Welcome to Stemiverse Podcast episode 3.

In this episode of Stemiverse, Dr Peter Dalmaris and Marcus Schappi talk with Pasi Suhonen.

Pasi is a Maker from Finland. By day, he is a customer-facing engineer at Rohde & Schwarz Finland, a German telecommunications company based in Munich, Germany. At any other time, Pasi is a tinkerer and lifelong learner.

In this conversation, Pasi tells us about his path in education and especially his experience as an apprentice, what schooling is like in Finland, and his hobbies, in particular microcontrollers, programming and radio astronomy. I think you will find Pasi's learning experiences very interesting!

This is Stemiverse podcast episode 3.


Stemiverse podcast is brought to you by Tech Explorations, a leading provider of educational resources for Makers, STEM students, and teachers. Go to txplore.com to see a complete list of our books and courses covering the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and electronics.

Episode notes

[00:00] Introduction - Introducing Pasi Suhonen

[01:18] Pasi talks about his work in Rohde & Schwarz

[05:05] How Rohde & Schwarz survived the war

[05:57] Family companies in Germany are common to grow large without privatization

[07:30] Pasi's training in engineering

[10:04] Apprenticeship programs vs classroom education

[11:03] Finding a mentor

[11:51] A typical day with a mentor

[17:37] Pasi's childhood: how he began exploring electronics, what influenced his interest in science and technology & how was school in Finland

[21:25] Requirements for the Vocational school in Finland

[23:22] Pasi's current involvement with education: Open University courses

[24:45] How Pasi's early educational experience has helped him with self-directed, independent life-long learning in the present

[27:04] Public education in Finland

[28:41] Pasi's mentoring experience with his own child - Differences between current and older times for children

[31:31] Current state of STEM education in Finland: mandatory programming courses

[35:08] Russia's (Soviet Union) influence in electronics, differences and similarities

[38:02] Pasi's occupation with Arduino platforms and micro-controllers as a hobby

[41:01] How much Arduinos are used in schools in Finland

[42:23] Rapid Fire Questions

[42:52] Most Influential Person in shaping the way that you learn: many people, mentors, teachers, students, fellow-students, colleagues and especially Spock from Star Trek

[44:26] What App you cannot live without? email, others related to signal generation, spectrum analysers, EMI test receivers

[47:21] Advice to new Engineers just starting out: focus on prospective fields that are in demand and have growth potential

[48:20] Qualities of a mentor that you appreciate the most: will & patience

[49:40] Programming language that Pasi uses: C, related to Arduino

[50:07] Pasi's training as Professional Development: in-house seminars & training programs at Rohde & Schwarz

[51:17] Recommendations of publicly available courses: Pasi's company webinars

[51:48] Rohde & Schwarz (www.rohde-schwarz.com): Seminars & Trainings, Webinars & Videos

[52:30] Parting thoughts: study while you are young, keep an open mind and study in a wide scope