Captain Riku Anttila has taken over as Head of Aboa Mare Maritime Academy and Training Center from 1 February 2023. He replaces Micael Vuorio as Nova University of Applied Sciences vice-dean of the Department of Technology and Seafaring, STCW responsible for Axxell’s maritime training, and Aboa Mare Ab CEO.

The maritime industry has always fascinated Anttila, who is now looking forward to the challenges of his new positions.

Anttila has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the seafaring sector. After more than ten years of sea-going experience on tankers, Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax vessels, passenger car ferries, and cruise ships, Anttila has come ashore. He has previously worked as Maritime Lecturer in Turku and Rauma, Head of Maritime Training in Rauma, and Head of Maritime, Logistics and Port Training in Kotka. He has also served as Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Finnish National Agency for Education Maritime Education Assessor, and as a maritime expert at Kymenlaakson District Court. He has also participated in maritime regulatory work at the IMO and worked as an STCW auditor for the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). For the past three years, Anttila has served as an internal auditor with the Finnish Defence Forces, with particular responsibility for the navy’s and the Finnish Defence Forces’ strategic projects. In addition to his Master Mariner’s grade, Anttila has a master’s degree in public law and is now challenging himself with a Doctorate in Environmental and Maritime Law.

“I am extremely grateful for all the interesting tasks and experiences over the years and the many fantastic colleagues and partners who I have been lucky enough to work with. I will now use that background in my new position,” says Anttila.

As the new Head of Maritime Education, Anttila wants to maintain the high educational standards.

“My predecessors have done pioneering work in the field of maritime education,” enthuses Anttila. “I will continue this valuable work together with our professional staff and partners. My goal is to continue steering Aboa Mare on a stable course, respecting our long-standing traditions while taking into account the demands of the future as a versatile and reliable pioneer.”

Promoting sustainable development is one of the most important tasks currently facing the maritime industry. Aboa Mare trains shipping companies, and other parties interested in sustainable development, on how shipping company officers can reduce the vessels’ energy consumption and optimise operations. In addition, Aboa Mare offers courses under the IGF Code for shipping companies that operate vessels using liquefied natural gas (LNG) or methanol.

“The demands of the future, especially around environmental issues and the rapid development of technology, are placing ever-greater demands on the education sector. Aboa Mare is extremely well positioned to meet these challenges,” emphasises Anttila.

Aboa Mare Maritime Academy and Training Center currently has 400 maritime students at Axxell and Novia UAS, and offers continuing education courses to approximately 1,700 participants each year. Aboa Mare is also actively engaged in research and development and operates abroad through partnerships with training centres in Greece and the Philippines. The maritime education in Turku is the oldest vocational training in Finland; the Maritime Academy was founded 210 years ago in 1813.