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Topics included in VTT Graduate School in 2010

The following nine topics have been filled thus far.

1. Bionanomaterials

This position aims at interdisciplinary work to combine bio-based or bioinspired materials in a new context, such as: composite materials, tribology, biosensing, and nanoelectronics. In developing bionanomaterials we take a bio-based approach towards understanding and making different types of functional materials. Techniques will involve genetic engineering and production of proteins, their biophysical characterisation and as well as studying their functionality.

Success in this position requires a background in biotechnology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, or physical chemistry

Prof. Markus Linder
Student, Research Scientist Bartosz Gabryelczyk

2. Novel chemo-enzymatic methods for activation and functionalisation of polysaccharides

This position aims at developing novel chemo-enzymatic means to activate and modify carbohydrates and carbohydrate containing biomaterials in a targeted, structure retaining manner. The target carbohydrates would primarily be cellulose and hemicelluloses and the biomaterial lignocellulosic fibres. The action of selected enzymes in activation of carbohydrates for further chemical reactions in different solvents, including ionic liquids, will be studied and the effects on carbohydrate chemistry and properties will be determined. The work contributes to the important expertise area of tailoring carbohydrate materials and products for food and non-food applications.

Success in this position requires a solid background in organic chemistry, especially in carbohydrate chemistry, and basic knowledge or interest in learning and exploiting of applied enzymology.

Dr. Anna Suurnäkki
Student, Research Scientist Ronny Wahlström

3. Metabolic engineering of microbes for the production of platform chemicals 

This position investigates new biocatalysts and metabolic engineering possibilities to produce from biomass sugars platform chemicals and monomers for synthesis of novel biopolymers. The work belongs to the Finnish Centre of Excellence in White Biotechnology – Green Chemistry (2008-2013), led by research professor Merja Penttilä. The PhD student will investigate organic acid derivative production in yeast and/or filamentous fungi and the physiological stress responses at different pH and oxygenation conditions. The methods include amongst other things genome-wide analyses and bioinformatics to identify leads for strain improvement and strain engineering for enhanced end product and process tolerance. The work will include collaboration with European research groups.

Success in this position requires a background in molecular biology. Skills in bioinformatics, biochemistry, bioprocess engineering and/or modelling are of benefit.

Prof. Merja Penttilä
Student, Research Scientist Yvonne Nygård

4. Modification of catalytic materials for biomaterial conversions

This position is focussed on development of novel conversion routes from bio-based poly and mono aromatic compounds to performance chemical precursors. Catalytic materials are prepared, modified and evaluated for improved selectivity and conversion of bio refinery side-streams. The catalytic materials developed will be tested in model reactions for deactivation kinetics and recovery related to chemical reaction engineering.

Success in this position requires a background in inorganic synthesis, related analytical methods, bench-scale testing and in-line chemical analysis as well background in industrial chemistry or chemical reactor design.

Prof. Ali Harlin
Student, Research Scientist Jinto Anthonkutty

5. Micro structural basis of bentonite behaviour

This position aims at formulation of a micro structural model for wetting compacted bentonite clay by using advanced analytical tools and modelling. Bentonite clay forms a chemical and mechanical buffer between bedrock and copper canister in the proposed final repository concepts of spent nuclear fuel. Its beneficial properties are essentially determined by the microstructure. The work will provide the basis for scientifically rigorous multi scale understanding of bentonite behaviour that is needed as part of the safety assessment of spent fuel disposal. A safe nuclear waste management is also requirement for building of new nuclear power. The topic has a close connection to the national and international nuclear waste research programmes. The work will be performed in close cooperation between VTT, University of Jyväskylä and University of Helsinki.

Preferable background in this position could be studies in physics or physical chemistry. Though the main goal lies in applying modern analytical techniques, the applicant should have broader interest to collaboration with modellers.

Research Professor Markus Olin
Student, Research Scientist Michal Matusewicz

6. Novel models for software business analysis within Cloud Software Ecosystems

This position aims at developing novel models for cloud software business analysis and evaluation. Cloud is emerging as a phenomenon and it is happening at the confluence of several trends in the software industry. The results of this work will significantly increase the diffusion of effective modern software business strategies, models, and value creation networks in order to convert cloud technology to significant economic value. The work has a close connection to large national and international software research programmes and will be done in close co-operation with the global industrial organisations.

Success in this position requires a background in software industry and a M.Sc. or equivalent in computer sciences, engineering, economics, or a related discipline.

Dr. Tua Huomo
Student, Research Scientist Andrey Sirotkin

7. Novel radar and interferometric techniques for global environmental and forest resource mapping

This position aims at developing new analysis and processing methods for global environmental mapping applications using data from current and planned satellite SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) sensors. Many new and planned SAR satellites produce polarimetric data, which can be used in polarimetric and interferometric analysis. The results of the work will improve significantly monitor capabilities for those international conventions that aim at reducing carbon emissions from forests. The results may also be used to map forest resources for sustainable forestry and forest industries. As a global application, the work has a close connection to VTT's technology strategy and business goals.

Success in this position requires knowledge of basic principles of remote sensing and a M.Sc. or equivalent in electrical engineering, surveying, physics or a related discipline.

Dr. Yrjö Rauste
Student, Research Scientist Oleg Antropov

8. Broadening human-centred design

This position aims at continuing VTT’s successful methodological development in human-centred design. The doctoral studies in this area are broadening human-centred design towards co-creation: changing user's role from a research subject to a co-designer and innovator. The work is combining methods of user acceptance studies and business studies to create a common framework to support the innovation, development and evaluation of new ICT services. The selected application field is persuasive services where the commitment of users is essential to make the services acceptable and enjoyable.

Success in this position requires a background in human-technology interaction research. Also knowledge on marketing or business performance studies are beneficial. The work will be carried out in industrial case studies, and the research material will be gathered from there.

Dr. Eija Kaasinen
Student, Research Scientist Ting-Jui Chang

9. Novel high-performance microsystems

This position aims at investigating and developing a new generation of microsystems in one of the following topics: silicon-based MEMS sensors, resonators, and oscillators, silicon radiation detectors, novel imaging sensors for a wide range of wave-lengths from UV – visible – IR – THz range, adaptive radio-frequency (RF) circuits based on various tunable RF components.

Success in this position requires a background in one or several of the following fields: physics, microfabrication, electrical engineering.

Dr. Juha Kalliopuska
Student, Research Scientist Wu Xiaopeng

Additional information

Kristiina Poppius-Levlin
Chief Research Scientist, Head of VTT Graduate School
+358 20 722 7489
Conditions of employment, relocation and accommodation

Additional information

Kristiina Poppius-Levlin
Chief Research Scientist, Head of VTT Graduate School
+358 20 722 7489
Conditions of employment, relocation and accommodation