Machiko Louhisuo
- Research engineer

"It doesn't matter where you live, you can work anywhere"

Machiko was born in Japan, educated in Japan and the US, worked in Tokyo and California, married a Finn and now lives in Espoo. She speaks and works in Japanese, English and Finnish. She dreamed of space travel when young and oriented her education accordingly, spending 6 months at the Kennnedy Space Center on an exchange programme.

With her B.Sc. in Aerospace engineering she worked in the Japanese space industry, but changed direction for a while towards the blooming mobile phone market. She learned the value of working in a user driven market, where technical advances have to be aligned to customer needs. She took that attitude with her when she moved into remote sensing: “Science is important to make our lives better. But it has to go in a direction that matches our needs. There is no value in science if it is not used for the right purpose.”.

Machiko is part of a joint research project between VTT Information Technology in Finland and NIED (National Research Institute for Earth Observation Disaster Prevention of Japan). She is developing disaster-monitoring systems based on SAR satellite images, focussing on the detection of landslides caused by rain. Machiko produces digital elevation maps before and after landslides to identify damaged areas. Investigations using satellite images can detect very small movements in the terrain to give early warning. Such systems may be used for volcano monitoring, the detection of earthquakes and ground subsidence.

Name Machiko Louhisuo
Nationality Japanese
Age 32
Profession Research engineer
Place of work VTT Information Technology
Education Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Copyright 2000 - 2014 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.