Samuli, Ph.D student and Project Researcher at the Aalto University School of Engineering.

Samuli’s interests are in the approaches for product and service development. In his research he emphasizes strategic user involvement with a focus on lead users, user innovations and participatory design. He has practical design experience complemented by background in multidisciplinary projects and studies, as well as in international product development.


Ph.D Student and Project Researcher, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Engineering Design and Production & Aalto Design Factory


M.Sc. (Tech.) 2010
Aalto University School of Science and Technology

International Design Business Management Program (IDBM)
Aalto University School of Art and Design, School of Economics and School of Science and Technology

ME310, Project-Based Engineering, Design and Innovation
Stanford University

Academic Publications

Helminen, P., Hämäläinen, M. & Mäkinen, S. (2010) Redefining user perception – A method for fully capturing the user perspective of a product concept. In Proceedings of IDETC/CIE 2010, ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 15-18 August.

Helminen, P., Mäkinen, S & Holopainen, M. (forthcoming) Better User–Developer Communication in Service Development by Collaborative Physical Modelling. International Journal of Services and Operations Management (forthcoming)

Helminen, P. & Mäkinen, S. (2013) Stretching a Design Technique for Co-creation of Intangible Products and Services. In Proceedings of CO-CREATE 2013: The Boundary-Crossing Conference on Co-Design in Innovation. Espoo, Finland, June 16-19.

Hyysalo, S., Helminen, P., Mäkinen, S., Johnson, M., Juntunen, J. & Freeman, S. (forthcoming). Intermediate Search Elements and Method Combination in Lead-User Searches. International Journal of Innovation Management.

Hyysalo, S., Johnson, M., Juntunen, J., Mäkinen, S., Freeman, S. & Hakkarainen, L. (2014) Laajaa käyttäjälähtöisyyttä Tanskassa. Elinkeino- ja innovaatio-osasto, Työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö. TEM raportteja, 3/2014

Johnson, M., Hyysalo, S., Mäkinen, S., Helminen, P., Savolainen, K. & Hakkarainen, L. (forthcoming) From Recipes to Meals… and Dietary Regimes: Method Mixes as Key Emerging Topic in Human-Centred Design. NordiCHI’14 Helsinki 26-30.10. 2014

Kansola, M., Mäkinen, S. & Lehtonen, A. (2012) Network and roles of actors in new service development. 4th Joint World
Conference on Production & Operations Management, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1-5 July.

Mattila, P., Mäkinen, S. & Laakso, M. (2014) Facilitating collaboration between individual participants in a university-industry research and development project. In Proceedings of NordDesign 2014 Conference. Design Society.

Mäkinen, S. (2010) Groundwork for Developing and Implementing the Lead User Method for Redesigning a Media Based Teaching and Learning Service. Master’s Thesis. Espoo, Finland: Aalto University School of Science and Technology.

Mäkinen, S. & Helminen, P. (2014) Making Services Tangible for Differentiating Between Stakeholder Understandings. In Proceedings of NordDesign 2014 Conference. Design Society.

Tuomela, S., Helminen, P.  & Mäkinen, S. (2014) User involvement in product and service development: a literature review. In Proceedings of NordDesign 2014 Conference. Design Society.

Valjakka, T., Mäkinen, S. & Lehtonen, A. (2012) Opening Company Boundaries for Collaborative Business Model Renewal. 13th International CINet Conference, Rome, Italy,16-18 September.