Research leadership: Risto Rautiainen, PhD

February 22, 2022

Image with caption: Risto Rautiainen, PhD

Risto Rautiainen, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Feb. 24 for UNMC's 2021 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

Research Leadership Award

The Research Leadership Award is intended to honor scientists previously recognized as Distinguished Scientists who have a longstanding research funding history and also serve as research leaders and mentors on campus.

  • Name: Risto Rautiainen, PhD
  • Title: Professor, UNMC Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health 
  • Joined UNMC: 2009 
  • Hometown: Born: Lavia, Finland. Currently: Omaha 

Research focus: Health and safety in agriculture 

Why is research important in the world today? Research is needed to create unbiased information that can be used as a foundation for a sustainable development of health and well-being of mankind. 

My research will make a difference because:

Farmers, ranchers, agricultural workers and their family members have high rates of injury and illness that can be prevented with targeted research, intervention and outreach.

The best advice I could give a beginning researcher is: Find the research area that you really care about, build your expertise by training and work experience, network and become a good marketer of your research expertise.

The toughest lesson I’ve learned is: Failing your dissertation defense, being fired, working in some jobs that nobody wants -- and turning disappointing experiences to positive fighting energy! -- with Finnish “SISU” in my case.

The best part of my job is: Working with a brilliant, enthusiastic multidisciplinary team who all -- I think -- are smarter than me.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • There may be more people who know me as a musician, rather than researcher.
  • My secrets to good health are sauna, cod liver oil and cross country skiing. (Wish we had more good snow.).
  • I try not to take life too seriously. 

Minna Hämäläinen
February 24, 2022 at 11:23 AM

Onnittelut Risto👍🌹

Joan Mazur
February 24, 2022 at 10:53 AM

CONGRATULATIONS Risto - SO well deserved an award! Joan

Stephen Reynolds
February 24, 2022 at 10:09 AM

Congratulations 'Risto! I can attest for your SISU - I remember a long phone call while driving through southern Colorado desert

Ismo Lehikoinen
February 23, 2022 at 9:38 PM

Congratulations, Risto! 👍🇫🇮

Marcela Carvajal
February 22, 2022 at 5:29 PM

Well deserved Dr. Risto!

suraj adhikari
February 22, 2022 at 4:24 PM

Well-deserved honor, Dr. R!

Tamara Lushnikova
February 22, 2022 at 1:32 PM


Ellen Duysen
February 22, 2022 at 12:42 PM

BRAVO! A very well-deserved honor!

Moses New-Aaron
February 22, 2022 at 9:38 AM

Congratulations, Prof.