Tallinn University of Technology

Researcher of the Year 2019 is Targo Kalamees

Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, the School of Engineering

Targo Kalamees was exceptionally productive in research in 2019. Research results were generated in several international research projects in addition to the work of under the personal research funding and the ZEBE Centre of Excellence in Research. The researcher participated in the preparation of the National LMIN19072 Long-Term Renovation Strategy and published 17 scientific publications during the year, 11 of which were articles of category 1.1.

In 2019, the reconstruction of TalTech academic and research building at Mäepealse 3 started. This three-storey nearly-zero-energy building made of solid wood will have many unique elements, and in the construction process, a methodology for managing moisture during construction will be developed under the guidance of T. Kalamees.

Following the example of a science project led by Targo Kalamees, TalTech nearly-zero-energy family dormitory, a complete renovation of the next apartment building with prefabricated additional insulation panels has begun.

In February, for the first time in Estonia, an international conference on wood construction, Forum Wood Building Baltic 2019, was held, led by Targo Kalamees. The conference focused on important technical issues of wooden buildings – construction physics, moisture security, energy efficiency and fire protection, as well as new materials and technologies. As the conference was a great success, it was decided to make it a tradition and the next conference will take place in Latvia in 2021.

Targo Kalamees is also the chair of the scientific committee of the 12th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics 2020. The conference will be held at the TalTech campus in Mustamäe. In addition to bringing the world’s top scientists in construction physics and energy efficiency to Estonia, organising a high-level scientific conference is also important for increasing the knowledge of Estonian construction companies.

Junior Researcher of the Year 2019: Ralf-Martin Soe

Founding director of the Smart City Centre of Excellence, Senior Research Fellow

Ralf-Martin Soe’s doctoral thesis was the origin of the Finest Twin initiative, which received 32 million euros in start-up funding from the European Commission and the Estonian government in 2019 to build a smart city centre of excellence. It is the largest ever competitive research and development grant at Tallinn University of Technology.

Soe has participated in the launch of smart city research in Estonia and has published articles in high-impact scientific journals. He has experience in collaborating with a number of international top scientists in the smart city field and is a member of the Smart City Consortium launched by Albany University. As part of the TalTechCity initiative, Soe has launched a strategic R&D collaboration with the City of Tallinn.

In the past, Soe has launched and led several smart city pilot projects in cities across Europe, e.g. self-driving bus pilot projects in Kongsberg, Helsinki, and Tallinn within the Sohjoa Baltic project. As an advisor to the minister of entrepreneurship and information technology, he launched several important development projects at the Estonian state level, e.g. the Last Mile (€ 20 million investment in high-speed internet infrastructure) and the ICT Development Programme (€ 28 million investment in industrial digitalisation, e-residency, digitalisation of construction, cybersecurity research, etc.). Ralf-Martin Soe has also been an active promoter of his research both in Estonia and internationally.