27 October 2022: New Mela2.0 adds transparency and scalability to decision support in forest planning

MELA forest calculation system has been a crucial system for producing different scenarios, projections and impact analyses for the forest sector. A new version of MELA, called Mela2.0, is being developed in MENU project. Read an article presenting basic concepts and guidelines of Mela2.0 development in a recently published UNITE Newsletter: UNITE Newsletter 3/2022 (office.com)

2 August 2022: Workshops in the MENU project: Scenario calculations with Mela2.0 software

A blog article about the workshop and its outcomes in May 2022.

17 June 2022: Menu project receives additional expertise from Luke’s DIGI Group

The final six months of the Menu project kicked off with an addition of a new software specialist to the team as Urho Niemelä started in the project on 9 May 2022. He comes from the IT and Digital Solutions Group (DIGI) of the Natural Resources Institute, has bachelor’s degree in economics (Scotland) and is currently finalising his master studies in environmental and natural resources economics at the University of Helsinki.

Previously Urho Niemelä has worked with data systems and software development in the private sector. In the Menu project, his expertise and know-how will be utilised especially in the implementation and further planning of the internal data model.

Further information:

Urho Niemelä, Specialist, tel. +358295322546, urho.niemela@luke.fi 

31 March 2022: New modelling re-enforcement to Menu project team

The modelling work in the Menu project started with a good boost at the beginning of March with the appointment of a new modelling expert. The latest recruitment in the project is Mr Tapio Lempinen who is performing his civilian service as a visiting researcher at the Natural Resources Institute (Luke) from 7 March 2022 until 19 January 2023.

Tapio Lempinen has a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and is currently finalising his master’s degree at the University of Eastern Finland. In the Menu project, he will focus on model production, especially on the integration of Motti growth simulator into the Mela2.0 system.

Further information: Tapio Lempinen, tel. +358295322431, ext.tapio.lempinen@luke.fi

25 August 2021: The new recruits of MENU project

Over the past year three new recruits have started on the MENU project. Research professor Lauri Mehtätalo, research scientist Paulo Borges and information system specialist Juho-Petteri Yliuntinen.

Mehtätalo has a PhD in forestry. He was transferred to Natural Resources Center from the University of Eastern Finland, where he worked in applied statistics. Mehtätalo’s expertise is utilized e.g. in the design and implementation of models describing the structure of the stands.

The newest recruit of the project, Paulo Borges, started in July. In 2014 he had his dissertation as PhD in forestry in Norway and has since been working with spatial optimization problems. The MENU project will benefit from his expertise while designing and implementing optimization and managing risks and uncertainties.

Juho-Petteri Yliuntinen holds a Bachelor of Science degree and has worked in the private sector in information system design and development tasks in numerous client projects. In MENU, his expertise will be utilized in the development of Mela2.0 software and the surrounding software components and information system solutions required.

20 August 2021: Workshops in the MENU project: Centralized model function library and its user interface

A blog article about the workshop and its outcomes in June 2021.

1 June 2020: Reijo Mykkänen starts as the new Project Manager in the MENU project

Reijo Mykkänen from the Natural Resources Institute Finland has been appointed the Project Manager of the MENU project as of 1 June 2020. The project was previously led by professor Tuula Packalen who was recently appointed Director General of Natural Resources Department, Ministry for Agricultural and Forestry, Finland.

Reijo Mykkänen holds a PhD in Agriculture and Forestry, and he has worked as a Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute since 2019. He is specialized in forest planning, forest modelling and system architecture. In his dissertation Aspiration-Based Utility Functions in a Planning Model for Timber Flow Management, he developed a theoretical basis of a utility model based on bounded rationality which was applied to timber production planning. During his career, he has focused on the development of information systems for the forest sector, especially in the private forest sector.
– As a result of the MENU project, the MELA system will be renewed which is a significant milestone for the Finnish forest sector as whole, Reijo Mykkänen states.

9 September 2019: Workshop on co-creation of model functions within MELA software

MENU project organised a workshop for researchers on the scientific contents of the new MENU software, focusing especially on the co-creation of the model functions. In addition to three expert presentations, the workshop included a Q&A session and an on-line survey.

Research professor Tuula Packalen opened the workshop and presented the history of MELA software as well as challenges that need to be responded to in the future. Professor Jari Vauhkonen gave a presentation on DesiMap project funded by the Academy of Finland. The DesiMap project develops computational intelligence within the framework of MELA software and the potential of deep learning to discover spatial patterns and trends. Daniel Melander discussed the processes of the new MELA software from the content provider’s point of view.

Feedback was collected from the participants during the interactive session to define the joint practices for the open source code and co-creation.

28 January 2019: News item on the project launch (in Finnish):