Published: October 10, 2023

Lapland University of Applied Sciences has selected Markus Partanen, Tapojärvi’s Maintenance Manager, as the Alum of the Year.

Partanen joined Tapojärvi in 2011 as a heavy equipment installer, and over the years, he has actively developed his professional competence. While working, Partanen has even completed a bachelor’s degree in engineering at Lapland UAS.

In the selection criteria for the Alum of the Year award winner, Lapland UAS emphasises Partanen’s active involvement in the partnership between the university and Tapojärvi. Partanen has been a visiting lecturer and thesis supervisor and has held presentations to introduce first-year students to Tapojärvi.

“Our collaboration is a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to Tapojärvi’s services and our expertise. This way, students become better acquainted with the company, and we can find potential future employees.”

Competence as a core value

Studying and working at the same time can prove to be a challenge. This was also the case for Markus Partanen, who had to find a way to combine studying with a demanding day job and caring for a small baby at home. Partanen decided to scale back on his sports activities so he could devote more time to studying in the evenings and weekends.

“You need to commit to studying and be determined to complete your assignments within the deadlines. Studying requires a lot of time and effort, and you just have to find the time somehow. Receiving support at home is also extremely important.”

Studies in engineering provide diverse competences that allow graduates to work in various roles in the industrial sector. Engineering studies develop an understanding of various materials and techniques.

“This knowledge is then applied to practice in the real world. Planning and project management skills are also becoming more important in different roles,” says Partanen.

Competence is one of Tapojärvi’s values.

Markus Partanen believes that the value of competence is most prominent in each individual’s desire to develop themselves. For instance, in maintenance work, just doing things as they have always been done isn’t sufficient anymore because technology is evolving so rapidly.

“Machines are becoming more advanced. IT skills and an adequate understanding of data links are more important than before. High voltages will enter the picture, and autonomous systems will increase in the future. We must keep up with these developments,” says the Alum of the Year.

Continuous learning

To enable efficient problem-solving, maintenance and machine engineering experts must understand and use various systems related to devices and background processes.

“Maintenance is both challenging and fascinating. Each day, you learn a bit more, and at the same time, you realise how little you actually know. It really is a continuous learning process,” Partanen laughs.

According to Partanen, thanks to Tapojärvi’s great partners, the company is able to support employees professionally and ensure their competence.

“Continuous learning and maintaining and developing your skills and competence is important in every role.”

While Tapojärvi is often perceived as a mining services contractor, the company is also becoming known for its expertise in the circular economy. New developments in machine engineering and maintenance also play a major role when developing the production of Tapojärvi’s services.

During his time at Tapojärvi, Partanen has grown with the company. Over the years, the company has also developed and experienced strong growth. Going forward, the pace is expected to accelerate even more.

“Tapojärvi is much more than a job for me,” Partanen concludes.