A particularly interesting task drew the attention of Lassi Lehtisyrjä, a technical physics student, who says that it was a perfect match to his competence. A master's thesis position on quantum technology at VTT gives Lassi the opportunity to learn something new and, at the same time, contribute to a revolutionary technology of the future.
“For me, the most important thing is to enjoy the work you do. It is both inspiring and motivating to do something concrete and to see it working as planned “, explains Lassi, Research Trainee in the Quantum Systems team.
Lassi was particularly interested in working at VTT thanks to its extensive field of research. Quantum technology in itself was a rather new topic for him, although he had taken courses that had involved some aspects of it. His expectations of the work were filled with enthusiasm: “Right away I got to take measurements and fiddle with devices in a new environment.”
From theoretical studies to practical implementation
Summer jobs and thesis positions in a proper workplace in the field offer experience that cannot usually be gained through theoretical studies only. The use of different measuring devices and the application of research results are skills that are strengthened by working. Lassi too emphasises the importance of practical work in the field of technology.
“It has been great to see that the skills you have learned in the courses can be applied to practice. There have even been moments when I remember having sworn during a course that I'm definitely not going to need this topic in the future, and then running into it on the first day”, Lassi says with a laugh.
“It certainly helps to approach your studies the right way. You can never know which skills from the courses will be used ‘in real life’, but learning never goes to waste.”
Part of research is that the results are not always what you expect. But something not working is also a result. The most rewarding thing for Lassi is when the measurement results provide usable data, which demonstrates that making valid measurements regarding the theory are possible, which in turn helps to perceive the next step.
Technology develops along with its developers
At the workplace and on the job, Lassi appreciates the freedom to both work and self-develop. At VTT, he feels that he is in the right work environment and that he has received the correct tools to be able to do his job in the best way possible. Without continuous human development, technology would also not develop, and according to Lassi, this is strongly reflected in the workplace atmosphere at VTT.
“They have identified my competence and trusted me with tasks that are not directly related to my position. For example, I have been able to develop information networks related to the research, which I do not have official qualifications for, but my competence comes from my hobbies.”
Lassi is grateful that he can always ask his colleagues for points of view on any topic. The colleagues have also encouraged him to look for alternative approaches even if the path to the end result is still unclear. VTT also offers plenty of training opportunities for its staff and important sources of information for research – as well as help to utilise them, Lassi explains.
At the edge of a new field of science
Quantum technology is a new field of science, and VTT considers it as one of the revolutionary forces of the future. The invention of something new is what fascinates Lassi the most in quantum technology and the thesis position.
“It is meaningful to be involved in developing something new that can become a commercial product in the next five years and made into a business. Here we lay the foundation for that technology”, Lassi says.
Lassi's future in quantum technology and in the field of technology seems promising. He is also interested in the possibility of working at VTT in the future once the master’s thesis is completed and he graduates at the end of the year.
“I feel that there is a demand and need for my competence. This is perhaps the most interesting field where someone with this diploma can end up”, Lassi says and adds: "You might not find similar research to VTT’s anywhere else in Finland.”
Text: Siiri Huttunen
Photo: Niko Jekkonen