Today 23rd of April, is the World Laboratory Day, and to celebrate it, we are publishing a personal profile of Vesa Rissanen, inventor of the unique EPSE™ Method and founding member of EPSE. World Laboratory Day celebrates the place where great inventions emerge to make the world a better place. It’s also a day to recognize those who do research and experiments in these unique workspaces. The professionals in EPSE’s Laboratory Team make all projects possible and the team is growing with new talent in the coming months!
Who: Vesa Rissanen
Why: Inventor of EPSE™ Method, founding-member of EPSE
From where: A little bit everywhere
The movie he recommends: Erin Brockovich (2000)
Vesa Rissanen is, in his own words, from “nowhere”, but after interviewing him it seems that he is in fact from “a little bit everywhere”. Rissanen was born in Mikkeli, from where he has moved to Vantaa, Lieksa, Lappeenranta, Oulu and Otaniemi, Sotkamo, Kuopio and finally via Tampere to Lempäälä, where Rissanen now lives. Rissanen’s education includes a degree in mechanical engineering, studies in mining in Otaniemi and a lot of practical learning in different workplaces.
Rissanen became interested in metallurgy after the opening of the Mustavaara vanadium mine where Rissanen got to grips with patenting process, which is close to the inventors. This happened at his first job in Sotkamo Suokone, where Reino Meriläinen had a machine called the Orajyrsin, a milling machine, and once the patent idea had been obtained, Rissanen was put in charge of the patenting process because of his training as an engineer. The patents were obtained and Rissanen was given the keys to the secrets of patenting. After that, Rissanen gained work experience in many places, but his longest career is as an entrepreneur with Seppo Meriläinen, when the duo ran a company specialising in aircraft hard chrome plating in Tampere. It was also during this time that the EPSE™ Method was born, because the company needed to save money on disposal of hazardous waste.
In the early days of EPSE, the founders – Rissanen, current CEO Jouni Jääskeläinen and Kari Laine, who still works for EPSE sometimes as a technical expert, got to know each other through other means and during one special car trip, Rissanen started talking about a method he had invented for treating heavy metals. Rissanen’s original idea was to set up a pickling plant, which would not produce any environmental damage. This evolved into the idea of a franchise company, and over the years the target audience for the EPSE™ Method became clearer, as the chemistry behind the method and the real market for industrial clean water became more and better understood. At the same time, the real market for industrial clean water became more and more competitive and the true size of the water treatment market became clear to the founders.
When asked, Rissanen says that the potential of EPSE is huge. Gaining a foothold from a conservative market has taken longer than Rissanen expected, as it has taken R&D and patenting work, and there has been a pandemic in between. However, when the right people are found and the work is done with a long-term, sustainable and innovative approach innovation, the ingredients for success are in place.