News: Archive 2012
Material Technology Invention Prize awarded to inventors of a new direct dissolving method of cellulose
13.01.2012 Aalto University’s Material Technology Invention prize is awarded to researchers from Tampere University of Technology (TUT) for their invention “Economical direct dissolving method of cellulose”. The invention was created by researchers Marianna Vehviläinen, Taina Kamppuri and Maija Järventausta and Professor Pertti Nousiainen from the Department of Material Science at TUT. The prize was awarded on January 13 during the Technology Days event at Dipoli in Espoo, Finland. The prize is 20,000 euros.
Professor Sirkka-Liisa Jämsä-Jounela elected Council Member of the European Control Association (EUCA)
15.02.2012 Cellulose is an important naturally occurring polymer, which humans have utilized for millennia. Today, researchers are chopping cellulose fibres into nanoforms and looking for solutions for industry's sustainable material needs.
Compressing the surface of softened solid wood improves its properties in an environmentally friendly way
17.02.2012 M.Sc. (Tech.) Lauri Rautkari has developed several methods that can be used to improve the properties of for example Finnish tree species, Norway spruce and Scots pine, for the purposes of industrial use. The ecological and inexpensive methods can be compared to mangling or ironing using a steam iron. Compressing the surface of solid wood, such as floor planks, has similar effects as pressing sheets with a mangle.
07.03.2012 Carbon capture and storage is a possible solution in reducing carbon dioxide emissions: for example when carbon dioxide is captured from flue gases emitted from power plants it does not go into the atmosphere. In her doctoral dissertation Claudia Dell’Era, M.Sc., from Aalto University's School of Chemical Technology performed phase equilibrium measurements and developed models which can be exploited in the design of separation processes for carbon dioxide removal.
08.03.2012 In Aalto University starts a project of creating energy efficient neighbourhood by students. The NEPTUNE (Network for Environmental Projects in Technology, United in Europe) brings together students from all over of Europe to Otaniemi to take part of project “Design for Living Environment, from Micro to Macro” in March.
15.03.2012 March will see the start of an Aalto University project in which students will design a residential area based on energy efficient wooden houses in Helsinki. The NEPTUNE Network will bring together multidisciplinary research and students from different parts of Europe for the “Design for Living Environment, From Micro to Macro” event organised 9 – 17 March 2012.
02.04.2012 Electric cars will only be driving around city streets in Finland after powerful enough batteries have been developed for them. The batteries must be compatible with future charging networks and the cold climate of Finland. Researchers from Aalto University are seeking a solution to the problem and analysing lithium-ion batteries with the aim to find a model suitable for the conditions in Finland.
11.04.2012 The Aalto University Alumni Relations will launch a new mentoring programme for students and alumni in autumn 2012. In the programme, alumni who have already graduated from Aalto University or its predecessors will support master's degree students in matters related to working life. The mentoring programme for the academic year 2012-2013 also includes an English-speaking group aimed at international degree students.
17.04.2012 In paper machines, breaks always mean financial losses. The better the runnability of a paper machine, the fewer the breaks that occur. Master of Science (Tech.) Markku Ora's doctoral dissertation revealed that the structure of paper affects the runnability of a paper machine. Ora will defend his doctoral dissertation at Aalto University this week.
19.04.2012 Since 2007, the Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology and Neste Oil have been developing a new oil production method. The microbial oil research project has now reached the point where a pilot plant is being built in Porvoo.
25.04.2012 The Department of Materials Science and Engineering has performed research on incremental sheet forming applications. Now all that is needed is the interest of businesses in order for the method to be launched on the international market and the metal objects, almost like artefacts, to become available.
25.04.2012 During an international students' course at Aalto University, an energy-efficient residential area was designed for Helsinki's Laajasalo. Rewarded as the best design was a work where the buildings are of pyramid shape, the courtyards are covered and the parking area is underground.
27.04.2012 Quality wine can turn to vinegar when gulped down from a plastic cup and cheap plonk sipped from a wine glass by the Eiffel Tower may seem like the most palate-pleasing experience you have ever had.
02.05.2012 The things we most frequently associate with a student of chemical technology do not necessarily include singing, acting and blogging. Mikko Laine, aged 21, who counts all these among his hobbies, snatched a coveted summer job working as "the summer president" for Neste Oil.
09.05.2012 The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland has designated Eero Kontturi from the Department of Forest Products Technology as an Academy Research Fellow for a five-year period from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2017. Kontturi’s subject concerns the cell wall polymers of plants on a 2D surface.
23.05.2012 A product’s packaging is not merely a protective shell it travels home from the store in. Packaging may be fun and beautiful and does not need to be taken seriously.
29.05.2012 Optimisation of industrial processes requires the ability to understand and predict the phenomena occurring during the actual processes. Computational models make it easier to understand the physical and chemical phenomena occurring between bubbles, particles and droplets – particularly when substances appear in the processes in several different states.
01.06.2012 The thesis of Maija Liiri, who is about to graduate as a Master of Science (Technology) from the School of Chemical Technology, is being presented at Masters of Aalto (MoA’12) event. In her thesis, Maija Liiri examines the properties of a new plywood product, which is claimed to be the most revolutionary innovation in the plywood industry for 30 years
04.06.2012 The right antibody enables the identification of markers indicating a possible disease in a blood or urine sample, for example. This way, the patient can receive treatment as quickly as possible. Henri Arola, who graduated from the Aalto University as Master of Science (Technology), developed in his Master’s thesis new and promising antibodies that can be used in the diagnostics of thyroid hormones and catecholamines.
08.06.2012 The Department of Forest Products Technology has a long history in the study of waste water from the forest industry. In his research for his doctoral dissertation, Sakari Toivakainen, Master of Science (Technology), from the Department of Forest Products Technology examines, among other things, ways to precipitate and recover phosphorus at a waste-water treatment plant in a pulp mill. In January 2012, Toivakainen presented his research at a conference of the International Water Association in Chile, and was presented with the award for best presentation in the conference.
08.06.2012 Professors Sami Franssila and Kyösti Kontturi, Visiting Professor Roman Nowak, Teacher-Researcher Lasse Murtomäki and Academy Research Fellow Maria Sammalkorpi have received research funding of a significant amount from the Academy of Finland in the Programmable Material Research Programme application process.
Advances in Biorefineries -doctoral course provided an understanding of the supply and characteristics of lignocellulosic biomass
19.06.2012 Aalto University seeks to appoint new dean to lead the operations of the School of Chemical Technology, the School of Engineering and the School of Science. The new deans will start in their positions at the beginning of 2013. At Aalto University, deans are elected for a five-year term.
28.06.2012 When a disorganized group of molecules assembles to form an ordered structure in the absence of external forces, as a result of internal interactions of the molecular system, the material is a self-assembling molecular material. Common examples of self-assembling molecular materials include polymer films, liquid crystals, and various interfacial surfactant films. In biology, the cell membrane (lipid bilayer), protein folding, or DNA double helix result also from molecular self-assembly.
02.07.2012 The IMPRESS Integrated Project, which focused on the study of intermetallic compounds, has been selected as one of the ten best EU-funded projects in industrial technologies. The EU funds over 900 such projects. Professor Michael Gasik from the School of Chemical Technology and his team of researchers have added Aalto University’s expertise in materials research to IMPRESS’s vast cooperation network.
09.08.2012 Alexander Frey began his work as an associate professor in the Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology on 1 May 2012. Frey will also lead a new research group focusing on molecular biotechnology. “To work as a researcher, you have to be passionate about it”, says the cheerful professor who is beginning to build his research group.
13.08.2012 During the last few decades, a large number of novel materials have been produced, enabling the development of new products and the improvement of the properties of old ones. This development shows no signs of slowing down. Composite materials are produced by combining two or more materials to get a composite with desired properties. Graphene, a one-atom-thick lattice structure formed by carbon molecules is the thinnest possible material, and its discovery in 2004 brought the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. The studies on graphene have multiplied exponentially, one sub-field being the use of graphene as a composite material. This research is also being carried out at the Aalto University Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology.
21.08.2012 Dean Outi Krause has appointed Professor, Dr Markus Reuter Adjunct Professor at Department of Materials Science and Engineering as of August 1, 2012. The professorship focuses on systems engineering with application to recycling, simulation and design for recycling and sustainability.
28.08.2012 The Aalto University schools of technology celebrate their 22nd ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees on 12 October 2012. Registration will be open until 9 September 2012.
28.08.2012 A research group led by FiDiPro Leon Lefferts studies catalytic reforming of biomass based alcohols for hydrogen production In Aalto University School of Chemical Technology. The aim of the research is to explore one option of producing renewable and sustainable hydrogen, much needed in processes seeking to produce fuels and chemicals from biomass.
04.09.2012 This week, 161 new Finnish students are beginning their studies at the School of Chemical Technology. In addition, the school has today welcomed about 70 foreign students to the Aalto community. Foreign students have come to the school as exchange students (about 40) or as degree students to attend the school’s master’s and Erasmus Mundus programmes.
Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland strengthening their bioeconomy collaboration
12.09.2012 Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland organised a seminar on bioeconomy in Dipoli Congress Centre on 7 September. The focus of the seminar was on outlining the significance and different sectors of bioeconomy and on finding research topics that would allow Aalto University and VTT to join forces in a concrete way. The goal is to weld together the shared know-how of Aalto University and VTT, making Otaniemi the powerhouse of the bioeconomy development.
19.09.2012 Aalto University School of Chemical Technology is part of the new Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme, which is funded by the European Commission. The programme is unique among Finnish universities.
21.09.2012 How could a Finnish wood product attain the same luxury status as French champagne on the global market? This question was examined in the Design Meets Cellulose project, in which one of the themes was to develop a brand for Finnish wood products.
26.09.2012 Former students from the School of Chemical Technology get together often, even though it's been decades since their studies began. Class reunions bring together old student friends and reinforce alumni connections with the university. For the school and departments, these reunions represent an opportunity to present current themes in research and teaching to an interested group of listeners.
03.10.2012 One of the topics studied currently at the Department of Forest Products Technology of the School of Chemical Technology is the use of nanocellulose as reinforcement of polymers such as thermo-plastics. Nanocellulose, or wood fibre broken down to the nanoscale, mixed with a polymer results in a tough material. This purely natural product may replace synthetic petroleum-based fibres commonly used to reinforce composite materials nowadays.
03.10.2012 At the beginning of August, Heikki Ojamo, D.Sc. (Tech) stepped into his new post as professor at the Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology. He is taking over for Professor Matti Leisola, who has been named Professor Emeritus. Professor Ojamo is pleased with his three year position as a Professor of Practise, which saw his return to his professional roots in Otaniemi.
New doctors taken as members of the scientific community at the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees
08.10.2012 The Aalto University schools of technology will celebrate their joint Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees in Otaniemi on 12 October 2012. The doctors and honorary doctors to be conferred will be accepted as members of the technical science community. Doctoral hats will be set on their heads.
08.10.2012 A bio-apartment building in Otaniemi, a modifiable sports and recreation centre in Tapiola and a route for light traffic on the nearby shoreline - all of these made from wood. These construction proposals came about from a joint venture between Aalto University students and six organisations, the purpose and aim of which was to come up with ways in which modern Finnish timber construction and the entire wood industry could be promoted.
09.10.2012 Zoltán Javór, a doctoral candidate at the School of Chemical Technology has been granted an award at the largest international congress in the field of mineral processing. Mr Javór was awarded the young author award for his presentation. The congress was organised in India in late September. More than 600 works in the field of mineral processing were presented, of which ten received awards.
12.10.2012 The Aalto University schools of technology conferred honorary doctorate on Professor Walter Kaminsky (Universität Hamburg, Germany) at the Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees on 12 October 2012.
18.10.2012 In his dissertation to be defended at Aalto University, Mikko Mäkelä, M. Sc. (Tech.), examined the use of by-products from forest and steel industries as soil amendments. Mixtures containing, e.g., slag from the steel industry and ashes and sludge from the forest industry proved to be promising new soil amendments compared to contemporary commercial options.
23.10.2012 Researchers at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology have succeeded in developing a durable and affordable nanofibrillar cellulose film platform to support medical testing. New environmentally friendly, reliable nanofibrillar cellulose (NFC) platforms are more diverse than plastic films.
24.10.2012 Salem Shamekh, D.Sc. (Tech.) and the Director of the Juva Truffle Center has found Finland’s first cultivated truffle mushrooms. They were found at two experimental plots where cultivation tests were started in 2006. The aim of the joint project between Aalto University and the municipality of Juva is to develop a commercially viable method for producing truffles in Finland.
26.10.2012 In his dissertation, Samuli Räsänen, PhD (Tech) replaced existing elements with others in well-known functional oxide materials, successfully making these more resistant to heat and moisture. The new materials could be suited for use in batteries, catalysers and power plants.
30.10.2012 Minna Annala, M.Sc. (Tech.), publicly defending her doctoral dissertation at Aalto University's School of Chemical Technology, prepared in her thesis work three different electrically conductive plastic materials, which are also mechanically strong. Plastic, which is a known insulator, was, with the help of various polymerization techniques and carbon nanotubes, transformed into an electrically conductive form.
The first Master of Science in Bioproduct Technology: ‘Sustainable solutions can be found in nature.’
30.10.2012 Martin Häggblom is the first Master of Science (Tech.) graduating from Aalto University’s Master’s Programme in Bioproduct Technology. He is proud of his degree, and justifiably so. After studying hard, he has become an all-round expert on renewable resources who is in great demand on the labour market.
05.11.2012 Laboratory work is an essential part of the studies of any chemistry student. However, there are many things that cannot be done due to the limitations posed by existing facilities or equipment. These include experiments conducted on living viruses in biotechnology, as the risk of contamination for people and facilities would be too great. In a virtual laboratory, however, this and many other things are fully possible.
13.11.2012 Researchers at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology have developed a method for producing lithium batteries that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than previously used methods. This new process has succeeded in replacing the harmful methylpyrrolidone (NMP) solvent, which is traditionally used in the manufacturing of electrodes, with water.
13.11.2012 The Academy of Finland has decided on the funding for research within the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation. At the School of Chemical Technology the funding is granted to two research projects lead by Professor Janne Laine and Professor Markus Linder. The research in both of the projects focuses on nanocellulose and the funding totals ca. 1.2 million euros.
21.11.2012 Researchers at Aalto University have developed a simple method for reducing the amount of phosphorus in the wastewater of a pulp mill. The method is called simultaneous precipitation using iron sulphate. A separate treatment stage is not required, as the precipitation takes place simultaneously with the actual biological wastewater treatment.
22.11.2012 On Tuesday afternoon, 20th of November, the Design Factory Stage was teeming with enthusiastic and excited first-year students. The students were putting themselves in the shoes of scientists, using posters they had created to showcase research conducted at the School of Chemical Technology while the crowd milled around asking questions.
23.11.2012 Professor Sirkka-Liisa Jämsä-Jounela from the School of Chemical Technology has been appointed a Member of the Academy of Finland Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering. The appointment is for the Academy’s coming three year term from 2013 to 2015.
28.11.2012 In his dissertation for Aalto University and the University of Oulu, Mika Pietilä, M.Sc., discovered new properties in stem cells. He studied human mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, and found analysis of their metabolism to be helpful in their identification.
05.12.2012 In her doctoral dissertation work, Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio (Licentiate of Science, Technology) developed a new analysis method that provides an excellent tool for direct alcohol fuel cell researchers. The new electrochemical method mimics the operation of a direct alcohol fuel cell electrode and makes it possible to rapidly identify the most promising electrode fuel cell materials for the purpose of further research.