News

PhD studies taught how to be a good researcher

Julian Parker hopes that the academic perspective does not get lost after graduating.
Julian Parker

D.Sc. (Tech.) Julian Parker combines research and design work in the field of music technology. He is a popular visiting lecturer in Aalto University. Most recently he gave a talk in March 2017 in Otaniemi.

D.Sc. (Tech.) Julian Parker, you have graduated from Aalto University in 2013. What have you studied?

I studied for my doctorate in the Acoustics & Signal Processing research group led by Professor Vesa Välimäki. My thesis was about computational modelling of the mechanical springs used in early methods of artificial reverberation. I’m originally from the UK. I did my Bachelor in University of Cambridge studying Natural Sciences and moved to University of Edinburgh to study for the MSc in Acoustics and Music Technology. After my Master studies I started to look for different PhD opportunities in my subject area. I heard about Aalto and Vesa´s group from my supervisor at Edinburgh.

How did you enter your current work and what do you do?

I work for the Native Instruments GmbH in Berlin, where I lead DSP development and research. The company is one of the market leaders in producing software and hardware for music production. I started to work there two weeks after I defended my thesis. My day to day work is quite similar to my activities at Aalto, but industry has different requirements. When making algorithms for customers to use in their music production, sound quality is the most important factor. Achieving this requires a lot of listening.

While working at Native Instruments GmbH you have also time to do research work. What do you research and why?

I have continued doing research in the same areas. I have published on a variety of topics including reverberation, physical modelling of both mechanical and electrical systems, and digital filter design. I think it is a great shame if you cannot contribute to the academic community after graduating, so I continue to research and publish whenever I can.

What are the most important qualities and lessons the doctoral education at Aalto University gave you?

In Aalto I learned how to be a good researcher. I learned how to choose the right idea for a paper, and especially how to present that idea. Of course, I also gained a lot of knowledge from the great experts in my field at Aalto, like Vesa and the late Prof. Matti Karjalainen. I was lucky to do my PhD studies in a great environment with great people.

I think the Aalto merger in 2010 was a great change. I took some courses from the design and arts parts of the university, and I found this extremely valuable in my development. It gave me a larger perspective on my studies.

What kind of advice you would give the students when they are thinking own career path?

It is really important to meet the right people, so attending conferences and networking is very important. Try to publish as much as you can, but don't forget other skills. Try to present your work so that anyone can understand it, not just researchers.

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

Two lab-coated women in a laboratory looking at pipes.
Cooperation, Studies Published:

Chemistry and business students developed plant-based products with Valio

A team of two Master’s students collaborated with Valio in a 6-month Aalto Thesis project.
Kauppakorkeakoulun Vuoden Alumni 2020 Pekka Ala-Pietilä. Kuva: Heidi Piiroinen/Sanoma.
Cooperation, Honoured Published:

Pekka Ala-Pietilä is the School of Business Alumnus of the Year 2020

Life is a learning journey where learning as such never ends, explains Pekka Ala-Pietilä, chairman of the boards of directors of packaging manufacturer Huhtamäki and media group Sanoma.
Man using computer on a bean bag chair while people are in line on the background
Cooperation Published:

Aalto students and employers connected during the Aalto Talent Expo Virtual Week

Aalto Talent Expo Virtual Week was organised between 5th - 9th of October 2020. The virtual week substituted the physical Aalto Talent Expo fair that was postponed from October 2020 to January 2021.
Doctor of Technology Anu Kaukovirta
Cooperation Published:

Anu Kaukovirta has been selected as the School of Chemical Engineering's Alumnus of the Year 2020

As a sign of her significant career and role in our society, Doctor of Technology Anu Kaukovirta has been selected as the School of Chemical Engineering's Alumnus of the Year 2020. She has worked as both a researcher and a director in industry and research institutes and throughout her career has been in close contact with her school. Currently, Anu works at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) as Vice President of Research.