Interested in having a career that could have a significant effect on the future? Sending Finnish satellites up to space, designing solutions for fully autonomous ships and developing hyperspectral cameras are just a couple of examples of the intriguing projects that VTT’s engineers and researchers are working on at the moment. Read more about our team leader Marko Höyhtyä's work in VTT and what opportunities VTT can offer!
This article has been written in collaboration with Duunitori.
"I’ve always had the chance to shape my career based on my interests"
Dr. Marko Höyhtyä has worked at VTT since the very beginning of his professional career.
He joined the organization as a research trainee in 2004, completed his Masters of Science thesis in 2005 and has since worked in different research roles, while also continuing his academic career. In the beginning of 2018 he took on a team leader role and now leads the Autonomous Systems Connectivity team.
“The reason why I have enjoyed working at VTT for so long is the fact that I have always had the chance to shape my career based on my own interests", Marko tells.
"There are a lot of work opportunities around various interesting topics. Therefore you can actively steer your career in a way that you can work around the topics that intrigue you. This keeps the work challenging and interesting."
Dr. Marko Höyhtyä has continued his academic career while working at VTT and now also holds a docent position at the University of Oulu. "We get a wide view into the research world here."
Right now Marko and his team are developing communication solutions to systems found for example in self driving cars, autonomous ships and aviation systems, working on localisation solutions and working with The European Space Agency on a satellite project, where they aim to connect the networks on the ground and satellite networks into one entity.
"Especially autonomous ships and maritime automation are something that we have advanced a lot in the recent years, since Finland is one of the leading operators in this field. We aim to develop systems which help the captain to work in a better and safer way or even make it possible to steer the whole ship remotely", Marko highlights.
"All in all, the projects that we have here are extremely fascinating and often groundbreaking too. There is a lot of different and interesting knowledge inside VTT and we also have great relationships with the manufacturing industry and universities," he continues.
Industry driven research projects offer interesting challenges
Many of the projects that Marko and his team have going on sound quite futuristic for a layperson.
"This job does indeed offer a chance to take a look into the future – and to have an effect on it as well", Marko nods. "We get to envision the future, identify things that could be done better and then develop these things in collaboration with our partners."
On their website, VTT is described as the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.
“This means that we often act as a link between the world of research and the world of business. Universities conduct a lot of basic research and businesses aim for commercially beneficial solutions. We bring these two together, urge forward innovations and help businesses and societies apply research into practice," Marko explains.
We focus on applied research, where the main thing that we do is to help businesses and societies to apply research into practice.
Industry driven projects, such as the ones related to autonomous shipping and satellites, are massive and involve various organizations, often from many different countries. VTT is often asked to act as an integrator between the project participants or to shape the general view of a project.
"One of the most important things in massive projects is that all the participants agree on the goal and that the big picture is clear. That is often our responsibility," Marko tells.
A typical project can last for up to two years, and many of VTT’s engineers and researchers participate in different projects at the same time.
VTT’s working environment is international and multidisciplinary
VTT has global networks all around the world and during the years, Marko’s career has taken him to dozens of countries, which he also mentions as a definite perk of working at VTT.
"I’ve received a wide view of the research world and gotten to visit many fascinating places all around the globe. The most memorable places have probably been Hong Kong and South Africa, and definitely California, where I spent a year as an exchange researcher at the University of Berkeley," he lists.
One of the highlights of my career has been spending a year in California as an exchange researcher.
In Finland VTT operates in many different cities and the working environment is also very international. "Our main working language is English. Last year I for example hired professionals originally from Vietnam, Germany and Argentina," tells Marko.
VTT employs over 2000 professionals around Finland. Marko praises his colleagues eagerly: "The people who work here are top industry experts. Different teams work on different sectors, and we can thus utilize a lot of multidisciplinary expertise in our projects. You get to hear different viewpoints, learn to look at things from a whole new perspective and to have brilliant conversations."
Growth goals open up new career opportunities
Right now VTT is growing rapidly and hiring a lot of new talent – in several locations in Finland.
"We are aiming to grow in areas such as satellite and other space technology, artificial intelligence technologies and 5G network," Marko tells.
There are a lot of job opportunities open for both young talent and more seasoned professionals.
"We offer different career paths, based on one’s own interests. You can work as a researcher, and pursue an academic career alongside it, if you want, as I’ve done. Or you can work as a team or a project leader or in a more sales-type of a role," Marko tells.
"The perks here are also great", he hints. "You can work remotely if you want and VTT invests on the well-being of its professionals. We have free gyms and various sports and activities clubs that one can join."
In Marko’s opinion, working at VTT suits for innovative individuals, who are interested in research and want to develop the future:
"This is not a place for someone who wants to keep up the same routines from day to day and year to year. But for a person who wants to constantly learn new things and who tolerates some uncertainty, which is typical to some research projects, this is a great place to work and develop as a professional."