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Strong industry connections are what make doctoral studies at DSII special


Teemu Mononen, 32, describes doing dissertation research for a company as motivating. The company in question is Novatron, where Mononen has done research on automating mobile manipulators, such as bulldozers. Bulldozers are used for transporting soil by pushing it and shaping the terrain.

“Being able to test my research on machines provided by my partner company and seeing my research results work as I intended has been a highlight", says Mononen.

According to Mononen, collaboration between him and Novatron has worked very well and has led to a full time position within the company. Novatron has provided facilities, help and machinery for Mononen’s research. Now, as Mononen is finishing his doctoral studies, he is going to keep on working with the same themes in Novatron after graduating.

“The topic is related to automating mobile manipulators, so that the machine operators don’t

need to do all the work by themselves. There could be less of a need for the machine operator to operate the blade manually.”

Mononen’s research delves into challenges regarding bulldozers and how to utilize coordination between the bulldozer’s mobile base and blade when doing excavation work.

He also researches how to utilize automated sensors that map out the environment during excavation. As operating the blade manually can be quite challenging, this could take some of that responsibility away from the machine operator.



When asked about the best thing about DSII, Mononen brings up the importance of company collaboration.

“In a DSII-project it is nice to have industry and a company as part of it. It allowed to see things from a wider perspective rather than just from an academic viewpoint.”

Mononen also sees a lot of other benefits in DSII. Having other doctoral students around and getting feedback and peer support is valuable. Mononen states, that his teamwork skills have increased during doctoral studies.

Mononen also found DSII industry visits to partner companies to be very interesting. He thinks they are very fitting for a doctoral school that is also industry oriented.

All in all, Mononen’s experience at DSII has been a successful one and his next direction is to continue developing his research and his promising career at Novatron.

Text: Veera Rautio

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