Our group consists of people enthusiastic in developing groundbreaking estimation, machine learning, computer vision and signal processing algorithms for creating accurate and reliable navigation and situational awareness based on artificial intelligence for sustainable smart cities.
Laura Ruotsalainen, Professor

Laura Ruotsalainen is a Professor of Spatiotemporal Data Analysis for Sustainability Science at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She leads a research group in spatiotemporal data analysis for sustainability science (SDA) which performs research on estimation, Machine Learning and Computer Vision methods using spatiotemporal data for sustainable smart cities especially via smart mobility. She is a member of the steering group of the Finnish Center for AI (FCAI) and leads a FCAI Highlight area called AI for Sustainability. She is also a professor at the Helsinki Institute of sustainability Science (HELSUS), which is a cross-faculty research unit in sustainability science within the University of Helsinki.

Klavdiia Bochenina, Postdoctoral researcher

Klavdiia Bochenina is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Spatiotemporal Data analysis group (SDA), department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. She has a PhD in Computer Science on scheduling for cloud computing applications. Before joining the SDA group, she worked as a Senior Researcher and the Head of the Algorithmics of Complex Systems research lab at National Center for Cognitive Studies of ITMO University. In the SDA group she works in the Artificial Intelligence for Urban Low-Emission Autonomous Traffic (AIForLessAuto). Her research interests include complex systems simulation, modelling of socio-economical systems, complex networks, data-driven modelling and forecasting, parallel and distributed computing.

Niharika Singh, Postdoctoral researcher

Niharika Singh is working as a Postdoctoral Research at the Spatiotemporal Data Analysis group (SDA), Department of Computer Science, and  working jointly at Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (URBARIA) University of Helsinki, Finland on the project CousCOUS ( She is working in the field of Artificial Intelligence, with her current focus on Reinforcement Learning in Smart City planning. She has a PhD (2021) in Electrical and Electronics on Network planning and decision-making in smart power systems, from University Technology Petronas, Malaysia. She comes from the Computer Science and Engineering background. She completed her Master of Technology (M.Tech., 2016) and Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.,2014) degrees from Kurukshetra University, India. During her Master’s, she worked on the privacy and security in the cloud environment. She is dedicated to exploring innovative algorithms to solve complex planning and decision-making problems, with the aim of adding smartness to our world. Before joining SDA, she was working as an Assistant Professor at Times group Bennett University, India. Also, she has worked as an AI consultant in the industry where she uses her understanding of AI technologies to provide strategic advice to the industry and help drive the company's growth.

Zhe Yan, Postdoctoral researcher

Zhe Yan received his bachelor degree in the field of measurement, control and instrumentation from Southeast University, Nanjing, China, in 2016, and his PhD from the School of Instrument Science and Engineering, Southeast University. His research interests include GNSS receiver techniques, GNSS/INS deeply coupled navigation, optimal estimation and filtering. He has been a visiting doctoral student in the group during his PhD.

Chengmin Zhao, Postdoctoral researcher
Titti Malmivirta, Visiting researcher

Titti Malmivirta is a visiting doctoral researcher at the department of Computer Science. Her research concentrates on developping deep learning methods for GNSS resilience. She has worked in the Reason (AoF) and Arfidaas II (ESA) projects.

Xinhua Tang, Visiting researcher

Xinhua Tang is currently serving as a visiting researcher at the Spatiotemporal Data Analysis group (SDA) within the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki from September 2023 to September 2024. He earned his Ph.D. degree from Polytechnic University of Turin in Italy in January 2014. Following the completion of his doctoral studies, Xinhua continued his research endeavors as a researcher at ISMB (Istituto Superiore Mario Boella) later that year. In September 2015, he transitioned to the Department of Instrument Science and Engineering at Southeast University in China. There, he holds the position of Associate Professor with a specialization in Navigation, Autonomous Systems, and Machine Learning-based applications in physical model optimization.

Niclas Joswig, Doctoral Researcher

Niclas Joswig started as a doctoral researcher in 2021 after he finished his Master at the University of Helsinki. In the past he has been working on a project about visual navigation inside industry premises in collaboration with Konecranes. Currently he focuses on pedestrian navigation in challenging indoor environments as part of the CANDO II project.

Matti Leinonen, Doctoral Researcher

Matti Leinonen started as a doctoral researcher at the department of computer science in 2021. He completed both his bachelor and master studies in computer science at the University of Helsinki, focusing on algorithms and data analysis. He currently works on the CouSCOUS project, developing deep learning methods for traffic flow prediction and creating simulations for sustainable urban planning and development.

Sara Pyykölä, Doctoral Researcher

Sara Pyykölä started out in the SDA group as a research assistant in 2022, writing her master’s thesis about non-Lambertian surfaces and their challenges in computer vision under the supervision of Niclas Joswig and Laura Ruotsalainen. Currently working as a doctoral researcher in the group and pursuing a PhD from computer science under the supervision of Laura Ruotsalainen, her research regards the electric vehicles’ charging station placement in a city-wide scale towards minimizing carbon dioxide emissions using multi-objective reinforcement learning and SUMO simulations. She is currently working in the AIForLEssAuto project. Her previous education is a BSc from mathematics (2021) and a MSc from data science (2022), both obtained from the University of Helsinki, where she has resided since 2017.

Teemu Sarapisto, Doctoral Researcher

Teemu Sarapisto started as a doctoral researcher in the Spatiotemporal Data Analysis group in the fall of 2022. Before that he worked as a research assistant and did his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in computer science at the University of Helsinki. He has over 5 years of industry experience from working in companies such as Varjo, Yleisradio, and Reaktor among others. Previously he focused on topics such as computer vision, hyperspectral imaging, 3D graphics, and web development. Currently he is working in the space system failure prediction (NASA) project, doing research on machine learning for anomaly detection from high-dimensional sensor data.

Outi Savolainen, Doctoral researcher

Outi Savolainen joined the SDA group as a doctoral researcher in autumn 2023. Before that, she worked in the group as a research assistant and wrote her master's thesis about anomaly detection in GNSS signals with complex-valued neural networks under the supervision of Dr. Arul Elango and Professor Laura Ruotsalainen. She received a BSc in computer science (2021) and a MSc in data science (2023), both from University of Helsinki. Her current research interests are Bayesian deep learning, explainable AI, Jammer fingerprinting and GNSS signal anomaly detection.

Volodymyr Beimuk, Research assistant
Dominik Kuczkowski, Research assistant
Antti Leikas, Research assistant
Kari Ojala, Research assistant
Nasti Pelvo, Research assistant
Co-supervised PhD research

Anna Brauer is a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki. She graduated with a master's level degree in computer science (Dipl.-Inf.) from the Dresden University of Technology, Germany. Her current research focuses on the development of location privacy-enhancing methods for human mobility traces. She works at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) in the Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography. Her interests include big data and mobility analytics, algorithm development, machine learning, and data visualization. Her PhD research is jointly supervised by Professor Laura Ruotsalainen and Professor Juha Oksanen from the FGI.

Sergey Nikolskiy is a doctoral student at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He received his master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Saint-Petersburg State Electrotechnical University in Russia in 2005. His current research is focused on GNSS positioning, sensor fusion and maritime navigation. His area of interest includes software GNSS receivers, improving accuracy, detection and mitigation of errors as well as development of spatial data processing algorithms, creation of derivative data products and visualization of spatial data. At the moment he works at the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, Finland, in the Satellite and Radio Navigation research group. Before that he had been a software developer dealing mostly with Java and PostgreSQL in GIS-related projects. His PhD research is jointly supervised by Professor Laura Ruotsalainen and PhD Zahidul Bhuiyan from the FGI.


Haoyu Wei, Doctoral researcher

(Cosmo) Haoyu Wei started his Ph.D. in the fall 2022, co‑supervised by Associate Professor Arto Klami, and Professor Laura Ruotsalainen. Currently he is working in the space system failure prediction project with Teemu Sarapisto, doing research on deep learning for time-series analysis and  anomaly detection from high-dimensional sensor data. Before he received his Master’s degree in data science from the University of Helsinki and Bachelor’s degree in Control Engineering from Zhejiang University.

Team photos Here you can view a selection of our team photos throughout the years.
Past members

Ghazaleh Kia

Ghazaleh Kia is a doctoral researcher, who has completed both her bachelor and master studies in the field of Electrical Engineering focusing on algorithms and Wireless Sensor Networks. Her current research mainly focuses on 5G positioning and cooperative positioning using both 5G and UWB signals for autonomous driving. Ghazaleh’s interests embrace the wide spectrum of computer science including networks, machine learning, programming languages, image processing, algorithms, and databases. Ghazaleh is also interested in sensors and microcontrollers.


Anton Taleiko

Anton Taleiko is a computer science student, who performed his non-military service as a research assistant in the group during 2022-2023. He has graduated from the Bachelor’s Programme in Computer Science at the University of Helsinki and moved on to continue his studies in the Master’s Programme in Computer Science after having finished his non-military service. He assisted Klavdiia Bochenina in her work in the AIForLessAuto project, and his tasks mainly consisted of creating and running simulations as well as analyzing and processing data.


Arul Elango Ganapathy

Arul Elango Ganapathy is a Postdoctoral Research fellow. Previously to SDA group, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research fellow in LASSENA Laboratory, Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montréal, Canada. He has completed his Ph.D from Pondichéry Central University, Puducherry, India. He obtained masters degree in Applied Electronics from College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. He has over 12 years of experience in teaching, research and 3 years of industrial experience in GPS Receiver design. His research work is focusing on developing various Signal Processing algorithms to counteract the effects of intentional and unintentional threats to software defined GNSS receivers and designing of software based GNSS Signal Simulators. He has several publications to his credit in various International Journals and Conferences. He acted as a reviewer and Editorial board member for peer reviewed International Journals and Conferences.


Ahmed Al-Tahmeesschi

Ahmed Al-Tahmeesschi received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in communications engineering from the University of Technology, Baghdad, Iraq, in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, University of Liverpool, U.K., in 2018. From 2019 to 2021, he was a Research Scientist at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. In SDA group, he was a FCAI funded Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of Helsinki. His research interests include cognitive radio networks, dynamic spectrum access techniques, 5G positioning and machine learning.


Mikko Saukkoriipi

Mikko Saukkoriipi joined the Spatiotemporal Data Analysis group as a doctoral researcher in the spring of 2022. He received a data science Master's degree (2022) and a mathematics Bachelor's degree (2019), both from the University of Helsinki. He also has an air traffic controller degree (2013). Before joining the SDA group, he has worked as a machine vision engineer, air traffic controller, and simulator specialist. He conducted computer vision research on Artificial Intelligence for Industrial Vision project (AIV).


Banu Turkmen

Banu Turkmen was a Research Coordinator in the Spatiotemporal Data Analysis research group at the department of computer science, University of Helsinki, in 2020-2023. Her role supports the collaboration between the university and other international organizations in the field of machine learning. She has B.Sc. degree in industrial engineering and Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering. She has been teaching as Assistant Professor for 8 years in universities giving courses such as Supply Chain Management, Statistics, Revenue Management and Engineering Economy. She has 12 years of work experience in the airline industry in various roles and functions. Currently she works in a space company doing business development. She has a new hobby, artificial intelligence: she attended Aalto University Diploma Program in AI in 2020 and has continued FITech studies by machine learning, deep learning and computer vision courses since then. She likes to contribute social projects as an ML engineer promoting ethical AI.


Ilari Pajula

Ilari Pajula worked at the SDA research group between March 2023 and May 2024 as a Research Assistant during his Master’s Degree at Helsinki University. His previous work has involved material plasticity optimization projects at Aalto University, and modeling computer networks with temporal GNNs at Nokia. Having published his first publication on deep visual-inertial fusion during the winter of 2023, his master thesis focused on improving the previously proposed fusion method.