Young Entrepreneurs - Young Companies by ocb15358

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									POLYSTEEKKI  Helsinki University of Technology – TKK – Magazine 2/2009

Entrepreneurs –
Young Companies

                                                             Editorial: Funding Crisis?.......................................................................... 3
                                                             News........................................................................................................... 4
                                                             Column: Time Is Wasted ........................................................................ 11
                                                             From the Rector....................................................................................... 13

                                                                Theme: Young Entrepreneurs – Young Companies

                                                                The Art Of ZenRobotics ..................................................................... 14

  22     One of the many busy days in CEO
         Maija Itkonen's life.                                  Bioadaptive Technology And a Bone Lengthening Device ................ 16

                                                                Transparent Entrepreneurship ............................................................. 18

                                                                An Entrepreneurial Spirit .................................................................... 20

                                                                Corporate Responsibility In Mind ....................................................... 20

                                                                A Mathematician As an Entreprenour ................................................. 21

                                                                Absolutely Entrepreneurial .................................................................. 22

                                                             Engineers And Entrepreneurs an Apprenticeship Of 200 Years ............. 26

  28     IPPES project aims to create innovative
         micro fuel cell technology.
                                                             Power To the Laptops .............................................................................. 28
                                                             Column: From Space Probes To Buildings ............................................ 31
                                                             Nice Antennae ......................................................................................... 32
                                                             Dissertations............................................................................................. 33
                                                             Change Management And Networking .................................................. 36
                                                             ´The Times They Are A-Changin´ .......................................................... 38
                                                             TKK In a Nutshell ................................................................................... 39
                                                             TKK International Study Programmes.................................................... 40

  32     TV screen and DVD player without
         any cable connection? Sylvain Ranvier
         dissertated on multiple antennae in
         electronic devices.


        Editorial council:            Editor-in-chief:            Journalist:                        Change of address:                     Graphic Design:
        Vice-rector Kalevi Ekman      Päivi Tainio                Eeva Pitkälä                       TKK PoliAlumni                         Crisme Kotilainen
        Timo Honkela                  Tel. +358 9 451 5494        Tel. +358 9 451 2009               Seija Sipilä                           Edita Press Oy
        Janne Luotola                       Tel. (09) 451 5440
        Panu Nykänen                                                                                 Mobile +358 50 306 2788                Printing:
        Pirkko Oittinen               Sub-editor:                 Translations/                                Edita Prima Oy
                                      Minna Pasanen               language checkings                                                        Helsinki 2009
        P.O.Box 1100,                 Tel. +358 9 451 2071        Ruth Vilmi Online
        FI-02015 TKK, Finland        Education Ltd                                                             Number of copies
        Fax: +358 9 451 2070                                                 Cover layout:                          printed: 17,000
                                                                  TKK Language Center                Adolfo Vera                            ISSN 1455-9595

2 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

Funding Crisis?
      n the midst of a global economic       First, the scarcest resource available                         High-growth ventures are also a team-
      downturn in which jobs are being       to you is the investment of time; if                        based sport. Finding team members that
      lost, confidence severely shaken,      something isn’t going to work out, learn                    augment your strengths, complement
and finance markets in turmoil, one          that sooner as opposed to later. Second,                    your weaknesses, and bring out the
might think twice about becoming an          the whole point of learning about an                        best performance of everyone involved
entrepreneur. But one thing that all         opportunity with an open mind is that                       is crucial for success. You want to
successful entrepreneurs share is that       rarely, if ever, do initial plans (Plan A)                  surround yourself with people who
they thrive on challenge and we live in      work. On the basis of insights gained                       share your passion. In return, you need
challenging times. One thing we know         from assessing the viability of Plan A,                     to be prepared to bring them in as equity
about economic downturns is that entre-      successful entrepreneurs raise support                      partners. Investors back teams, not
preneurial risk-taking actually increases.   for Plan B and execute on the basis of                      individuals.
The perceived risk of doing something        that plan, which often bears little or no                      ”So where can I raise funding?” you
on your own falls dramatically when em-      resemblance to Plan A. Investors fund                       ask. Realistically, don’t expect investors
ployment prospects are poor. Moreover,       Plan B, not Plan A.                                         to back your start-up early on. What is
entrepreneurs see opportunities where                                                                    invaluable early on is to actively engage
others see threats. To them, the glass is                                                                an experienced mentor; someone who
half full, not half empty. So what does it                                                               can act as a sounding board to help
take to start out on your own?                                                                           shape your go-to-market plan and
  The single most important                                                                              provide moral support. Spending time
ingredient of entrepreneurial success,                                                                   together working out how best to exploit
in my opinion, is confidence. Building                                                                   an opportunity also addresses a more
confidence implies that first and                                                                        fundamental risk any investor faces,
foremost you know yourself. What                                                                         namely whether they really know the
drives your passion to invest precious                                                                   people that they are backing. Find the
time in this opportunity more than                                                                       right mentor and you may be on track
anything else? What skills do you bring                                                                  to finding your first investor.
to the table and where do you need                                                                          Where can you go to build your
help? Do you have the confidence to                                                                      confidence, develop your plans, and
start, knowing that you don’t have all                                                                   find team members and mentors? The
the resources you need at hand? Are                                                                      Aalto Entrepreneurship Society (AES)
you ready to leap on the basis of enough,                                                                is an initiative that has been launched
not complete, information? Could you                                                                     to address these challenges.
convince anybody to join your team or                                                                       This community brings together all
raise any funding/support from anyone                                                                    those individuals who share a passion
else if you have not first convinced                                                                     for starting new ventures and helping
yourself?                                                                                                entrepreneurial ventures to succeed.
  Successful entrepreneurs also                                                                          Aalto has entrepreneurial potential
pursue opportunities in a disciplined                                                                    ready and waiting to be unleashed.
and open-minded way. To discover                                                                         Join in! n
how best to exploit an opportunity,
successful entrepreneurs develop                                                                         Dr. Peter Kelly
and test out hypotheses quickly and                                                                      Helsinki School of Creative
cheaply. Through ”rapid opportunity                                                                      Entrepreneurship (HSCE)
                                                                                    Photo: Adolfo Vera

prototyping”, successful entrepreneurs
learn very quickly whether their venture
will work or not, and if so, how. Two
points need to be emphasised here.

                                                                                                                                  POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 3
Edited: Eeva Pitkälä, Minna Pasanen and TKK PR communication
Translation: Ruth Vilmi Online Education Ltd and TKK Language Center

                                                                             Researchers enhance spam call filtering
         New master’s students
                                                                             Researchers in Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT are
         admitted – 52 different                                             developing a new system for blocking spam calls in a flexible way. Spam calls
         nationalities                                                       (junk calls or Spam for Internet Telephony, SPIT) are unwanted calls often
                                                                             made by an automat playing a recorded advert.
         TKK admitted a total of 593 students                                As free Internet-based telephony is rapidly gaining popularity over traditional
         during the 2009 application cycle for its                           charged calls, the risk of spam calls is increasing. Skype is one of the best known
         two-year master’s degree programmes.                                providers of free calls using peer-to-peer networks.
         Of them, 378 have a bachelor’s degree                                  HIIT researchers Joakim Koskela, Juho Heikkilä and Andrei Gurtov have
         from a foreign university, while 216                                created a system for filtering calls on peer-to-peer networks in a more flexible
         have one from a Finnish higher                                      way than before. In the new system, users can accept calls from people who
         education institution. A total of 1 373                             are unknown to the user, but amongst the contacts of friends, or even friends
         eligible applications were received by                              of these contacts. Before the user answers the phone, the system can warn the
         the closing date at the end of February.                            user that he does not know the calling person.
            The English-language master’s                                       The flexibility makes spam call prevention more practical. This makes it
         degree programmes are particularly                                  possible to use the filtering more commonly than today. The new system can
         popular among applicants with                                       still completely block calls from unknown persons and let friends through, just
         bachelor’s degrees earned in China,                                 like Skype today.
         India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran,                                     Future Internet is one of the research fields of Helsinki Institute for
         Nepal or Turkey, while those offered                                Information Technology HIIT. n
         in Finnish are popular among those                        
         with a prior engineering degree from a
         Finnish university of applied sciences
         (AMK in Finnish). In all, the newly
         admitted students come from 52                                      Product Design Gala 2009
         countries, the most distant ones from
         as far afield as Australia, Brazil and                              Product Design Gala, held once again in April, is the annual seminar on
         Venezuela. One fourth of the admitted                               PDP-course, celebrating the hard work done during the year. In the seminar,
         students are women.                                                 the results of the project work were featured to the public. After, in between
            The most popular master’s                                        and during the presentations the audience got familiar with the exhibition,
         degree programmes included the                                      and took a closer look at the prototypes and posters and discussing with the
         Erasmus Mundus programme                                            team-members and the hosts. n
         ”Security and Mobile Computing”,                          
         ”Communications Engineering”,
         ”Service       Management           and
         Engineering ” and ”in Real Estate
         Investment and Finance”. The most
         popular Finnish majors were those of
         structural engineering and building
         technology as well as architecture.
            As of 1 January 2010, TKK will
         become part of the new Aalto University
         formed by TKK, HSE and TaiK; the
         students now admitted into TKK will
         eventually earn their degrees at Aalto
         University. n

                                                            Photo: Eeva Pitkälä

4 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

 – on

            New habitants have arrived to a
            castle near the small farm village: a
            nobleman accompanied by his party.
               The lord mayor, who concerns
            the image of the village is utterly
            excited about the new inhabitant
            and especially about the possibility
            of new tax revenue.
               Not everybody is satisfied, people
            have begun to disappear with no
            traces, the harvest is week within
            living memory and many of the
            villagers are bedeviled with a weird
               Since 1990, a new skit,
            Teekkarispeksi, has been created
            every year by the most theatre
            enthusiastic technology students
            of the campus. This year’s Speksi
            ”Nosferatu” was again performed to
            a full house.
               The Speksi is unique musical
            theatre based on interaction. The
            audience participates by shouting
            comments and suggestions to
            performers at any point.
               The audience primarily shouts
            at the actors, but can also demand
            dancers or the band change to a
            different mode.
               They may also shout to other
            members of the audience if these are
            causing too much of a disturbance. n

                                   POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 5

                                                            Photos: Eeva Pitkälä
          Primary school kids challenge Aalto -university

           The final of the Schoolchildren’s
           technology competition final
           entitled Tämä toimii! (This
           works!), which is targeted at school
           children in years one to six of their
           basic education, was held at TKK
           on April 22. 2009.
              In this yearly competition the
           task is always to invent and build,
           in groups of four, a moving toy
           from the materials provided by
           the technology sector organization
           Technology Industries of Finland,
           as well as to design an appealing
           advert for the toy and keep a
           diary of the different stages of the
           competition project.
              – Toys are a part of everyday life
           for children, and inventing and
           building a toy is a pleasant way to
           find out about the diverse world of
           technology, says Birgitta Ruuti,
           from the Technology Industries of
              – The aim of this competition
           is to encourage pupils to study
           technologyrelated subjects and to
           give them a positive experience of
              The competition consists of
           two different series, series A for
           years one to three and series B for
           years four to six. The best groups
           from each series are invited to
           participate in the final.
              This year, 21,500 pupils all over
           Finland made more than 5,400
           moving toys for the competition.
              Technology education is
           part of the core curriculum for
           comprehensive schools in Finland.
           The aim of technology education
           is that young people understand
           what is meant by technology and
           learn to use and develop it. n


6 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

Low temperature physics network chosen for the
European Research Infrastructure                                                            Mobile drawings
The Microkelvin laboratory network, coordinated by the Low-Temperature
                                                                                            become context-aware
Laboratory of TKK, has been chosen to become part of the European Research                  Helsinki Institute for Information
Infrastructure for the years 2009-2013. The EU is providing the European                    Technology HIIT has launched Atwink
Microkelvin Collaboration projects with funding of 4.2 million euros.                       mobile application which copies
  Eleven research units from universities in eight countries are involved, as well as       drawings from paper via pen to the
the company BlueFors Cryogenics, which is a spin-off from the Low-Temperature               web. The application also adds context
Laboratory at Helsinki. The project strengthens European cooperation in research            information to the drawings on location,
in low-temperature physics. Research efforts are being concentrated mainly on the           time, drawer and other drawers using
opening of the under-1-millikelvin (1-mK) temperature range to nano-research. n             the same application on site.                                                                              Atwink was designed and built by
                                                                                            HIIT designers and researchers Petri
                                                                                            Saarikko and Tero Hasu to be used by
New understanding of nano-scale plasticity                                                  artists. Atwink allows the artist to draw
                                                                                            on a digital paper notebook and after
Plasticity in certain semiconductor           visible, and its explanation relies heavily   finalizing the drawing, she sends the
materials on the nano scale is actually       on advanced physics.                          picture from Bluetooth pen via mobile
linked to phase transformation                   ”The implications of these findings        phone to the web.
rather than dislocation nucleation, as        are such that our understanding of
                                                                                               In the mobile phone Atwink
previously thought.                           material behaviour in the nano-regime
                                                                                            attaches GPS and other user sensitive
   This is shown by the results of an         may just need to be revised once again.
                                                                                            information to the drawing as well as
international research team led by            If this approach is further developed to
                                                                                            information about other pens within
Professor Roman Nowak of the Nordic           encompass other sets of materials than
                                              the ones studied here, this new evidence      Bluetooth range. The drawer can also
Hysitron Laboratory (NHL) at Helsinki
University of Technology, just published      will certainly lead to many advances in       attach a mobile phone photo to the
in the Nature Nanotechnology journal          pressure-sensing and pressure-switching       original drawing and view it via mobile
in an article entitled ”An electric current   applications, to name just one of many        optimized user interface.
spike linked to nanoscale plasticity”.        potential beneficiaries of these newly-          Drawings and mobile photos can be
The research is part of the Academy of        revealed discoveries,” Nowak says.            managed online for personal desktop
Finland’s FinNano research programme.            The main target of NHL is the              use or shared and aggregated to diverse
   Plasticity has always been associated      mechanical characterisation of advanced       social media services such as Atwink
with defect movement or initiation,           materials and nanostructures using the        feed and Facebook. The application
but Nowak’s team has proved that              nanoindentation testing technique.            enables easy archiving of drawings as
plasticity can indeed start from non-         These experiments are complemented            well as comparing the original drawing
dislocation processes, and that this phase    by computational methods, with the            to other ones made in the same
transformation occurs in a stressed nano-     aim of exploring nanometer-sized              location. The application is also handy
volume, changing from one crystalline         contacts in the material and arriving at      for a person preferring pen to keyboard
structure to another without affecting        a final unique clarification. n               for writing notes.
defect activity. The phenomenon,                   Network society is one of the
named the ”Current Spike”, is clearly         ncurrent/abs/nnano.2009.49.html               research areas of Helsinki Institute for
                                                                                            Information Technology HIIT. HIIT
                                                                                            is a joint research institute of Helsinki
Finnish Academy of Science and Letters PhD thesis award                                     University of Technology TKK and
                                                                                            the University of Helsinki for basic
for Teemu Koponen
                                                                                            and strategic research on information
Finnish Academy of Science and Letters PhD thesis award for Dr Teemu Koponen                technology. n
for his dissertation in the field of computer science, titled “A Data-Oriented Network
                                                                                            Video on Atwink:
Architecture”. In 1.–2.6.2009 Dr. Koponen was again rewarded, this time by the
Finnish Information Processing Association, FIPA.
  Koponen’s dissertation was accepted by the faculty of Information and Natural
Sciences at Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) in October 2008. The thesis   
work presents a novel network architecture for the Internet, providing a better
match for the changing usage patterns. n

                                                                                                                  POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 7

        A New Degree Programme

                                                                                          Photo: Nikolai Chekurov/Micronova
        on sustainable development
        The Faculty of Chemistry and Materials Science of TKK is preparing
        a degree programme relating to renewable resources, bio-products and
        sustainable development. It is planned that the degree programme will
        start in September 2010.
           Traditional industry, which makes extensive use of energy and natural
        resources, has difficult choices ahead of it in the future. Reserves of fossil
        fuels are starting to be exhausted and there is a shortage of food and pure
        water. Pollution and climate change threaten our environment.
           In the new degree programme, the different modes of use of renewable
        resources will be critically examined. The teaching will include an in-depth
        examination of the durability and varied uses of raw materials, of biofuels, of
        the diverse utilization of fibre materials and of the environmentally friendly
        and energy efficient manufacturing and recycling of various materials.
        Four new main subjects are planned for the new degree programme: in
        the areas of biorefining technology, development of renewable materials,                                              Beautiful things
        fibre and wood products and management of environmental issues.
           Extensive and varied contacts with industrial sectors, which account
                                                                                                                              in the microscope
        for over half of Finland's foreign trade, ensure an interesting workplace                                             ”Sometimes the microscope reveals such
        for those that graduate from the degree programme. A course intake of 60                                              stunningly beautiful things that I would like
        students is planned. n                                                                                                others to view them as well. Competitions                                                                                              in scientific imaging as art are a great way
                                                                                                                              to show scientifically interesting images to
                                                                                                                              the public as well,” says a happy Nikolai
        New international master’s degree                                                                                        Nikolai Chekurov’s ”Modern Stonehenge”
        programmes at TKK                                                                                                     nanostructure image won a joint first prize
                                                                                                                              in the 2009 MRS Spring Meeting Science
        TKK expands its selection of programmes teached in English                                                            as Art competition, held in San Francisco in
        in autumn 2010 by launching three new 2-year master’s degree                                                          April. The conference was attended by more
        programmes:                                                                                                           than 3000 materials science researchers and
          The Master’s Programme in Communications Ecosystem (ComEcos)                                                        the competition judges viewed more than
        combines the following: the technological aspects of mobile networks and                                              200 scientific images for their artistic value.
        the Internet, the business aspects of services using telecommunication                                                   The conference, organised by the Material
        networks and finally, service usability challenges from a customer                                                    Research Society (MRS), is the premium
        viewpoint..                                                                                                           international event in materials science.
          Master’s Programme in Environmental Technology promotes                                                             MRS is a pioneer in combining science and
        sustainable urban planning by educating multidisciplinary experts who                                                 art; this is the 7th time the competition has
        specialise in environmental technology and in the management of                                                       been held. This is the first time a Finnish
        urban environmental problems.                                                                                         researcher has received the award.
          Master’s Programme in Radio Science and Engineering consists of                                                        In his work, Nikolai Chekurov utilises a
        a wide range of courses in radio science and engineering, combining                                                   combination of two methods, focused ion
        radio science and engineering with electromagnetics, space technology                                                 beam (FIB) and plasma etching (DRIE),
        and circuit theory.                                                                                                   in a novel way. The results were published
          Each of the new programmes will admit 20 students in its first year.                                                in the January issue of Nanotechnology.
        The application cycle will open at the beginning of November 2009,                                                    Nikolai Chekurov works in the Micro
        while teaching will start in the autumn semester 2010. The international                                              and Quantum Systems research group at
        master’s degree programmes admit students who hold prior bachelor’s                                                   Micronova. n
        degrees from a research-oriented university either in Finland or abroad
        or from a polytechnic (university of applied sciences) in Finland. n                                        

8 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

”Harnessing ICT-enabled collective social                                                                                                                     ”One of the key goals is to understand
                                                                                                                                                            how ICT moulds social interactions
behaviour” funded by EU                                                                                                                                     and expands social networks, and
                                                                                                                                                            on the other hand how users of
                                                                                                                                                            ICT mould the ICT for their own
The FP7 programme of the EU                 and societal level. The understanding of                                                                        purposes. This multidisciplinary
Commission has chosen the research          the interactions and their mechanisms                                                                           project contains researchers of network
proposal ”Harnessing ICT-enabled            in these complex social systems                                                                                 theory, computational science, social
collective social behaviour” (for short     constitute the future challenges of                                                                             psychology and anthropology.”
ICTeCollective) coordinated by the          ‘social technology”, tell the researchers                                                                         The partners of the project are
Centre of Excellence of Computational       in the project..                                                                                                TKK, Oxford University, Torino
Complex Systems Research - COSY at             ”In this project we investigate the                                                                          Institute for Scientific Interchange,
TKK among the project to be funded.         structure and dynamics of ICT-enabled                                                                           Budapest University of Technology
The project is coordinated by Dr. Jari      social networks from the level of an                                                                            and Economics, and Warzaw
Saramäki and Prof. Kimmo Kaski.             individual to societal level of millions                                                                        University. n
  ”Over the last decade or so electronic    of individuals, by exploiting the
communication channels have changed         empirically collected data and large                                                                   and
the dynamics of social interaction at all   digital datasets.”
levels ranging from individual to group

10th Anniversary of Master’s Programmes                                                                                                                     Mobile Computing and Security, and
                                                                                                                                                            both departments have established
Helsinki University of Technology is        Departments of Electrical and                                                                                   many new Master’s Programmes.
celebrating the 10th anniversary of its     Communications Engineering and                                                                                    International education has been
International Master’s Programmes.          Computer Science and Engineering.                                                                               planned and developed since then as
  The first programme, the Master’s           Afterwards the programme was split                                                                            an integral part of the curriculum so
Programme in Telecommunications,            into a Programme in Communications                                                                              that both domestic and foreign students
started in 1999, together with the          Engineering and a Programme in                                                                                  meet at the same lectures and laboratory
                                                                                                                                                              The broad availability of courses
                                                                                  Photo: Elektroniikan, tietoliikenteen ja automaation tiedekunta/arkisto

                                                                                                                                                            taught in English on a Master’s level
                                                                                                                                                            has increased the interest of exchange
                                                                                                                                                            students in joining TKK. Recently, dual-
                                                                                                                                                            degree programmes with European
                                                                                                                                                            partner universities have started to
                                                                                                                                                              We have welcomed international
                                                                                                                                                            students with their ideas, active
                                                                                                                                                            questioning, and keen interest in
                                                                                                                                                            working hard. Several hundred young
                                                                                                                                                            people have graduated from TKK with
                                                                                                                                                            M.Sc, Lic., and Doctoral degrees so far
                                                                                                                                                            and the campus itself has become an
                                                                                                                                                            international one. n

                                                                                                                                                            Raimo Kantola and Anita Bisi.


                                                                                                                                                                                      POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 9

                           TKK engineers in the top three of
                           VENTURE CUP OPEN FINAL
                           The winner of the business plan          TKK together with his brother Tomi.
                           competition Venture Cup’s Open           (Polysteekki 4/2008).
                           Final 2008–2009 was Entetrainer, a         “This was excellent training for talks

                                                                                                                Photo: Eeva Pitkälä
                           company developing a product and         with capital investors ponders Artto
                           service concept connected to sports.     Aurola of Pixpolar, former researcher
                           Their concept connects sports and        of applied physics, in Optics and
                           mobile software technology as well as    Photonics at TKK. Pixpolar came to a
                           web software technology.                 third place in the competition, and has
                             ”We knew Venture Cup, and now the      developed an image cell technology
                           timing was perfect. My brother Tomi      for digital photography to enhance the      to one million Euros. The jury consisted
                           Salmi invented the core product idea     image quality especially in conditions of   of several Finnish and international top
                           last summer. The Open Final gave the     insufficient light.                         level investors. Companies founded in
                           required spark to develop the business     Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency         2004 or later were eligible for the Open
                           plan”, says Timo Salmi of Entetrainer,   for Technology and Innovation, will offer   Final. n
                           also priced in student idea contest at   the Open Final candidates financing up

                                                                                                The President of Kazakhstan
                                                                                                in Micronova
                                                                                               The President of Kazakhstan, Mr. Nursultan
                                                                                               Nazarbajev, visited Micronova on March 25 in
                                                                                               connection with his two day visit to Finland. His
                                                                                               governmental host was Minister Mauri Pekkarinen and
                                                                                               hosts at Micronova were President and CEO Erkki KM
                                                                                               Leppävuori, Technology Director Jussi Tuovinen and
                                                                                               Director Veli-Matti Airaksinen.
                                                                                                 The purpose of the visit to Finland was to find new
                                                                                               ideas to boost the economy in Kazakhstan. Minister
                                                                                               Pekkarinen gave a presentation on the Finnish
                                                                                               Innovation System of which Micronova is a good
                                                                                               concrete example showing how research becomes
                                                                                               business and new applications get to the market by
                                                                                               spin off and start up companies. Technology Director
                                                                                               Jussi Tuovinen gave a compact information package
                                                                                               on research activities in Micronova.
                                                                                                 Mr. Nursultan Nazarbajev was very interested in the
                                                                                               new applications on Light Emitting Diodes (LED) -
                                                                                               demonstrated by Dr. Sami Suihkonen, who has recently
                                                                                               dissertated at TKK in the field of optoelectronics.
                                                                                                 Furthermore, Carbon Dioxide Detectors and
                                                                                               Terahertz Imaging, were demonstrated to the president.
                                                                                               Director Arttu Luukanen from MilliLab told about a
     Photo: Eeva Pitkälä

                                                                                               pilot camera, built by VTT researchers in Micronova ,
                                                                                               that will be put on test use in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport
                                                                                               next Autumn. n

10 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

Marcus Wallenberg Prize
toTKK alumni
Marcus Wallenberg Foundation has
announced that the 2009 international
                                           Time Is
Marcus Wallenberg Prize is awarded
to Dr Jouni Ikäheimo, Mr Vesa
Kajander and Mr Bengt Welin. The
laureates have acted as pioneers and
key persons within ABB to develop the               curious asynchrony exists in Finnish society. All actors aim
new direct drive technology. Ikäheimo               to optimise their own operations, but often it seems all this
and Kajander earned their degrees at                is a toll on citizens’ time. You might say that everyone visits,
Helsinki University of Technology. The     without remorse, the common purse of everyday time. Our lives are
Prize sum is two million SEK.              ever more condensed, but
  Jouni Ikäheimo earned his doctorate      the places we operate in on
in material physics in 1996, and Vesa      a daily basis are constantly
Kajander earned a Master of Science        further away and harder to
in Technology in 1988 from the             reach.
former TKK Department of Electrical           Society as an apparatus
Engineering. Bengt Welin studied at        is out of sync when viewed
TKK Executive School of Business and       from the perspective of
earned his EuroMBA degree in 1996.         citizens and families. In an
  The innovation is based on the           industrial application, this
Permanent Magnet Synchronous               would not be tolerated.
Motor technology. If applied to all        We Finns are busy but
paper machines with a wire width           kind people. We dash
exceeding 5 metres, DDS would              with no complaints from
have the potential to reduce energy        one place to another, with
consumption by approximately 400           only the odd brave person
GWh in Europe and more than 1 200          complaining about the
GWh in the world.                          lack of quality time or real
  The Direct Drive System (DDS)            presence.
developed by the group is radically           Continental countries,
renewing the traditional drive             with their old city culture,
technology. This opens significant         have for a long time
opportunities for new design concepts      practised a decisive time policy by synchronising society’s schedules,
and process configurations of paper        opening hours, transport, and other functions for optimal time use.
making lines with advantages related       This requires the cooperation of everyone included – and also the
to the investment, operation, product      consideration of the point of view of citizens suffering from a lack
quality, ergonomics and environmental      of time. This activity is called time planning.
impact of the paper making process. n         TKK’s Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (YTK) is working
                                           on developing a Finnish time management concept, as the models
The Marcus Wallenberg Prize is an          of Central Europe cannot be copied as they are. The first national
international prize that was established   trials show promising results. n
in 1980 to acknowledge the lifetime
activities and the memory of Marcus        Liisa Horelli
Wallenberg, the late Chairman of Stora     Associate Professor
Kopparbergs Bergslags AB (now Stora        Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
                                                                                                                          Photo: Eeva Pitkälä

Enso).                                     TKK

                                                                                                           POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 11

        Top experts on planetary robotics at TKK
                                                                                                                International recognitions to
        A lively and inquisitive audience                             the robotics research of ESA, Mars and
                                                                                                                BIT Research Centre
        attended when international top                               Moon rovers, and Soviet and Russian
        experts on planetary robotics met at                          planetary and mobile robots between       The BIT (Business, Innovation and
        the Planetary Rover Symposium in                              1963 and 2007. The symposium was          Technology) Research Centre of
        April, arranged by the TKK Faculty of                         open to the public.                       TKK has found a distinctive and
        Automation and Systems Technology.                              Dr. Richard Volpe (Manager, Jet         recognised approach to project
        The topics of the symposium included                          Propulsion Laboratory, USA) told the      research. In the special issue of the
                                                                      audience about computer vision, JPL’s     International Journal of Project
                                                                      rover missions to Mars, and the history   Management of March 2009, the
                                                                      of space robotics.                        visiting editor-in-chief Hedley J.
                                                                        Gianfranco Visentin, Head of the        Smyth points out the emergence
                                                                      Automation and Robotics Section           of a ‘Scandinavian school' in the
                                                                      (ESA/ESTEC), covered the robotics         research of project business and
                                                                      research of ESA.                          the strong representation of Finnish
                                                                        Soviet and Russian planetary and        researchers in the field.
                                                                      mobile robots from 1963–2007 were           Drivers and Barriers for Adopting
                                                                      presented by Alexei Bogatchev (Science    Services in Project-Based Firms (K.
                                                                      & Technology Rover Company, St.           Wikström, M. Hellström, K. Artto, J.
                                                                      Petersburg, Russia), and the Professor    Kujala and S. Kujala)
                                              Photos: Tomi Ylikorpi

                                                                      of Embedded Systems at the University       Dimensions of Distance in
                                                                      of Oulu, Juha Röning, talked about        a Network of Firms: Exploring
                                                                      robotics research at Oulu University      Olkiluoto 3 Nuclear Power Plant
                                                                      and shared his experiences of the ESA     Project ( I. Ruuska, K. Artto, K.
                                                                      Lunar Rover Challenge. n                  Aaltonen and P. Lehtonen)
                                                                                                                  Integrating the Change Program
                                                                                                                with the Parent Organization (P.
                                                                                                                Lehtonen and M. Martinsuo)
        Aalto Entrepeneurship Society – AES                                                                       Response Strategies to Stakeholder
                                                                                                                Pressures in Global Projects (K.
        The Aalto Entrepreneurship Society is a student-led society formed by a group of                        Aaltonen and R. Sivonen)
        students from TKK, HSE and TaiK in the early spring of 2009. Its goal is to create                        Furthermore, the article ‘Project
        a culture at Aalto that encourages entrepreneurship; the best students should aim at                    Business as a Research Field', co-
        becoming entrepreneurs. AES intends to shape attitudes, for instance, by creating                       authored by Head of the Project
        success stories that serve as role models. However, AES will not try to bring about                     Business research group, Prof.
        this change or create the success stories alone - it wants everyone to get involved.                    Karlos Artto (TKK) and Prof. Jaakko
           AES organised the world’s first Startup event in the Otaniemi Design Factory on                      Kujala (University of Oulu) has
        25–26 April 2009. The two-day event gathered a total of 50 students and a large                         been awarded the Outstanding
        number of entrepreneurs, investors and other professionals. The goal was to work                        Paper Award of the Emerald Literati
        together to develop four new business ideas further. Three of these ideas had gained                    Network Awards for Excellence
        access to the event through the AES Pitching Evening, during which entrepreneurs                        2009.
        had two minutes to convince the judges of their business ideas. Similar events are                        Project Business as a Research
        now being planned for other Finnish cities as well as Moscow and the United States.                     Field (K. Artto, and J. Kujala)
           AES has already organised eight events during the spring, and will organise more                        International Journal of Managing
        in the autumn. The society is still taking form and all those interested can contact                    Projects in Business. Volume 1, Issue
        its members and join the open events – by working together we will save the Finnish                     4, 2008, pages 469–497. n
        economy! n
        Aalto Entrepreneurship Society
        AES on Facebook:
        The blog:

12 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
                                                                                                            FROM THE RECTOR

The international campus
of TKK is waiting for you
Summer is here now and the beautifully green campus can                              organisations providing funding for
be seen through the windows of rector's office. Only some                             start-ups and our campus is known
                                                                                     for its good support networks for new
weeks ago the freshmen or “phuxis”, the first-year students,                          businesses.
received their new white caps with tassels and became full                             For the Finns, the summer is a
members of TKY, the Student Union of TKK.                                            time for relaxation and charging up
                                                                                     their batteries. The students leave
                                                                                     the campus and the teachers and

          ere in Finland, the            gained full university rights, including    researchers take their summer break.
          engineering        students,   the right to grant doctoral degrees.        But in the autumn the students,
          ”teekkarit” in Finnish, are    Our long history has been full of           including more than one thousand
known for their great companionship      development and changes, and more           new ones, arrive with their dreams
and never-ending energy for innovative   changes are coming through the new          and ideas, bringing in new talent to
action. Activities in more than one      university law, which at present is being   the scientific community of TKK.
hundred clubs give the students          discussed in the Parliament. Through        And next autumn will see more
general societal competences, which      the years TKK has done its best to serve    foreign students and staff members
are needed in working life. The          the engineering sciences and Finnish        than ever before entering the campus
University is proud of its capable and   society. As the first engineering           and adding their own dreams to ours.
talented students, and their great       university in Finland, we have been         The international campus of TKK is
spirit, which ties them closely to the   the pioneer and pathfinder for              waiting for you. I
Student Union and to the University      Finnish technology. And it is our aim
                                                                                     Rector Matti Pursula
Alumni for the rest of their lives.      to continue in the same way. During
  Today, the TKK campus is more          the centennial year 2008 we opened
international than ever. More than       two important research programmes,
1300 foreign students of about ninety    one in energy research and one in the
nationalities, about 10% of the total    field of digitalisation. The costs of the
student body, study here yearly. The     five-year-long programmes total 20
share of international staff is also     million euros and they are financed
getting close to 10 per cent of the      by donations from Finnish industry.
total. For students, TKK offers 13       In this way industry and our alumni
international master’s programmes        support the University.
and three Erasmus Mundus                    Increasing the entrepreneurial spirit
programmes in English. And new           of the students and harnessing research
international programmes are opened      findings to business form part of the
every year. Doctoral education is        third mission of universities. In this
available in English in all study        issue of the Polysteekki magazine, some
programmes. International graduates      new companies and business ideas of
of TKK are working in all parts of       the TKK community are opened to
the world and stay in contact with us    the public. The University supports its
                                                                                                                             Photo: Matti Kurkela

through our alumni organisation.         researchers and students in creating
  Last year TKK, an institution now      new businesses or commercialising
already 160 years old, celebrated 100    their research through patenting and
   years as a university. In 1908 TKK    licensing. We work together with

                                                                                                            POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 13
Text: Eeva Pitkälä
Photo: Adolfo Vera

                  elsinki city centre in daytime:
                  a hurly-burly teeming with the
                                                        The Art Of
                  rolling flocks of schoolchil-
         dren, people rushing on lunch hour and
         the ever noisy cars queuing all over. As
         I slide down to a basement office the
         city hustle rapidly fades out. Here, in
         the headquarters of ZenRobotics Ltd.,
         I meet a nicely straightforward and            Consider Joining us – we’ll be the last to go! announces a young
         youngish city office.
                                                        and brave software company on their website. ZenRobotics Ltd may
         A pack of wits                                 also have the bottle to say it: cutting edge brain research produces
         ”For us there was no other option than         artificial intelligence solutions for robotics, a field that has already
         having this software firm right here           attracted several top researchers to their ranks and now also among
         where all the life is: in the city centre”,
         explains my host Harri Valpola, PhD,           the finalists of the business idea competition, Venture Cup.
         academy research fellow and Chief
         Scientist of ZenRobotics their expencive
         choise. ”We simply want to enjoy
         working.” PhD Jaakko Särelä, CEO of              The long legs, I learn later on, belong   From under the Rastafarian shock
         ZenRobotics, is nodding approvingly.           to the CTO of ZenRobotics, PhD              of hair is found Mr. Jufo Peltomaa,
           It is certainly easy to believe, that life   Tuomas J. Lukka, who some years ago         who represents the Head of Special
         here is ”cool”. Somewhere in the inner         dissertated in quantum chemistry at         Operations of ZenRobotics.
         rooms, in the middle of all music and          TKK as the youngest person dissertated
         computers, a Rastafarian shock of hair         ever in Finland, and thus greatly loved     It all started in brain research
         keeps tapping away on his computer,            by the bills. Lukka has also years of       The core competencies of ZenRobotics
         and I also see a hint of long legs resting     industry experience in developing           are robotics, machine learning,
         under another computer desk.                   software and processor technology.          statistical and physical modeling and
                                                                                                    data mining & optimization. ”Our field
                                                                                                    can be defined as software making,
                                                                                                    what we do here is we apply academic
                                                                                                    algorithms right to the factory floor.”
                                                                                                      Valpola and his group commercialize
                                                                                                    machine learning based on neural
                                                                                                    networks. They intend to develop the
                                                                                                    ways to apply these mathematical
                                                                                                    brain models, algorithms, to
                                                                                                    robotics. ”Algorithms are applicable
                                                                                                    in everything that involves sorting
                                                                                                    products with indefinable sizes and
                                                                                                    shapes, in the mining industry, waste
                                                                                                    management, paper machinery and
                                                                                                    refuse incineration.”
                                                                                                      The leading brain of ZenRobotics,
                                                            “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to
                                                            understand how to get brains to the     PhD Harri Valpola, has 15 years of
                                                            robots”, Valpola thinks back. Now       experience in machine learning.
                                                            ZenRobotics, led by PhD Harri           The significant know-how behind
                                                            Valpola, and PhD Jaakko Särelä
                                                                                                    the company’s products is based on
                                                            “is letting robots go where no robot
                                                            has gone before”.                       an advanced computational method,
                                                                                                    DSS, published by Valpola and Särelä.

14 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
  ”Actually, it all started a long time        the amount of industrial robotics has
ago”, Valpola thinks back. ”Neural             been around 6-7 procent. There are at
networks was my subject ever since             least one million industrial robots in
upper secondary school and also led            the world, and the annual marketing
me to the acquaintance with the famous         is approximately 100.000 industrial
professor Teuvo Kohonen from TKK.              robots.
I joined the physics students flock to           ”Time is ripe now for a new entre of         Venture Cup
be able to do brain research,” Valpola         robotics, as the computers have gained
admits readily. Today he works as a            more capacity,” Jaakko Särelä states.        Venture Cup is a Business plan
                                                                                    thhre phases:
leader of a brain research group of his            ”Yet, money making is not the
own at TKK.                                    only goal here. We think, that a             Idea Phase competition for business ideas
  ”One day I am Research Fellow (in            good enterprise typically solves real,       Business Plan Phase for completed plans.
the Academy of Finland) at TKK and             ethically justified problems of the          An Open Final for registred companies.
another day I am the Chief Scientist           world, and, furthermore, hosts a good         The prize in Open Final is 1Me funding
of ZenRobotics. It feels good to sit on        spirit among the employed,” Valpola           package from TEKES.
two chairs at the same time. After all,        says. ”Moreover, we believe, that a          The judges concentrate on innovativeness,
entrepreneurship is an essential part of       shared vision and shared values gain          growth potential and realistic
engineering, where the point always is         the company a good spirit.”                   implementation. Each entry receives
hands-on experience”,Valpola says.               ”For me personally the most                 written feedback, which will help develop
                                               important thing is ”green work” , for         the business.
Algorithms for sale!                           instance at Dodo, a new environmental        Venture Cup offers a free entrepreneurship
”Our technology is highly adaptive and,        organization that avoids black-and-           training programme which revolves around
                                                                                             the main themes of business planning.
furthermore, there are plenty of targets       white views of the world and is named
of application all over. Yet, to be honest,    after the extinct Dodo bird, the first       The national training sessions are held in
                                                                                             Helsinki.Training is also available in other
the algorithms of the academic world           species known to have become extinct
                                                                                             Venture Cup locations. Lectures are held
are quite hard to be sold. we simply try       because of man.                               mostly in Finnish.
to find out what the customers problems
                                                                                            Venture Cup offers all participants the
really are and then sell them the right        ZenBrain™                                     opportunity to get professional coaching
answers”, Valpola explains. ”It is all         At the moment, ZenRobotics sells              on the problems they are facing in their
about transferring the results of this         The ZenBrain™ Software, that uses             own businesses.
cutting edge research into commercial          algorithms based on the cerebellum,          Areas of coaching are, among others,
use.                                           the part of the brain responsible for         strategy, marketing, funding or legal
   From ZenRobotics point of view TKK          motor skills and coordination. Now, the       issues.
is the research group, and the firm is         cerebellum has been mathematically           These advises are provided to participating
a commercial part of that research             modeled and can be used in these early        teams by the coaches from nationwide
group commercializing the results of           robots.                                       Venture Cup network. Venture Cup
the group. The research team receives            ”Like the human cerebellum,                 coaches are experienced entrepreneurs,
                                                                                             consultants and investors. The Venture
commercial support and the firm gets           the ZenBrain Software operates in
                                                                                             Cup coaching is completely free for
the ”products”, the knowledge to be            real-time, is robust and has a good           competition participants.
sold.                                          tolerance for error situations. Just like
                                                                                            All jury members sign a nondisclosure
   ”As it is, TKK is a university of           a human knows, when throwing a ball,          agreement.
technology where research is desired to        to slightly lean forward, all due to the
have good connections to the industry.         lessons of having fallen on one’s back
The tradition at the university, however,      as a child”, the researchers describe
is, that the companies just order for          their product.
Master’s thesis, that’s all. No discussions,     The interview is over and I slide
no equal decision making.”                     out of the office to the noisy street. At
                                               once I bump into a passerby - and find
Vast markets, ethical thinking                 myself hoping to have money enough
The markets are vast. It is clear that         to buy an algorithm for a more personal
robotics is not an insignificant field of      learning use as well. n
industry. The average yearly growth of

                                                                                                                 POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 15
Text and photos: Eeva Pitkälä

                There are innovations

            that come and go through
              the markets boosted by
             effective marketing, and

            then there are innovations
             that answer to a human
             need so sore and painful
                 that they are born
             celebrities. In traditional
              distraction ontogenesis
              there has a need for an
                                                     And a Bone Lengthening Device
               innovation. In humans
               the big limb bones can
            nowadays be made longer
               in a most painful way.

              n the old method the bone ends        to say that the method is no favourite   "Bioadaptive technology should be seen as a
                                                                                             possibility and unique expertise in Finland",
              are fastened to a frame outside the   among the patients.                      think the students and entrepreneurers Juho
              limb with long needles, directly                                               Haaja, Harri Hallila and Antti Ritvanen.
         through skin and muscle. Being the         First hearers lost
         only reliable method for the lengthen-     One day the innovation centre in
         ing procedure, painful, prone to inflam-   TKK received a phone call from three     Faculty of Electronics, Communications
         mations and even ugly, there is no need    enthusiastic young engineers from the    and Automation, Juho Haaja, Harri

16 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
Hallila and Antti Ritvanen. The               forces needed in bones. He was really
students spoke something about an             excited about this”, the students tell.        TULI programme
intramedullary nail containing certain        “Without ORTON we would not be this
magnetostrictive metal alloy,                                    far. The specialists      Tuli is funded by Tekes – the
that can be implanted inside                                       at ORTON have            Finnish Funding Agency for
a Distraction ontogenesis                                          given us useful          Technology and Innovation
patient’s bone which then                                          feedback all the        Tuli aims to give birth to new
becomes longer…                                                    way.”                    research-based business with
  “At this stage we lost                                                TKK TULI            the aid of license agreements,
our hearers. People most                                           project at the           know-how transfers and new
probably classified our                                            Innovation
message as a practical joke                                        Centre has helped       Tuli aims to commercialize
or something, which”, the                                          enormously               research results in Finnish
students admit readily, “                                          with       advice,       universities and research in-
solely was our fault, as we                                        support, practical
were not properly prepared                                         paper work and          runs from 2008 to 2013.
to tell about it.”                                               also     financing.       In 2008-2009, 18 universi-
  Fortunately, a reporter in a daily          Registering a patent is a long process,       ties, 23 polytechnics and five
magazine of technological innovations         Synoste left the first application in         research institutes – all in all,
wrote an article about them and that          2008. In the end, the students found          46 research organization –
made things to get off the ground.            themselves a place in the sun: they won       are involved.
                                              a third place in Venture Cup business        The overall budget for the
Magnetic forces and the bone                  plan competition. Venture Cup helped          whole program is approxima-
lengthening                                   them to make a concise business plan.”        tely 50 million euros.
What the students actually created is a                                                    Tuli funding can be 55.000
magnetostrictive needle and a magnetic        Our ace in a hole                             euros in total, per one re-
device with an inductive circuit big          When operating, the bone is cut into          search-based invention or
enough that you can put your limb into        two halves and the surgeon puts into          idea. Funding can be applied
it. The innovation here lies in the use       the medullary a needle containing a           by researchers and research
                                                                                            groups, not by companies.
of a magnetostrictive metallic alloy and      piece of magnetostrictive metal alloy,
that nobody had ever before thought           which in a magnetic field expands            Tuli funding for the initial eva-
applying within orthopedics.                  slightly but with enormous force. As          luation phase can be up to 5
   ”We haven’t been using much new            the expanding needle holds the two            000 euros, the evaluation pha-
                                                                                            se can be up to 20.000 euros,
technology here. Predominantly, we            bone parts apart, the gap will be filled      both phases granted by a Tuli
have done rethinking and combined old         with new natural bone in time course.         contact person, and for the re-
innovations. The actual technology was        And so the longitudinal growth of the         finement phase up to 30.000
created in the 80’s. The first applications   bone can be controlled by the external        euro, granted by the Tuli pro-
came out in the end of 90’s but they          magnetic field. Resting his or her foot       ject group.
turned out to be unreliable. The              in the induction circuit, the patient may    Tuli is intended to be flexible,
magnetostrictive metallic alloy itself was    be cured at home.                             fast and able to take risks in
first developed in the 1950’s at the Naval       “Our ace in a hole is that our             a healthy manner.
Ordnance Laboratory in America.“              machinery is simple, stedy and wireless.”    Tuli researchers, students and
                                                                                            research groups are able to
ORTON, TULI, and Venture Cup                  Future plans                                  receive funding and versatile
The rest of the story is more about           ”We really expect to see this working,        expert services in all fields of
creativity and skill than fortune.”I          so that people do not have to use the         commercialization.
told about our first thoughts first to        horrible frame anymore for bone              Tuli all operations and com-
one of the orthopaedists in ORTON             lengthening. Bioadaptive technology           munication are strictly confi-
Orthopaedic Hospital and he assured           is a very young field, but it can already     dential.
that orthopaedics is just the research        be seen, that this should be seen as a
area where applications using wireless        possibility and unique expertise in
forces are needed, because of the big         Finland. n

                                                                                                               POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 17
Text: Eeva Pitkälä
Photo: Adolfo Vera

                                                      ”On the one hand, everybody knows that the cycling paths around

                       t all started from the cy-     the city of Helsinki should be taken better care of, but the civil
                       cling circles”, the Poikila    servants do not always know what is wrong and where. The cyclists
                       and Karhila think back,        themselves, on the other hand, have plenty of knowledge that they
         ”especially it emerged from the cyclists’
                                                      want to share.”
         subjective needs.”
           The students want to make HILA             To solve the problem, media technology researcher at TKK Antti
         a tool that really works in practice.        Poikola, information technology student Reima Karhila ja Janne
         ”Actually, the cyclists are not the only
                                                      Nurminen , a student from the univesity of Helsinki have developed
         group, who need a feedback channel.”
           ”Our basic aim has all the way been        an internet channel open for debate and feedback, called HILA.
         to promote collaboration between the
         citizens and the public sector; to be
         more precise, with this transparent
         feedback channel we aim to demolish            ”I myself was lucky enough to get         The TULI program at the Innovation
         the ”Chinese wall” that exists between       a foot in the door in SOMUS, Social      centre was helpful in many ways.
         official authority and the citizens.”        Media for Citizens and Public Sector     ”Those guys gave us concrete and
            ”A flashy piece of software isn’t going   collaboration, a two year research       wonderful support, and helped in
         to save anything or anyone by itself.        project between the years 2009-2010      paperwork and financially. I mean, we
         You have to consider how all things          funded by the Academy of Finland.        were not even sure of what we had, and
         are connected to each other and to the       Research work in SOMUS helps in          then the guys in TULI said that they can
         world.”                                      many ways to see what we have to         give us a consult for free for one week’s
                                                      work on with HILA. In SOMUS we test      try out, just to see would there be any
         Testing internet openness                    internet openness, for example to what   potential with our idea in the markets.
         As such, the invention was no sudden         extent we can publish meeting memos      That was encouraging indeed! After that
         brainwave. HILA got started in an idea       in wiki.                                 we started to believe our idea is worth
         contest called Sxxx Helsinki in last                                                  something. They also made us find a
         October. Nevertheless, the very idea of      The first client                         customer: they gave us 25 000 euros
         a feedback channel had already been          Technology student Reima Karhila         funding with the wise precondition that
         incubating in many other heads before        works in the laboratory of information   the money comes as soon as we have a
         we made it real. Poikola, Karhila and        technology at TKK.                       customer. ”
         Nurminen already knew each other               ”The role of TKK has been essential       Another helping hand has been
         from a cycling community.                    with HILA. I could do coding even        Venture Cup Business plan competition,
           Little by little they began to realize     without being a student here at TKK,     that offers a free entrepreneurship
         that their idea could be useful enough       but working in a team like HILA it has   training programme. HILA came to the
         to carry into entrepreneurship. As the       been essential. Furthermore, we have     finals in 2009 competition.
         idea of an open channel had started          found all the important contacts for        Up till now the students have, almost,
         to develop, Poikola went on a wild           HILA here at TKK. And here in the        a contract with the City of Helsinki.
         googling spree and put together the          laboratory of Media technology you       ”Almost, because we have not yet
         principles for connecting social media       definitively have an atmosphere that     founded a company, but as soon as that
         and public government.                       encourages entrepreneurship.”            happens, we will have it. We aim to

18 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
                                                                              It all started from the needs of cycling circles.
                                                                              Little by little Antti Poikola, Reima Karhila
                                                                              ja Janne Nurminen, began to realize that
                                                                              their idea of an internet channel could be
                                                                              useful enough to carry into entrepreneurship.

                                                ”Good entrepreneurship does              We want to do something we can do
                                             not include greediness but creates          well enough and keep openness and
publish it all in the beginning of June.     something good. We want neither to          transparency in the front line. The
This pilot project will last until the end   produce nor to sell anything that is        business should go on without any
of this year.                                unnecessary or useless and don’t feel       secrets, and we have to be so good at
                                             like just coming up with Garbage of the     what we do that we do not have to hide
Good entrepreneurship?                       Year.”                                      anything.
”The question is, of course, about how          ” The product that we are selling           ”Of course, if we are the only ones
fast you want to drive. We wouldn’t          should be socially relevant and             who think this way, our story is rapidly
want to burn both ends of the candle, it     something really smart - a mere ringtone    finished,” the students sigh, but with
would be nice to do a steady day’s work      for a mobile phone is not enough.           a laughter. Finishing is not the word
and then go home. We don’t want (?)             ”We do not want blood thirst gambling    they think now at the beginning of their
to live a life that is somewhere in the      either – instead, we want to create         entrepreneurship. n
future, we want to live now”                 networks with other entrepreneurers.

                                                                                                                     POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 19
Text: Päivi Kapiainen-Heiskanen Translation: Ruth Vilmi Online Education Ltd
Photos: Päivi Kapiainen-Heiskanen and Eeva Pitkälä

         An Entrepreneurial Spirit                                                                      freely, he thinks. Results are visible, and
                                                                                                        do not disappear, as tends to happen in
         From being a student of computer science at TKK, Arttu Laine has                               larger companies.
         gone on to commercialise numerous innovations and has sold multiple                               ”With big business, you are juggling
         companies profitably. At present he is developing an archive service for                       several things at the same time. In a small
         the public sector at the Start-up Centre.                                                                    company you can focus on
                                                                                                                      the work and re-focus when

                 he three years of dedicated labour       the business of customising                                 necessary. You are also free
                 Mr Arttu Laine and his partners          products for the educational                                to work hours that are as
                 put in still show in the Student         market. That company was sold                               crazy as you could possibly
         Union’s communications network. Be-              profitably as well, and there                               want.”
         tween 1992 and 1995 he was responsible           were always smaller enterprises                                For Mr Laine, the
         for the connectivity of the buildings of the     on the side, too.                                           founding and the sale of a
         Student Union, day and night. The initial           Currently Mr Laine is an                                 company are routine. The
         figure of 30 computers installed eventu-         entrepreneur at Sofistone Ltd,                              challenge is in daring to take
         ally grew to 1500.                               with minimal fixed costs.                                  the risk and hire more people,
            At the same time, his interest in                ”In a sense, I’ve now been retired for a   even without having definitely confirmed
         communications security and encryption           couple of years, while quietly developing     new business to support expansion.
         technology attracted Mr Laine to the             a new service product without external           ”For me, satisfied customers bring
         corporate world, and his alma mater              financial pressure. I’m working on a          happiness and motivation to my work. A
         didn’t seem to be able to offer much more.       government archive security service           small company needs to produce quality
            Laine was one of the founding                 project, something I think should have        and added value for the customer. The
         partners of Eunet. The company grew              been in use ages ago.”                        most important goal is to make the
         into an international business with 100             The best things about entrepreneurship     customer’s life easier.”
         employees, and was sold in 1998. A               are the freedom to work on exactly what          Sofistone’s system is entering its trial
         couple of years later Mr Laine went into         one holds dear and to utilise one’s skills    phase soon

         Corporate Responsibility In Mind                                                               A clear vision is vital

         After completing her PhD on corporate environmental reporting in 2005,                         ”At this stage entrepreneurship is a
         Laila Törnroos has since been involved in the development of the internation-                  process; the blocks are falling into place
         al ISO 26000 standard. She runs a company which helps customers gain                           one by one. When you know where
         the full business benefit of the standard, scheduled to be ready in 2010.                      you want to go, you have more strength
                                                                                                                  to face the hurdles that arise.
                                                                                                                  A company must prosper and

                         s a corporate agenda, social        ”Expertise in this field is in                       make a profit, but money is a
                         responsibility is on the rise    high demand internationally.                            neutral means to the end of
                         and will be on a par with en-    As mine’s still a small, new                            fulfilling the company’s vision.”
         vironmental compliance. In fact, I prefer        company, I strive to put                                  This is the time to check your
         to use the term corporate responsibility,        quality first. After the first six                      own attitudes and values, as well.
         which covers both. The new standard will         months the client base and                                ”If you decide people are
         further expand the concept to include staff      the networks are starting to                            important, you treat them well.
         policy issues. Regarding staff, it is impor-     take shape.”                                            You must be compassionate, to
         tant to manage for motivation, well-being,          For a fledgling entrepreneur, thorough     yourself, too, and not push yourself too
         and for an inspired workforce. This allows       preparation is crucial, she thinks.           much, and then later place the same
         the staff to be creative, come forward with         ”Starting your company is quite a          demands on your team. The way you
         any issues, and be innovative.”                  process and you learn a lot. You must         work in the beginning by yourself reflects
            Last summer Laila Törnroos founded            have your personal finances sorted. A         how your team will operate later.”
         Eltekon Ltd to implement her vision.             solid entrepreneurial vision to start with      Laila Törnroos has worked in varying
         The expert consultancy offers coaching           is a must, as is the skill of adapting your   and international settings. Through VTT,
         and instruction in responsibility for            expectations, to enjoy the ride without       the Technical Research Centre of Finland,
         corporations and other organisations.            extra pressure.”                              she worked for the Nordic Innovation

20 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
   ”Early-stage companies are often overly
optimistic about their product schedules. It
                                                        A Mathematician                        risk management practice would
pays to study and prepare things with care,             As an Entreprenour                        The idea behind the enterprise
and to reserve time for testing.”                                                              is that mathematicians too can
   Working next door to multiple start-ups,             Founded by three doctors,              commercialise their research and
Mr Laine remarks that entrepreneurs must                QSA Ltd develops quantitative          transfer their knowledge to business.
be prepared to lower their standard of living.          risk management for financial             ”After 20 years of studying and
   ”The first years will be frugal living, or you       institutions such as insurance         researching mathematical theories,
have to live off your savings, as it is a rare start-   companies. Although it is a            it feels good to benefit from the
up which can immediately set up an income               relatively uncommon method in          knowledge and put food on the table
stream.”                                                                                       with it. We’re constantly developing
                                                        Finland, a number of financial
   He also recommends a shareholders’                                                          our models for new application areas.
                                                        institutions have taken up the
agreement.                                                                                     We sell a service, but the models can
                                                        company’s analysis tools.
   ”It is a bit like a prenuptial agreement.                                                   also be applied as software. We also
In addition to the basics, you should state                                                                       offer training. Every

how ownership is relinquished and how the                         fter receiving his                                new       customer
share price is calculated. Without a prior                        PhD from the Uni-                                 and deal is a
agreement, it may be remarkably difficult to                      versity of Wash-                                  further source of
arrive at a price.”                                     ington in 1999, Teemu                                       motivation.”
   Mr Laine also sees the economic downturn             Pennanen worked for five                                       Located in HSE’s
also as an opportunity for many.                        years as a researcher with                                  Start-Up Centre,
   ”The current layoff packages offer                   the Academy of Finland                                      the       company
an excellent chance to move into                        before founding his own                                     aims to expand its
entrepreneurship. With guaranteed pay for               company.                                                    customer base and
some time, you can take a moment to develop                In addition to running his                               believes the current
your own company’s products or services.” n             own business full-time, he’s                                financial crisis will,
                                                        also an associate professor at                             in the long run,
                                                        both Helsinki School of Economics      result in new customers.
Centre, based in Oslo, participating in                 and the Systems Analysis Laboratory       ”Once the worst is over and the
innovation research and projects to remove              at TKK.                                economy begins to strengthen, people
barriers to trade.                                         ”The company’s strength is          will start paying more attention to risk
  She also participated in the environment-             a complete model for financial         management. That is a good stage for
related work of the European Committee for              institutions’ funding risks. Our       us.”
Standardisation (CEN), based in Brussels.               mathematical risk management              The entrepreneurs think it is
  A trained chemist, Törnroos is familiar               methods offer an analytical            problematic that companies and
with chemical legislation, and has worked               description of an uncertain future,    organisations lack an understanding
in numerous environment and impact                      from the decision-maker’s point of     of quantitative risk management.
assessment projects.                                    view.”                                    ”That means the risks are usually
  As an entrepreneur, she wants to provide                 The company targets pension         not viewed in the way that complex
her customers with an international                     providers, insurance companies,        operational environments require.”
viewpoint on new challenges and                         banks, mutual funds, and financial        Furthermore, there is no training
opportunities.                                          institutions in the public sector.     in Finland in quantitative risk
  ”I want to bring in the trends prevalent                 ”For example, the authorised        management. Internationally, the
in international discourse, and show how                pension providers have lacked          field is well established, e.g. in the US,
implementing a new standard adds value.”                models that consistently account for   in the UK, and in the Netherlands.
  Laila Törnroos emphasises that in the end             both market risks and the technical       ”Aalto University would be in a good
corporate responsibility is always a part of a          provision risks of insurance.          position to develop research in the
profitable business.                                    Additionally, the risk analyses of     field by combining HSE’s financial
  ”The impact of corporate responsibility               many asset managers do not consider    know-how and TKK’s mathematical
must be considered at the level of the board            the technical provisions related       expertise. Aalto University could also
of directors and its effect seen in all business        to pension providers. Neither are      think of marketing mathematics as a
operations, including management or                     such risk analyses independent of      science and a toolkit to companies.” n
communications.” n                                      the investment activity, as sound

                                                                                                                       POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 21
Text and photos: Eeva Pitkälä

                                Design Factory is one
                                of the projects of the new
                                Aalto university. Design
                                Factory is the symbiosis of the
                                state-of-the-art conceptual
                                thinking and cross-disciplinary
                                hands-on doing and provides
                                a collaboration environment
                                for students, researchers and
                                business practitioners.

22 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
Entrepreneurship is an often used word in today’s world.
There are plenty of books written of good entrepreneurship
and people often have an opinion about how a successfully
entrepreneurial person is like. Polysteekki met one young
entrepreneur, Maija Itkonen, CEO in Powerkiss Ltd, a young
ten worker company, to find out what she is made of.

           hy her? Well, Maija Itkonen       nice to be able put the out-of-power run
           is ranked as one of the tre-      mobile phone on coffee table, and get it
           mendously good young en-          charged. And, even better would it be,
trepreneurial persons in Finland. ”Her       if also the always out-of-power running
innovation is making a revolution in the     computers had charging places like
charging of electronic devices”, cry the     this.”
headlines of newspapers.” A musician, a
mother, a wife, an engineer and even a       An innovative mind
designer she definitively is an absolutely   The real innovation Maija Itkonen
entrepreneurial person, if anyone.           has made is furniture equipped with
                                             an induction circuit that again creates
An enthusiastic vision                       spots for charging the phones. So far,
For the first, Maija Itkonen certainly       Powerkiss has produced small charging
has an enthusiastic vision, one of the       devices for Nokia mobile phones, being
first criteria also mentioned in books       only half the size of a memory stick.
written on entrepreneurial features.         These charging devices use resonance
Moreover, Itkonen’s vision is shared by      induction for electron transfer.
most people. ”Who would not like to
be freed from the trouble of constantly      A desire to achieve
losing nerves with cable wires and off       The desire to achieve is another
shut uncharged electric devices, like        important criteria for an entrepreneurial
mobile phones, navigators, iPod’s, MP-       person. Being born in 1977, Itkonen
players etc.?”, she asks. ”Would it not be   seems to have achieved quite         ➤➤

                                                                    POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 23
Text and photos: Eeva Pitkälä

                                A hard worker, a stress taker and
                                tackler of uncertain situations
                                Maija Itkonen has, at the           It takes a stress taker to lead a
                                moment, devoted her life to the     team. Being the chief planner,
                                freeing of people from all wires    the leader and the chief
                                and cables, and she works long      economist in the company brings
                                and hard days for it. Polysteekki   you face to face with the most
                                followed in her footsteps for       uncertain situations. However,
                                one busy day, as the team           a positive self concept, firm
                                was making the last two days        reliance on good luck, and well
                                preparing for a D-day - a launch    trained nerves as well, seem to
                                of their new products with          bring one over all the troubles
                                Martela.                            of the entrepreneurial world,
                                                                    like, say, non functioning demo
                                                                    devices, unfinished last minute
                                                                    works, constant hurry and even a
                                                                    reporter with her camera hanging
                                                                    around while working.


24 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
a lot in her life. Her CV reveals an       interesting situations. With her business    whose interests lay in making school
educational background in Helsinki         idea she has at least defeated several       furniture. Our next step is New York,
School of Economic, International          competitors. In the 2008 Venture Cup,        and then, who knows.”
Design Business Management 2006—           she won a partial competition for the best     The world out there certainly is
2008, Helsinki University of Technology,   innovative speech to sell her product,       wide open, it only takes an absolutely
Product development 2004—2007,             and furthermore, and she has been            entrepreneurial person to conquer it. n
University of Art and Design, Helsinki,    a real celebrity these two years yet for
Industrial and Strategic Design 2002—      another reason as well: she was a finalist
2007.                                      in all stages in Venture Cup 2008, the
                                           yearly business plan competition for
Opportunity sensing                        young entrepreneurial talents.
At the moment Itkonen works as CEO
at her own company Powerkiss, founded      Orientation to the future
in 2007. She is also the former Design     She also tends to think ahead and have
Manager at d-Switch, and a former          orientation to the future. By now, the
research assistant at TKK, Machine         tables charge wireless for example
Design and former coordinator an           mobile phones with the same power as
IDBM -program. So she also seems to        is in a usual cables. ”In future, bigger
be an opportunity sensing person and       devices like laptops can be charged by
a moderate risk taker, too. ”I do enjoy    Powerkiss as well”, Itkonen says ”So far,
all new challenges”, she admits readily.   we have managed to enter into contracts
                                           with two significant Finnish furniture
A competitor                               corporations, first Martela, who helped
She certainly is a competitor and          her in developing the concept of the
seems to like tackling unfamiliar but      charging furnitures, and then Isku,

                                                                                                              POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 25
Text: Panu Nykänen
Translation: Ruth Vilmi Online Education Ltd
Photos: Helsingin kaupunginmuseo

        Engineers And
         an Apprenticeship Of 200 Years
         In the 1850s, Mr August Carl Osberg and Mr August Herrman
         Bade, students of technology in their twenties, decided to start
         improving Osberg’s father’s coppersmith’s shop in
         Helsinki. The end result of their endeavour, after some
         bankruptcies and mergers, forms a large part of the
         modern wood-processing industry in Finland.

                n the middle of the 19th century,    Carl Mellgren was eventually honoured
                during the formative years of en-    with the title of Councillor of State.
                gineer training in Finland, the         Until the 1870s the instruction in
         instruction mainly provided practical       technology taught a prescribed set             training the future builders of society’s
         skills. The education aimed to rebuild      of work tasks and technical issues             infrastructure was invested in the
         the structures of the Finnish economy.      The makers of society’s technological          Polytechnic Institute. Here architects,
           Studies       in    the     Technical     systems, for example the architects and        surveyors, and construction engineers
         Realschule were aimed at fostering          construction engineers, received their         found themselves in the same school
         entrepreneurship. The 1858 rules            training alongside the governmental            as mechanical engineers and chemists.
         state that successful completion of the     administration trainees. Industry itself       This was the inception of the ‘university
         school’s full curriculum grants the right   did not generally come to appreciate           of technology’ as we know it.
         to run a business, and frees the graduate   engineer training before the 1930s.               It was intended as early as in the 1870s
         from any guild obligations. The desired     It was possible to develop industrial          that education for commerce would join
         result was reached in 1868 and in 1879      production further with methodology            the corpus of architects, surveyors, and
         the guild system was abolished.             applied from craftsmen’s practices, or         construction engineers, but the state’s
           Out of the first 21 technology            by acquiring ready-made technology             coffers did not allow it at the time. This
         graduates, four did their life’s work       from abroad. This in turn led to the           resulted in the highest-level training in
         as entrepreneurs or craftsmen. Otto         percentage of dropouts being relatively        economics being the responsibility of a
         Roland Mellin eventually became             high until the outbreak of the Second          private institution.
         Princess Aurora Karamzin’s court            World War.                                        Towards the end of the 19th century
         goldsmith. Three graduates ended up            The technological development               the instruction in technology became
         in industrial occupations, with A. J. J.    of society eventually led to the need          more theoretical and academic. It was
         Axelson later running his own firm in       to improve the larger technological            recognised that as the forces of nature
         Zaritsyn. Two worked as merchants,          systems, and also to the need to monitor       also bound technology, knowledge of
         with Rudolph Bandly’s merchant house        the industrial activities of the state. The    the appropriate theories would assist in
         operating in both Paris and Moscow. As      first strictly regulated field of technology   making the applications of technology
         far as is known, the occupations of the     in Europe was steam power in the               increasingly more productive. For
         rest of the original Teekkaris (students    1860s. Societal monitoring quickly             example, the theorists in mechanical
         of technology and engineering) were a       spread to occupational safety. The old         technology, who in Finland were
         proprietor, surveyor, architect, banker,    administration training regime was             internationally competitive, knew
         captain, and a scientist. The architect     dismantled and the responsibility for          very well where mathematics and the

26 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
                                             A gold bracelet from 1877 by Mellin, once            become entrepreneurs themselves.
                                             owned by Ms. Anna Schauman, who was chosen
                                             the official tier of laurel wreaths of 1877 at the
                                                                                                  A typical entrepreneurial engineer
                                             graduation ceremony in the University of Helsinki.   dropped out of school, at least after
                                                                                                  completing their general-level studies.
                                                    allowed. This brought about confusion         There are notable exceptions, however,
                                                     in occupational titles until the 1960s,      one of the best known being Gottfried
                                                       although the system itself was             Strömberg. Mr Strömberg founded his
                                                       relatively straightforward.                electrical engineering company (today
                                                         The diploma engineers (MSc               ABB) having earned his engineering
                                                        Eng) graduating from the                  degree, after his post-graduate studies
                                                        University of Technology were             in Germany, and while building the
                                                         seldom entrepreneurs. Finland            electrical engineering laboratory for the
                                                         did not develop a similar small-         University of Technology.
                                                         business entrepreneurial culture            The architectural bureaux and
                                                       to that which employed the body of         engineering shops in the construction
                                                     engineers in e.g. the UK or the USA.         industry are also based on applying
                                                   In Finland their place was taken by a          entrepreneurs’ expertise at their own
                                                    number of co-ops or limited companies,        risk. The international rise of Finnish
                                                    with their ownership spread over a large      architecture in the 1920s was mainly the
                                                    body of shareholders, or where the            work of private architectural companies.
                                                   owner was the state or a family.               It is not often that they are perceived as
                                                      In Finnish industry, a diploma              private enterprises, however.
                                                   engineer was often a powerful man,                After the Second World War,
                                                   who worked for the company as an               industry’s demand for diploma engineers
                                                   employee. Only seldom did they                 was considerably higher than the             ➤➤
developing natural sciences were needed
in industrial production. Transferring
this knowledge to the conservative world
of manufacturing was not achieved,
however. The gap between technological
research and real-life applications had
grown too great.
  The problem was inherent in the
educational system and the solution was
the same throughout Northern Europe.
For practical training in technology,
a series of practical, secondary-level
engineering schools was founded. At the
same time, engineers were divided into
diploma engineers with a university-
level degree and engineers who were
graduates of the engineering schools.
In Finland the need for training was
constantly higher than the training
resources and the graduate output

Studies in the Technical Realschule were
aimed at fostering entrepreneurship. Out
of the first 21 technology graduates, many
did their life’s work as entrepreneurs or
craftsmen. Otto Roland Mellin (1834 -
1904), who continued his studies in St
Petersburg, eventually became Princess
Aurora Karamzin’s court goldsmith.

                                                                                                                          POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 27
                                                 BASIC RESEARCH
                                                 Text: Eeva Pitkälä

                                                 Photos: Adolfo Vera

        available supply. The situation
        allowed a new type of engineering
        consultancy to work in the service
        of industry as subcontractors or
           The 1950s saw the birth of a new
        generation of technology companies,
        many of which were founded
        by graduates of the University of
        Technology. This group includes
        people such as Jaakko Pöyry (Pöyry
        Group), and Ensio Miettinen                It happens with almost every electric device - they run out of power.
        (EM Group, Ensto Ltd etc), who             Presently, a large part of the worldwide research activity in the field of
        both started building their now
                                                   small fuel cells is directed towards using mobile and portable fuel cells
        internationally-known corporations
        soon after graduating.                     to replace batteries and find small-sized, lightweight, yet efficient and
           In the 1980s, when the                  long-lasting power sources for mobile devices.
        information technology industry was
                                                   Biofuel cells, that have been actively studied at TKK since the early
        developing, the demand for diploma
        engineers once again rose to levels        1990s, may still offer a solution. IPPES project aim to create
        far surpassing the available trained       scientific basis and new technology for a micro fuel cell system
        workforce. The field saw the entry         intended for portable electronic appliances of power range 0.5 – 20 w.
        of a group of private companies,
        some of which gained international

        success and grew into notable                        he principle of fuel cells was       The catalyst material that makes
        employers. The phenomenon was,                       first invented already in the mid-   the difference
        in practice, similar to the earlier                  19th century, the first fuel cell
        birth of engineering companies to           generator being constructed in 1845.          ”For the first, we might want to define
        complement the manufacturing                The principle of biological fuel cells        a biofuel cell”, professor Halme says,
        industry of the time.                       was described as early as in the early        leaning back in his chair as if for a
           By the end of the 20th century,          20th century. The technology was redis-       lesson.
        technological education in Finland          covered in the 1960s in connection with          ”A traditional PEM fuel cell burns
        had reached a point where an                space exploration programmes.                 hydrogen, meaning it connects hydrogen
        entrepreneur with an engineering              ”As the trend in consumer appliances        to oxygen through a semipermeable
        degree was not at all a rarity, but         has been going towards more and more          membrane or sheeth. Electricity is
        where there was no real link between        power-hungry devices, like 3G, the            being produced when an electron is
        entrepreneurship and engineering            battery technology is struggling to keep      stolen from the hydrogen atom at anode
        training.                                   up with it”, professor of automation          and circulated trough an electric load
           The need to combine technology,          technology at TKK Aarne Halme thinks          to the cathode. Therefore, oxygen is
        the arts, or entrepreneurship has           back in Otaniemi in his work room             reduced forming water with the protons
        not disappeared, even though since          crouded with A4-size papers, books and        that come to the cathode directly
        the 1950s science has risen to play         scientific articles.                          through the electrolyte membrane.
        a prominent role in solving societal          ”Our        automation       technique      The environmentally friendly waste
        and industrial problems. Education          research group has a long history of          product here is pure water. Also other
        in the art of technology, the science       the development of a biocatalytic fuel        fuels, like methanol, can be used, the
        of technology, and economics                cells intended for low-power electronic       burning product being for example
        all contributes to the skill set of a       appliances: they have been actively           carbon dioxide.
        successful entrepreneur.                    studied at the Automation Technology            ”Bio fuel cells operate on the same
           The era of the new Aalto University      Laboratory at Helsinki University of          principles as the metal catalyst fuel
        offers a solution to this challenge.        Technology (TKK) since the early              cells. It is the catalyst, however, that
        Entrepreneurial activity is, in the         1990s.”                                       makes the difference: in biological
        end, the seed from which future                                                           fuel cells the catalytic power derives
        international corporations begin. n

28 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
To the Laptops
from a microorganism or an enzyme,           and burn plankton - even fish meat in
not platinum of the traditional metal        it”. This did not, however, lead to any
catalysts. Hydrogen, however, cannot         further development.
be burned directly in biofuel cells, but
a biodegradable fuel, like a sugar or        Small disposable bio-batteries
alcohol is needed.                           The small research group continued
  ”In principle, biocatalytic fuel           working with biofuel cells using other
cells offer inexpensive catalyst and         bacteria and glugose as fuel to develop
component materials. Furthermore,            the concept on a more firm scientific
in biofuel cells many types of fuel can      ground. In 1997 a new concept was
be used. But, as it is, the performance      created, the goal being a small-scale
values of the metal catalyst fuel cells      power source again, but this time with
have, so far, still been at least 10 times   enzymes as the catalyst, not any more
better.”                                     living bacteria. A functioning power
                                             source with methanol was achieved
A power generator in the                     around 2001.                       ➤➤
deep sea
”In 1989 a new PhD students, Mr.
Xia-Chang Zhang, a biochemical
engineer, suddenly arrived from China
to Finland, to work with me in our bio-
group, which that time was focused on
bioreactor control problems. Few years
later Zhang then took his D.Sc. (Tech.)
at Helsinki University of Technology,”
professor Halme thinks back.
  ”We became interested in biofuel
cells round 1991 trough an interesting
unsolved problem provided us by a            Professor Aarne
Finnish maritime company: How to             Halme is the leader of
                                             the multidisciplinary
make an autonomous electric power            IPPES -project,
generator in the bottom of deep sea in       Innovative biofuel
complete darkness without feeding it         cell system for
from the surface.                            portable electronics
  We formed a two –man research
group and ended up to the concept
of biological fuel cell, which utilize
bacteria as catalyst and plankton as
the fuel. We succeeded to develop
functioning biofuel cells using bacteria
isolated from mud in the bottom of sea

                                                                                       POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 29

            ”Biological fuel cells have a good       woken up. Researchers Jussi
        energy density in the fuels they use,        Suomela, Anja Ranta and
        whereas they do not have a high power        Zhang won the business
        density. Therefore, they suit well to        plan competition Venture
        the applications where high powers           Cup with the biofuelcell
        are not needed. Furthermore, the             concept.
        highly environmental friendlyness, is a         In summer 2002, Enfucell
        valuable property to be utilized.”           Company was set up,
           ”Using this method, our new idea was to   getting into full operation
        make small disposable, environmentally       mode at the beginning
        friendly bio-batteries using printing        of 2005, Dr. Zhang as it’s
        techniques to manufacture them. These        CTO, the starting point
        batteries, like tags of paper, were put      being a new completely
        together like sandwichescan be thrown        environmentally-friendly
        away like any garbage as soon as they        battery, flexible enough be used
        are finished.”                               like a sticker in various applications,     In 2006. Halme’s research student
            ”Our concept obviously touched           and, furthermore, fully disposable, in    Anja Ranta dissertated on the biofuel
        some chord in TEKES, the Finnish             order to get rid of the environmental     cells using MDH. The method,
        Technology Innovation Foundation,            load of today’s batteries.                DMBFC, Direct Methanol Biocatalytic
        and we were given a million euro and 3                                                 Fuel Cell technology, is named on the
        years to work on the project”, professor     A new concept                             basis of its operating principle, methanol
        Halme tells. ”Here VTT (Technical            Meanwhile, the core research group        dehydrogenase.
        Research Centre of Finland) also came        at TKK continued with basic research        ”The power source now developed
        along. They did not know much, but           on small-scale power sources and          is the basis for further research, on
        they were fast to learn and as we finished   went into cooperation with Dr Matti       the way towards small disposable
        this research line, they started a next      Korhola, a biochemist in the University   power sources based on biocatalytic
        step project of their own, to carry on       of Helsinki. Dr Korhola had been doing    energy generation”, Ranta wrote in her
        with the sugar-based biofuel cell.”          research on an etzyme that breaks down    dissertation.
           So far, the research group had            methanol, methanol dehydrogenase or
        grown bigger and included four to            MDH, origonally found in a bacteria       Multidisciplinary research in
        five researchers. Also the markets had       Methylobacterium extorquens.              IPPES
                                                                                               Today, four years later, the biofuelcell
                                                                                               research has enlargened to other
                                                                                               research areas as well. It is now carried
                                                                                               on a multidisciplinary research project
                                                                                               IPPES, funded by the Multidisciplinary
                                                                                               Institute of Digitalisation and Energy at
                                                                                               TKK and coordinated by Aarne Halme.
                                                                                               The main goal of IPPES is to create
                                                                                               scientific basis and new technology for
                                                                                               a micro fuel cell system intended for
                                                                                               portable electronics appliances of power
                                                                                               range 0.5–20 W.
                                                                                                 ”Here, the technology is based on a
                                                                                               somewhat different principle and it has
                                                                                               developed further from DMPFC. What
                                                                                               we want is to get the power density higher
                                                                                               and the process more controllable. Now
                                                                                               we use both hydrogen and a micro -
                                                                                               PEM fuel cells. However, here the
                                                                                               hydrogen is made from methanol by a
                                                                                               catalyzed electrolysis on ”in-situ” and
                                                                                               ”on-demand” bases.

30 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009

   The basic philosophy here is that only
a portion of the hydrogen produced is
                                            From Space Probes
                                            To Buildings
needed to generate the electricity for
the electrolysis and the rest can be
used for an application purposes. This
is possible in catalyzed electrolysis of

methanol unlike in water electrolysis.              user interface allows the operation of technology to suit human
In our case we use again biocatalyst                needs. A comparison of the number of technology versus user
instead of noble metals.”                           interface innovations at TKK shows that the university develops
                                            remarkably few user interfaces.
Multidisciplinary work                        The purpose of Aalto University is to bring under one roof the complete
The participants in IPPES are               process of developing a technological invention into a finished product.
coordinator,        Professor     Aarne     A new technology can only break through if it can be applied in a way that
Halme, professor of physical and            appeals to its audience. However, if the user interface is not approachable,
electrochemistry Kyösti Kontturi,           the audience cannot meet the technology.
professor of applied thermodynamics           Through its user interface, technology can enter the service of man in
Markku Lampinen, professor of               three ways. It can be tangible, as in computers or mobile phones. It can
microfabrication Sami Franssila and         be so small that it can enter the body, for example medical instruments, or
professor of biochemistry Simo Laakso.      conversely so large that people can enter it, e.g. a building.
      With the vast technological                                                                     The         fourth
experience is IPPES, the first research                                                             possibility,     that
plan in detail has been done including                                                              technology would
selection of materials for the first                                                                distance itself from
research phase. There research has also                                                             man, much like
done on a thermodynamical model,                                                                    space probes do,
and, furthermore, a test bench is done                                                              is not an option.
for biocatalytic electrolysis and for a                                                             TKK’s research often
first micro-PEM prototype. Finally,                                                                 resembles a space
a first fuel cassette prototype and the                                                             probe – so far away
prototype system tests.                                                                             from the common
   ”Right now we are working on a                                                                   man that its meaning
proof of concept, which means that we                                                               cannot be perceived.
like to validate the main idea behind                                                                 Usually,        the
that reasonably more electrical energy                                                              discussion of user
can be obtained in practical situations     interfaces involves the first meaning, especially in information technology,
trough electrolysis of methanol than        for example Microsoft Windows, or Nokia Ovi (door).
which is consumed to produce it. Then         Windows and doors point to the best of all user interfaces – a building.
it will be possible to make disposable      Buildings are easily approachable, and a part of everyday life. Not only
fuel cartridges to power our laptops or     are buildings advanced technology themselves, they also contain high
phones. With printing techniques the        technology. Two examples from TKK this spring: the winning Manhattan
price will not rise too high.               entry for Helsinki’s architecture competition is a technological innovation;
                                                                                                                             Photo: Matti Korhonen/Kiinanmatkakuvia

   This concept will in time course live    the building does not rise up but rather cascades down, with overhead
independent life outside TKK, perhaps       gardens. Likewise, the zero-energy building that is Finland’s entry for the
concur on markets with for example          Solar Decathlon competition is jam-packed with high technology.
the direct methanol fuel cell,” professor     No wonder architects are admired. Presently, buildings are the best-
Halme summarizes his speech. ”At that       utilised user interface, though others could do as well. n
time we basic researchers have gone
back to our laboratory and continue the       Janne Luotola
work on some other research topic that          Chief editor, Polyteekkari
is in a need of a closer look.” n

                                                                                                            POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 31
Text and photo: Hanna Korhonen
Translation: Ruth Vilmi Online Education Ltd

      Nice Antennae
         ”Devices in the same room could all utilise the 60-GHz band
         and move data up to several GB per second,” states researcher
         Sylvain Ranvier. For his doctorate, Mr Ranvier studied high-
         frequency radio wave propagation.

                  uring the last decade multiple-      – In France, a diploma work may           his group and I was able to continue
                  input, multiple-output MIMO        consist of a practical project and a        my work. In this way I completed my
                  systems in the 2- and 5-GHz        written part. I did not want to do my       licentiate.
         bands have been researched extensive-       project in a company, but chose to work        In the future, such international
         ly. But these frequencies are already in    in a research institute instead. I wanted   co-operation will be more and more
         heavy use.                                  to go abroad to improve my English          common at TKK. The PhD students are
                                                     skills. Initially, I was with TKK for six   encouraged to go on an international
         Mobile gigabits                             months.                                     exchange as a part of their degree.
         Much higher frequencies offer greater                                                   Ranvier’s experience has been positive.
         potential. The 60-GHz band is licence-      International exchanges                        – I studied in Villejuif, near Paris. In
         free.                                       – At TKK mobile communication is            comparison, Finland seems a very quiet
            – In my dissertation I studied the       a popular research area, and that also      and safe place. More importantly, here
         behaviour of radio waves at this high       interests me. I was lucky when Professor    people respect one another and are
         frequency, and what happens with            Pertti Vainikainen chose me to be in        polite.
         multiple simultaneous signals.
            – For example, multiple antennae
         in devices such as TV screen and
         DVD player, would make it possible to
         really watch videos without any cable
         connection. The current data transfer
         speeds do not allow that.

         French diploma
         Sylvain Ranvier built himself an
         antenna that uses the 60-GHz band.
           – I had the opportunity to go on a
         one-year research exchange at the Nice
         - Sophia Antipolis university, France,
         an institute known for its expertise with
         antennae. As a result, I learned a lot
         and was able to apply that in my own
           Ranvier is a French national. He
         arrived at TKK in 2003 while pursuing
         his French diploma.

         Sylvain Ranvier dissertated on high
         frequency radio wave propagation at TKK.

32 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
                                                                                                                      Ed. and photos: Eeva Pitkälä

Smartphone face time                          Images at work                                  Solving hard problems
                                                              ”Although ours is the                          The history of formal
                 ”The usage of new                            civilization of image, in                      logic goes back to the
                 smartphone applications:                     their identification our                       4th century BC. For
                 the mobile Internet,                         thought remain trapped                         the vast majority of that
                 games, multimedia and                        into ’representation’: the                     time logicians have
                 map applications, has        privilege of meaning, manifest referent,        made their proofs by hand, first by using
been increasing among smartphone              language and linguistics.”                      Aristotelean syllogisms, and after the
users”, says Hannu Verkasalo, who               In choosing Steven Holl’s entry               advances of the 19th century with truth
dissertated at TKK in April.                  for Kiasma and Lordi’s image, João              tables or axiom schemata.
   ”Most of the usage is, however, still      Figueira proceeds by acknowledging                 These methods are laborious and can
based on voice and text messaging.” As        the fundamental aspect of empathy that          be used only for small examples—the
many as 90% of smart phone users wish         they convey and from the mapping of             truth table of a formula with only six
they had computer like functionalities        their materials and reminiscences.              propositional atoms already has 64 rows
in their phones. 40% of aggregate face          ”Despite the obvious difference               and each additional atom doubles its
time is based on Internet browsing,           between Holl’s and Lordi’s images, it           size.
multimedia features or some other new         will emerge that both constitute rich              Computational logic is a young
applications. Nevertehless, potential         montages of heteroclite materials and           branch of logic whose ultimate purpose
usage of new applications could be            both blur disciplinary and hierarchic           is to solve practical problems with
even higher. The results published            distinctions, that is, they are ”images”        mathematical logic. The formalizations
in the dissertation indicate that only        in the full sense of the word. Lordi is         of most problems are far too large to be
31% of smartphone users, who would            reminiscent of cornerstones of Western          examined by hand as they often have
like to use mobile email with their           imagination such as the devil of the            thousands, hundreds of thousands, or
smartphones actually use email in             11th-16th centuries, opera, publicity           even millions of atoms.
practice. For multimedia messaging            and ancient chimerical creatures.                  Tommi Syrjänen’s thesis examines
this ratio is 70%, and for mobile Internet      Holl’s images have deep artistic              computational logic in the form of
browsing, it is 72%.                          sources, something that his interlocutors       answer set programming (ASP) that
   Internet browsing, multimedia              could not have missed.” In this thesis,         is an offshoot of logic programming.
messaging, and multimedia applications        Aby Warburg (1866–1929), Sigmund                The thesis looks at the issues that
face the highest demand out of new            Freud (1856–1939), French thought               arise in defining, implementing,
smart phone features. In contrast,            of the 1960s–70s and, among others,             and using an answer set language. n
wireless file sharing applications,           Georges Didi-Huberman (b1953) play
instant messaging and mobile Internet         a major role. n                                 Tomi Syrjänen: ”Logic Programs and
calls are not that attractive, when asked     João Francisco Figueira, ”IMAGES AT             Cardinality Constraints: Theory and
from consumers. n                             WORK. Holl’s entry for Kiasma and               Practise”
Hannu Verkasalo: ”Handset-Based               Lordi, the works of two over-determined         Faculty of Information and Natural
Analysis of Mobile Service Usage”             images”                                         Sciences
Faculty of Electronics,                       Faculty of Engineering and
Communications and Automation                 Architecture

  – Initially, it also helped that everyone   possible antenna configurations, and to           When can we expect applications in
speaks English here.                          ascertain the possible transfer speeds.         our homes?
  But let’s get back to the antennae.            – It should be noted that in this band the     – There is a need for further
                                              range of the signal is only about 10 metres.    multidisciplinary research in the area
Supercharged home wireless                       The 60-GHz MIMO systems are                  to bring the technology to home users.
– An antenna working in the 60-GHz            considered one of the best solutions            Further research is required in, for
band is extremely small. Thus it is           for future high-speed short-range               example, circuit design, says Sylvain
possible to install multiple antennae         transmission, as found in, for example,         Ranvier.
in a single device, which allows the          Wireless personal area network (WPAN)             – Maybe in a couple of years’ time the
frequency to be used in parallel. In my       systems. This would allow e.g. wireless         technology will be ripe. n
research I was trying to find the best        home theatre systems.

                                                                                                                     POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 33
Ed. and photos: Eeva Pitkälä

         More Light !                                                       Pulsed Radar Measurements and Related
                          ”As energy is a fundamental service for
                          human development and economic growth,                             The purpose of the thesis by Mikko Puranen
                          the demand for it is constantly on the rise                        has been to develop novel methods for pulsed
                          worldwide. Lighting energy use makes a                             radar measurements, creating practical tools
                          significant contribution to the total energy                       for verifying the operation of a modern pulsed
         consumption of buildings”, states Pramod Bhusal in his                              radar, and to build working prototypes suitable
         thesis.” The use of energy efficiency measures can reduce this     for field use. Very little information has been published in the
         kind of energy consumption”. The main objectives of Bhusal’s       radar field perhaps due to the military nature of many research
         work were to review different aspects of lighting quality          projects. Methods and equipment are typically researched by
         and energy efficiency and to test the existing technologies        different armed forces. In this thesis, some tools for frequency,
         for efficient lighting. An additional aim of the work was to       power and waveform measurements are presented. Even the
         examine the new opportunities provided by LED technology           most modern commercial measuring instruments, however,
         in providing lighting in rural areas of developing countries and   are not capable of measuring a pulsed radar signal, mostly
         to compare LED lighting with existing fuel-based lighting.         due to the short (even tens of nanoseconds) pulse length. The
         The work presents a study and evaluation of traditional pine       limitations of conventional measuring devices are discussed
         stick lighting and new white LED-based lighting used in rural      also. The first publication demonstrates a radar calibration
         Nepali villages. The use of different renewable energy sources     system, based on a fiber-optic delay line and two frequency
         in combination with efficient lighting technology is found         measurement methods for short-term stability evaluation are
         to be a realistic and sustainable option to provide clean and      presented. Two new instrumentation radars are also presented.
         efficient lighting services in developing countries.
                                                                            Mikko Puranen: ”Pulsed Radar Measurements and Related
         Pramod Bhusal: ”Energy-Efficient Electric Lighting for
         Buildings in Developed and Developing Countries”
                                                                            Faculty of Electronics, Communications and Automation
         Faculty of Electronics, Communication and Automation

         Micro-rotation imaging and 3D cell                                 Studies of Static and Driven Lattice Systems
                                                                                             Study of static and dynamical properties of two
                         Micro-rotation fluorescence microscopy is a                         dimensional lattice systems has become an
                         novel, optical imaging technique developed                          important topic in nanoscience. Competition
                         with a cell rotation system. The imaging system                     between the intrinsic ordering of adsorbed
                         enables individual living cells to be rotated in                    layers and the underlying substrate often
                         suspension under microscopic dimensions,           leads to the appearance of spatially modulated structures.
         and allows us to acquire a series of images of the cells,          Important examples include spin density waves, charge
         simultaneously during the rotation. Laksameethanasan’s             density waves, vortex lattices in superconducting films with
         thesis presents four alternative methods for reconstructing        pinning centers and weakly adsorbed monolayers. In addition
         3D objects from a series of micro-rotation images. All the         to static properties of such systems, their dynamics under
         proposed reconstruction methods clearly increase capability        external driving force is of great importance in tribology to
         to visualise 3D object structures, as shown by both simulations    understand the microscopic origins of friction.
         and experiments with real micro-rotation data. The results            The thesis by Cristian Achim deals with the static and
         indicate, that quality of the reconstructed object highly          dynamic properties of adsorbed layers under the influence
         depends on the accuracy of image alignment, and that micro-        of a driving force using an extended version of the Phase
         rotation reconstructions with the current imaging system           Field Crystal Model. In the thesis, the nonlinear response to
         always contain poor resolution in the tangential direction         a driving force on an initially pinned commensurate phase
         of the rotation. Future research would be the combining            was studied via overdamped dynamic equations of motion
         of the micro-rotation protocol with extended depth-of-focus        for different values of mismatch and pinning strengths. Also,
         microscopy that could strengthen the tangential resolution.        structural changes of the system were characterized in some
                                                                            detail close to the depinning transitions.
         Danai Laksameethanasan: ”Three-Dimensional Reconstruction
         Methods for Micro-Rotation Fluorescence Microscopy”                Cristian Vasile Achim: ”Studies of Static and Driven Lattice
         Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences                        Systems with the Phase Field Crystal Model”
                                                                            Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences

34 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
Metabolic engineer of lactic acid bacteria                                Nanostructures and controlled assembly
                   The main goal of Miia Helanto’s thesis                                 Even though spontaneous self-assembly can be used
                   was to metabolically engineer lactic acid                              to create diverse nanostructures, the structures, as
                   bacteria (LAB) for the use as efficient                                such, are typically polydomain, consisting of locally
                   production hosts of commercially                                       ordered small domains that lack mutual orientation
                   interesting rare sugars and sugar alcohols.                            and/or long range correlation. As a result, the
 LAB are a very diverse group of gram positive bacteria. It is            material remains macroscopically isotropic and disordered. The
a group of bacteria that is originally identified by their ability        aim here is to explore feasible ways, on one hand, to control
to synthesize lactic acid.                                                the assembly and, on the other hand, to obtain macroscopically
  The main function of sugar metabolism in LAB is to                      anisotropic materials and functions.
generate the energy necessary for growth and maintenance                    Ari Laiho’s thesis deals with a common drawback that is often
of cell functions. Hence, their sugar metabolism is generally             encountered in self-assembled nanostructured soft matter. In the
not connected to their limited biosynthetic activity.                     thesis is shown how charge-transfer complexation between C60
  The possibility of modifying catabolic pathways of sugars               fullerenes and electron-donating units of block copolymers can
without disturbing the biosynthesis of cell components makes              enable control of the morphology and properties of fullerene based
the sugar metabolism of LAB attractive targets for metabolic              materials. The thesis also deals with the alignment of randomly
engineering. LAB have also the GRAS (generally regarded as                oriented domains of nanostructured material over macroscopic
safe) status which makes them suitable production hosts for               length scales. A real-time rheo-optical apparatus in combination
food and pharmaceutical applications.                                     with more detailed ex-situ structural characterization is used.
  In the first part of the thesis mannitol production of Leuconostoc      Finally, control of the nanoscale morphology in polymer/fullerene
pseudomesenteroides was improved by random mutagenesis.                   nanocomposite thin film devices is shown to allow tuning of the
Mannitol is a naturally occurring six-carbon sugar alcohol,               electrical switching that can enable construction of a memory unit.
which is widely used in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical
industry. In the second part of the thesis L-arabinose metabolism         Ari Laiho: “Pathways Toward Controlled Assembly of Functional
of Lactobacillus plantarum was modified.                                  Polymer-Based Nanostructures”
                                                                          Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences
Miia Helanto: “Metabolic Engineering of Lactic Acid Bacteria
for Production of Mannitol, L-Ribulose and L-Ribose”
Faculty of Chemistry and Materials Sciences                               Statistical methods in machine learning
Dielectric Properties of Colloidal
                                                                                            A fundamental problem in machine
                                                                                            learning research, as well as in many other
                 The thesis of Lei Dong focuses on theoretical                              disciplines, is finding a suitable representation
                 research of dielectric properties of colloidal                             of multivariate data, i.e. random vectors.
                 suspensions. Colloids have enormous                                        Linear algebra has become a key tool in
                 advantages of being experimentally accessible.           almost all modern techniques for data analysis. Linear
                 Atomic size scale, time scale of diffusion and           models constitute a special class of general models because
tunable interactions of colloids make them as ideal tools for             of their tractable analytical properties. In Zhijian Yuan’s
fundamental investigations. Effective dielectric constant plays           thesis, the problem of linear source separation is discussed.
a key role in the investigation of the properties of colloidal            Yuan’s thesis addresses the problem of independent component
suspension. Many applications such as dielectrophoresis                   analysis (ICA) and nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF).
(DEP) and electrorotation are useful to study the effective               These methods allow solving many difficult signal processing
dielectric constant. In the first part of the thesis, it is found that,   problems in different application domains. The ICA-based
at low frequency, the DEP force can be enhanced (reduced)                 methods have shown to be very successful, and widely used,
significantly for the longitudinal (transverse) field case due to         for performing blind source separation in the general case. In
the presence of multiple images. The second part of the thesis            this thesis, the theoretical conditions for the linear ICA model
investigates the dielectric properties of functionally graded             to qualify as blind separation model were reviewed.
materials using different methods.
                                                                          Zhijian Yuan: “Advances in Independent Component
Lei Dong: “Dielectric Properties of Colloidal Suspensions”                Analysis and Nonnegative Matrix Factorization”, Faculty of
Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences                               Information and Natural Sciences

                                                                                                                           POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 35
Text and photo: Sofia Ziessler
Translation: Ruth Vilmi Online Education Ltd

                              And Networking
               n the towering meeting room of                       Fresh graduate Kaisa Hänninen has readily
               the Tieto building student cafete-
                                                                     established herself in the corporate world.
               ria Kaisa Hänninen puts her di-
         ploma work on the table. Her status as                       Here she describes what exactly enthrals
         a student of information networks came                     her about networks and the business world,
         to a head on 25 March with her gradu-                        and where interest in such matters may
         ation. And the fact that her thesis work
         was awarded the highest grade must put
                                                                                  eventually lead.
         some added spring in her step.
            A 2002 major in the Information
         Networks         degree      programme,
         Hänninen has worked for the past three
         years at SimLab. A friend pushed her         its website, SimLab is a research and       studies, and after those are finished, she
         to start thinking about a subject for her    teaching unit for graduate students         will see where the road leads.
         thesis work from the start of her studies.   of networked business, based in the           Kaisa Hänninen finally took the time
         Hänninen took the advice, and she            Innopoli building. SimLab promotes          to write her thesis a year ago in April
         says the idea for the topic came to her      multidisciplinary research into             2008, though she had had the idea
         about three years ago. The cover of the      networked business practices, with an       for years. Having advanced from her
         thesis puts it succinctly: Verkottuneiden    emphasis on co-operative development        part-time transcribing job to being a
         liiketoimintaprosessien muutoksen            and innovations. SimLab was founded         project manager, she had been busy
         johtaminen         –    Tapaustutkimus       in 1998 by Professor Riitta Smeds, and      with SimLab work, but, on the other
         lentotoimialalta                             she continues to be the driving force of    hand, the development projects gave
            The subject of her diploma thesis is      the project.                                her experience that proved important
         exactly what you would expect from              In practice, the student groups at       in the thesis work.
         someone who has balanced the study of        SimLab accept development projects            For the thesis, she parsed two separate
         information networks with an industrial      from companies, not very differently        Finnair projects into the empirical
         engineering and management minor.            from consultancies. There is the added      part of her work, and proceeded to the
         Ms Hänninen states that her topic has        distinction that the SimLab crew are        task she thinks is the most boring, the
         not been a common topic of research,         students, and they don’t necessary turn     writing itself. “The literature review was
         and that the two SimLab development          into consultants upon graduation. This      by far the most tedious stage, as there
         projects for Finnair provided excellent      includes Ms Hänninen, who does not          is a plethora of literature on change
         source material for her study.               know what she’s going to do when she is     management. To someone focused on
            But before venturing deeper,              an adult. She has tried to avoid planning   the practical, the empirical side was
         what exactly is SimLab, and in what          things all the way, and would rather like   much easier,” says Hänninen.
         capacity does Hänninen work? Is she          to proceed one step at a time: now she’s      Her recommendation is that a thesis
         a consultant or what? According to           concentrating on her post-graduate          writer should, after carefully choosing

36 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
MSc. (Tech) Kaisa Hänninen from
Information Networks degree programme
has worked for the past three years at
SimLab. Luckily, a friend pushed her to
start thinking about a subject for her thesis
work already at the start of her studies.

and limiting the topic, prune all the
superfluous material at this stage and
concentrate on just the core that is the
writer’s main interest.
   Her own focus was on the network of
change management, something that
had not been Finnair’s primary focus in
the development projects with SimLab.
It was beneficial for the theory review,
however, that thanks to the projects
there was plenty of relevant material.
   But what were the case studies really
about? For the first SimLab project
Finnair wanted to develop their flight
preparation process, where the plane
is prepared for take-off with numerous
collaborators. Behind the project was
a sizable IT systems upgrade, which
allowed the centralisation of work that
previously had been divided between
various subcontractors. Finnair wanted
to understand the existing process
as a single whole, and come up with
functional improvements for the new
   The second case was for the further
development of the transit travel process,
for example that of a passenger arriving
at Helsinki-Vantaa from Delhi, and
embarking for Frankfurt after changing
   These two development projects gave
Hänninen the initial feel for her thesis
material, which she developed further
with interviews. Finally, the results were
beginning to be visible: successfully             ”The change in a networked business      appealing: “No company can risk
managing the networked process                  process is visible first and foremost to   stagnating in the constantly changing
change breaks down into e.g. how                the workers in the process, but also       business environment of today. As a
strategy-driven the change is from the          perceivable from the customer side as      developer of processes you are often
point of view of all the key stakeholders,      improved service.”                         allowed a glimpse of the core of the
the assistance of a neutral facilitator in        In Ms Hänninen’s view business           business.” And this is exactly what the
a change situation, common views and            development projects are especially        young first-year student Hänninen
aims throughout the network, and the            interesting in the extremely dynamic       dreamed of working on one day. n
skill of identifying win-win schemes for        world of modern aviation. On the other
the participants.                               hand, she finds development projects

                                                                                                                 POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 37
Text: Panu Nykänen, Minna Vierikko, ed. Minna Pasanen
Translation: TKK Language Center
Photo: Juha Stjärnstedt

         ´The Times They
         Are A-Changin´
         First election of the Representative Council of Aalto                                         Altogether 456 candidates stood for
                                                                                                     election through 5 electoral circles
         University Student Union (AYY) took place in April 2009.                                    and 22 electoral alliances. Preliminary
                                                                                                     statistics show that 5.327 students
                                                                                                     voted in the election, indicating a
                                                                                                     total turnout of 34.7%. At the Helsinki

                   ccording to the final results of     each. As regards electoral circles, Avain-   School of Economics, the turnout was
                   the proportional election for        rengas was the winner with 13 seats, fol-    1 400 students, i.e. 47.9%, while the
                   the AAY Representative Coun-         lowed by Jämerä (12 seats) and Ratas         corresponding figures at the University
         cil, the winning electoral alliances were      (11 seats); Pipsa Penttinen received the     of Arts and Design Helsinki and
         Luova Liitto and iThink with 5 seats           highest number (81) of personal votes.       Helsinki University of Technology were

             Vote here today!
             Advertisement for the election of
             the Representative Council of
             Aalto University Student Union
             (AYY) in Otaniemi campus.

38 • POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009
                                                                                                                          TKK IN A NuTSHELL

560 voters (32%) and 3.367 voters (31.5%)
respectively. The electorate consisted of all
                                                 Founded in 1849, received university status in 1908
those students of the three merging schools
                                                 – Four faculties, 25 departments
who had enrolled as present at their home        – Nine separate institutes
university for spring 2009 at their university   – 13 degree programmes in English
                                                 – 250 professors
and paid the associated student union            – 15 000 under- and postgraduate students
membership fee.                                  – ca. 1000 Master’s degrees awarded and 160 doctorates each year
  The Student Union of the Helsinki              – Total funding from state and other sources 223 million euros (2007)
School of Economics (KY), the Student
Union of the University of Art and Design        Faculty of Chemistry and Materials Sciences            Research Institutes
                                                 Department of Biotechnology and Chemical               Center for Energy Technology (CET)
Helsinki (TOKYO) and the Student Union           Technology                                             Institute of Building Services Technology
of Helsinki University of Technology             Department of Chemistry
(TKY) will merge into the Aalto University       Department of Materials Science and                    Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences
                                                 Engineering                                            Department of Biomedical Engineering and
Student Union on 1 January 2010.                 Department of Forest Products Technology               Computational Science
                                                                                                        Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis
                                                 Faculty of Electronics, Communications and             Department of Media Technology
History of TKY at TKK                            Automation                                             Department of Applied Physics
The representative body of the students          Department of Automation and Systems                   Department of Information and Computer Science
of Helsinki University of Technology was         Technology                                             Department of Computer Science and Engineering
                                                 Department of Electronics                              Department of Industrial Engineering and
established following the proposal of Rector     Department of Micro and Nanosciences                   Management
Martti Levón in 1952. By that time, the          Department of Radio Science and Engineering            BIT Research Centre
                                                 Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics          Language Centre
student body of the University had become        Department of Electrical Engineering
so large that a general assembly was no          Department of Communications and Networking            Centres of Excellence
longer an effective decision-making body.        Metsähovi Radio Observatory                            Adaptive Informatics Research (2006-2011)
                                                                                                        Computational Complex Systems Research
  The ideology prevailing in the post-war        Faculty of Engineering and Architecture                (2006 – 2011)
years was ’No politics to Poli’; in other        Department of Architecture                             Computational Nanoscience (COMP)
                                                 Department of Energy Technology                        (2006 – 2011)
words, the University did not want to be         Department of Engineering Design and                   Low Temperature Quantum Phenomena and
involved in party politics. Party politics       Production                                             Devices (2006 – 2011)
were first introduced to the student union       Department of Surveying                                Systems Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
                                                 Department of Structural Engineering and               Research (2006 – 2011)
activities in 1968–69; these years ushered       Building Technology                                    Genereic Intelligent Machines Research
in an era of intensive party politics, during    Department of Applied Mechanics                        (2008 – 2013)
                                                 Department of Civil and Environmental                  Smart Radios and wireless Research (SMARAD)
which student organisations were not afraid      Engineering                                            (2002 – 2007, 2008 – 2013)
to show their political conviction. By the                                                              Algoritmic Data Analysis Research
end of the 1970s, political activity faded       TKK Lahti Center                                       (2008 – 2013)
                                                 Centre for Urban and regional Studies YTK              Inverse Problems (2006 – 2011)
out, and the student union of the late 1980s
was much less engaged in party politics
than its predecessors.                           Outstanding Junior Research Groups 2006 – 2008 nominated by TKK
  The engineering students’ association          The junior research groups at TKK are groups of young doctoral researchers who have the poten-
Polyteknikkojen Yhdistys built its first         tial to raise the standard of their research to that of a centre of excellence at the Finnish and the
student house in 1885, while 1903 saw the        international level in just a few years.
construction of the Vanha Poli building.         Model Checking Research Group
The current capital of the student union         Planck — The Key to the universe
                                                 Facility Services Research (FSR)
dates back to this era. KY built its dormitory
in the late 1930s. In the late 1940s, both KY
and TKY raised money through so-called
‘charity trade’, a State-subsidised form of
selling certain consumer goods. TKY used
most of its share of the profit to build the
student village, Teekkarikylä, while KY
used it to fund activities.
                                                                                                                                                         Photo: Eeva Pitkälä

  Since the beginning of the 1970s, the TKK
students have had official representatives in
the workgroups and committees of TKK. n

                                                                                                                              POLYSTEEKKI 2/2009 • 39

TKK has thirteen international Master’s degree
programmes, three Erasmus Mundus Master’s
Programmes, six international non-degree and a number of       MASTER´S DEGREE (M.Sc.)
courses provided in English at each department.                PROGRAMMES IN ENGLISH
For further information see              There are thirteen Master’s degree programmes
prospective_students/                                          offered completely in English:
International students can apply to TKK to pursue studies      Communications Engineering
as a degree student, as an exchange student or as a non-       Electrical Engineering
degree student.                                                Forest Products Technology
                                                               Foundations of Advanced Computing
Master’s degree student                                        Geoinformatics
                                                               Machine Learning and Data Mining
Students pursuing studies towards a Master’s degree at         Micro- and Nanotechnology
TKK. In order to qualify to apply, international student       Mobile Computing – Services and Security
should have completed a Bachelor’s degree at a university.     Process Systems Engineering
The degree should be in the same or applicable field as that   Real Estate Investment and Finance
in which he/she wishes to study. Please note that there are    Service Design and Engineering
no Bachelor’s degree programmes offered completely in          Service Management and Engineering
English at TKK.

                                                               There are three Erasmus Mundus double degree
Doctor’s degree students                                       programmes offered in English:
(post-graduate students)
The basic requirement is a university level Master’s degree    NordSecMob
or equivalent. The admission is based on the applicant’s       – Master’s Programme in Security and Mobile Computing
individual academic merits as presented in the application     SpaceMaster
form and the required documentation.                           – Joint European Master in Space Science and Technology
Exchange students                                              - Erasmus Mundus Minerals and Environmental Programme
Visiting students from partner universities entering TKK
through an official bilateral agreement or an exchange         INTERNATIONAL NON-DEGREE PROGRAMMES
programme. Please contact the International Office of your     International Architecture Programme
own university for further information.
                                                               European Mining Course
                                                               Modern Technology in the Pulp and Paper Industry
Non-degree student                                             International Business Programme
International students having a degree at a university in
                                                               Industrial Enterprise of the Future
another country and wishing to pursue supplementary
                                                               (Framtidens industriföretag)
studies at TKK for example in order to deepen their
professional knowledge. Study possibilities include the        EMEC Recycling course
international non-degree programmes as well as individual

There are four faculties at TKK:
Faculty of Chemistry and Materials Sciences
Faculty of Electronics, Communications and Automation
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
Faculty of Information and Natural Sciences

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