Oulu – the Innovation Hub of Finland in Electronics

Oulu is well known as the Electronics hub of Finland which generated this spark in me to pursue my master's journey in this beautiful city. The University of Oulu has a well-renowned Electronics programme which offers a great deal of learning and all sorts of exposure to the industries. Moreover, the master’s programme provides a wide variety of specialization options in Electronics Design, Electronics Materials and Components, and Photonics and Measurement Technology.
A boy in front of a notice board

Electronics research in Oulu

Did you know that the world's best self-healing material has been developed in Oulu, Finland?This self-healing material models the resin-chitin composite structure of the grasshopper’s leg. The remarkable feature of this material is that it can be cut completely across, with the cut closing in about a minute without requiring any heating or other external energy source. This technology serves as a great application in the electronics industry when most of the requirements have been focused on scaling the technology down.

Read more about the research on Smart Biomaterials

A new project has been launched by a group of researchers from the University of Oulu's Microelectronics Research Unit with the goal of developing the technical implementation of a novel kind of sensor component used in e-skins and laying the groundwork for its potential commercialization. The in-question sensor element, denoted by the initials KNBNNO, is based on a material created at the University of Oulu that can simultaneously recognize mechanical, thermal, and optical signals. Mechanical signals include contact, pressure, and force while thermal signals include temperature change and heat. Many contemporary intelligent sensor technologies now have greater capabilities due to this technological advancement.

Read more about the research on electronic skin

Many more research ideas are just waiting to be explored, in the electronics domain alone, and the University of Oulu is very well equipped with relevant tools and brilliant research minds from all over the world. It is more than safe to say that the future of Electronics is in safe hands here in Oulu.

A robotic arm present at the Robotics Lab, University of Oulu

A practical approach towards Electronics

One notable difference between the University of Oulu and other universities is that Oulu provides a much more hands-on/practical experience in terms of learning in the master's programme in  Electronics. The teaching factor is already considered to be world-class, and the professors are extremely helpful only expecting some way of communication be it email or one-on-one conversation.

The Fab Lab (short for fabrication laboratory) located at the University of Oulu is one of the few Super Fab Labs in the world where anyone can create their own hardware and goods.

This laboratory provides the staff/students with free access to any of the machinery present such as 3D printers, laser cutters and electronic fabrication equipment in order to work on their own projects. It is a very interactive experience and there will always be someone to help you around. Fab Lab also organizes various workshops to familiarize everyone with what they offer. I participated in one such workshop where we got to make our own keychains using pre-printed reflective stencils and a heat press machine.

The keychain I made for myself at Fab Lab

These are only a few of the many facilities offered by the university in the domain of Electronics alone.

The University of Oulu has so much to offer with the only limitation being one’s own creativity and imagination. So far, it has been an amazing learning and visual experience and I am glad I took this step towards my own future!

About the author

Ayanur Rehman Khan is a first-year master’s student in Electronics. He hails from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh in India. He finds most of his interest to be in football and PC games. He is also looking forward to his first Finnish winter and wishes to explore various adventure sports.