Niklas Vaara and Alberto Rhunha Garcia holding IEEE Finland SP/CAS Awards next to Professor Ari Visa.

University of Oulu’s Doctoral Researcher Wins National IEEE Competition

Niklas Vaara, a doctoral researcher at the Centre for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis (CMVS) at the University of Oulu, has achieved notable recognition by winning the IEEE Finland Section – SP & CAS Chapter’s award for the Best Master Thesis. His thesis, “Tools for Ray Tracing Based Radio Channel Modeling and Simulation,” offers insights into wireless network development, further solidifying the university’s position at the forefront of technological innovation.

Since its establishment in 1988, the IEEE Finland Section – SP & CAS Chapter has fostered a vibrant engineering community. With a membership exceeding 170 professionals, it facilitates crucial networking, event organisation, and the advancement of technological breakthroughs in electrical and electronics engineering. As a part of the globally esteemed Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), this chapter has a far-reaching impact on the global engineering scene.

The award, announced during the IEEE Finland SP/CAS annual event at the Tietotalo campus in Hervanta on 11 December 2023, was based on stringent criteria, including the significance and quality of the research, the importance of the addressed problem, and the research methodology. The selection committee, led by Professor Ari Visa from Tampere University and composed of members from various Finnish universities, recognised Vaara’s thesis for its theoretical and practical contributions to the field.

Vaara’s thesis, supervised by Dr Pekka Sangi from the Centre for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis (CMVS) and co-supervised by Professor Markku Juntti and helped by doctoral researcher Juha Pyhtilä from the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), marks a significant advancement in radio channel propagation modelling. It uses ray tracing-based methods to simulate field strength and radio channels’ multi-dispersive characteristics. His work includes developing and optimising a path search implementation and a novel path refiner that adheres to Fermat’s principle of least time. The research demonstrates considerable improvements in computation speed and the effectiveness of the path refinement process in ensuring the quality and accuracy of the simulated paths, showcasing its potential to enhance wireless network development.

This recognition is a personal milestone for Niklas Vaara and a testament to the collaborative environment fostered at the University of Oulu. It highlights the university’s commitment to nurturing exceptional research talent, as evidenced by the support of Vaara’s thesis. The Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC) and the Centre for Machine Vision and Signal Analysis (CMVS) at the University of Oulu played pivotal roles in this collaborative effort, underlining the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation in advancing technological research.

In the forthcoming year, the scope of the IEEE Finland SP/CAS competition is set to widen, encompassing the Scandinavian region. This expansion is an opportunity to further the discourse and display innovative research in signal processing, circuits, and systems. It also highlights the event’s commitment to recognising the contributions of individuals and the broader academic community in these technical fields.

Read also Alberto Brihuega Garcia and Niklas Vaara awarded for their theses on signal processing.