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“Why not?” is what Petri Mäkinen said when presented with an idea about doctoral thesis in DSII

Petri Mäkinen
Petri Mäkinen

According to Petri Mäkinen, 33, the best thing about doctoral studies is being able to conduct your own research, on your own time while having a great work community. Having a good research team is important.

Mäkinen has done his doctoral studies in collaboration with his partner company Sandvik, and the topic of his research has to do with mobile work machines.

“The emphasis of my work is in visual sensing solutions and robotic manipulators used in heavy work machines”, says Mäkinen.

Manipulators are the parts of the work machine that perform work tasks such as grabbing and lifting.

When they are robotic, they are able to perform these work tasks without any physical contact from the human operating the machine. Robotic manipulators need sensors to understand their surroundings. These sensors utilize visual perception systems, and the more advanced they are, the better results the machine can achieve.

Mäkinen has mostly done his research work at the university, but sometimes visits Sandvik to attend meetings.

“Our facilities are at the university laboratory, so it’s necessary to work there.”

DSII studies

Mäkinen believes it is a good thing that DSII offers social activities for DSII students, and that they are especially beneficial for international students as they are a great channel for networking.

“Collaboration with companies and getting research topics from them is what makes DSII relevant.“

According to Mäkinen the greatest benefit of DSII is being connected to a partner company and getting a longer contract than what is usual for doctoral studies. When asked, whether he would recommend DSII to others, he states the following:

“Absolutely! Especially if you dream is to do doctoral studies on the field of technology. The other options are university funded, but the topics are more academically oriented. When getting a research topic from a company, it has a relevance in the industry.”

Presenting one of his papers in a conference in Thailand has been the highlight of Mäkinen’s time as a DSII doctoral student. Another one will be his upcoming doctoral dissertation event.

Petri’s plan for the future is to do something that is truly interesting to him and that he enjoys.

“One starts to consider what is actually interesting and fun to do, instead of what one should do or how to make a lot of money. It would be nice to do something I enjoy.”

After graduation, Petri is planning to keep doing research on work machines in one way or

another. He wants to develop his findings further and bring them closer to practical application. The starting point is to keep doing research at Tampere university.

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Petri Mäkinen in the field of automation technology titled

"Toward Vision-based Control of Heavy-Duty and Long-Reach Robotic Manipulators" will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences of Tampere University

at Tampere University, Hervanta campus in the auditorium Pieni sali 1 of the Festia building

on Friday 8.12.2023 at 12.00–16.00.

Text: Veera Rautio

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