Many of the employees who work at Valtra’s Engineering Centre have a background in farming. Jussi Lappi, Platform Lead Engineer for the new G Series, is a good example of a product engineer with practical experience in using agricultural machinery.
What kind of experience do you have with farming and agricultural machinery?
“I was raised on a livestock farm with both dairy and beef cattle. Until the age of 25, I worked full time on the farm and doing agricultural machinery contracting. Towards the end of my agrology studies, I worked for a couple of years for a harvesting contractor in the USA. We began harvesting in Texas in April and ended up by the Canadian border before Christmas. We also did a few other agricultural machinery contracting jobs. During my engineering studies, I worked full time operating forest machinery, including both harvesters and forwarders.”
What kind of education do you have?
“Already when I was young, both engineering and agriculture were strong options. In addition to agricultural studies, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, specialising in embedded systems design. I then earned a Master’s degree in technology competence management.”
What kind of a career have you had?
“After working in agriculture and forestry in my early years, I worked in after-sales positions at forest machine manufacturer Ponsse and material handling equipment manufacturer Mantsinen. At Valtra, I worked as a service specialist and a field service manager before taking up my current position. I travelled a lot in my positions in service, so I got to see up close how tractors were used around the world.”
What does your current job involve?
“As Platform Lead Engineer, I am responsible for the overall product development of new tractor models, for example, starting from defining requirements and ending with series production. In this position, practical experience with actual tractor work is extremely valuable. The actual work involves a lot of meetings and office work, but I like working with tractors whenever I get the chance. In my spare time, I help my friends doing tractor and other farming tasks, and I often use these opportunities to test drive our prototypes. My current position is very demanding and can tie me down a lot at times, but I still manage to work hundreds of hours a year driving tractors. This really is a dream job for someone like me who grew up on a farm – a good mix of agriculture and engineering, both practical and theoretical.”