for photonics products and services in the future. The event is open to every person interested in this topic.

Date and time: Wednesday 31st of May at 17:05 – 18:40 EEST
Venue: OPD2023, University Eastern Finland, Joensuu
Carelia building, 2nd floor, Main auditorium C1

Preliminary Program:

17:05 -17:10Opening
17:10 – 17:25Potential future competence needs in optical weather measurementsMinttu Tuononen, Team Leader, Science, Weather Research and Technology, Vaisala
17:25 – 17:40#KillCancer: Shining Light on New Laser Therapies in OncologyUlla Haapanen, Marketing Manager, Modulight
17:40 – 17:55Illuminating the Future by the Power of PhotonicsBirgit Päivänranta, Director, Mixed Reality and Optical Engineering, Microsoft
17:55 – 18:35Panel discussion: Shedding light on the future – Where is photonics industry going? + Q&A
18:35 – 18:40Closing

This year session we will have presentations and panel discussion together with Microsoft, Modulight and Vaisala.


Birgit Päivänranta, PhD, Director and Site lead of Microsoft Finland Mixed Reality team. Prior of joining Microsoft in 2018, she worked in various engineering and leadership roles gaining experience across photonic and semiconductor fields. At Microsoft Birgit leads a team developing and prototyping future augmented reality products and novel data storage solutions.”

Minttu Tuononen, PhD in Meteorology, and Team Leader, Science, at Vaisala Weather Research and Technology. At Vaisala Minttu has been actively participating in the research and product development of Vaisala’s new optical sensor offering – Vaisala ceilometers and water vapor DIAL. In addition to ongoing research activities, she is leading a team of scientists working with several different measurement technologies, including optical sensors to monitor variables, such as visibility, precipitation, clouds, atmospheric structure and humidity.

Ulla Haapanen, Marketing Manager at Modulight Corporation, began her journey at the company as a product engineer. After a few years, of delving deeper into the world of lasers and gaining insight into product development and laser business, Ulla decided to shift her focus towards marketing. Today, Ulla has been with the Modulight team for over 17 years, now serving as the head of marketing.