Making it rain in Vaisala

“Are you our rainmaker for the upcoming summer, literally?” was the humorous question that drew me in last spring. The task was to analyze, prototype, and test different methods in order to create a proposal for rain measurement reference. At the university, I was fascinated by the cloud physics course, and this was the perfect Giant Leap -project to develop even deeper understanding of the topic.

Having a background in meteorology gave me a strong basis on cloud formation theory, rain and its measurement. However, the practical setup construction created a new aspect to the topic. The project challenged me to think beyond the limits of meteorology and to utilize my technology-related skills and even my personal life experience. This project pointed out that know-how of different fields can lead to surprising outcomes.

Vaisala Giant Leap -ohjelman Milla sateenvarjon alla

In the picture above, you can see one of my highlights in Vaisala. After the Giant Leap summer I continued to work as Master’s thesis worker in Vaisala and constructed the rain generator with the help of an automation expert. The power of cooperation is clearly present in different projects in Vaisala. The community has a tremendous set of people with different backgrounds. In Vaisala’s interdisciplinary environment, I can learn something new every day.  And that’s not all – from time to time there are possibilities to visit our customers and learn their needs for the future.

Climate change and climate change adaptation are the key factors to be acknowledged when planning business for future. Since climate change and the atmosphere are themes that impact everyone globally, Vaisala is part of different international instrumentation projects. Vaisala’s solutions help tackle some of the most crucial issues our time – topics that are very important to me personally as well – and enable companies and decision makers to make better-informed decisions based on reliable measurement data.

The Giant Leap -project itself felt really meaningful for me, because the need for artificial rain to test, maintain and develop rain measurement instrumentation was evidenced especially during this summer – the driest summer in decades. So I literally became the rainmaker for the summer! All in all, it has been a pleasure to work with a meaningful Giant Leap project and develop it even further with a growing research network.

- Milla Friman, Vaisala Giant Leaper 2018


Giant Leap is Vaisala’s internship program for students in a university or polytechnic. We’ll hire up to 20 students for a period of three months over the summer to our head office in Vantaa Finland and our US head office in Louisville, Colorado. As a Giant Leap intern, you’ll work either individually, in pairs or together with experienced Vaisala employees on real-life projects that have genuine business relevance.

 Challenging but also rewarding, the program is designed for students with a variety of skills, qualities and educational backgrounds. To us, motivation and intellectual curiosity are more important than specific achievements or your line of studies. We don’t expect you to have all the answers but we hope you have lots of questions. Application period for Giant Leap 2019 is from January 10th until February 10th. Come as you are, as long as you are curious!

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