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Laboratory work, calculations and sauna nights - this is what it’s like to study at the School of Chemical Engineering

In this interview series we meet our students. Rudolf Nikander started his studies at the School of Chemical Engineering in 2017. His major is bio-and chemical engineering.
An image of Rudolf speaking into a microphone

What made you decide to start studying at Aalto?

Already in lukio (upper secondary high school), I knew that I wanted to study the natural sciences. My skills in mathematical subjects and interest in teekkari life lead me to apply to Aalto University. Also our visit to Otaniemi campus on Prodecos introduction days really assured me this was my place. An interest in chemical engineering and a realistic bar on the entrance exam got me to apply to the Schoo of Chemical Engineering.

What has been the most interesting course or study project?

The most interesting course has been a mandatory physics course, material structures. The curriculum for the course is relativity theory, and quantum physics was very interesting. The course was challenging, so it took a lot of effort and dedication. I had a lot of experiences of fulfillment and success through the course that made me proud of myself.

What is a typical day for you as a student?

Studying at Aalto is unique in the sense that there haven’t been two identical days since I started studying. During the first year of studies, a regular day for me had more tasks in doing calculations for different courses and laboratory work, now during my third year of studies, my days are filled with optional courses, reflectional essays and other small tasks. Also, I have a volunteer job inevent production, planning and attending meetings. During the evening, I enjoy doing sports if I’m not held up organizing events!

Are you taking part in any student activities, if so please tell us a bit about them?

Yes, student activities have interested me since my first day of studies. I’ve been a freshman captain at our student association, Prosessiteekkarit. My co-captain and I are responsible for showing the freshman the Aalto community and teekkari life. I also work in the Otaniemi teekkari freshman captain team and as the process carer of our student association’s livingroom ”pHuone”.

What tips would you give to students starting their studies?

Get everything out of your first year! Your new environment is uniquely diverse, so have a sense of adventure and try new things. It’s also important to remember that it takes some time to adjust to university studies. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, take care of your wellbeing and mental health.

Do you have a place in the campus/capital area that you really enjoy and spend time at?

Otaniemi campus has a lot of different cozy places to spend your time in. At the moment, my favorite place is AYY’s office livingroom and our dear pHuone. Both places are a great place to be to run errands or sit down on the couch to have some coffee and see friends. My favorite spot outside is the Rantasauna laituri (beach sauna dock), especially when it’s good weather, the Laajalahti (bay) looks really beautiful.

Students studying in groups in the laboratory

Kemian tekniikka, tekniikan kandidaatti ja diplomi-insinööri

Kemiaa on kaikkialla. Sen keskeisiä elementtejä ovat aineiden rakenne, koostumus, ominaisuudet ja reaktiot. Kemian tekniikassa näitä sovelletaan aina nanometreistä laboratoriomittakaavaan ja tehtaan kokoluokasta kansantalouden tasolle.

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