UPM Biofuels

A modern summer job working with a product of the future

A modern summer job working with a product of the future

In summer 2018, the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery offered electrical engineering student Mikael Heinonen, 24, a modern and educational job.

Mikael Heinonen, a final-year student at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, applied for a summer job at the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery to complement his studies and gain experience.

Mikael says that he felt at home in Lappeenranta, as both the job and the professional community supported his education and work in various ways, and Lappeenranta turned out to be a beautiful and diverse summer city. “Lappeenranta has plenty of things to see and experience for the whole summer, and I really enjoyed staying in a place that was so full of life,” he said. “I spent my free time jogging and going to the gym. I also spent some warm summer days in the port area.”

Mikael moved to Lappeenranta for the summer, and he says that getting a flat was easy: “I applied via the LOAS student housing foundation and got one quickly.”

A summer job that supports final year studies

At the biorefinery, Heinonen performed various EIA maintenance tasks, including automation, electric and instrumentation maintenance.

He worked shifts, but mostly within regular office hours. “There was variety in the pace of work as well as the working hours. Sometimes there were several instruments that needed fixing, other times were very quiet which allowed me to work with maintenance.”

Heinonen says that the summer job was very beneficial to his final year studies and his thesis: “Above all, I got some great working experience, which is useful for my final year courses and laboratory work.”

Special workplace

Mikael says that the Lappeenranta Biorefinery was, for many reasons, a special summer job where he had the opportunity to learn a lot with support from his colleagues. “I had never done any electrical work before, only studied it. “Despite this, I was able to do all the required work.”

He received constant guidance in every task, and he was encouraged to ask questions. “There wasn’t a single thing that I couldn’t ask a colleague.”

Mikael praises the exceptionally good team spirit at the biorefinery. “Being able to ask others even silly questions made it feel comfortable and helped me learn. Lappeenranta is the only place in the world where they manufacture this type of fuel made from a renewable raw material, which also makes it special.”


Text: Satu Peltola
Photo: Ville Vauhkonen