Open positions

Doctoral researcher in the field of sustainability in packaging in the Science Translation Framework for Sustainable Bioproducts Innovation (SciSustain)

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 13 000 students, 400 professors, and more than 4 500 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The School of Chemical Engineering is one of the six schools of Aalto University. It combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way.

We are now looking for a

Doctoral researcher in the field of sustainability in packaging in the Science Translation Framework for Sustainable Bioproducts Innovation (SciSustain) - a Business Finland (BF) Project

Sustainable development requires science-based decision-making to improve and implement solutions that mitigate climate change. However, translating scientific findings is complex and requires a collaborative, multidisciplinary, holistic, robust, and reliable approach to exploring the economic, technical, environmental, and social aspects of bioproduct solutions. SciSustain combines translational engineering research and consolidated sustainability methods in a framework for supporting sustainable bioproduct innovation. The framework is designed to assess innovations and suggest novel approaches to improving sustainability and circularity in packaging.

This project is under the Valmet Beyond Circularity and brings together anchor firms such as UPM, Stora Enso and Metsä as well as Paptic - a rapidly growing SME, and LignEasy and Boreal Bioproducts - startups challenging the status quo of side streams valorization. These seven companies have united forces with Aalto and a multidisciplinary team to translate science. Are you up for this challenge? Join us!

Your responsibility and goals

  • Build mentoring skills by helping master thesis workers.

  • Lead and write peer-reviewed articles for high impact journals.

  • Participate in events, give oral presentations, support in teaching and workshops.

  • Increase your employability by demonstrating leadership and excellence measuring sustainability of applied research solutions/concepts. A growing need in academia and industry!

The doctoral researcher will be helping the postdoctoral researchers, principal investigator and experts in delivering scientific evidence to the project stakeholders, reporting to BF, gathering data coming from literatures and the industry partners to assess the sustainability of proposed concepts with regards to economic, social and environmental feasibility and circularity. The position is available immediately.

Your network, project and team

The position is open in the Sustainable Bioproduct Innovations group headed by Prof. Luana Dessbesell. A highly multidisciplinary team seeking to support the development of truly sustainable bioproducts innovations. If you see yourself wondering what is and what isn't sustainable, please apply and join us. We are working with hard-science evidence to help speed up the development of solutions that can mitigate climate change. The research group is about eight researchers now and growing. We care about each other and are people centered, and we believe that we can only deliver excellence if we are doing well.

The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems (Bio2) is one of the three departments in the School of Chemical Engineering at Aalto University, has an internationally leading reputation in basic and applied research for the development of advanced materials from natural resources. It is one of the leading European research and higher education institutions in the field of sustainable chemistry and engineering based on the utilization of renewable resources. Bio2 aims to contribute to the development of novel solutions to move towards sustainable primary production and processing systems that can produce materials with fewer inputs, less environmental impact and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Within bioscience, the department has research in bioprocess technology, molecular biotechnology, enzyme technology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, biomolecular, and biohybrid materials. Other strengths of the department include sustainable materials and products based on lignocellulose, ranging from nanomaterials to novel cellulose-based textiles.

Your experience and ambitions

The candidate is expected to have:

  • Recently obtained MSc in chemical engineering, environmental engineering, pulp and paper technology, biorefining, forest products, or similar

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English given the essential role to communicate with the project consortium members

  • Knowledge in mass and energy balance software

  • Be comfortable with conducting deskwork (e.g., process modeling and LCA). No laboratory experiments are expected!

  • Taken Life cycle assessment courses

  • Understanding of the packaging value chain

  • Background on alternative to plastics such as cellulosic films

  • Interest in understanding circularity principles

Nice to have:

  • Experience in writing papers

  • Experience with conducting techno-economic analysis

  • Experience with conducting LCA

What we offer

Doctoral studies at Aalto University take approximately four years. The candidate will be granted a one-year contract with the possibility of extension. The starting salary for a doctoral researcher is approximately 3000 EUR/month.

If you are chosen for this position, you will apply for the study right in doctoral studies at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering. Please check the student information and admission criteria at In particular, please pay attention to the mandatory skill level in English.

We work in Otaniemi, Espoo. The Otaniemi campus is a thriving and connected community of 100 nationalities, 13 000 students and 4 500 employees. Life at the transformed campus is vibrant and filled with amazing architecture, calming nature, and a variety of cafes, restaurants, services and good connections along the metro line.

Ready to apply?

If you want to join our community, please submit your application through our online recruitment system no later than 25.07.2024 using the link on Aalto University’s webpage (“Apply now”). The submissions will be checked as they arrive.

To apply, please include the following documents in English and as a single pdf document:

  • 1-page maximum motivation letter specific to this project including a description of previous relevant research experience

  • CV with a possible list of publications and the title of your master thesis

  • List of references that we may contact.

Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via the internal HR system Workday (keyword Find Jobs) by using their existing Workday user account (not via the external webpage for open positions).

The position will be filled when a suitable candidate is found.

Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: Aalto University – Towards a better world, Aalto People, and Shaping a Sustainable Future. You can also check out our webpage about Aalto and Finland: and our new virtual campus experience:

For further information about this position, please contact Prof. Luana Dessbesell luana.dessbesell(at)

About Finland

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable, and well-organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed again as the happiest country in the world: For more information about living in Finland: For international staff | Aalto University 

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period, and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

More about Aalto University:

  • Published:
  • Updated: