Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our main campus is located in Espoo, Finland.
The Department of Industrial Engineering and Managemet invites applications for
Master’s thesis position in industrial management
We are looking for a master’s student to be a part of a multi-disciplinary research team that develops alternative models to the current fossils-based production of plastics. In this position, you will have a chance to make an impact by contributing to the development of more sustainable models for plastics production, use and recycling.
The master’s thesis is a part of “ValueBioMat” research project (2019-2024), which addresses the growing issues with the current, petrol-based plastics production such as its reliance on fossils and the pollution of oceans by microplastics. As bioplastics (plastics made from renewable raw materials) comprise only 1% of the global annual volume of plastics production (350 million tonnes), the ValueBioMat project seeks to develop new biopolymers, facilitate their utilization through additive manufacturing methods, and create new business models and legal frameworks that boost their use and recycling.
At the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, we focus on developing new pioneering solutions and business models that facilitate the transition toward more widespread use and recycling of bioplastics. As part of this work, the purpose of this master’s thesis is to identify the constraining and enabling factors that influence this transition. Through this work, you will develop comprehensive understanding of the plastics industry and become an expert in innovation ecosystems. You will also get an opportunity to interact with several companies leading the transition toward bioplastics.
Your role and goals
The purpose of this thesis is to develop a comprehensive overview of the plastics production, use and recycling ecosystem(s). To facilitate growth in the production, use and recycling of bioplastics, this thesis focuses on the following questions: (1) Who are the main actors in the plastics production, use and recycling ecosystem, and what is their ‘business logic’? (2) What are the main systemic constraints (e.g., regulatory, normative, economic, technological) that inhibit the transition toward increasing use and recycling of bioplastics? (3) What are the most likely enablers for this transition?
Working as a part of a research team, you will conduct interviews with various private, non-profit and public actors in the plastics production, use and recycling ecosystem, and analyze the interview data to answer the aforementioned research questions. You will also take part in the multi-disciplinary discussions and workshops among the project stakeholders in the ValueBioMat project. You are expected to complete your master’s thesis during the specified time frame and present your findings to the stakeholders of the ValueBioMat project.
Your experience and ambitions
We are looking for a master’s student who is interested in conducting ambitious research as a part of a multi-discipliary research team, and motivated to develop one’s competences in the areas of the ValueBioMat project. We expect you to be familiar with the field of management, and give particular weigh on studies or other experience with business models, business ecosystems, innovation management and closely related topics. We also consider expertise with recycling and the circular economy as a strength of the applicant.
Your network and team
You will work at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management under the supervision of prof. Jan Holmström and post-doctoral researcher Jaakko Siltaloppi. You will also engage with the researchers in the ValueBioMat project, and report your findings to a number of companies and organizations involved with the project.
Ready to apply?
If you are interested to learn more about our group and would like to be considered for the position, please submit your application through our recruitment system by using Apply now! link below.
To apply, please share the following application materials with us:
• Motivation letter
• Transcripts of records
• Other supporting material
The deadline for application is November 30, 2019.
The employment contract is made for 6 months.
If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to Jaakko Siltaloppi [email protected] and HR Coordinator Laura Pyysalo [email protected] in application process related questions.