The team was from Tiutisensaari in Kotka. She made her first boat trip from the maternity hospital to her home island.
The parents were active in the labor movement. His mother’s grandfather, Kaarlo Javanainen, had been the Red Guard’s plutonium commander in the Civil War.
In the 1950s, the island’s herd of children adventured in ways that would not be allowed today. The boys did tricks on weak ice in the fall and spring. However, no one drowned. Valjaka’s working-class family valued civilization, and all three children enrolled as students.
Sled was a nature lover as a teenager. He woke up early in the spring mornings to observe birds but still chose physics as his field of study.
In 1986, he wrote his dissertation on Auger electron spectroscopy.
Valjakka did his most important life’s work as a physics teacher. Already while completing his postgraduate studies, he was the supervisor of the most demanding physics laboratory work in Otaniemi.
After defending his dissertation, he taught at the Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo-Vantaa University of Applied Sciences and finally at Tampere University of Technology. A well-liked and inspiring teacher came up with fun and surprising examples.
For more than 10 years, Valjakka worked as the coach and leader of the Finnish team of the international physics competition for the Physics Olympics, ie high school students.
He also served for a long time on the Matriculation Examination Board as a member of the physics section, for some years also as its chairman. He completed his student assignments in physics over three decades. The subject of many of the tasks he devised was taken from living nature or poems.
Sled loved hiking in the fells and even after his doctoral dissertation went hiking in the steep slopes of Norway.
All in all, he calculated that he had spent more than two years in the fells, mainly in the northernmost part of Lapland and northern Norway, where he saw the best route from afar.
In the outer archipelago of Kotka, Valjakka followed the migration of Arctic waterbirds in the spring and hiked and fished with his family and friends throughout the open sea.
The first Valjakka married Tiutinen’s breeder Eija Luoto, but she died at the age of 41.
He entered into his second marriage in 1995 with MP Satu Hassi, whom he met in the high school physics textbook working group.
Parkinson’s disease weakened Valjaka’s ability to function for more than 10 years, and the final blow came from motoneuron disease als.
He had no children of his own, but in addition to his wife, his close associates included the wife’s children and grandchildren.
The authors are Jukka Valjakka’s spouse and a friend and former colleague.