Eelis Lähde­mäki: From thesis worker to an expert

Project Engineer Eelis Lähdemäki works at Fimpec in the Energy Services unit at Fimpec Engineering, where he conducts techno-economic studies around hydrogen economy and Power-to-X technologies. Eelis, who began as a thesis worker, has experienced a strong upward trajectory in his career and has had the opportunity to test his wings in responsible expert roles at Fimpec right from the very beginning. In the Energy Services team, he gets to innovate solutions for future energy challenges, bringing a whole new meaning and dimension to his work.

27-year-old Eelis Lähdemäki (M.Sc.) had clear career goals starting from a young age. Practical training at Porvoo oil refinery in secondary school gave him a real spark to study mathematics and chemistry, subjects in which he was already talented. After high school, Eelis continued his studies at Aalto University, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical and process engineering. In the master’s phase, his studies shifted towards renewable energy technology.

“After my bachelor studies, I was looking for different challenges, and Aalto University had introduced a new major that focused specifically on the hydrogen economy and Power-to-X technologies. During my studies, the hydrogen boom started gaining momentum, and I saw this as an extremely interesting future opportunity, so I switched to studying energy technology in the master’s program,” he explains.

From Thesis Worker to Expert

Eelis found his way to Fimpec largely through his own initiative and skills. He wanted to work on a thesis that dealt with topics around carbon capture and Power-to-X technologies.

“A classmate told me about an interesting expert company called Fimpec. I approached the company with an open application, explaining my background and experience. I quickly received a response that there was an open position for a thesis worker in a top-notch international team,” Eelis says.

For his thesis at Fimpec, he chose the topic of process simulation and techno-economic assessment of carbon capture from biogenic sources. Eelis worked on his thesis in early 2023 and graduated later that year in July.

“I feel that my thesis is a very successful body of work. The framework was clear from the beginning, the schedule was well-maintained, and I learned a lot about the technology itself while working on it,” Eelis mentions.

He also appreciates that he was given a lot of responsibility from the beginning, and his self-management skills were trusted.

“The international work environment turned out to be really inspiring, and I feel that my working and team skills have developed tremendously,” he adds.

After graduating, Eelis has been working at Fimpec on customer projects related to hydrogen and renewable energy technologies, taking on various responsibilities as a project engineer. Expertise has been accumulated through practical experience.

“I have had the opportunity to engage in project management with the support of more experienced colleagues, which has been really motivating. I have always learned best by practice rather than just by reading theory,” Eelis praises.

Podcast Appearance with the Minister

The richness of Eelis’s role is evident in the fact that he was invited as an expert guest on Fimpec’s Kumppanit-podcast episode, where topics related to carbon capture were discussed, and visions of a carbon-neutral Finland were explored. In the same episode, the Minister of Climate and the Environment, Kai Mykkänen, also appeared as a guest. The episode featured an interesting and insightful discussion in Finnish on the potential of carbon capture as an industrial emission reduction measure.

“It was fantastic to discuss my area of expertise in such a prestigious company, even though it was a bit nerve-racking at first. A great experience, indeed, I can recommend it!” Eelis says with laughter.

“I guess that not every company offers such a big opportunity to a recent graduate, even if they have the knowledge and skills. I think it says a lot about the company’s trust and investment in its employees,” he continues.

Exploring New Frontiers Every Day

In addition to diversity, Eelis is motivated by innovation, supportive colleagues, and the opportunity to constantly learn new things in his work. The energy transition and green shift bring Eelis into the realm of significant issues every day, providing a whole new meaning to his work. According to him, the world increasingly needs green energy solutions to slow down climate change and reduce emissions.

“For me, it’s important that at Fimpec, I get to be involved in projects that contribute to the development of clean energy solutions. The industry is constantly evolving, and it’s great to be part of this right from the beginning and see what opportunities the future holds,” Eelis adds.

Balancing work, Eelis enjoys daily informal conversations with colleagues. While the work team has daily meetings, casual discussions continue in the group chat about leisure activities.

“I appreciate a great working environment, and I feel that we genuinely have that at Fimpec,” Eelis praises.

In his free time, Eelis engages in a variety of sports. Going to the gym, running, playing ball games, and skiing in the winter help refresh the expert’s mind in the best possible way.

“In every day, there has to be something just for yourself! Fortunately, in today’s working world, leisure activities, and relaxation are also considered important. The solutions and innovation that come from the brainstorming process must be given room to develop,” he concludes.

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