Team members

Oona Haapakorpi
Project manager
Ms Haapakorpi is a senior lecturer of Food Production at Omnia and she has a Master’s degree in of Hospitality Management, she has also attained a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Studies and The Vocational Special Needs Teacher Education Studies, and a B.Sc. Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her expertise is in implementation of new innovative teaching and digital learning methods. She will be the project manager and is in charge of the project’s professional content.
Mika Heino
Project Admin Manager
Mr Heino is an Expert of International Activities in Omnia, Espoo (Finland) and has a Master’s degree in Hospitality Management. He has been working with various international projects and student mobility for 10 years. Previously he worked as a lecturer of Restaurant Business in Omnia Adult Education Centre. Mr Heino is the administrational manager of the CORE project.
Alice Pietikäinen
Ms Pietikäinen is Education Manager at the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Sector of Omnia. She is an expert of the catering field and has over 30 years of experience from the field as a manager, teacher as well as a chef.
Qing Gu
Ms. Gu is a project assistant in Omnia’s project services and development department and has a bachelor degree in Business Administration. Qing’s role in the CORE project is to manage financial related matters.
Pete Stockley
Mr Stockley is a senior learning systems specialist in Omnia's research and development department and has bachelor degrees in hospitality and IT. Pete's role in the project is to consult on educational related technologies.
Arja Allekotte
Ms. Allekotte is a senior lecture of Food Production at Omnia vocational college in Espoo, Finland. She is very interest in  future food and how it affects our environment.
Merja Leivo
Ms. Leivo is a senior lecture of Food Production at Omnia vocational college in Espoo, Finland. Ms. Leivo works as a teacher for baker-confectioner students. Her work includes also supervising our students in real bakery workplaces,where students go to practice their skills in baking and making various sweet and salty products.
Janne Möhkölä
Mr Möhkölä is a senior lecture of Food Production at Omnia vocational college in Espoo, Finland. Mr Möhkölä has much experience in trained several generations of kitchen workers and experts during hes 16 years career in Omnia. The deepest meaning of my work is to develop basic skills of the future professionals. He would like to find new visions of the future workinglife by take a part this project.
Sigrid Ester Tani
Ms. Tani is the work based learning and project coordinator at Tartu Vocational Education Centre. It is her duty to oversee the Erasmus+ cooperation projects as well as ESF funded national activities. In CORE she will be leading the evaluation of the project activities.
Markus Pärn
Mr Pärn is a young chef from Estonia who is taking up the role of teaching. His virtues and strengths working as a chef and teacher are a serious interest in the national dishes of various conutries, especially Nordic dishes, speed and precision in the work environment, a sense of duty and ability to work under stress easily. He is very interested in new techniques pertaining to food preparation.
Keio Kaarlõp
Mr. Kaarlõp is the head of catering services and tutor to food and catering students at Tartu Vocational Education Centre. He has professional experience working both in the kitchen and serving tables. He has graduated from Tartu VEC as a cook and is currently studying vocational pedagogy at Tartu University.
Maire Merits
Ms. Merits has been working in vocational education since 1994. Her experience includes 19 years teaching in VET, being a co-author of many Estonian culinary arts textbooks and running the operations of Tartu VEC Catering and Tourism department. She is a valued member of Estonian national curricula working group reviewing and writing national vocational secondary education curricula for the cooking and catering field.
Helina Laine
Ms. Laine is the dedicated project specialist who keeps all Tartu VEC international project documents in order and helps the staff and students on their International mobilities.
Katarina Sandbacka
Ms Katarina Sandbacka is Manager of International affairs in Vamia, Vaasa (Finland) and has a MPhil in Gastronomy and product development and a BSc in Hotel and Catering Management. She has worked with various international development and mobility projects for over10 years. Previously she has worked as head of department both within VET and the restaurant industry as well as a lecturer within Food and Restaurant Business.
Sami Syvaoja
Mr Sami Syväoja is a Lecturer in Food production and restaurant services in Vamia Vocational college, Vaasa, Finland. He has a BSc in Hospitality industry and VET teacher qualification. He has a big interest in Gastronomy and has worked as a chef in Spain, the Netherlands and Japan. Mr Syväoja has expertise of teaching international groups in multicultural settings for over 10 years.
Hermanni Kauranen
Mr Hermanni Kauranen is teaching civics, entrepreneurship, mathematics, computing, hospitality and tourism at Vamia vocational college in Vaasa, Finland. He has a Master’s degree in computing science and Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management along with vocational degrees in cooking, bartending and entrepreneurship. He’s an expert in entrepreneurship and interested to use new learning methods and use of digital environments as a part of the learning process.
Iker Orueta Antxia
Mr. Orueta is CEO at Education&Mobility. He has worked with various international development and mobility projects for over 8 years. With a background in gastronomy due to his Degree in Kitchen Management and with large international experience in the field , Mr. Orueta is cooperating in this Core Project together with Ikaslan.
Josu Biritxinaga
Mr Biritxinaga has been working as a culinary arts teacher since 1997, on the mean time he has also run his own restaurant and did some stages in different restaurants and cake shops. Currently he works in Leioa Hospitality and Catering college since 1999. He gives both theoretical and practical lessons to intermediate and higher technician students (levels 3 and 5) at the kitchen workshop in English, Spanish and Basque language.
Kristin Brogan
Dr Kristin Brogan is a lecturer in German and Intercultural Communication since 1994 at ITT (Department of Humanities in the School of Social Sciences). Since 2003 she has been involved with EU Commission funded international projects in the area of on-line language and intercultural communication (ICC) modules and is currently coordinating various Erasmus+ SP projects. She also participated in ECML (Council of Europe – www.ecml.at) projects and facilitates workshops as an ECML consultant on “Supporting Multilingual Classrooms” and “PluriMobil”.
Mary Rose Stafford
Mary Rose Stafford is currently the Head of School - Business, Computing & Humanities at The Institute of Technology, Tralee. She has a combination of Hotel Management and Education Management over the last 30 years. Having worked in hotels in New York City she returned to Ireland and has worked in the IT Tralee for the past 20 years, primarily as the Head of Department of Hotel, Culinary Arts & Tourism. Mary Rose was appointed by the Minister for Tourism in Ireland to the board of Failte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Agency, she also serves on a number of tourism boards in County Kerry. Mary Rose is a co-founder of Tourism Insight, an on-line open source tourism education programme and is currently involved in a number of EU and Transatlantic tourism projects.
Sergio Fidalgo
Mr. Fidalgo is on charge of the International projects at IKASLAN (the association of public vocational training schools of the Basque Country), its activities focus on initial vocational education and (continuing) training for workers. Since 1999, always working in international programs. The association is formed by more than 60 VET schools. Mr. Fidalgo manage these projects finding training places abroad, suitable accommodation, contact with all the schools and tutors and so on. From 2005 we've sent about 3000 students abroad. Apart of this Mr. Fidalgo arrange meetings or seminars with all the schools to advice on the way they must apply for the Erasmus Charter, Erasmus+ projects, and so on. From 2017 Mr. Fidalgo has been working a partial time in Tknika.
Valerie McGrath
Mrs. McGrath has worked in the area of higher education for over sixteen years. In that time she has taught a number of marketing and entrepreneurial modules to students in the area of tourism and business at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. She is currently employed a lecturer with the Institute of Technology Tralee. She is also involved in a number of Erasmus projects with the Institute of Technology Tralee. Prior to joining IT Tralee, she also lectured to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the University of Limerick. Valerie is currently undertaking a doctorate in higher education with the University of Liverpool. To date she holds a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Limerick and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Leicester.
TJ O Connor
TJ O Connor has been working in the hospitality industry for 31 years he trained as a chef at the Institute of Technology Tralee in 1989 and since then he has worked both in Ireland and internationally he has been a Senior Culinary Lecturer at the Institute of Technology Tralee since 2001. He has also completed a Masters in Professional Hospitality and Tourism Management. TJ recently on behalf of the Institute of Technology Tralee was the lead on the development of the new National Culinary Apprenticeships at Chef De Partie and Sous Chef Levels 7 & 8 respectively. T.J is very actively involved in many projects to promote local food and food tourism and was the Chairperson of Taste Kerry for a number of years.
Maurice J. O'Brien
Mr. Maurice J. O’Brien is a specialist within the areas of Culinary & Food Studies Education, Food Tourism Development, Food Product Design & Innovation, and Food Globalisation & Sustainability. With over 28 years’ experience within the culinary arts field, he has also attained an MA in Professional Hospitality & Tourism Management from University College Birmingham, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Studies from The Open University & Marino College, and a BSc (Hons) Degree in International Culinary Arts and Gastronomy from University of West London. Presently established within the MTU.