Alumnus Ilari Ranta-Aho was supposed to become an architect, but HVAC technology stole his heart

Ilari Ranta-Aho’s best study memories are connected to his good study friends. He also advises new students to network and get to know the other students.
Ilari Ranta-Aho wakeboarding

I studied my master’s in Advanced Energy Solutions programme, in which I majored in Sustainable Energy in Buildings and Built Environment. I have always been interested in buildings and building industry. First, I was supposed to become an architect and I was already applying to study the subject. However, when preparing for the pre-examination I started to feel like it was not my thing. Building industry can offer so many other challenges too.

Before I started my studies in Aalto, I studied HVAC technology in the University of Applied Science of Mikkeli. Besides good employment possibilities, I was interested in the diversity of the HVAC technology field. The field is broad and covers many technical sectors. Also, I am able to effect architecture in many ways in my current position, such as for example from the perspective of energy efficiency.

Studying HVAC technology in Aalto deepened the knowledge that I had gain from work and studying. I also took courses on performing and communications on workplace, which are now supporting my career.

I have good memories from my studies since the first weeks. There were good parties, but most likely the best memories are from studying in a good company. We spent long nights with friends doing our calculations.

The best part from the study perspective was most definitely the master’s thesis work, which was about methods to reduce pressure differences and airflows caused by stack effect. I’m still working with this interest topic and developing the theory further.

After graduating, I have worked as a Project Manager and Group Manager at Ramboll Finland’s HVAC sector. My official title is Group Manager, but my daily work mostly consists of high building expert tasks.

At the moment I am working full-time remotely. All the meetings for project are online now a days and I mostly work with expert tasks, so remote working is a great option for me right now. I instruct and manage my team members with administrative tasks online regularly.  Remote working helps me to save at least one hour of sitting in a car every day, which means that I have more time for hobbies and family.

I am planning to build an own house and applying for doctoral studies in the future. Also, I am planning to get more international working experience as soon as the conditions allow it.

My tip for the students starting their studies is that people who you study with are also later your colleagues – network with others and be fair, helpful and kind towards others since the starting day. Even the top-students need support from others to make it in study and working life.

Read more about the programme

Students in the house lab with test dummy

Energy in Buildings and Built Environment - Advanced Energy Solutions, Master of Science (Technology)

Did you know that buildings are currently responsible for 40 % of primary energy consumption and roughly half of electricity consumption?

If you want to address big societal issues such as global warming and healthy indoor climate, The Master’s Programme in Advanced Energy Solutions may be the perfect match for you. By studying the efficient use of energy in the fields of building technology and services as well as on the design of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, you will work with creating sustainable and comfortable indoor environments.

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