Research Page -- Jarkko Niiranen

Computational Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics


I work as a tenured Associate Professor in Computational Structural Engineering at Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto University School of Engineering.

I have been appointed as August-Wilhelm Scheer Visiting Professor at Technische Universität München (TUM) and Honorary Fellow of TUM Institute for Advanced Study (TUM-IAS). My visit will be hosted by Prof. Ernst Rank, Chair for Computation in Engineering, and Dr.-Ing. Stefan Kollmannsberger, Group for Simulation in Applied Mechanics.

Since 2018, I have served as Editor-in-Chief in Journal of Structural Mechanics (Rakenteiden Mekaniikka), while in 2019 I have been invited to the Editorial Board of Mathematics and Mechanics of Solids, elected to the Executive Committee of Nordic Association of Computational Mechanics (a member of ECCOMAS and IACM) and chosen to be the secretary of the Finnish National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (a member of IUTAM).


Theoretical and applied mechanics -- physico-mathematical models and numerical methods for mechanics of solids and structures


The THEORETICAL FOCUS of my research group is close to my personal research background in the crossroads of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics and Numerical Analysis with a focus on Computational Mechanics, Computational Structural Mechanics and Computational Structural Engineering. My research group focuses on models and methods for mechanics of solids and structures, especially finite element methods (FEM) and isogeometric analysis (IGA) for mechanics of thin structures, such as plates, shells and beams. Our activities range from continuum models and related numerical methods all the way down to programming, software issues and applications, such as structural analysis and design (see Design+Analysis below) as well as integration of Computer-Aided Design / Building Information Modeling (CAD / BIM), Computer-Aided Engineering / Finite Element Analysis (CAE / FEA) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) such as additive manufacturing (or 3D-printing).

My most recent research project, funded by Academy of Finland (2013-2018), entitled Isogeometric adaptive methods for thin-walled structures -- with applications from architectural and industrial design in structural and mechanical engineering, focused our activities on generalized continuum models of strain gradient elasticity theories and isogeometric Galerkin methods.

Currently, I have two post-doctoral researchers in my group -- Daniel Castillo, Loc Tran Vinh -- and one full-time doctoral student -- Tuan Nguyen -- under my supervision forming the core of the research group. A part-time doctoral student Antti Valkonen supplements the group with an industrial point of view, with some master and bachelor students conducting their MSc and BSc Theses under my supervision or instruction. Quite recently, former members of my group have moved on to senior researcher and lecturer positions in other institutes or industry: post-doctoral researchers Ioannis Tsiptsis, Sergei Khakalo, Viacheslav Balobanov, Summer Shahzad and Antti H. Niemi. Every now and then, typically for summer periods, we hire master and/or bachelor students for research assistant positions.

Altogether, we are interested in collaboration within both academic research topics and ambitious industrial applications in the aforementioned fields.

How do we deal with the blinking singularities of a star plate? We snow them by adaptively refined mesh flakes!


Design+Analysis -- multi-faceted teams, research and teaching projects, visiting lectures


The APPLICATIONAL FOCUS of my research group is on small-scale research and teaching projects accomplished by multi-faceted Design+Analysis teams focusing on computational models and methods of structural and mechanical engineering combined with parametric and algorithmic architecture and design. New materials and digitalized production technologies are essential side topics as well, with links to research groups of our site university working on complex materials and digital design methodologies, especially. Modeling materials with a microstructure is an important goal of our computational approach.

Altogether, we are interested in collaboration within both academic research topics and ambitious industrial applications in the aforementioned fields.

Radical Wood Pavilion Shanghai

The first Design+Analysis project was an educational project for designing, analyzing, manufacturing and constructing a Radical Wood Pavilion with furniture for Radical Design Week Shanghai 2012 as one of the RDW 2012 activities presented by Aalto University. First photos of the pavilion have been published on the Facebook page of Aalto ENG, while an article in Aalto ENG News and another one in Puu | Wood | Holz | Bois magazine (1/2013, pp. 22-27) provide some further information.

The design-analysis-manufacturing process of the project utilizes and study modern computer aided technologies for structural design and analysis of wood architecture and furniture design. A related Design+Analysis Workshop 2012 - Radical Wood Pavilions was organized at Aalto University Department of Civil and Structural Engineering for graduate and post-graduate students in structural engineering, architecture and design during September 2012 (cf. the workshop schedule). Further D+A workshops on similar -- or totally different -- themes will be organized in the future.

Another Generosity at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition 2018 in Venice

At International Architecture Exhibition in Venice 2018, I was involved in a project entitled Another Generosity, curated by Eero Lundén and Juulia Kauste. The presentation was created by Lundén Architecture Company in collaboration with a collection of Nordic voices, Bergent, BuroHappold Engineering, Aalto University and Pneumocell.

Seminars and Special Assignments

Various Design+Analysis special assignments and seminar works have been accomplished by students from Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, in collaboration with students from Department of Design and Department of Architecture, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. These project works typically include design of structural details, structural analysis with both analytical and computational tools, and sometimes experimental testing and site construction as well; here a couple of examples:

Design+Analysis visiting lectures

Design+Analysis VISITING LECTURES target for presenting and discussing a diverse collection of topics related to Computational Structural Engineering from the perspective of Structural Analysis and in the context of Architectural, Industrial and Structural Design, with a special emphasis on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics of Solids and Structures. Accordingly, term design – besides architectural, industrial and structural design – refers to designing models and methods, whereas term analysis refers to analyzing models and methods – besides structural analysis.

Publications in peer-reviewed journals [and research reports or preprints]



Publications in other journals



Publications in conference proceedings and collections


  • S. Khakalo, J. Niiranen: Variational Formulations and Galerkin Methods for Strain Gradient Elasticity (peer-reviewed);
    Encyclopedia of Continuum Mechanics, Living Edition, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Springer Nature 2018, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2018).
  • G. Filz, S. Shahzad, J. Niiranen: Pringle: equitangential bending active frame and minimal surface robe-net;
    In: Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2018, Creativity in Structural Design, Caitlin Mueller, Sigrid Adriaenssens (eds.), July 16-20, 2018, MIT, Boston, USA.
  • L. Koskela, E. Pikas, J. Niiranen, A. Ferrantelli, B. Dave: On epistemology of construction engineering and management (peer-reviewed);
    In: LC3 2017 Volume II – Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC), Walsh, K., Sacks, R., Brilakis, I. (eds.), Heraklion, Greece, pp. 169–176.
  • V. Balobanov, S. Khakalo, J. Kiendl, J. Niiranen: Shell models in the framework of generalized continuum theories: isogeometric implementation and applications;
    In Malte von Scheven, Marc-André Keip, Nils Karajan (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th GACM Colloquium on Computational Mechanics for Young Scientists from Academia and Industry, October 11-13, 2017 in Stuttgart, Germany, pp. 480-484.
  • J. Niiranen, S. Khakalo, V. Balobanov: Strain gradient elasticity theories in lattice structure modelling;
    In Malte von Scheven, Marc-André Keip, Nils Karajan (eds.), Proceedings of the 7th GACM Colloquium on Computational Mechanics for Young Scientists from Academia and Industry, October 11-13, 2017 in Stuttgart, Germany, pp. 471-475.
  • S. Khakalo, V. Balobanov, J. Niiranen: Isogeometric static analysis of gradient-elastic plane strain/stress problems (peer-reviewed);
    In H. Altenbach and S. Forest (eds.), Advanced Structured Materials, Generalized Continua as Models for Classical and Advanced Materials, pp. 229-236.
  • V. Balobanov, S. Khakalo, J. Niiranen: Isogeometric analysis of gradient-elastic 1D and 2D problems (peer-reviewed);
    In H. Altenbach and S. Forest (eds.), Advanced Structured Materials, Generalized Continua as Models for Classical and Advanced Materials, pp. 37-46.
  • J. Niiranen, S. Khakalo, V. Balobanov, A. H. Niemi, J. Kiendl, B. Hosseini, A. Reali: Isogeometric analysis of gradient-elastic thin structures;
    In A. Berezovski, K. Tamm, T. Peets (eds.), Proceedings of the NSCM-28, 28th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, 22–23 October Tallinn, Estonia, 2015; pp. 125-128.
  • S. Khakalo, J. Niiranen, V. Balobanov: Isogeometric static and dynamic analysis of gradient-elastic plane strain/stress problems with applications;
    In A. Berezovski, K. Tamm, T. Peets (eds.), Proceedings of the NSCM-28, 28th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, 22–23 October Tallinn, Estonia, 2015; pp. 85-88.
  • V. Balobanov, J. Niiranen, S. Khakalo: Isogeometric analysis of gradient-elastic rods and 2D gradient-elastic dynamic problems;
    In A. Berezovski, K. Tamm, T. Peets (eds.), Proceedings of the NSCM-28, 28th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, 22–23 October Tallinn, Estonia, 2015; pp. 33-36.
  • V. Balobanov, J. Niiranen, S. Khakalo, B. Hosseini: Isogeometric static and dynamic analysis of gradient-elastic plane strain problems;
    In R. Kouhia, J. Mäkinen, S. Pajunen and T. Saksala (eds.), Proceedings of the XII Finnish Mechanics Days, June 4-5, Tampere, Finland. Finnish Association for Structural Mechanics, Helsinki, Finland, 2015, pp. 273–276.
  • S. Khakalo, J. Niiranen, V. Balobanov, B. Hosseini: Isogeometric analysis of gradient-elastic rods and 2D gradient-elastic dynamic problems;
    In R. Kouhia, J. Mäkinen, S. Pajunen and T. Saksala (eds.), Proceedings of the XII Finnish Mechanics Days, June 4-5, Tampere, Finland. Finnish Association for Structural Mechanics, Helsinki, Finland, 2015, pp. 277–280.
  • D. Paudel, J. Romanoff, B. Auchmann, J. Niiranen, M. Maciejewski: Quench Simulation of Superconducting Magnets with Commercial Multiphysics Software;
    CERN-THESIS-2015-090, (2015).
  • J. Niiranen, A. Niemi, J. Kiendl: Isogeometric analysis for gradient-elastic Kirchhoff plates;
    In A. Eriksson, A. Kulachenko, M. Mihaescu, G Tibert (eds.), Proceedings of NSCM-27, the 27th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, October 12–24, 2014; pages 276-279; TRITA-MEK Technical Report 2014:24, KTH Mechanics, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: Residual based a posteriori error estimates for MITC plate elements;
    In J. Eberhardsteiner, H. J. Böhm, F. G. Rammerstorfer (eds.), Conference Proceedings of ECCOMAS 2012, 6th European Congress on Computational Methods in Applied Sciences and Engineering, University of Vienna, Austria, September 10–14, 2012. Paper ID 1825, 15 p.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A residual based a posteriori error estimator for post-processed MITC plate elements;
    In J. Freund and R. Kouhia (eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Nordic Seminar on Computational Mechanics, Helsinki, Finland, October 3-4, 2011; pages 89-92; Aalto University publication series Science + Technology 23/2011, Helsinki, Finland, 2011.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A posteriori error estimates for MITC plate elements;
    In D. Aubry, P. Diez, B. Tie, N. Pares (eds.), Adaptive Modeling and Simulation 2011; Proceedings of ADMOS 2011, the V International Conference on Adaptive Modeling and Simulation, Paris, France, June 6-8, 2011; pages 353-364; CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain, 2011.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A posteriori error analysis and adaptive computations for Kirchhoff-Love plate bending elements;
    In R. Mäkinen, P. Neittaanmäki, T. Tuovinen, K. Valpe (eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Finnish Mechanics Days, Jyväskylä, Finland, December 3-4, 2009; pages 24-33; University of Jyväskylä, Reports of the Department of Mathematical Information Technology, Series A. Collections, No. A 1/2009.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A posteriori error analysis for the Morley plate element;
    In Ph. Bouillard, P. Diez (eds.), Adaptive Modeling and Simulation 2009; Proceedings of ADMOS 2009, the IV International Conference on Adaptive Modeling and Simulation, Bruxelles, Belgium, May 25-27, 2009; pages 47-50; CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain, 2009.
  • J. Niiranen, L. Beirao da Veiga, R. Stenberg: A posteriori error analysis for Kirchhoff plate elements (peer-reviewed);
    In K. Kunisch, G. Of, O. Steinbach (eds.), Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications; Proceedings of ENUMATH 2007, the 7th European Conference on Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications, Graz, Austria, September 2007; pages 57-64; Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A new family of C^0 finite elements for the Kirchhoff plate model;
    In B. Miara, G. Stavroulakis and V. Valente (eds.), Topics on Mathematics for Smart Systems; Proceedings of the European Conference, Rome, Italy, October 26-28, 2006; pages 45-60; World Scientific, Singapore, 2007.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A new finite element method for Kirchhoff plates;
    In V. Cutello, G. Fotia, L. Puccio (eds.), Applied and Industrial Mathematics in Italy II; Selected Contributions from the 8th SIMAI Conference, Baia Samuele (Ragusa), Italy, 22-26 May, 2006; pages 125-136; World Scientific, 2007.
  • M. Lyly, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: Some new results on MITC plate elements;
    In the Conference Proceedings of ECCM 2006, III European Conference on Computational Solid and Structural Mechanics, Lisbon, Portugal, June 5-9, 2006. Paper number 2000, 14 p.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A new finite element method for Kirchhoff plates;
    In the Conference Proceedings of ECCM 2006, III European Conference on Computational Solid and Structural Mechanics, Lisbon, Portugal, June 5-9, 2006. Paper number 1970, 15 p.
  • L. Beirao da Veiga, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A family of C^0 finite elements for Kirchhoff plates with free boundary conditions (peer-reviewed);
    In A. Bermudez de Castro, D. Gomez, P. Quintela and P. Salgado (eds.), Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications; Proceedings of ENUMATH 2005, the 6th European Conference on Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July 18-22, 2005; pages 1051-1058; Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2006.
  • M. Lyly, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: A postprocessing method for the MITC plate elements (peer-reviewed);
    In A. Bermudez de Castro, D. Gomez, P. Quintela and P. Salgado (eds.), Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications; Proceedings of ENUMATH 2005, the 6th European Conference on Numerical Mathematics and Advanced Applications, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, July 18-22, 2005; pages 1059-1067; Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, 2006.
  • M. Lyly, J. Niiranen, R. Stenberg: Jälkikäsittelymenetelmä MITC-laattaelementeille, A postprocessing method for MITC plate elements (in finnish);
    VIII Suomen mekaniikkapäivät, Espoossa 12.-13. kesäkuuta 2003, Toim. P. Råback, K. Santaoja, R. Stenberg,
    Teknillisen korkeakoulun lujuusopin laboratorion julkaisuja, TKK-LO-36, Espoo (2003), 541-552.

Selected conference talks and visiting lectures



D.Sc. Thesis


I have finished my DSc studies in 2007 at the Department of Mathematics, TKK, funded mainly by the Finnish National Graduate School in Engineering Mechanics and the Academy of Finland. For my dissertation, A priori and a posteriori error analysis of finite element methods for plate models, and the defence, please see the links below. For a printed copy of the thesis, please contact me.

M.Sc. Thesis and related documents



Research projects and collaboration



Enterprise connections


I am interested in collaboration within both academic research topics and ambitious industrial applications in the fields of computational structural and mechanical engineering combined with parametric and algorithmic architecture and design. Advanced analysis techniques for thin-walled structures, in particular, together with new materials and digitalized production technologies, are the most natural topics for innovations combining theoretical and practical expertise.
  • Most of the Master's Theses under my supervision have been conducted in collaboration with the leading structural engineering, structural design and construction consultancy companies in Finland. It can be considered as a rule that our graduates finally sign contracts for serving as structural designers/analysts in these companies -- Ramboll Finland, Sweco Finland and Pöyry Finland serving as examples.
  • Within non-standard architectural engineering, Lundén Architecture Company has been a key partner for us in developing teaching and development practices focusing, in particular, on collaborative design approaches, digital design methodologies and non-standard wooden structures.
  • Engineering office Insinööritoimisto FEMdata was my employer during 1997-2002.
  • I have worked as a trainee for KCI Konecranes, Konecranes VLC Corporation, during 1995-1996.


Jarkko Niiranen

October 15, 2019