New Sports Engineering Research Center Finland to Pajulahti

Sports Research Center to support national athletics

LUT and the Sports Center Pajulahti intend to enhance the training of athletes through simulation

LUT University is planning to establish a simulation-based sports science unit with the Sports Center Pajulahti. The purpose of the cooperation is to develop the sports and sports sector.

LUT University and the Sports Center Pajulahti are developing the sports industry through digitalisation, technology and sports simulation. The cooperation is part of the Sports Engineering Research Center Finland (SERCF) project, which aims to bring together regional, national and international expertise in the field of sports, sports and coaching, as well as in the field of sports equipment.

The project is part of LUT’s multidisciplinary MORE SIM – Modeling reality through Simulation research platform. The platform focuses on virtual systems that produce sustainable growth and are made up of human, machine and environmental entities.

According to Professor Aki Mikkola, Director of the Research Platform, sports engineering is well suited for a technical university.

“The simulation can be used to see, for example, whether certain trajectories of athletes are profitable in terms of exertion or possible at all. The information can be utilized, for example, in the development of equipment, ” says Mikkola.

In the past, LUT University has simulated cross-country skiing and studied the process of strengthening human bones in terms of elongations.

The intention of the SERCF project is to create a testing environment for sports-based innovations in the Sports Center Pajulahti in Nastola, Lahti, and to connect various cooperation networks to work effectively and systematically in sports and sports coaching and equipment development.

The project utilizes international contacts together with, for example, TU Delft University (Netherlands) and SDU Odense (Denmark) and creates a Nordic research network around the topic. The first concrete research and development projects are expected to be completed during 2022.

“LUT University will have a technical perspective on sensoring and measuring, as well as programming and simulation expertise, Pajulahti a physical testing environment and industry-specific expertise. LADEC enables the project in the Lahti region, and it is possible to start the project from these components, ” Aki Mikkola sums up.

Tero Kuorikoski, director of the coaching center, commented that the cooperation with LUT and LADEC was an interesting opening for Pajulahti.

“Bringing engineering expertise into racing and elite sports serves the goals of our evolving center, and in the long run, this development work can serve just about any physically active person. Our method of cooperation is international, open and inclusive, and it is also possible for other actors interested in the topic to join this development work ”, says Kuorikoski.

The SERCF project received a one-year funding decision from the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme at its meeting on 4 October 2021. With the funding, the project will launch a start-up phase during 2021, which will include a scientific mapping of the current situation, an action plan, as well as an administrative organization and a plan for the necessary recruitments.

SERCF is part of the Lahti Lahti Sports Hub project, which is coordinated by Lahti Region Development LADEC Oy.

Additional information:

Aki Mikkola, Professor, LUT University, tel. +358 40 736 3095

Tero Kuorikoski, Director of the Coaching Center, VTJ, +358 44 775 5200,

Text: Minna Krupka, LUT University