Project course resulted in a research appointment2019-12-18
Simon Sundberg, previously a student in the Computer Engineering Master programme, established contact with the HITS* company Icomera through the course Performance Modelling and Simulation during year four. He subsequently completed his degree project in collaboration with the company, which in turn resulted in a research assistant appointment at the university and continued work within the HITS project.
“I have always considered research as one alternative, but have been uncertain if that is the path I want to take,” says Simon Sundberg. “When I was offered the opportunity to work as a project assistant, first part time and later full time, I felt that I wanted to take this chance. The door is still open for a career in the industry. Most of the time it is fun and exciting to do research, and it is quite similar to the work that I did as a student.”
“Integrating research is an important part of first-cycle education. It provides education with a clear scientific context and also offers students an opportunity to find out about a continued academic career in research,” says Johan Eklund, Director of Studies for the Computer Science courses and programmes at Karlstad University.
A new method to localise mobile towers
Icomera’s Wifi system is used on all SJ (Swedish Railway) trains today. In his degree project, Simon developed a new method to localise mobile towers (LTE base stations), something that can help Icomera in their work to improve internet connection on the trains and that may be part of a solution which ensures a stable connection for passengers.
Traditionally, signal strength has been used to localise towers, but since mobile towers do not transmit signals evenly distributed in all directions, and since terrain conditions can vary considerably, this method does not always deliver optimal localisation performance.
“My model does not take signal strength into account, but instead the position of readings and the antenna that it is connected with,” says Simon Sundberg. “Mobile towers usually have antennas directed towards three different sectors. When you have the position of the measuring point and you know what antenna it is connected to, you can use this information to identify the most probable position of the tower.”
After completing his degree project, Simon was interested in continuing his collaboration with Icomera, and this turned out to be possible within the HITS project.
“I felt that I would like to continue doing research in this area. During the autumn I completed my first conference article and presented it at a conference about wireless and mobile technology, WiMob 2019, in Barcelona. It was interesting to be there and find out about other people’s work in the same field.”
Simon’s project appointment ends on 31 August 2020 in connection with the completion of the HITS project. If he will go on to pursue a career in research remains to be seen.
“My plan is to use this year to think about what career path I would like to take, if I want to continue in research or pursue a career in the industry. Either way, it feels good that I have had a chance to try research, and the experiences that I have had here will probably be useful to me no matter where I work in the future.”
*HITS, High Quality Networked Services in a Mobile World, is a five-year project aimed at contributing to the development of high quality networked services for a mobile world. The project is funded by the Knowledge Foundation and the research is conducted in close cooperation with industry partners.