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.”
The Academy of Finland awarded Centre of Excellence (CoE) status to 12 research units for the years 2018–2025. TUT is involved in two of them: the Centre of Excellence in Inverse Modelling and Imaging, which continues to hold its long-term CoE status, and the new Centre of Excellence in Body-on-Chip Research located in BioMediTech, a joint institute between TUT and the University of Tampere.
BioMediTech has a long history of research collaboration in the field. The new CoE brings together expertise in biology and technology.
The goal is to create a new type of body-on-chip concept where cell cultures, blood vessels, and nerves are utilised to create networks of cell and tissue cultures that are based on stem cells. A computerised nervous system measures, analyses and controls the network system.
“Our research sheds light on tissue interactions, the in vitro construction of composite tissue and the operation management of composite tissue. The concept that combines biology with synthetic structures has much to give to research areas such as the development of medicinal substances,” Professor Minna Kellomäki says.
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.
Researcher 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.
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.
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.
The results of Research Assessment Exercise, TUT RAE 2017, confirmed that TUT pursues research and maintains research infrastructure 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 recieve from the Academy of Finland continued to climb.
|Funding by 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