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Doctoral Researcher In Sustainable Fibers

Published date more than one year ago
Posted: more than one year ago
Company Aalto University
Company: Aalto University
Location Espoo
Location: Espoo

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 13 000 students, 400 professors, and more than 4 500 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The School of Chemical Engineering is one of the six schools of Aalto University. It combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way.

We are now looking for a

Doctoral Researcher in Sustainable Fibers

We are seeking a highly motivated doctoral researcher to join our research team (Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering group lead by Prof. Michael Hummel) to investigate the upcycling of protein materials from industrial waste streams (e.g. keratin) into sustainable fibers. The project is led by Dr. Wenwen Fang, funded by FinnCERES. It aims to develop renewable resources for the textile industry to create a circular economy.

Scientific environment

The department of Bioproducts and Biosystems (Bio2), one of the three departments in the School of Chemical Engineering at Aalto University, has an internationally leading reputation in basic and applied research for the development of advanced materials from natural resources. It is one of the leading European research and higher education institutions in the field of sustainable chemistry and engineering based on the utilization of renewable resources. Bio2 aims to contribute to the development of novel solutions to move towards sustainable primary production and processing systems that can produce materials with fewer inputs, less environmental impact and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Within bioscience, the department has research in bioprocess technology, molecular biotechnology, enzyme technology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, biomolecular, and biohybrid materials. Other strengths of the department include sustainable materials and products based on lignocellulose, ranging from nanomaterials to novel cellulose-based textiles.

FinnCERES is a competence center, jointly formed by Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in the area of materials bioeconomy. Our work is to uncover answers to the most fundamental questions about lignocellulose disassembly and re-assembly and to create new, cost-competitive, bio-based materials that are expected to address the main challenges of our century, including resource sufficiency and climate change.

The Flagship operates in close collaboration with industry and other stakeholders to create economic and societal impact. We are committed to transforming scientific and technological discoveries into industrial innovations.

Your role and goals

  • Designing and performing experiments to extract proteins molecules/fibrils from industrial waste streams using green solvents, analyze their composition and convert into sustainable fibers

  • Investigating the fiber formation mechanisms and the interfacial interactions between different components in the fibers.

  • Characterizing the structure and properties of the resulting fibers

  • Collaborating with other team members and industry partners to develop and optimize the process for potential large-scale production

  • Publishing scientific papers in high-impact journals and presenting research findings at FinnCERES seminars and international conferences

Your experience and qualifications

  • Master's degree in materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, or related fields

  • Experiences in polymer chemistry, rheology, protein characterization, bio-based composite materials are seen as an asset

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment

  • Passion for sustainability and circular economy

What we offer

The successful candidate will be part of the FinnCERES community and will have the opportunity to work with leading experts in the field and industrial partners and make significant contributions to the development of sustainable textile fibers.

If you are chosen for this position, you will apply for the study right in doctoral studies at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering. Thus, please check the student information and admission criteria at In particular, please pay attention to mandatory skill level in English.

The doctoral studies at Aalto University take approximately four years. The candidate will be granted a one-year contract with possibility of extension. The expected starting salary for a Doctoral Researcher is about 2540 €/month and will increase with responsibilities and performance over time.

Our facilities are located at Aalto University Otaniemi campus in Espoo, Finland. The employment contract includes occupational health care, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. Aalto University provides excellent learning and development opportunities, and a commuter ticket benefit.  Unisport offers versatile sports facilities and exercise services with a staff discount.

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community, please submit your application through our online recruitment system no later than 31.05.2023 by using the link on Aalto University’s webpage (“Apply now”). If you are an Aalto employee, please apply via Workday system (internal jobs).

To apply for the position, please submit your application including the attachments mentioned below as one single PDF document in English:

  • Motivation letter

  • Curriculum vitae (including publications if any and contact information of two references)

  • Transcript of academic records

For further information about the position, please contact Dr. Wenwen Fang (wenwen.fang(at) In recruitment-related questions, please contact HR Partner Noora Katisko (noora.katisko(at)

Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: Aalto University – Towards a better world, Aalto People, and Shaping a Sustainable Future. You can also check out our webpage about Aalto and Finland: and check out our new virtual campus experience: 

About Finland 

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable, and well-organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed again as the happiest country in the world: For more information about living in Finland: For international staff | Aalto University   


Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period, and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

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