Dr. Pekka Nikander has over 30 years software development expertise. In 1980 he wrote his first program while still in high school, five years later patching live UNIX kernel to fix bugs. Today Pekka is a multi-talented software generalist, able to work on all layers from hardware-software interface to user interfaces.
In 1988 Pekka founded Nixu, today a leading computer and network security consultant company in Finland, driving it for over 10 years, followed by another 10 years at various leadership roles at Ericsson Research.
During the time at Ericsson he grew to be an internationally recognised expert in Internet architecture, with special attention to security, privacy, mobility, economic, and implementation aspects. He has a strong background in UNIX, all levels of programming from FPGAs and system programming to compiler design and graphical user interfaces, and computer and communications security. In early 1990s, he spend a few years focusing on user interface aspects, creating a user centric perspective that has remained active since then. From 1996 until 2006 he was active in Internet standardisation, and served at the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) from March 2005 to February 2006. From 2007 until 2010 his work focused on the future of the Internet architecture, with special attention to socio-economic, implementation, scalability, and high performance aspects.
In March 2011 he joined Senseg, a leading haptics startup, taking the responsibility for the software architecture. He built Senseg’s software team and processes from the ground up, establishing extreme programming (XP) and continuous integration and testing (CIT) as the main practises. With his team, he implemented the Senseg software architecture, iterating in three major rounds, each time adding significant functionality.
In May 2013, Pekka founded the Ell-i open source co-operative with a dozen of other people. From May 2013 until April 2014, pushing the Ell-i technical platform was his main “hobby”. In May 2014, Pekka was nominated a Research Fellow at Aalto University school of Science and Technology (the former Helsinki University of Technology).
In autumn 2014 Pekka co-founded Solu Machines together with Kristoffer Lawson and Javier Reyes. From October 2014 until October 2015 Pekka ran the company technology in the CTO role. He left Solu at December 2015 due to unresolvable disputes over the company overall strategy.
From January 2016 to September 2016 he was the Chief Software Architect at PulseOn, with an agenda not too dissimilar from the one at Senseg.
From October 2016 Pekka has been acting more actively in his Research Fellow role at Aalto University, while at the same time continuing at startup companies, including Ll co-op.
In addition to the technical skills, Pekka has had a leadership role for more than 20 years. While he has never enjoyed formal management positions, he tends to lead people with his own example and initiative. He enjoys solving technically “impossible” challenges in small groups, aiming for the marine corps maxim “the impossible we do at once, miracles take a bit longer!”
At the other end of the spectrum, Pekka has some experience in deep organisational development, using methods such as World Cafe, Openspace and Theory U, which aim at being able to reveal, understand and change the deep landscape of organisations.
Pekka has authored or co-authored about 100 refereed scientific articles, and is the inventor or a co-inventor in some 20 priority patents.
Pekka has first-hand experience on six startup companies: Nixu, Senseg, Ell-i, Solu, PulseOn, and Ll co-op. Additionally, during his Ericsson times he ran two startup ideas for a few months each, before finding out that the markets were not ready for the ideas.
Internationally recognised top level knowledge and skills, with more than 10 years of full-time working experience, in data communication architectures, Internet standardisation, computer and communications security, and computer programming. Good knowledge and skills, with 3 years or more of full-time working experience, in user interfaces and human-computer interaction. Good skills, with one year or more of full-time working experience, in compiler design and implementation, operating systems design and implementation, and high level hardware synthesis.
Finnish (mother tongue), English (C2 - fluent), Swedish (C1 - very good knowledge), German (A2 - basic).
Pekka Nikander, Vaddina Kameswar Rao, Petri Liuha, and Hannu Tenhunen, “ELL-i: An inexpensive platform for fixed things,” Scalable Computing: Practice and Experience 14, no. 3: 155-168, October 2013.
Pekka Nikander, Andrei Gurtov, and Thomas R. Henderson, “Host Identity Protocol (HIP): Connectivity, Mobility, Multi-Homing, Security, and Privacy over IPv4 and IPv6 Networks,” IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, Volume 12 Issue 2, pp. 186-204, April 2010.
Petri Jokela, Andras Zahemszky, Christian Esteve Rothernberg, Somaya Arianfar, and Pekka Nikander, “LIPSIN: Line Speed Publish/Subscribe Inter-Networking,” SIGCOMM 2009, Barcelona, August 17-21, 2009.
Tuomas Aura, Pekka Nikander, and Gonzalo Camarillo, “Effects of Mobility and Multihoming on Transport-Layer Security,” IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, Berkeley/Oakland, California, May 9-12, 2004, IEEE Computer Society.
Pekka Nikander, Jukka Ylitalo, and Jorma Wall, “Integrating Security, Mobility, and Multi-Homing in a HIP Way,” Network and Distributed Systems Security Symposium (NDSS’03), February 6-7, 2003, San Diego, CA, pp. 87-99, Internet Society.
Jari Arkko and Pekka Nikander, “How to Authenticate Unknown Principals without Trusted Parties,” Security Protocols, 10th International Workshop, Cambridge, UK, April 16-19, 2002.
Pekka Nikander, “An Operating System in Java for the Lego Mindstroms RCX Microcontroller,” USENIX Annual Technical Conference, June 18-23, 2000, San Diego, USENIX Association, Lake Forest, CA. This paper received the Freenix Track Best Paper Award.
US8559434, Packet forwarding in a network, 2013.
EP1698197, Authentication in a communication network, 2003.
EP1629653, Secure traffic redirection in a mobile communication system, 2003.
EP0848361/EP0917327, Method and system for performing electronic money transactions, 1996.