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Post-doctoral researchers in Textile Recycling Excellence

Post-doctoral researchers in T-REX project (Textile Recycling Excellence)

Aalto University is an interdisciplinary community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. Aalto’s core strategy follows three cross-cutting themes: sustainable solutions, entrepreneurial mindset and radical creativity. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 12 000 students and more than 400 professors. Our campuses are located in Espoo and Helsinki, Finland.  

The Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) is a Nordic leader in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and fine art. We produce world-class research e.g. in design, digital media and visual culture, art education, urban planning and architecture. Our graduates innovate in and beyond their fields, drawing on over a century of tradition of our institution, a humane and forward-looking approach, and the latest technologies. The Department of Design is a community of creative and responsible researchers and design experts. We educate front-line design professionals and visionaries for established, changing and emerging fields of design. ( 

Department of Design in Aalto University is a globally leading unit in the research and practice of sustainable fashion and textile design and research group Fashion/Textile FUTURES is specializing on this topic. Vivid research collaboration is done with industry and business to develop new design, production and business strategies to enhance sustainable transformation in textile and fashion sectors. Aalto is the global thought leader in cross- and transdisciplinary creativity offering radical perspectives to shape the future through sustainability. Aalto is known for its experimental and transdisciplinary research and education, and one of the strategic areas in Aalto is radical creativity.

We are now looking for

Three Post-doctoral researchers in T-REX project. The positions will begin 1st of August or as agreed ending up full or part time contract depending on the suitable responsibility of hired post docs.

The T-REX project aims to provide the European Commission with a blueprint for creating new business opportunities based on a closed loop textile recycling demonstrator with household textile waste as new feedstock. In T-REX we want to stress the current recycling technologies (chemical recycling for polyester, polyamide 6 as well as cellulose recycling) to accept and process this new feedstock derived from household textile waste and build business models and sustainability assessments around them. T-REX project includes 12 European partners and the project is run by Adidas. The project is funded by EU and it will be running 1st June 2022 to 31st May 2025. Design department and Fashion/Textile FUTURES research group lead by Associate Professor Kirsi Niinimäki are leading the project in Aalto University.

Collaboration for circular economy

While a paradigm shift in consumption is welcome and second-hand and reuse have become a desired lifestyle, only a major shift in the way we produce, and resource materials can lead to an appreciable reduction in raw material usage and incineration or landfill disposal of textile waste. While major brands are touted as the main culprits, they are often in a complex position at the end of complex value chains. But they have the power to initiate change and show to other brands, big and small, that profitable sustainability can be achieved. We believe there is no single stakeholder alone, nor one technology, existing or to be invented, that will solve the problem of textile waste. There is instead a complex interrelation of legislation, good practices, business models and technologies which, if aligned and working together, can determine the transformation of textile waste into a precious new commodity, one that has an appreciable economical value and thus can be adopted at scale, determining finally a measurable result in terms of increased sustainability of the textile and garment sector.

In T-REX we aim to contribute to understand:

  • what is already possible putting the right synergies in place,
  • how much our current technologies can be pushed to the limit,
  • what constitutes a roadblock,
  • what can policy makers do to encourage the growth of new value chains around household textile waste as feedstock at scale and how can consumers be active part of this paradigm shift.

Focus areas and research responsibilities of Aalto University in T-REX

S-LCA: Socio-economic LCA will be analysed throughout the ecosystem in order to assess the project’s social impact along its life cycle (supply chain, including the use phase and disposal).

Design and business: New design guidelines and business strategies for circular economy will be constructed.

Citizen engagement and knowledge dissemination:  Activities engaging with the public and policy makers will be designed and implemented. Knowledge dissemination and educational materials will be done.

Your role and goals

The research profiles of the presently open post-doc positions are to actively participate for T-REX project activities, collaboration between partners and contribute to academic research. One post doc will be leading the project in Aalto university and this task can cover 50% of the worktime and other 50% can be allocated for own research. Positions can be filled full or part time and responsibilities can vary accordingly. Each applicant has to select one research area from previously presented focus areas of Aalto university in T-REX project.

Your Experience

We are looking to hire an ambitious colleague who has the capacity to contribute to  continuous renewal of education and research. We expect you to have:  

  • Demonstrable competence in one of the fore mentioned research focus areas. Cross- or multidisciplinary approach in research is appreciated.
  • Experience in university education, having undertaken training in university pedagogy is an additional merit
  • A doctoral degree in suitable discipline.

Successful applicant is expected to take on the following responsibilities, depending on the level of appointment:

  • Conducting individual- and group-based research meeting high international standards, including publishing and participating in funding applications,
  • Participating in student-oriented, high-quality teaching, and supervising undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students’ work.
  • Participating in regular research activities, such as research seminars, workshops and conferences
  • Interacting in various ways with society, Aalto University’s stakeholders in particular

What we offer

  • We offer the opportunity of working in a dynamic world-class community of creative professionals and researchers, with a remit to continuously explore the frontiers of design research and practice.
  • The salary is determined according to the applicant's experience and qualifications. Activities are mainly located in the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University in Espoo, part of the capital region of Finland.
  • Aalto University provides its employees with occupational health care services and excellent learning and development opportunities. Finland is a healthy and safe living environment, offering many excellent state-subsidized services including affordable day care and free schools and universities, which are consistently ranked among the best in the world. 

More information about living and working in Finland:

Get to know Finland and Aalto | Aalto University

Aalto University follows EU rules and regulations on HR policies. Based on the regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, full-time employment at Aalto University is inconsistent with residence abroad. Employment duties need to be performed in Finland. The specific responsibilities and salary are determined based on the applicant’s qualifications and level of position. In addition, Aalto University provides its employees with occupational health care services.

Ready to apply?

To apply, please submit the following application materials through our recruitment system Workday no later than June 10th 2022, at 23:59 EET (UTC+2). Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position by using their existing Workday user account!

The application material must be in English and must include the following documents in PDF format (‘lastname_firstname.pdf’): 

  • Cover letter with a statement of interest in the post that you are applying for 
  • Curriculum Vitae — please use the template recommended by The Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 
  • List of publications, with the maximum three most significant publications highlighted including at least one solo or first authored article. 
  • Research portfolio —a concise (max 3 pages) self-reflection on the merits, long-term vision, and research plan.

We reserve the right, for justified reasons, to leave the position open, to extend the application period.

For more Information

Please contact Associate Professor Kirsi Niinimäki [email protected]

In questions related to the recruitment process, please contact HR
Coordinator Katju Helminen, [email protected] 

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