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Tenure Track Professor, Biodesign Integration

Published date 8 months ago
Posted: 8 months ago
Company Aalto University
Company: Aalto University
Location Espoo
Location: Espoo

Tenure track professor in Biodesign Integration

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 close to 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 Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and fine art. We produce world-class research e.g. in design, digital media and visual culture, art education, urban planning and architecture. Our graduates innovate in and beyond their fields, drawing on over a century of tradition of our institution, a humane and forward-looking approach, and the latest technologies.

In the field of Art & Design, Aalto University climbed to 6th position in international QS Rankings in year 2021. Art and design knowledge building is a key research area in Aalto. In the University's Research, Art and Impact (RAI) assessment of 2018, the Department of Design's research was described by an international expert panel as 'one of the top design departments in the world.  The Department of Design is a community of creative and responsible researchers and design experts. We educate front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design. ( 

Job description

Design practice and research builds bridges from basic scientific discovery towards applications in industry and forms a platform for communicating with the public and opening societal debate. An ongoing transformation today is that biotechnological production of materials, is strongly developing, while synthetic biology offers a feasible way to create high-performance components. Biodesign is also increasingly delivering materials for healthcare and therapeutic purposes. Biodesign Integration aims to apply design practice and research to engage in the transformation occurring when biological concepts and components become part of the materials we use, buildings we live in, and the waste we produce.  Design integration can also mean understandings and experiences with materials or their use. Biodesign Integration will engage in a dialogue across society that is necessary to create economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable applications and processes.

Aalto University’s strength is the unique combination of materials science and design research where new types of materials and structures are studied along with new production methods and design paradigms. To enhance the role of design in these interdisciplinary activities, the Department of Design is recruiting a Professor in Biodesign Integration. In this context, biodesign is understood as processes employing biological growth in material production, and defined as design for, with, or about biology. The notion of integration refers to the mechanisms to widen the offering of alternative materials, to the facilitation of transitions from technology to design, use and to the societal adoption of novel materials and technologies.

Examples of potential future’s research areas for Biodesign Integration professorship include:

  • Material research through design practices
  • Cross-disciplinary knowledge-creation in materials development
  • Laboratory practices for using design to develop substitutes for unsustainable materials use.
  • Design implications of the industrial uses of (micro)biological processes at industrial and protoindustrial level including textile materials.
  • Research on the societal adoption of new biodesign materials and processes through changes e.g. industrial structures, societal uses, and regulation.
  • Designing with materials in different use contexts

Following are some examples of interdisciplinary collaboration in Aalto University:

NEWSILK research project studied new ways of producing sustainable materials in the future, especially how to produce new types of silk-like materials in the context of synthetic biology. The project team consisted of scientists, material researchers and design researchers with textile expertise.

CHEMARTS  is a long-term strategic collaboration between two Aalto University schools, The School of Chemical Engineering (CHEM) and The School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS). The main objective is to explore bio-based materials and to create new concepts for their future use.

BioColour: Ecologically and ethically sound production of goods requires also sustainability from colourants and colour processes. BioColour project develops new methods for bio-based dye and pigment production and applications.

COCOON. Cocoon project develops transferring and innovative bio-design modules for education to accelerate the green transition.

FinnCERES is a joint competence center for materials bioeconomy between Aalto and VTT.

Aalto Bioinnovation Center creates and produces new knowledge and innovations that help the transition towards bio and circular economy.

The professorship call is primarily open on the Assistant Professor level. However, exceptional candidates at other levels will also be considered.

Tenure track career path | Aalto University

Your role and goals

The Professor of Biodesign Integration is expected to contribute to the emerging field of bio-assembled and bioengineered material development in the context of design practice and design research. The Professor of Biodesign Integration is a faculty member of the Department of Design at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, and collaborates closely with materials scientists and engineers across the Aalto University.

A successful candidate for the position of Professor in Biodesign Integration has experience in academic design research in the emerging field of biodesign or strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration with material science. The candidate’s main research interests are in combining design knowledge and design methods with biomaterials and biotechnologies for material and product design. Your interests may include or expand to the innovation and commercialization processes of novel materials or to the evaluation of the ethical, environmental, and social risks that these technologies may impose.

Interdisciplinary teaching is integral for the position and offers opportunities to develop collaboration in Aalto University. Teaching responsibilities of this position include taking part in teaching in Design Department as well as contributing in the ongoing ChemArts collaboration and teaching (for example Design Meets Biomaterials, Nordic Biomaterials with ChemArts courses  and moreover contributing to interdisciplinary courses and curriculum development.

Networks in Aalto

There are ample opportunities for cross-disciplinary teaching and research collaboration across Aalto University. We offer the successful candidate the opportunity to teach and do research in a vibrant and active international community.  The existing research infrastructure includes design workshops at ARTS, ChemArts Lab at the Aalto Bioproduct Center, Biofilia for biological art and, depending on your own research profile and pending collaborations, possibility to work together with researchers at the other laboratories across the campus. The research collaboration can expand towards e.g. Aalto Bioinnovation Center and Research Council of Finland Center of Excellence in Life-Inspired Hybrid Materials LIBER.

Your experience and ambitions

We are looking for applicants with:

  • PhD in a relevant field of design research
  • Demonstrated expertise and documented track record in the area biodesign or design integration with materials
  • Potential to initiate and carry out research independently and to attract research funding at the highest level.
  • Demonstrated capability to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment and to build bridges between disciplines.
  • Some teaching and supervision experience and commitment to develop as a teacher at the university level.

What we offer

We offer the opportunity of working in a dynamic world-class community of creative professionals, talented students and researchers, with a remit to continuously explore the frontiers of design research and practice, and sustainability research. Aalto University provides its employees with occupational health care services and excellent learning and development opportunities. The salary is determined according to the applicant's experience and Aalto’s salary guidelines. The department is located in the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in Espoo (Helsinki metropolitan area). Consistent with EU insurance and pension regulations, Aalto expects employees to reside and work in Finland. 

Ready to apply?

The following materials should be submitted in English and in PDF format through our recruitment system Workday by midnight Finnish time (GMT +2) on 15 November 2023

  • A motivation letter (one page)
  • A research statement containing a brief account of past achievements and vision and plan for future research (max 4 pages)
  • A Curriculum Vitae; Please use the template (opens in new window) recommended by The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity (TENK).
  • A list of publications in which 3 most significant publications/patents are highlighted.
  • Design or design research portfolio (presenting max 3 cases/works/projects)
  • A teaching statement, including information on teaching, responsibilities regarding course preparation, experience on supervising theses (max. 2 pages). * Short listed candidates are later asked to construct a teaching portfolio following Aalto university’s guidelines. ( Teaching competence assessment)

In case you already work at Aalto University, please apply for the position by using your existing Workday user account! Please see how to do it here.

If you want to know more about the position, kindly contact: Associate Professor Kirsi Niinimäki  kirsi.niinimaki(at)

In recruitment related questions, please contact HR Partner Katju Helminen, katju.helminen(at)

About living in Finland

Finland is a great place to live; it is a safe, politically stable and well-organized Nordic country with high-quality free education and affordable health care and childcare. Finland consistently ranks highly in terms of quality of life: For more information about living in Finland, see:

Aalto-yliopisto Muotoilun laitos hakee uutta professoria alana Biodesign Integration. Biodesign Integration pyrkii soveltamaan suunnittelukäytäntöä ja tutkimusta muutokseen, joka tapahtuu, kun biologisista käsitteistä ja komponenteista tulee osa käyttämiämme materiaaleja, rakennuksia, joissa elämme, ja tuottamaamme jätettä.  Suunnitteluintegraatio voi tarkoittaa myös materiaalien tai niiden käytön ymmärtämistä ja kokemista.

Aalto yliopiston vahvuus on kiinteä yhteistyö materiaalitutkimuksen ja muotoilun tutkimuksen välillä. Uusia materiaaleja tutkijaan ja kehitetään muotoilullisin keinoin ottaen huomioon uudet tuotantotavat ja tulevaisuuden design paradigmat.  Vahvistaaksemme muotoilun roolia monitieteellisessä toiminnassamme Muotoilun laitos hakee nyt professoria, jonka alana on Biodesign Integration.

Haethan tehtävää 15.11.2023 mennessä. Tehtävästä kattava ilmoitus englanninkielellä.

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