Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation

Information Technologies in Industrial Automation

The engineering of software-intensive automation systems is the research focus in our group.
We investigate enablers of future smart factories (Industry 4.0 & 5.0) from the industrial manufacturing, continuous processes, energy management, and human-centric perspectives.
Industrial gripper picture

The focus areas of research in our group are various aspects of information technology applications in industrial automation. We investigate enablers for future smart factories, as a critical part of the concept commonly known as Industry 4.0. Besides, we lead the development of the Aalto Factory of the Future demonstrator.

Among our topics of interest are:

  1. How to control future factories by networks of wirelessly connected microcomputers? And how to develop software for such networks? The exceptional complexity of software development in the manufacturing and process industry inspires us to look for methods of plug-and-play software composition or its automatic generation.
  2. The applications of artificial intelligence techniques in industrial environments for recognizing or predicting dangerous situations and process uncertainties.
  3. Virtual twins of industrial systems, such as simulation models of individual processes and entire plants. Future factories will demand a higher degree of safety and security, achievable by applying modern methods of behavior analysis, relying on the enormous processing power of distributed computing and supercomputers.
  4. Research on the safety and security of current and future energy systems, including nuclear automation.
  5. Enablers for energy automation. The main focus is on the Internet of Energy - the IT-enabled energy production and exchange infrastructure based on prosumers. Smart grid research interests are multi-agent control and security and integration of applications such as smart lighting. 
  6. Human-centric production systems that include real-time workflow and workspace optimization, the interaction of the human workers with AGVs and cobots, and ergonomic aspects of flexible collaborative manufacturing.

We are involved in research projects funded by Academy of Finland, Business Finland, EIT Manufacturing, the European Union, the Finnish Nuclear Waste Management Fund (VYR), and other funding organizations. The group collaborates with many research partners around the globe. Find more details on our research website.

Professor Valeriy Vyatkin is the leader of the group.



Valeriy Vyatkin - Professor
Tommi Karhela - Visiting professor in computer simulation technology
Seppo Sierla   - University lecturer
Ilkka Seilonen - Research scientist
Udayanto Atmojo - Staff scientist
Taneli Hölttä   - Innovation advisor

Doctoral candidates

Pranay Jhunjhunwala
Polina Ovsiannikova
Mikhail Kolesnikov
Tuojian Lyu
Mohammad Arash Azangoo
Jifei Deng
Rakshith Subramanya
Ronal Bejarano Rodriguez
Niko Karhula
Harri Aaltonen

Graduated doctoral candidates:

Igor Buzhinskii  
Thesis: Combined use of formal methods for reliability assurance of safety-critical software systems
Defended: 28/06/2019

Gerardo Santillán Martínez
Thesis: Simulation-based digital twins of industrial process plants: A semi-automatic implementation approach
Defended: 07/06/2019

Christian Giovanelli
Thesis: Aggregating domestic energy storage resources to participate in frequency containment reserves
Defended: 15/03/2019

Olli Kilkki
Thesis: Optimizing Demand Response of Aggregated Residential Energy Storages
Defended: 10/12/2018

Evgeny Nefedov
Thesis: Collaborative energy management systems: design and evaluation for intelligent buildings, electric vehicles and street lighting
Defended: 27/04/2018

Research Projects

Latest publications

Application of reinforcement learning for energy consumption optimization of district heating system

Jifei Deng, Miro Eklund, Seppo Sierla, Jouni Savolainen, Hannu Niemistö, Tommi Karhela, Valeriy Vyatkin 2023 2023 IEEE 32nd International Symposium on Industrial Electronics (ISIE)

Mass customization with reinforcement learning: Automatic reconfiguration of a production line

Jifei Deng, Seppo Sierla, Jie Sun, Valeriy Vyatkin 2023 Applied Soft Computing

Offline reinforcement learning for industrial process control: a case study from steel industry

Jifei Deng, Seppo Sierla, Jie Sun, Valeriy Vyatkin 2023 Information Sciences (Elsevier)

Using a digital twin as the objective function for evolutionary algorithm applications in large scale industrial processes

Miro Eklund, Seppo Sierla, Hannu Niemisto, Timo Korvola, Jouni Savolainen, Tommi Karhela 2023 IEEE Access

Automatic Generation of Data centre Digital Twins for Virtual Commissioning of their Automation Systems

Nikolai Galkin, Michail Ruchkin, Valeriy Vyatkin, Chen Wei Yang, Viktor Dubinin 2023 IEEE Access

Mechatronic Swarm and its Virtual Commissioning

Tuojian Lyu, Andrei Lashchev, Sandeep Patil, Udayanto Dwi Atmojo, Valeriy Vyatkin 2023 Proceedings - 2023 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics, ICM 2023

Artificial Intelligence for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Vidura Sumanasena, Lakshitha Gunasekara, Sachin Kahawala, Nishan Mills, Daswin De Silva, Mahdi Jalili, Seppo Sierla, Andrew Jennings 2023 Energies

DeLMS: A decentralized learning management system using Ethereum smart contracts and IPFS

Midhun Xavier, Parvathy Sobha, Sandeep Patil, Valeriy Vyatkin 2023 2023 IEEE 21st International Conference on Industrial Informatics, INDIN 2023

Bidding a Battery on Electricity Markets and Minimizing Battery Aging Costs: A Reinforcement Learning Approach

Harri Aaltonen, Seppo Sierla, Ville Kyrki, Mahdi Pourakbari‐kasmaei, Valeriy Vyatkin 2022 Energies

An overview of machine learning applications for smart buildings

Kari Alanne, Seppo Sierla 2022 Sustainable Cities and Society
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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