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Aalto in 2022: Perpetual motion machine, The Wardrobe of the Future, Antarctica expedition and more

This year has been another feast of science and art. The latest research was rapidly used by decision-makers as well, for example in the energy crisis.

Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

How do you create a virtual telescope the size of the Earth to capture a target 27,000 light years away? Read more about the spectacular international collaboration stunt, in which Aalto was naturally involved!

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Kuva mustasta aukosta, joka on muodoltaa kuin donitsi ja hehkuu oranssia valoa.
First image of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Credit: EHT Collaboration

Changes to animal feed could supply food for one billion people

Did you know that about a third of the grain grown worldwide and a quarter of the fish caught are fed to farmed animals? If livestock were to eat more crop residues instead, for example, ingredients suitable for humans would be released to meet the nutritional needs of up to one billion people, Professor Matti Kummu's research group showed.

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Kuvan täyttävät kullanruskeat maissinjyvät
Currently, roughly a third of cereal crop production is fed to animals, and about a quarter of captured fish aren’t used to feed people. Photo: Pixabay

Researchers will use the world’s most accurate radiation detector in quantum computers

Quantum computer qubits cannot be read without a state-of-the-art radiation detector. Read how our researchers developed it together with colleagues from VTT, and what else the bolometer can be used for.

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Bolometri on kelta-musta suorakulmio, jossa on harmaita virtapiirejä.
Physicists at Aalto University and VTT have developed a new detector for measuring energy quanta at unprecedented resolution. Photo: Aalto University.

Perpetual motion is possible – Scientists at Aalto University’s Low Temperature Lab observed the interaction of two time-crystals that bend the laws of physics

In quantum physics, things that seem impossible may well be possible. One of them is perpetual movement whose existence was demonstrated in an intriguing time crystal experiment.

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Kuvassa metallista tehty laite, jossa on valtavasti erilaisia mittareita ja johtoja.
Researchers cooled a helium-3 superfluid down to one ten-thousandth of a degree from absolute zero and proceeded to create two time-crystals inside the liquid. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University.

Ice scientist Jukka Tuhkuri embarked on seven-week expedition to the Antarctic – topics of study included the changing ice conditions and compressive forces on ships

In addition to fascinating research, Professor Jukka Tuhkuri was able to enjoy magnificent landscapes and see old acquaintances: penguins, whales and albatross.

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Kuvassa kolme miestä seisoo jäällä, yksi pitelee moottorisahaa. Taustalla näkyy punainen tutkimusalus.
Photo: Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust

Designer Lincoln Kayiwa wants to create heirlooms

Finland seemed a bit like destiny for this Ugandan-born entrepreneur and Aalto alumnus.

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Kuvassa silmälasipäinen mies seisoo punasävyisessä huoneessa.
‘I’ve been here long enough now to know how Finnish design culture and Finnish society work, but I’m also outside the box looking in,’ Kayiwa says. Photo: Aleksi Poutanen / Aalto University

Elina Koivisto and Maiju Suomi designed a giant insect hotel in the middle of the city, that makes people feel good, too

Two Aalto-born architects wanted to create experimental, ambitious and ecological architecture that affects many senses and does not separate nature and people. A pollinators' sanctuary, Alusta, was created. It is built from clay and covered in plants to bring biodiveristy to the inner courtyard of the Design Museum of Helsinki.

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Kaksi naista istuu tiilistä tehdyn muurin päällä. Toisella on päällä musta mekko, toisella kukikas.
More diverse urban nature also increases well-being and alleviates extreme phenomena related to climate change, say Koivisto and Suomi. Photo:: Anni Koponen

Kalle Airo: 'For an entrepreneurial mind, a problem is an opportunity, not a threat'

Kalle Airo was appointed Head of Entrepreneurial Mindset at Aalto University in September. For him, the attitude towards problems is at the core of the entrepreneurial mindset.

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Parraskas kalju mies, jolla on ruudullinen pikkutakki, katsoo hymyillen kohti kameraa. Taustalla on värikäs taideteos ja kiviportaat.
Airo believes that the ability to adapt and react, characteristic of an entrepreneur, is one of the greatest requirements in future work life. Photo: Annika Linna / Aalto University

A skin-stroking device could help curb alcohol cravings

Around three out of four people with alcohol problems are left untreated globally, partly due to the stigma related to treatments and partly due to long waiting lists for treatment. Aalto researchers work with substance abuse treatment experts to develop the first technology-based device that supports sobriety alongside other treatments such as psychosocial treatment and pharmacotherapy.

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A device attachable to the forearm is one of the possibilities the hentoTouch team is currently exploring. Photo: Juliana Harkki.
The device is designed to be easy to wear discreetly under clothes. A device attachable to the forearm is one of the possibilities the team is currently exploring. Photo: Juliana Harkki

An eco-filling to replace down

A hundred years ago, cattail fluff was used as life vest filling – now a Finnish company wants the eco-friendly material for pillows and winter coats. Restoring peat bogs for cattail cultivation would also significantly reduce Finland’s emissions, according to the company.

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Hymyilevä mies, jolla on päällä topattu liivi, seisoo osmankäämilammen edessä.
‘The stems and leaves can be used as fodder, to replace peat in substrates, or as a natural insulation material in buildings. Growing it is an ecologically smart business’, says Lukas Schuck. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Aalto University becomes a founding partner in Ioncell Oy

Ioncell® technology enables the production of high-quality textile fibres from wood and cellulosic textile waste in an ecologically sustainable way. Over the next 10 years, Ioncell Oy aims to have a 5-10% share of the international textile fibre market of over EUR 200 billion, which would bring the company hundreds of millions in licensing revenue.

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Kuvassa ylhäällä kaulahuivi, alhaalla pala farkkua ja lankaa ja kuituja muovilautasilla.
Ioncell® fibre is strong, feels comfortable on the skin and can be recycled. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

Ending energy imports from Russia could cut other electricity imports to Finland – model shows what chain reaction could mean for the security of supply

Energy researchers and economists joined forces and produced risk analysis and proposals for measures for decision-makers.

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Lukuisia kaasuputkia
‘It is important that decisions being made now do not tie our hands for building a sustainable energy system in the future,’ says Aalto University researcher Iivo Vehviläinen. Photo: Pixabay

The Wardrobe of the Future went to Brussels 

Aalto’s exhibition 'The Wardrobe of the Future' was on display from 29 November to 1 December 2022 under the patronage of the European Parliament and hosted by Member of the EU Parliament Henna Virkkunen.

'We need to involve all stakeholders to construct a better and more sustainable balance in the textile and fashion system', says professor Kirsi Niinimäki from Aalto University.

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Kuvassa näkyy vihreää mekkoa ja vihreä käsilaukku.
The Wardrobe of the Future exhibition. Outfit: Sofia Ilmonen Photo: Sofia Okkonen

Hot weather can turn homes into perilous infernos – researchers are now examining future needs for cooling

A hot summer can cause the deaths of up to 400 people in Finland, and climate change will make the heat more severe and more frequent. A new research project examines the temperatures of buildings and how they affect the comfort level of people – and seeks effective means of cooling that are also easy to employ.

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Puinen lämpömittari, joka näyttää hellelämpötilaa
'Indoor temperatures in the hot summers that we are having will be reaching uncomfortable, and sometimes even a dangerous levels,' says Professor Risto Kosonen. Photo: Pixabay
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Students
Studies Published:

School of Chemical Engineering opens 24 summer jobs in research groups for 2023

We're looking for enthusiastic students to join our team for the summer. The ideal candidate is highly motivated and able to e.g. assist and carry out various lab tasks, run experiments and develop research skills. This is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in research projects, and work side-by-side with doctoral researchers and post docs.
Image and photo by Aalto University, Giulnara Launonen. MMD logo by Aalto University, Mithila Mohan
Research & Art Published:

Multifunctional Materials Design: Highlights of 2022

Our group's milestones of the previous year
Utuinen ihmishahmo näyttää kävelevän pois päin, varjo heijastuu vaalealle pinnalle
Research & Art, Studies, University Published:

Master's students' exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography

The MoA in Photography 23 exhibition by the Master's students of the Department of Photography is on display until 12 March.
Nainen rannalla tuulisella säällä hymyilee, taustalla meri kuohuaa
Appointments, Research & Art Published:

Professor Ranja Hautamäki: ‘Diverse urban nature is key to increasing well-being and carbon sinks’

Professor of Landscape Architecture is tackling the issues of climate change mitigation and urban carbon sinks.