Hanna Hakulinen will take over the post as director of VERIFIN (The Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention) on 1 January 2024 after the present director, Paula Vanninen.
The duties of the director of VERIFIN include leading and overseeing research, training activities, and official duties, as well as taking charge of developing the institute and implementing the university’s strategy within the institute.
“I’ve always wanted a job that makes a difference. This I have accomplished through my efforts in improving air quality and my current focus is on the work with the ultimate goal of a world free of chemical weapons,” says Hanna Hakulinen.
Hanna Hakulinen has a PhD in physical chemistry, and she did her doctoral research at University of California Irvine with Professor Benny Gerber and Professor Sergey Nizkorodov. She defended her thesis on photochemical reactions in the atmosphere in Helsinki in January 2014. Her supervisor in Helsinki was Professor Markku Räsänen. During her doctoral research, she was also a visiting graduate student at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studying composition of interstellar ices.
Hakulinen continued her career in the field of atmosphere sciences as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor John Seinfeld at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
After her postdoctoral period, she transferred to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, an agency dedicated to monitoring air quality and control pollutants in Southern California.
After returning to Finland in October 2017, she started working at VERIFIN, first as the laboratory manager of the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry laboratory, and since February 2021 as research director.