Apply to Aalto Thesis project Valmet: Designing modularity in 3D fibre technology

How the principles of modularity are embedded in 3D fibre technology? Apply to the Aalto Thesis project to tackle Valmet’s challenge through your Master’s thesis as a part of a multidisciplinary team. The application period for this project is open until 8.3.2021.
A 3D fibre printing machine illustration with human figures on the side.
A 3D fibre machine / photo: Valmet

The project:

Valmet: Designing modularity in 3D fibre technology

The partner:

Valmet is a leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. The Finnish company has over 200 years of industrial history and employs 14,000 people around the world.


Valmet is currently developing novel 3D fibre technology for producing more sustainable alternative for products such as food packaging or disposable plates. The company is blazing a trail for innovative 3D fibre production from cardboard to ready-made packaging and the student team will have a front-row seat in this industry transformation.

This project focuses on embedding modularity into 3D fibre machinery and production plants. 'With this work, we’re expecting the students to achieve an understanding, on the most profound level possible, how various principles of modularity are embedded in our 3D fibre technology and be able to highlight not only the aspects where this is well-achieved but also which perspectives need further refining – and how this should be achieved,' says Industrial Designer Juhani Salonen from Valmet.

3D fibre machines are “a size of a human”, designed for modern 2020 needs. As the development process is still ongoing, the project will study how to ensure good serial producibility and a high-level user experience of the 3D fibre machines. The project's central theme is modularity in all its forms at both machine and factory level.

'The technology is still in its early stages with pilot plant installation beginning in just a few months, so it is crucial that we get a good understanding of the aspects of modularity and its effects on product management, mechanical and industrial design, automation and factory-level layout before we move on from piloting to serial production of actual production lines,' Salonen summarizes.

Project themes and examples of research questions

This work will offer a unique opportunity for making a real difference in the transformation of the industry of sustainable 3D-packaging.

Juhani Salonen, industrial designer, Valmet

Aptitude and competencies:

The application is open for all Aalto University Master’s students. Suitable competences for the project could be the following areas: 

  • Solid teamworking skills
  • Open-mindedness towards new ideas and optimizing between conflicting interests
  • Being comfortable with uncertainty
  • Interest in working with high-end industrial machinery
  • Existing knowledge about modularity is a plus, interest in modular solutions is a must

'This work will offer a unique opportunity for making a real difference in how the industry of sustainable 3D-packaging will transform in the future. At Valmet, we’re facing a completely new kind of challenge with this technology, and as such, an outsider-study of our R&D of the 3D fibre technology in the form of Aalto Thesis will not only be valuable, but highly treasured. Not knowing much or anything about the technology or paper-making process in general beforehand will be considered, in this case, beneficial,' says Juhani Salonen.

Language of the project:

  • English

Size of the student team:

  • 3 Master’s students from different fields

How to apply:

  • The application to the project Valmet: Designing modularity in 3D fibre technology is open until 8.3. at 16:00
  • The application form for the project is here.
    • Remember to write the name of the project to the form as well as ask for your supervisor’s permission to participate in the project
  • The student selection is based on academic criteria and aptitude, and Aalto University is responsible for the selection process
  • All applicants will be informed about the selection process within two weeks after the application period ends
  • Read more about how to apply here
  • Note! Due to the nature of the project, the selected students are asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Valmet.

The schedule:

  • The project will start with the orientation meeting with Aalto Thesis team on 15 March 2021, following by a remote Kick-Off meeting with Valmet on18 March
  • You are expected to work full-time for this project and finish your thesis within six months after the Kick-Off

Questions or problems?

Aalto Thesis

Aalto Thesis offers challenge-based and multidisciplinary projects for making the Master’s thesis as a part of the team with work-life collaboration. 2-4 students from various Aalto schools form a team, in which they solve work-life partner's challenges through Master’s theses.

The selected students will receive a grant worth of 5,000 € for living expenses. Read more about Aalto Thesis here.

Aalto Thesis
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