Research Professor in Processing of Renewable Feedstock
VTT Technical Research Centre

Research Professor in Processing of Renewable Feedstock

Form of employment: Full time, Regular

Locations: Espoo, Finland, Jyväskylä, Finland

Job area: Biomass processing and products

Applications by August 18, 2019 use link

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have over 75 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT´s turnover and other operating income is 258 M€. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

VTT Business area Solutions for Natural Resources and Environment promotes bio-economy and sustainable use of natural resources as well as solutions to realize circular economy. We focus on creating impact to our customers and society at large based on our scientific and technological excellence. We carry out applied research on industrial biotechnology, food solutions, biomass processing and bio-based products, sustainable chemistry and low-carbon energy.

We are looking for a research professor in the field of sustainable use of renewable feedstock in bio and circular economy.

Research professors are key experts in VTT’s research network contributing to implementation of VTT strategy. Research professor’s role is to promote and lead innovative research in a defined research area taking care of competence gaps and supporting competence development for future need. In addition, the research professor supports challenge-driven way of working and ensures scientific excellence in his/her field. The research professor is expected to build strong research project portfolios, manage large research openings and projects, actively collaborate with academic and industrial partners and stimulate active use of research results by beneficiaries, and publish and disseminate scientific results. The research professor is also expected to create international networks and collaborations and influence research and innovation agendas.

Do you want to join us in creating scientific and technological excellence for the benefit and competitiveness of companies and the society?

Research Professor in Processing of Renewable Feedstock is a new professorship. We foresee that sustainable development will further strengthen and future growth opportunities will rely on use of both renewable and recycled materials. We envision that especially the demand for recyclable and biodegradable bio-based materials will grow rapidly. In tomorrow’s circular economy, renewable materials need to be designed to circulate and this calls for an approach where the material end-use properties, including recyclability, are largely determined already in the feedstock processing and material product design phases. Biodegradability may be another important design criterion for certain applications. It is evident that feedstock portfolio will enlarge and more recycled and non-homogeneous feedstock and harmful substances will circulate in the system in the future.

VTT has a strong focus on mechanical, chemical and enzymatic processing of biomass for production of fuels, chemicals and materials. Building on this solid foundation, we wish the research professor to introduce new elements that contribute to realization of future circular bio-economy and go beyond virgin biomass feedstock and conventional processing approaches. Capability to envision use of digital tools (e.g. novel data processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence etc.) to speed up the development of tomorrow’s biomaterials is of great benefit.

We expect you to have

The applicant should have solid expertise in mechanical, chemical or enzymatic processing technologies and different kind of feedstock (biomasses, side-streams or recycled materials etc). The successful candidate should have know-how on biomass chemistry and analytics as well as understanding on different biorefinery and circular economy concepts.

We also value a candidate having experience on utilizing digital tools in the field of the professorship. Proven record in understanding industrial needs is a benefit. An ability to exploit in full the unique combination of VTT research facilities from laboratory to pilot scale is required.

For all research professors we expect you to have 

• Track record on research management and management of national and international projects together with academic and industrial partners 
• Knowledge on national and international innovation system and funding entities as well as proven capability to raise innovation funding 
• Wide international research and industrial networks 
• People and substance matter leadership 
• Excellent communication, presentation and networking skills 
• University degree at PhD level in relevant field 
• Fluent command of English.

As a person you are

• Visionary, challenge-driven, eager to innovate and go beyond obvious 
• Proactive and open-minded networker and playmaker 
• Inspirational creating positive drive and getting people excited 
• Motivated to share, collaborate and coach young scientists in their career 
• Business-minded striving to create impact rooted in scientific excellence 
• Well-organised and energetic with intrinsic “can do” - attitude

We offer

A great opportunity to develop scientific and technological excellence together with VTT´s top experts in a leading multi-disciplinary RTO and to co-create with industrial customers. You will be a part of a creative and international working environment. The tasks are versatile, independent and challenging, with support and coaching where needed. VTT is a modern, well-equipped working environment with competent, internationally oriented and highly trained personnel assisted by skilled business support professionals.

The position of the Research Professor is permanent of 5 year fixed-term with the possibility to continue according to VTT's tenure track system. The salary and benefits will be determined according to the salary level of corresponding positions at VTT. Applicants may also present a salary request.

For further information

Requested documents

The applicants are requested to enclose the following documents with the application:

• A complete curriculum vitae (including full name, date and place of birth, nationality, current residence, education and degrees awarded, linguistic skills, current and previous positions, major research funding obtained, research leadership, list of supervised PhDs and post-doctoral researchers, other academic merits and memberships, number of peer-reviewed articles, H-index, total citations and average citation per item) maximum 10 pages. 
• A complete list of patents and publications (with citations and impact factors) and copies of ten selected publications most relevant for the professorship 
• Summary of research activities carried out so far (maximum two pages) 
• A vision document describing your research vision for VTT (maximum two pages) 
• A research plan and ambitions as a research professor (maximum five pages)

VTT uses external international experts to help evaluate its applicants. All application documents should be in English.

For further information

Tiina Nakari-Setälä, Vice President, Research (
Jani Lehto, Vice President, Biomass processing and products (

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to know more of the qualifications required.

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