Tom Ahola

I'm male, born 1968 in Vaasa, Finland.
I have a doctoral degree (licentiate of technology with honours) in Engineering.
I'm currently working for Suunto developing new technology as a senior software designer/engineer

My CV in PDF format



I enjoy working with a team of motivated and skilled people to create novel technology or innovative products that gives a great experience for customers and thus good business for the company.


1993-1996 Helsinki University of Technology (TKK). Licentiate's degree with honors.
1987-1993 Helsinki University of Technology (TKK). Master's degree with honors.
1985-1987 Vasa Övningsskolas Gymnasium High School Laudatur (praised, excellent, top 5%).

Only around 1% of students graduated with honors from TKK (now Aalto University). My topics at the university were electronics, signal processing and measurement science. I have done all the studies for a Doctor's degree and published enough scientific publications but have not had a reason or interest to do the dissertation as I value true skills and experience over titles.


Swedish, Finnish : native bilingual.
English : excellent.




I like to share my vast experience in an exceptionally broad technical field. I enjoy helping others to achieve a common goal, more than collecting personal achievements. I always have a clear vision how to solve challenges and create optimal solutions. I learn new things very fast and I’m a forward going innovator with a novel and fresh individual approach. This is essential to catch the first wave of disruptions. I have a deep devotion to technology and creativity, but I am not too geeky. I don't do technology for the sake of technology but for the sake of making the life of people more easy and enjoyable. Thus, usability and pragmaticism are very important design criteria for me, not forgetting aesthetic qualities and a high technical performance. I'm also a very hands-on person and can create prototypes to demonstrate technology and new concepts. I feel that a broad understanding of architecture, design, technology, usability and implementation is very essential for a rapid development cycle of successful products as it reduces iterations of product development and the end result is of higher quality. I have consciously developed my skills in this direction. I also have leadership skills inherited from relatives who lead businesses from small to large. I'm a good listener and can make correctly timed decisions based on objective observation that optimize the total outcome. However, I have previously opted out from taking offered leadership roles as I prefer working more closely with technology. I value the latest research in organizational efficiency, admire personal highly conscious approaches. As an employee I am humble and value the views of my superiors, doing my best to achieve set targets and go even beyond that to add value, quality and a future track.


June 2012 - present
Suunto Technology Solutions, Vantaa
Senior Software Designer/Engineer
Manager: Jyrki Uusitalo

I have a very inspirational role developing new technology which will bring Suunto customers exciting and valuable new features to awesome products now and in the future. I have mostly worked with technology for dive products but will also contribute to other amazing products. For those who recognize me for my vast experience and innovation with compass technology I have to say that I enjoy enormously the fact that I work for a very prestigious finnish compass manufacturer. However, I must reveal that I have had no influence or contribution to Suunto compass technology. This is my life's first having a software engineer title. I have said I never want to become a software engineer. However, my role is more than software engineering. I'm doing a lot of DSP, algorithms, communications systems, system design, technology research, a little electronics design and my favourite, design of new interaction methods and systems.

November 2011 - May 2012
Nokia Windows Phone, Sensors & Inputs, Espoo
Senior Engineer
Manager: Jukka Salminen

In this role I was a technology manager for magnetic components in the Nokia Lumia device organization. My responsibility was to support product programs with integration of magnetic components, such as magnetometer sensors into coming Nokia products. This included component and material selections and magnetic simulations to achieve a product with excellent performance. My responsibility was also to work together with component vendors to develop state-of-the-art magnetic sensors exclusively for Nokia. I also made use of my experience in sensor signal processing and algorithms to ensure a high quality sensor interface to applications and a great user experience for the end user. I worked also in software development and produced a magnetic sensor driver for the Windows Phone OS.

August 2011 - November 2011
Nokia CTO, Helsinki
Senior Engineer
Manager: Mika Grundström
Project leader: Hannu Vilpponen

I transferred to CTO from Research to focus more strongly to productize sensor algorithm technology. As sensors are becoming a commodity in mobile devices the algorithms are a key technology to differentiate from the competition. The technology also enables new and potentially disruptive interaction paradigms. Although I worked in this role for a very short time (due to organization instability in Nokia) I developed a highly configurable sensor fusion system to be used for accurate, fast and low energy orientation and motion tracking to be used in indoor navigation, augmented reality and other applications.

January 2009 - Present
Nokia Research Center, Tampere Laboratory, Multimodal Interaction Team, Helsinki
Senior Researcher
Team leader: Vuokko Lantz and Viljakaisa Aaltonen as substitute in 2010

In this team I have participated in advanced research of new interaction methods and user interfaces. New interaction concepts and demonstration prototypes have been conceived. My expertise in sensors and signal processing has been utilized in touch and gestural interfaces, my skills in sound synthesis and computer graphics has been utilized in audio-visual and haptic feedback. My skills in measurement science have been useful to help development of latency measurements. In an exploration project I developed a module for face recognition using my skills in image recognition. For a short time I helped out another team working with near field communication (NFC) technology. I am also managing the Tekes funded collaboration project: Human Emotional Interaction (HEI) involving four universities and a couple of enterprises. Our Raja-performance has received the highest visibility, shown in Tampere Innovation experience, Nokia foundation awards ceremony in Helsinki and in London. For this interactive multimedia dance performance I implemented the sensor performer Qt application and the computer visualization.

January 2007 - December 2008
Nokia Research Center, Connectivity Applications System Research, Wellness and Healthcare Team, Helsinki
Member of Research Staff
Team leader: Jukka Salminen

In this role I developed hardware and software for the Nokia Wrist-Attached Sensor Platform (NWSP), which is an FPGA based open-source wireless and wearable R&D platform. The platform is used in collaboration with Universities and research institutes. I also contributed to Continua Health Alliance's Activity Monitor Specification, Bluetooth Low Energy Technology, Nokia Wellness Diary service and Sports Tracker. For Nokia Step Counter I implemented a power saving scheme (Symbian) that allows it to be left on continuously tracking activity without draining the battery too much.

January 2005 - December 2006
Nokia Research Center, Computing Architectures Lab, Mixed Signal Electronics Team, Helsinki
Senior Research Engineer
Team leader: Pertti Tolonen

In this role I worked with various research topics such as mobile lightning detection and sensor algorithms. I developed software to record and analyze signals received by lightning detectors. The application featured up to 10 input channels, accurate time synchronization using GPS and remote operation and monitoring using cellphone SMS messages. I also developed a standalone miniature lightning detector prototype based on a low power microcontroller. In an affective communications exploration project I worked with robotics and tangible communication devices.

January 1999 - December 2004
Nokia Research Center, Electronics Lab, Analog and Mixed Signal IC Design group, Helsinki
Senior Research Engineer
Team leader: Jukka Wallinheimo

In this role I was responsible for the development of the testing and characterization system for ASIC prototypes. This system consisted of several racks of commercial test equipment and equipment designed and built by myself. I implemented advanced automated test programs, measurement analysis algorithms and reporting software networked on Linux and HPUX computers using HP/Agilent VEE, National Instrument's LabVIEW and C++. I also contributed to the ASIC design with circuit ideas and design for testability issues. After we developed a sensor interface chip I developed sensor algorithms for Nokia's first compass phone. I took part in the project making Nokia's first 3G cellphone too. There we made the baseband converter.

1993 - December 1998
Metrology Research Institute (MRI) at Helsinki University of Technology (TKK, currently Aalto University), Espoo (next to Helsinki).
Research Scientist, Lecturer.
Professors: Erkki Ikonen, Pekka Wallin

In this role my projects included development of a digital control system for iodine stabilized lasers (DiLS) used as the national optical frequency standard of Finland. One of these systems were built for the BIPM, which is the European central laboratory of standard measures. The system included a microcomputer system, a DSP unit, embedded software, DSP algorithms and precision analog electronics. The relative uncertainty of the frequency standard can be below 0.0001 ppm. I also worked with optical power measurements and teaching students in the field of measurement science.



As a chairman of the board of Nokia Paddling Club and by leading paddling trips as a certified class-1 canoeing guide I have experience of leading people. I also act as a lead trainer and my courses have received high ratings.
Arts and Media
I'm a composer and performer of music, member of Gramex and Teosto and a keen sound designer. I design and build electronic and electro acoustic instruments. I express myself visually by photography, video and computer 3D graphics and animation. I actively attend workshops such as sound design for film and color correction. I follow the latest in video technology and design some of my own equipment. I have also done web design for various societies and companies.
Radio communications
I have a Radio Amateur license and operate station OH2FRM. In addition to improving skills of fluent global communication and building radio equipment I'm interested in digital data transmissions, position reporting and radio navigation. In NORA ry, the Nokia Radio Amateur Club, I have been trusted to lead the building of a new antenna for a global Winmor link station, important for security communications during disasters.
Fitness and environment
I like hiking, cycling and swimming in addition to kayaking. Geocaching makes me explore strange new places. I keep my mind sharp and body in good condition by practicing yoga and meditation. I follow a vegetarian diet to minimize health risks and environmental impact. I don't smoke or drink alcohol, which keeps me young and retains my ability to learn and understand new things well. I'm very environmentally conscious and try to live in a smart sustainable way.


Available on request