We are proud to inform you about the greatest achievements and projects carried out in recent years in all the departments and colleges of the School of Engineering.
Department of Energy Technology
The purpose of the mobile application NutiSoojus is to promote the implementation of sustainable district heating at the national level. The mobile app enables consumers to receive information about the fuels used for heating buildings in a particular area. It also allows monitoring how the changes in consumer behaviour affect the entire district heating system and how the transition of the system to the 4th generation district heating would change primary energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
Potential beneficiaries of the mobile app include heat consumers (district heating and local consumers), heat producers and distributors, real estate investors, urban planning specialists, and local governments, as well as politicians.
Working group: Anna Volkova, Eduard Latõšov, Vladislav Mašatin, Kertu Lepiksaar, Andres Siirde
IT: TM Development OÜ
Design: Havas Estonia
Tallinn University of Technology and the University of Tartu researched the properties of different types of oil shale ash generated in Estonia to find out whether the ashes should be classified as hazardous waste or not.
In-depth research confirmed that oil shale ashes have the same properties as coal ash, thus there is no reason to classify them separately as hazardous waste.
Working group leader: Alar Konist
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
The Acoustic Laboratory is the first in Estonia and the most modern and high-quality sound insulation testing centre in the entire nearby region. The Acoustics Laboratory is part of the TalTechDigital project, which is an ambition for the smart and digital campus.
The new Acoustics Laboratory enables fast and accurate determination of the sound insulation of windows, double-glazed units, doors, and other wall elements in accordance with the applicable standards.
The self-driving car ISEAUTO is a self-driving minibus created in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology, Silberauto, AuveTech, and ABB, which makes experimental trips on TalTech campus and is a development platform for researchers and students. Estonia's first self-driving car debuted in 2018, on the 100th anniversary week of Tallinn University of Technology at the TalTech Digital vision conference.
In the summer of 2020, ISEAUTO transported passengers in Tallinn Airport and Ülemiste City.
The self-driving car project extends the theme of the Smart City by how to introduce self-driving vehicles in the near future and integrate them into the existing transportation system.
Project manager: Raivo Sell
A virtual supermarket is a virtual reality (VR) application that allows the improvement of post-stroke patients’ recovery and enables doctors and occupational therapists to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation treatment.
The patient moves around in a virtual supermarket and, by mimicking the usual movement in the store, develops mobility and, through movements, improves his/her memory and brain activity.
Working group: Tauno Otto, Vladimir Kuts, Yevhen Bondarenko (TalTech)
Heidi Alasepp, Anneli Teder-Braschinsky, Artjom Timtšuk, Epp-Triin Võsu, Kairi Lees, Ingrid Märitz (ITK)
Marco Sacco, Simone Pizzagalli (STIIMA-CNR).
In production logistics, a prototype mobile robotic vehicle, by positioning the location, enables the indoor transportation of components as well as semi-finished and finished products from one production process to another, optimizing its trajectory of movement. The robot is designed to optimize and robotize transport logistics in the factory of the future.
The prototype of a mobile robot is tested in the production unit of Kulinaaria OÜ (the central kitchen of Selver). Boxes are the transported units; on average, up to 5000 B2 boxes per day need to be transported in the company.
Working group: Kristo Karjust, Raivo Sell, Martin Eerme, Martin Pärn, Heiko Pikner, Ehsan Malyjerdi, Tarmo Velsker, Maarjus Kirs, Janno Nõu, Tõnis Raamets, Aigar Hermaste, Margus Müür.
Department of Materials and Environmental Technology
Smart road pavement is the first road surface in the Nordic countries that generates electricity from sunlight; the integrated information technology solutions make the road surface an active participant in traffic to increase traffic safety. On the future roads, the road will communicate with road users and vice versa.
The smart road pavement consists of the 20 x 20 cm so-called e-paving blocks, the components of which are a solar cell immersed in a wear-resistant and weather-resistant polymer composite, various sensors, an electronics control unit, and LED lamps as users. That kind of pavement generates electricity from solar energy, the generated electricity is stored and used to make road markings such as pedestrian crossing stripes, safety islands, traffic lanes, road signposts visible in the dark - the LED lamps integrated in the pavement activate at dusk.
The smart road pavement is one of the Smart City applications.
Working group: Malle Krunks, Arvo Mere, Nicolae Spalatu, Mihkel Viirsalu, Veljo Sinivee, Daniil Denissov, Allan Lahi
Researchers of the Laboratory of Polymers and Textile Technology of Tallinn University of Technology, in cooperation with Skeleton Technologies and the European Space Agency, are engaged in the development of novel high durability supercapacitors. Supercapacitors are made by electrospinning of nanofibrous materials, the fibres of which are 10 to 100 times thinner than a human hair. The fibrous structure is flexible and up to 20 times stronger than materials used in conventional supercapacitors. The flexibility, lightness, and very high strength of the new supercapacitors are essential in space technology. The supercapacitors under development are planned to be used to provide a strong short-term current pulse to the satellites when they need cyclic power while being in the shade from sunlight, to open and move the satellite panels mechanically.
Working group: Andres Krumme, Elvira Tarasova, Viktoria Vassiljeva, Illia Krasnou, Siret Malmberg
Ash from oil shale combustion is a valuable material that could be used in granular form to neutralize acid soils, as a ceramic component, as a partial substitute for sand in clay bricks, for the production of light granules and carbonate-hardening building materials, and for precipitated calcium carbonate. The latter has the positive effect of capturing a certain amount of CO2 into the solid phase.
Working group: Andres Trikkel, Mai Uibu, Kadriann Tamm, Rein Kuusik and others.
Department of Electrical Power and Mechatronics
Campulse - a development of a unique measurement data acquisition platform that covers the university campus. In the campus it is already possible to collect data from the commercial electricity meters provided by the distribution network operator Elektrilevi, and analyse and visualize the data on one connected administrative platform. Campulse enables the university to be a digital leader in the development of smart infrastructures.
In addition, the smart Campulse Lite application allows the broader user community to monitor the electricity consumption of the campus. The structuring of data on the Campulse platform enables the university as a whole, as well as other Estonian and international research institutions and companies, to be provided with measurement data on the work, study, and living environment for better decision-making.
Working group: Cletus John Crasta, Hannes Agabus, Ivo Palu, Kristjan Pütsep, Mario Leier, Oliver Ilmjärv, Oskar Voorel, Tarmo Korõtko
SMAGRINET is an information centre project, initiated by TALTECH and launched in 2020, in the framework of which energy and software grid teaching-learning materials, training, and information packages have been developed to harmonize the knowledge of today's electrical power system. SMAGRINET aims to turn smart grid knowledge into general knowledge.
Three modules have been created for students:
Security and future of the smart grid
Economic and social challenges
Smart planning of smart grids and green energy networks
The materials have also been adapted for manufacturing companies to help current and future employees better understand the need for change and adapt to them.
In addition, video trainings for the public, games, etc. are being developed to make the complex field of power engineering understandable to ordinary people.
Working group leader: Karl Kull
In recent years, the department has contributed to the development of laboratories that are unique in the Nordic and Baltic countries and provide innovative services also to companies.
RELAY PROTECTION AND AUTOMATION LABORATORY
At the end of 2018, the Relay Protection and Automation Laboratory was developed in cooperation with Siemens and Harju Elekter. The equipment available in the laboratory enables simulation of the operations of a real substation and how the faults in the electric power system are detected and prevented. The laboratory is equipped with the latest generation Siemens devices used in substations of real electric power systems. The laboratory holds one real-life substation, which includes relay and automation devices and the associated communication system.
Working group leader: Jako Kilter
ACCREDITATION OF the LABORATORY of LIGHTING technology AND DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW MEASUREMENT METHOD AND MEASURING INSTRUMENT
In 2019, the Laboratory of Lighting Technology was accredited. The laboratory is the only one in the Baltic States that offers an accredited measurement service to measure seven lighting parameters. Accreditation includes measurements of the following parameters:
colour of light
spectral composition of light
flicker of light
In 2019, the laboratory also invented a new measurement method and tool that considers human scotopic and mesopic vision in dark and dim environments, which has not been implemented so far.
Working group: Argo Rosin, Arvo Oorn, Toivo Varjas, Rein Laaneots, Raivo Teemets, Taavi
NYMO is a multi-purpose, universal, and capable autonomous robotic ship that perceives the surrounding environment and is capable of passing through predefined mission points without external intervention. The robotic ship recognizes various objects at sea and is able to make the necessary management decisions.
NYMO enables the transportation of parcels at sea, the detection of oil pollution in the port, marine research, and other suitable operations at sea without direct human intervention. It is currently a prototype but can be adapted to solve a specific task.
From 2021 the development of autonomous boats is continued in TalTechs new spin-off company MindChip OÜ.
Working group: Heigo Mõlder, Tanel Jalakas, Indrek Roasto, Taavi Möller
The environmental research group built by Tartu College has a unique competence in Estonia in researching the living environment in abandoned and underused areas (brownfields), including shrinking cities. The fact that the exposition Väärikas kahanemine (Dignified Shrinkage), authors Jiří Tintěra (Tartu College) Kalle Vellevoog, Garri Raagmaa, Martin Pedanik and Paulina Pähn) was chosen to represent Estonia at the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2020 testifies to the significance of the issue in the Estonian, European and global contexts.
The 3D and Drone Laboratory of Tartu College, opened in 2019, combines 3D modelling with civil engineering (enabling aeronautical mapping and thermography with drone, AR and VR applications, 3D modelling as polygon modelling or based on point clouds). The laboratory is used in teaching and research projects in the field of civil engineering, cyber-physical systems, and industrial ecology.
The resulting cross-disciplinary collaboration can lead to innovative research methods: e.g. how to measure heavy metal pollution by drones and earthworms.
Tartu College is the only college outside the parent university that successfully carries out consistent doctoral studies. In recent years, under the supervision of Associate Professor Aime Ruus and Professor Zenia Kotval, several significant doctoral theses have been defended in the environmental research group; Jiří Tintěra's research on shrinking cities on the example of Valga being the most recent among them.
Tartu College is the only educational institution in Estonia to enable earning a master's degree in industrial ecology with an emphasis on the application of the principles of the circular economy, which also lays a solid foundation for further doctoral studies. The industrial ecology working group, under the guidance of Professor Lembit Nei, has researched the possibilities of solving the problem of drug residue contamination in sewage sludge, and under the guidance of Professor Mari Ivask and Lembit Nei the possibility of recultivating former mining areas.
The research conducted in the laboratory of the Oil Shale Competence Center of Virumaa College came up with a solution for the reuse of waste plastic: oil can be obtained by pyrolyzing it together with the by-products of the oil shale industry (crushed stone, ash, semi-coke).
The invention Method for co-pyrolysis of plastic waste is protected by Utility Model No. EE 01468 UI.
Working group: Hella Riisalu, Olga Pihl, Dmitri Suštšik ja Julia Kapralova
Led by tenure professor Allan Niidu, the applied chemistry working group deals with the co-evaluation of CO2 and oil shale phenols to create catalysts and adsorbents for the modern chemical industry. The group is also working on the adsorption and oxidation of sulphur compounds and the creation of added value by extracting valuable metals from mine effluents. In collaboration with the industrial chemistry group, research is being carried out to add value to kerogen in an oxidative environment.
Four development teams have been established in Virumaa College for the programme of Telematics and Intelligent Systems:
Internet of Things (IoT), including solution development (communications network, hardware, software)
Creating software for different prototyping platforms
Development and use of virtual and augmented reality applications
Use of Data Science capabilities and methods, machine learning algorithms and data visualization applications