Building elements as distributed wireless infrastructure – Professor Xiaoshu Lü receives significant funding from the Research Council of Finland

Xiaoshu Lü, Professor of Energy Technology at the University of Vaasa, has received nearly 300 000 euros in funding for a four-year research project from the Research Council of Finland. In addition to the University of Vaasa, the project consortium includes Aalto University, which is leading the project.

The researchers propose sixth generation (6G) wireless cellular infrastructure, where antennas and their electronics are seamlessly integrated into building elements such as walls and window and door frames, forming distributed multi-band antenna systems serving indoor mobile users.

The new 6G infrastructure enables ultra-high-speed data connectivity to be achieved indoors. On the other hand, the antennas function as monostatic radars that can be used for radio-based passive human activity sensing.

To enhance their application and demonstrate the feasibility of the new wireless infrastructure, the project will also introduce "Dynamic Occupancy", a novel concept to represent occupants' collective presence without any individual identity information. It enhances interaction modeling of buildings and their users to minimise overall energy consumption for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning  (HVAC) and lighting, while fostering a healthy, comfortable environment for building users.

– At the University of Vaasa, we will significantly contribute to modeling and optimising energy efficiency and structural behaviour for buildings through innovative methods such as deep learning. Our role will involve developing advanced models and algorithms aimed at enhancing building structural performance, HVAC systems, overall energy consumption, and indoor air quality within buildings, says Professor Xiaoshu Lü, who heads the Renewable Energy and Built Environment research team at the University of Vaasa.

Project funding was awarded to 15% of applicants

The Research Council of Finland’s Scientific Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering selected  74 projects to receive Academy Project Funding. The new Academy Projects are composed of a total of 104 subprojects. The aim of the funding is to promote the renewal and diversity of Finnish science and to improve the quality, scientific and other impact of research.

– I feel incredibly excited and grateful about receiving this funding. It represents a tremendous opportunity to advance our research goals in modeling energy efficiency and structural behaviour for buildings. With this support, we can delve deeper into innovative methods to address critical challenges in sustainable building management. I am also very happy to contribute to our university's strategy and mission, says Professor Lü.



Building elements as part of distributed wireless infrastructure: facilitating indoor service coverage and non-intrusive sensing in smart buildings (DISCAS)

Project partner: Xiaoshu Lü, University of Vaasa, Finland
Project leader: Katsuyuki Haneda, Aalto University

Funding period: 2024-2028
Funding from the Research Council of Finland: EUR 294 965 (University of Vaasa) and EUR 463 068 (Aalto University)

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