Interface: Energy harvesting brings power to out-of-the-way placesThe autumn issue of the English-language Interface magazine published online by Tampere University of Technology explores the potential of energy harvesting technologies and introduces new and familiar faces on campus. Who has an eponymous asteroid? Who is the Lecturer of the Year?
If wires and batteries are out of the question, energy can be harvested from mechanical vibrations, movement, friction and heat. A growing number of devices are harvesting energy from ambient sources.
“Energy harvesting applications are finding their way into monitoring systems and other devices that need to work for extended periods of time without servicing,” says Pekka Ruuskanen, professor in the Laboratory of Electronics and Communications Engineering.
Ruuskanen coordinates a project titled ‘Clean Energy from the Environment with Energy Harvesting’ that was launched earlier this year. The project explores different energy-harvesting applications and seeks solutions with commercial potential. As the Internet of Things develops further, the number of potential energy harvesting applications will grow exponentially.
“The energy harvesting market is showing considerable growth. It is currently worth two billion dollars and growing at a rate of 20 per cent each year,” Ruuskanen says.
Winner of the Lecturer of the Year Award has a coaching mentality
The Student Union of Tampere University of Technology conferred the 2017 Lecturer of the Year Award on Jouni Lyly-Yrjänäinen from the Laboratory of Industrial and Information Management. Lyly-Yrjänäinen describes himself as a teacher and mentor. He prepares his international degree-seeking students for careers in Finland. The employment rate of recent graduates who have completed the international Master’s Degree Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management is as high as 60 per cent.
The Interface magazine also features post-doc Matti Viikinkoski, who scientific achievements earned him the rare recognition of having an asteroid named after him, and Associate Professor Alessandro Foi from the Laboratory of Signal Processing whose work combines research and entrepreneurship. Assistant Professor Roel Pieters, who took up an appointment in the Laboratory of Automation and Hydraulic Engineering earlier this autumn, brings his expertise in robotics to TUT.
“Robots can help make our work easier and safer. Robotics could also benefit smaller companies. As SMEs may not necessarily have the means to buy expensive robots or the time to program them, I would like to see companies that rent out robots to SMEs and run a kind of ‘job agency for robots’,” Pieters says.