Academician Jaak Aaviksoo took office as TalTech Rector on 1 September 2015.
Jaak Aaviksoo graduated cum laude from the University of Tartu in the field of theoretical physics in 1976. From 1976 to 1992 he was first junior, then senior and then leading scientist at the Physics Institute of the Estonian Academy of Sciences; there he defended his Ph.D. in physics and mathematics in 1982.
From 1981 to 1994 Aaviksoo worked as a guest professor at the Novosibirsk Institute of Thermal Physics, the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research (Germany), Osaka University (Japan) and University of Paris (France).
Since 1992 Jaak Aaviksoo has held the position of professor of optics and spectroscopy at the University of Tartu, from 1992 to 1995 he was Vice-Rector of the University of Tartu, from 1996 to 1998 Head of the Institute of Experimental Physics and Technology and from 1998 to 2007 Rector of the University of Tartu.
Aaviksoo has held the office of Minister of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia twice and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Estonia once and has been a member of three compositions of the Estonian Parliament.