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Anne-Christine Ritschkoff

Current position and responsibilities at VTT

Prof. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff holds currently the position of Executive Vice President, Strategic Research. In this role she is in charge of VTT strategic research function and steers technology strategy, research partnerships and the management of the jointly and self financed project portfolio. VTT strategic research secures high standards in VTT's scientific work and level of basic expertise by allocating the basic governmental funding according to VTT's technology strategy. The function is accountable for self financed and jointly research activities.

Research background and current research topics

Anne-Christine started her research career at VTT on 1987 with a topic related to biological problems in wood based materials. Her investigation focused on the decay mechanisms of wood decay fungi. Her dissertation thesis (1990-1996) was centred around the oxidative and enzymatic degradation pathways of lignocellulosics by brown-rot fungi with the objective to create innovative and sustainable wood preservation methods. This invention led to several patents and further development work was carried out within several national and industrial projects. After some years of research with wood and lignocellulosics her research focus at VTT was broaden to materials like concrete, ceramics, steel and natural fibre reinforced composites. Her interest was directed towards the surface and material chemistry and the exploitation of new material science and nanotechnology in order to provided new and improved properties to materials and products. Gradually the interest in nanotechnology was expanded to functional surface engineering. These research activities have led to multifunctional product concepts with self-cleaning, easy-to-clean, bioactive, corrosion resistant and UV-resistant properties as well as high performance WPC products. During her scientific career Anne-Christine has had close contacts with wide range of industries and their representatives. Anne-Christine has also led several industrial contract projects in the field of wood modification and materials functionalization. She has actively built up national and international collaborative networks and partnerships during her career.

From the early 2000s Anne-Christine started to focus on research management. She was first Team Manager in charge of a team with a staff of close to 40  experts and technicians. On 2006 Anne-Christine took the responsibility of coordination of VTT Applied Materials research from a scattered activity of research teams around the whole organization into a research field with common strategy. In the beginning of 2008 she became Vice President, Strategic Research, in charge of technology strategy, research partnerships and the management of the project portfolio in non-proprietary research on applied materials technology. Her overall goals are to develop VTT towards being an internationally recognized R&D organization for research and innovation in material technologies. Anne-Christine was nominated as Executive Vice President, Strategic Research on September 2010.

Anne-Christine participates in the development and coordination of the national forest and biomass research by being a member in the Scientific Committee of Strategic Centre of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Forest Cluster, a public-privet partnership for coordination and funding in the form of limited company (http://www.forestcluster.fi). As a member of the working group for Finnish Bioeconomy, lead by the Office of the Council of State, she is also influential in the making of the future national policy of the forest and biomass sector.

Recently, she has a significant role in the development and coordination the VTT´s research activities in the area of environmental and clean technologies. Especial emphasis is given to the water technologies and waste refining. She has been a member in the High-Level Group, composed of the opinion leaders from the industry, ministries, Finnish Parliament and research institutions, responsible for the establishment of the National Natural Resource Strategy (http://www.sitra.fi). Currently, she is also one of the VTT´s representatives in a Steering Committee for Center of Water Efficiency Excellence, a public-privet partnership between Kemira Ltd and VTT.

Throughout her career, Anne-Christine has been an active contributor to the international R&D community. Her latest professional assignments include:

  • Chairman of the External Review Committee of CCMX (Competence center of material science) 2-4.12.2008, Bern. Switzerland
  • Member of the observatoryNANO Governing Board, observatoryNANO: European observatory to provide scientific, technical and economic analysis of nanotechnologies, and consider their ethical, societal, EHS and regulatory issues, 2009 – present
  • Member of Nordic Top-Level Research Initiative programme group; chairman of thematic subgroup: nanotechnology and energy efficiency (nominated by by Finnish Academy), 2009 – 2013
  • Member of temporary ESF expert Committee in materials science and engineering in European Science Foundation (nominated by Finnish Academy), 2009 – 2013
  • Member COST Domain Committee, Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (nominated by Tekes), 2010 - present

Education

Docent
Lappeenranta University of Technology, 2007; Wood Materials Science

D.Sc. (Tech.) (Doctor of Science)
University of Helsinki Department of  Biosciences, 1996; (dissertation: Decay Mechanisms of Brown-rot Fungi)

PhLic (Licentiate in Philosophy)
University of Helsinki, Department of Botany Master of Science), 1992

M.Sc. in Biology
University of Helsinki, Department of Botany, 1988

VTT Research professor on functional materials
evaluated as qualified candidate, 2007

VTT Research professor on biomass product innovation
evaluated as qualified candidate, 2007

Global Manager - Graduate Diploma in Management
Helsinki School of Economics, 2010

Work history

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 1987 - present

09/2010 - present
Executive Vice President, Strategic Research

2008 – 08/2010
Vice President, Strategic Research, Applied Materials

2006 - 2008
Chairman of the Applied Materials Steering Group, coordination of Applied Materials Research, VTT Strategic Research

2006 - 2008
Chief Research Scientist; VTT Strategic Research

2001 – 2004
Group Manager of wood and composite materials group

1987 – 2004
Research Officer and Senior Research Scientist (Forest Technology, Building and Transport)

University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences 1987
Undergraduate Research Assistant and course teacher

Extended visits abroad

1996 – 1997 (8 months)
Post doctoral scientific exchange period in Centre Technique du Bois et de l´Ameublement, CTBA (nowadays FCBA), Paris, France

1990
Research visit in Forest products laboratory, Madison USA (15.1- 30.1.1990)

Positions of trust and professional assignments

International Professional Organisations and Assignments

2010 - present
Member of COST Domain Committee, Materials, Physics and Nanosciences (nominated by Tekes)

2009 - present
Member of temporary ESF expert Committee in materials science and engineering in European Science Foundation (nominated by Finnish Academy)

2009 - present
Member of Nordic Top-Level Research Initiative, TFI, programme group; chairman of thematic subgroup: nanotechnology and energy efficiency (nominated by Finnish Academy)

2009 - present
Member of the observatoryNANO Governing Board, observatoryNANO: European observatory to provide scientific, technical and economic analysis of nanotechnologies, and consider their ethical, societal, EHS and regulatory issues

2008
Chairman of the External Review Committee of CCMX (Competence center of material science) 2-4.12.2008, Bern. Switzerland

2007
Member of the Advisory Board of European Conference on Nanofilms ECNF advisory committee (22-25.3, Liège, Belgium)

2007 - present
Member of World Materials Research Institutes Forum (WMRIF); Working group leader in WMRIF: promotion of structural materials

2007 - 2009
Evaluator Evaluator at The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS)

2007 - present
Member of European Research Institutes Organization (EnMat)

2004 – 2007
Member of Executive Committee of IRG (International Research Group on Wood preservation)

2004
Evaluator of the microbiological activites of CTBA (Centre Technique de la Bois et de l´Amaublement). Evaluation organised and finanzed by COFRAC ( Standardization organization of France).

2003 – 2008
Member of Management Group, COST E38: Forest, their Products and Services, Woody Root Processes

1999 - 2004
Member of Management Group, COST E22 : Forest, their Products and Services, Environmental optimization of Wood Protection 

1996 - 2002
Vice chairmanship and Chairmanship for Working Group 1 (Biology) in International Research Group on Wood Preservation (IRG)

1993 – 1998
Member of COST E2: Forest, their Products and Services on Wood Durability

Domestic Professional Organisations and Assignments

2010
Member of High-level Group on the National Bioeconomy, nomination by the Office of the Council of State

2010 – present
Member of Steering Group of Center of water Efficiency Excellence (SWEET)

2010 – present
Member of Executive Committee of Foundation for Research of Natural Resources

2009 - present
Member of Finnish Nanoforum Steering Group (nominated by Culminatum Ltd)

2008 - 2009
Member of high-level Group for National Natural Resource Strategy Group October 2008 – April 2009 (nominated by Sitra; see http://www.sitra.fi)

2008 - present
Member of executive Committee of AFFRST (Finnish.-French scientific and technology association); see http://www.france.fi/affrst

2008 – present
Forest Cluster Oy (Strategic Centre for Science, Technology, and Innovation in the Forest Sector, an industry led public-private partnership to promote innovations Member of the Scientific Committee, see http://www.forestcluster.fi

2008 – present
Member of Steering Group of Finnish Centre for Nanocellulosic Technologies

Editorial Board Memberships

Wood Material Science and Engineering (Publ. Taylor and Francis), 2006 - present

Publications and patents

Anne-Christine has over 100 original articles, book chapters and reviews in international scientific journals and books, congress articles and popular articles. For complete list of publications, see http://www.vtt.fi/publications/ . She has also several patents.

Awards and grants

  • Postgraduate grant, awarded by the Foundation for Research of Natural Resources in Finland, 1989
  • VTT prize for scientific excellence, awarded by VTT, 1992
  • The Second prize in the Innopotti Employee Invention Compe¬tition, awarded by SITRA, 1993
  • Short term mission to CTBA, Paris (23.4 - 12. 5.1995) granted by European Commission COST E2, 1995

Language skills

Finnish: fluent
English: fluent
French: average - good
Swedish: average
Italian: modest

Hobbies

Classical ballet since 1965, Yoga, French and Italian languages and literature, gardening.


Additional information

Prof. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff
Executive Vice President, Strategic Research
+358 20 722 5546

Additional information

Prof. Anne-Christine Ritschkoff
Executive Vice President, Strategic Research
+358 20 722 5546