Spectral Engines | Application Engineering Manager, Kari Pirkkalainen

Kari Pirkkalainen strengthens the application expert team

Kari Pirkkalainen (PhD, Physics) joined Spectral Engines’ team in January as an Application Engineering Manager. He is responsible for managing and coordinating Spectral Engines’ internal and external measurement laboratory activities and related infrastructure and performing feasibility studies in close collaboration with Spectral Engines’ customers. Last year Spectral Engines launched the NIRONE Scanner, which offers a turn-key solution for customers who want to build their own bespoke material sensing products by utilizing ready-made hardware and cloud computing solutions. Kari and his team are now working closely together with customers in these development projects.


Kari is a physicist with a strong background in spectroscopy, X-ray physics, soft-matter physics, data analysis, machine learning and scientific computing. Kari’s strengths lie in his analytic way of thinking which makes him a perfect match to Spectral Engines’ team: he has a deep understanding in all Spectral Engines’ key competences such as AI, spectroscopy and portable analyzers. For the last five years Kari has been working as Senior Scientist in research & development at Hitachi High-tech Analytical Science.

The Hitachi High-tech Analytical Science team developed high-tech elemental analyzers (hand-held and benchtop) for industries based on x-ray and laser spectroscopy technologies. The company's range of laboratory-based and in-field testing instruments deliver materials and coatings analysis from raw material exploration, incoming inspection, production and quality control to recycling.


“I was looking for a position that involves a mix of physics, IoT, AI and modern data analytics to create something awesome. I have also been heavily involved in raising general awareness on modern machine learning and AI in my previous position by educating my co-workers and introducing new data-driven decision-making methods. Lately, I have also been working on AI hobby projects. In my new position at Spectral Engines I can broadly use my knowledge of portable analyzer business and data science. The possibilities and opportunities that I am seeing for the NIRONE solutions are enormous”, Kari explains.


Even though there are some differences between X-ray and NIR technologies, Kari has seen a lot of similarities at a concept level in application development.


“Firstly, I think the NIRONE Scanner is great. It is also great to work with all these experts at Spectral Engines. Everyone here is very motivated and an expert in their own field. As a growing company Spectral Engines is very agile and keen on learning and implementing new tools and technologies.” Kari’s first months have been very intense, as he’s been learning new interesting application opportunities in Smart Industry, Smart Farming, portable instrumentation and Smart Homes. “The amount of different applications is, by far, the biggest difference between my former job and Spectral Engines. This is, of course, a big motivating factor for me.”


Please don’t hesitate to contact Kari, if you’d like to discuss if NIR spectroscopy could be suitable for your own business case.