Additional donations towards smart building services engineering

The role of smart buildings will grow further in the breakthrough brought about by renewable energy and digitalisation.
Aalto logo at the Otaniemi campus
Photo: Aalto University / Mikko Raskinen

The donation of more than one million euros received in the spring for the development of teaching and research in smart building services engineering and smart buildings has now been followed up by donations from the companies Helvar, Granlund, and Ramboll as well as the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL.

‘The fund-raising target of EUR 1.5 million has now almost been reached. I am really happy that different companies, foundations and organisations have come on board. Their understanding of the field and their future plans for collaboration supplement our overall outlook on smart buildings as a growing field,’ says Jyri Hämäläinen, Dean of the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering. 

A doctoral programme has been established to expand the teaching and research of smart buildings at the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering. It aims to train new experts who can bring change to the sector by offering a comprehensive understanding of its future potential. This doctoral school, established with donated funds, is the first in its field in Finland.

Donors wish to see doctoral candidates in the field

‘100-year-old Helvar is a pioneer in intelligent lighting control for Smart Buildings. Helvar has had close co-operation and a long-term involvement with Aalto University. We are delighted to have the possibility to support and invest in the teaching and research development of smart building technology and intelligent buildings with this Helvar100 donation. We are pleased to contribute to the development of the sector, helping to ensure that the industry has access to broad-based experts whose education is centred around the latest research. For us, co-operation with Aalto University is especially relevant for exchanging knowledge around state-of-the-art information technology and for sharing our own expertise and passion in this field. We see this as a good way to support the education of future experts that will develop, research and produce people-centric and sustainable intelligent buildings, something that is aligned with our ambition to increase the wellbeing of people through our intelligent solutions”, says Adel Hattab, CEO of Helvar.

‘Coronavirus showed that we need smarter and more flexible solutions for buildings that enable the safe and efficient use of properties even in emergency conditions. The development and application of these new technologies requires cross-disciplinary and user-oriented expertise in building services engineering. It is great that the Aalto Doctoral Programme in smart buildings is responding to this need, says Mika Kovanen, Director of Smart & Sustainable Buildings at Ramboll.

‘With our donation, we want to support Aalto University's opportunities to develop the teaching and research of smart building services engineering and smart buildings. This is important for the development of the whole sector. Smart buildings and smart building services engineering play a key role in solving the biggest challenges facing our society – both in reducing climate impacts and facilitating safe and pleasant work and housing,’ says Tuomas Laine, Director of Innovation and Development at Granlund.

‘The Doctoral School of Intelligent Buildings will be very important for ensuring competence in the future. RIL wants to be involved in ensuring the development of competence in the real estate and construction sector in Finland,’ says Janne Tähtikunnas, Managing Director and CEO at Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL.

Teaching and research at Aalto University into smart buildings focus on user-orientation, autonomous self-learning systems, new operating methods enabled by digitalisation, and integrations between building services engineering, ICT systems, energy networks, and transport. In the planning of electrical systems in the field of education, the impact of new technologies on the work of designers is also considered.

Further information on the field is available on the research group's website

Further information on the donation:

Dean Jyri Hämäläinen
of the School of Electrical Engineering at Aalto University
[email protected]
tel. 050316 0975

Further information on research and education into building services engineering:

Professor of Practice Heikki Ihasalo
Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering
[email protected] tel. 040820 9623

Professor of Practice Jaakko Ketomäki
Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering
[email protected]
+358 3000 119

Professor, HVAC Technology, Risto Kosonen
Aalto University School of Engineering
[email protected]
+358 40 502 7484

See also: Solutions for buildings through smart building services engineering 31.3.2021


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