Ahto Kalja 1950-2018
Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, October 31st at 2 PM in Venus Hall of Küberneetika Maja, Akadeemia 21/1.
Yesterday we lost our colleague Prof. Ahto Kalja (born 24.05.1950). Ahto Kalja started in the Institute of Cybernetics in 1977 as engineer, then researcher, senior researcher, and sector and department head. Since 1997 he started teaching at Tallinn University of Technology, first in Department of Computer Engineering and since 2017 Professor in Department of Software Science. From 2001 till X-Road project manager in Information System Authority.
He was Honorary Doctor of University of Latvia, received a State Prize of the USSR in science and technology (1987), finalist with honourable mention for the eEurope Awards for eGovernment (2003), bearer of the IV class of Estonian State Order of the White Star (2014).
Given the education of mechanic engineer, Ahto's interests were always focused on engineering design and production and his research areas included automation of machine engineers' work, databases and information systems in general, and especially software engineering. Ahto was a researcher with mission was to popularize science and supervise students. In his 20 years of professorship he consistently distrubuted his software engineering knowledge to the young. Among other lower-level degrees, four students have received their PhD's under his supervision. Unfortunately, he will not be able to see the completion of doctoral studies of the four PhD students he has been supervising..
Ahto's contribution to establishing relations with colleagues from neighboring countries, Finland and Latvia was remarkable. Here are just a few examples: for many years he was a board member of the Estonian-Finnish Joint Committee on Informatics and organised collaboration with computer scientists from Tampere University of Technology. He was also an active organiser, program committee member, and proceedings editor of the International Baltic Conference DB & IS.
Closer colleagues will remember Ahto as an erudite expert in his field, but also as a high-spirited organizer, warm and sensitive fellow.
Department of Computer Engineering
Department of Cybernetics
Department of Software Science