two men gazing into distance

Petri Vasara

Petri Vasara

Petri Vasara, Head of Concept Development, is one of AFRYs experts. Petri has been in the company a couple of decades and has more than 20 years’ experience of artificial intelligence.

One of AFRYs experts. Petri has been in the company a couple of decades and has more than 20 years’ experience of artificial intelligence.
Hi Petri! Tell us about how you started – what are you specialized in?

I joined Pöyry as the first Environmental Strategist. It was at that time we started combining the newest in technology with forecasting trends and we now have more than 20 years’ experience using artificial intelligence in everything from forecasting sustainability trends to analyzing company strategies, bioproduct startups and market dynamics. 

I’m an engineer with a master’s in systems engineering, a Licentiate Thesis in Computer Science and a Doctorate in Artificial Intelligence and Data Visualization. This is a lot more fashionable now than earlier in my career!

Did you have any idea how relevant AI would become?

I knew it was going to be big and it was developing all the time behind the scenes. Nobody understood it then and it was seen as equally weird and useless as knowing about moon rocks, so I had to avoid mentioning it and pretend to be a “normal” engineer.

Now is a great time - AFRY is on the cutting edge in lots of areas, we have many spearheads and together we are bit by bit getting to know all of our capabilities.

Could you share some examples from different projects to give an impression of the work you are doing at AFRY?

Projects are generally confidential. We are currently doing a technology scouting study for a major chemical company where we are using our bio product knowledge combined with our AI tools to answer a very interesting question. I can’t be more specific than that.

Last year we did a national sectoral CO2 roadmap for the Dutch, as the Netherlands was the first country to do CO2 road maps for all industry sectors. We have recently looked at 7,000 bioeconomy start-ups using AI to find the most interesting ones and we have also done due diligence for a really advanced bio textiles company to support them finding investment in revolutionary new materials.