Granlund Consulting’s Tuomo Niemelä took second place in a student competition organised by REHVA, the European umbrella organisation for HVAC associations. Niemelä’s dissertation discussing energy optimisation in a block of flats from the 1960s was enthusiastically received.
The competition evaluated dissertations by students in the field of building services. There were 14 entrants who had won national competitions in various countries around Europe. The highly competitive contest was won by a student from the Netherlands, while third place went to the representative of Romania.
”I feel very good about the competition. I lost very narrowly to the representative from the Netherlands and, on the following day, he represented Europe and won a world-wide student competition by a relatively clear margin. My own performance was almost perfect so I have to be satisfied.”
Earlier in the year, Niemelä’s work was selected as Granlund’s dissertation of the year and it has also received visibility in publications in the field.
The competition was held as part of REHVA’s CLIMA 16 conference, an event that is now in its 12th year and was held in Aalborg, Denmark. Niemelä represented Finland.
As part of the competition, the entrants gave a 15-minute oral presentation and made a summary of their research to communicate the key content and research methods. In addition, the research was visualised on an A1-sized scientific poster.
The panel of judges consisted of professors from six different countries. They evaluated the significance and technical implementation of the works, along with the importance of the research problem, the research methods used and the reliability of the results. Further factors included the novelty and innovation of the work, the clarity and graphical appearance of the written material and the oral presentation, and the competitors’ ability to defend their research under questioning.
”The atmosphere there was very positive. All of the competitors encouraged each other and they were really friendly, even though we were competing against each other. I gained a lot of good contacts in different countries, as well as a good picture of different countries’ concepts of near-zero-energy solutions and the focus areas of research in the field of building services,” Niemelä says.
The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) is a European association consisting of personnel organisations in the HVAC field. It was founded in 1963 and has 110,000 members in 26 countries. Finland’s national member organisation is FINVAC.