News and events - Tampere University of Technology

Solar energy researchers do not mind the approaching winter

Science magazine Interface introduces you to the robot buses circling on campus. We will also look into the Finnish solar energy revolution and water service expertise.
“Solar power will change business for energy and grid companies,” says Professor Seppo Valkealahti
“Solar power will change business for energy and grid companies,” says Professor Seppo Valkealahti

The robot buses developed in the SOHJOA project in Finland have attracted a lot of media attention. Now they have arrived in Hervanta, Tampere and started their trial runs. Even globally, these experiments with robot bus operation as part of real traffic are among the very first. Previously, robot buses have only operated in enclosed areas in Finland.

The experiment has yielded great results, but the approaching winter is stealing a part of the show: some of the scheduled rides have been cancelled due to weather conditions. At this stage in the experiments, mere snowfall is enough to prevent robot buses from operating, as the radar on the bus perceives snowflakes as obstacles.

“This is a limitation we have been well aware of: the bus operation is subject to the prevailing weather conditions. We will restore the operation in November if the weather gets warmer,” Doctoral Student  Lasse Nykänen promises.


Solar energy researchers, in turn, do not mind the winter. The newly launched ‘Finnish Solar Revolution’ research project gathers information on solar energy to help Finnish companies thrive in the international competition.

“We are doubling the output capacity of solar power every second year, and solar power is increasing its share faster than the other electricity generation means. This revolution is also about to land in Finland. The level of solar power in our energy plans is on a constant rise,” says Professor Seppo Valkealahti from TUT’s Department of Electrical Engineering.


Professors gather experience on tenure track

Since 2012, professors have been recruited at Tampere University of Technology using a four-stage tenure track career path. On their way from Assistant Professor to Full Professor, these young prospects evolve into full-fledged professors. They may spend a maximum of 12 years on the tenure track gathering the teaching and research experience and competence required in a tenured position. Interface includes features on particle researcher Miikka Dal Maso, who is one of the first people to reach full professorship on the tenure track, and the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Software Product Management and Business Sami Hyrynsalmi.

Read Interface to also find out more about the ‘Seamless human-robot interaction’ research project led by Associate Professor Minna Lanz, Adjunct Professor Tapio S. Katko‘s recently published ‘Finnish Water Services’ book, the world’s most content Erasmus students, using the Nokia OZO camera for lecture recording as well as other current topics at TUT.

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News submitted by: Sanna Kähkönen
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