From the Research Lab to Operational Management: Kaisu Values Continuous Development in Workplace Culture

Kaisu Kanniainen, Chief Operating Officer

  • Bachelor of Laboratory Services, 2010, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
  • Bachelor of Engineering, Environmental and Energy, 2018 Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Kaisu’s journey started in 2013 with laboratory and research work, eventually moving into roles involving inhouse engineering responsibilities.

From the fall of 2023, Kaisu began as the company’s Chief Operating Officer.

In her free time, Kaisu enjoys outdoor activities with her children, performing on the theater stage, and working out at a CrossFit gym.

”Acrylic painting, drawing, home renovations, restoring furniture, and other hands-on creative activities serve as a perfect balance to the engineer’s work.”

Owatec is a caring and encouraging employer that values employees’ skills, responsibility, and social abilities. At Owatec, employees can advance in their careers, driven by their own motivation and goals. Naturally, this appreciation comes with high expectations, and striving to fulfil them is a shared ambition within our team.

A part of Owatec’s journey from the very start

I have personally experienced a unique journey in my career
alongside Owatec. My career began at the university, working on water and mining research projects, which led to Jaakko founding OWA, where I transitioned to working in the research laboratory. Initially, my work heavily focused on water chemistry research for clients and various projects.

During parental leave, the desire to further develop my technical skills emerged, leading me to study engineering while caring for my children. Shortly after graduation, I returned to Owatec as a project engineer. My duties still involved laboratory work but increasingly focused on process development and exploring technological solutions.

My work quickly became primarily focused on process design and the development of our own products. I was promoted to development manager, a role that also encompassed project management duties. I was given the opportunity to become a partner. I led my own team and engaged in meaningful tasks as the company began to rapidly grow. Each new project was bigger than the last, bringing new lessons, opportunities for problem-solving, and rewarding customer relationships. I also traveled frequently to supervise and serve as an expert during implementations.

”A good leader is consistent and provides a sense of security.”

My latest challenge has been stepping into the role of Chief Operating Officer, which I have been developing since the fall. For this position, I consider the work experience accumulated over time across different departments and the outstanding teams I have the privilege to support as invaluable. Fairness is crucial to me in our workplace culture. At Owatec, we encourage bringing issues to light and always strive to act justly and equally. Values related to equality and the environment are particularly close to our hearts. We avoid fussing over trivial matters and aim to handle things with a modern approach without forgetting common sense. Generally, we strive to maintain reason and joy in our operations.

– Kaisu Kanniainen, COO