The research highlight of the year under review was the international Research Assessment Exercise, TUT RAE 2017, which culminated in June with a site visit of the 10-member panel of experts. The panel assessed 20 research communities and toured the research facilities. The final report demonstrated that the international panel was impressed by the high quality of our research and especially our excellent research infrastructure.
The research funding we receive from the Academy of Finland continued to climb for the second year in a row. The Academy of Finland is currently the largest single source of funding for our University.
We have also seen a significant change in our publishing culture. While our publication output remained stable, the number of papers published in journals with the highest JUFO rating rose by 30 per cent.
With funding becoming increasingly competitive, universities must know their strengths to be successful. TUT selected “Intelligent Society” as one of its profile areas along with the University of Tampere in 2017. It combines our expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning with the University of Tampere’s strong tradition in social sciences. Our University can look forward confidently to the establishment of the new Tampere University in 2019.
Vice President for Research
Immersive experiences are becoming everyday reality at CIVIT, TUT’s Centre for Immersive Visual Technologies. The centre has been relocated to new state-of-the-art facilities that bring together a flexible infrastructure and research expertise that covers all the areas of immersive technology. The facilities are also available to companies.
“Immersive technology can be summed up in two words: realism and interaction,” describes Professor Atanas Gotchev.
“In addition to developing immersive technologies, we’re looking to understand human behaviour and perception. Researchers at TUT have in-depth signal processing expertise that covers, for example, sensor and compression technologies.”
Companies have the opportunity to come on board as CIVIT’s research partners or use the facilities in their own projects.
“For example, game developers are interested in our new motion capture studio. Others may need our 360-degree camera or a controlled environment for testing the user experience of audiovisual applications. We also have our own Omnideck, which for the first time allows users to literally take a walk in a virtual world.”
Unmanned and remotely controlled ships will be sailing the world’s oceans by the end of the next decade. Artificial intelligence is set to have a huge impact on the future of shipping. The development of new business models is also underway.
TUT provides high-quality education on automation engineering and produces a large number of qualified graduates who enter careers in the maritime industry. TUT’s strong research expertise in the field provides a solid foundation for education.
“The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Generic Intelligent Machines Research (GIM), which was established in 2005, has been but one source of excellent research in this field. Researchers at GIM have especially focused on research on autonomous mobile machines. The recently concluded Aawa project that was funded by Tekes under the Arctic Seas Programme explored autonomous machines in marine settings,” Professor Kalevi Huhtala says.
In 2017, Rolls-Royce established an autonomous ship research and development centre in Turku. The new centre strengthens the existing collaboration between Rolls-Royce and TUT, which is a strategic partner for the international Marine unit. The partnership with Rolls-Royce serves as an important recognition of TUT’s research expertise. The collaboration falls under the scope of Intelligent Machines that is one of TUT’s profile areas.
As the number of mobile devices is growing rapidly, we are approaching a point where the coverage of a single base station will have to reduced. This requires new technology and a dense network of new base stations that are smaller than their predecessors.
Researchers at TUT have developed a novel 5G radio transmitter in collaboration with Aalto University and Nokia Bell Labs. The 5G radio transmitter is almost completely digital, with the signal converted to the analogue form only at the final amplification stage. The new base stations will provide up to 20 times more bandwidth capacity.
“The new 5G base station transmitter opens up new opportunities for modifying and programming the transmitted signal. It will also improve signal quality,” says Mikko Valkama, Professor of Communications Engineering at TUT.
TUT’s particular area of expertise in the multidisciplinary project was digital signal processing.
“Our University is one of the world’s leading hubs of expertise in signal processing for wideband radio transmitters and radio receivers,” says Valkama.
Research conducted at TUT revealed that traffic is a significant source of the smallest atmospheric aerosol particles called nanoclusters. Published in the prestigious PNAS journal, the research led by TUT's Aerosol Physics Group was the first to demonstrate a connection between traffic and nanocluster aerosol concentrations in cities.
“Traffic-originated particle emissions affect urban air quality and thereby human health. The findings increase our understanding of the origins and formation of tiny atmospheric aerosol particles in urban areas and open up new avenues for the improvement of air quality,” says Research Manager Topi Rönkkö, who supervised the project.
The researchers performed measurements in two locations in Helsinki, namely by the roadside of Ring I and in a street canyon. Measurements were also carried out on the road while driving from Northern Spain to Tampere, Finland.
"The mobile laboratory and the diverse measurement equipment enabled us to study nanoclusters in different environments and even on the go," says Professor Miikka Dal Maso, who was among the team that carried out the measurements on the road.
Researchers from the Laboratory of Materials Science and the Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Systems at TUT are participating in the NanoStencil project to develop a groundbreaking method for fabricating functional nanostructured surfaces. The project has received a grant under the EU’s Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme, which offers fiercely competitive funding for high-risk research.
FET supports the development of breakthrough technologies with far-reaching potential in multiple application areas. The goal of NanoStencil is to develop a single-step, cost-effective, state-of-the-art method for growing ordered arrays of nanostructures on the surface of materials.
The revolutionary idea behind NanoStencil is to apply laser interference to construct a nanosized scaffold on which nanostructures, such as nanowires, are grown.
“If successful, the method will have a broad range of potential applications, for example, in electronics, optoelectronics, sensor technologies and medicine. This type of research is not conducted anywhere else in the world,” says Professor Erkki Levänen.
The results of the Research Assessment Exercise, TUT RAE 2017, confirmed that TUT pursues research and maintains research infrastructures that meet international standards of excellence. Among others, our research on light-controlled materials, electronic nose technology and its medical applications attracted widespread interest in Finland and abroad.
In 2017, the funding we received from the Academy of Finland continued to climb.
|Funding from the Academy of Finland (MEUR)||11.3||12.4||13.6|
|Publications in Jufo-ranked journals (1318)||1318|
TUT´s profile areas: Digital operating environment, Energy- and eco-efficiency, Health technology, Light-based technologies