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Postdoctoral Researcher for Ioncell® Fiber Spinning

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and nearly 400 professors. Our campus is located in Espoo, Finland.

We are now looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher for Ioncell® Fiber Spinning

Ioncell® is a new sustainable process for the production of man-made cellulose fibers (MMCFs) based on the dissolution of cellulose pulp or cellulose waste textiles in an ionic liquid (IL), air gap spinning of the spinning solution (dope) and a subsequent solvent recovery step in which the water is removed from the IL. The entire process is operated in a closed loop. Over the last six years, the process has been gradually developed on a laboratory scale. At present, a small pilot plant is being installed in which the entire process, fiberline and solvent recovery, can be operated as in a commercial operation.

Your task will be to learn the fiber process theoretically and practically on a laboratory scale until the pilot plant is commissioned in the first quarter of 2021.

In addition, important laboratory-scale studies must be carried out before the pilot plant is started up to ensure effective start-up of the pilot plant.

The idea is that you will be involved in the start-up of the pilot plant and later in the operation of the pilot plant, focusing on the fiberline. The duration is limited first to one year, but there is the possibility to extend the contract for another two or more years.

The position is situated within the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems on the main campus of Aalto University in Otaniemi.

Your role and tasks

  • Learning and performance of airgap spinning according to the Ioncell® process
  • Testing of different unique components of the spinning line that will be used later in the pilot plant
  • Participation in the commissioning of the pilot plant and later in the operation of the pilot plant with focus on the fibre line, from raw material to staple fibre bales; process control; data evaluation; reporting; scientific data analysis with a view to identifying relevant process property relationships within the Ioncell® process
  • Instructions of PhD students
  • Publishing the results in peer-reviewed journals


The candidate in question should have a solid background in pulp chemistry and technology, polymer chemistry and technology or physics with experience in biopolymers, preferably cellulose and/or other lignocellulosic components.

The candidate should also have:

  • PhD in polymer chemistry&engineering, polymer physics or (polymer) engineering
  • Working experience in a pulp mill or in a chemical plant
  • High motivation for research
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English
  • Experience in carrying out independent research and working in a team environment

Salary and contract terms

The salary is based on Aalto University’s salary system. The contract includes occupational health benefits and Finland has a comprehensive social security system.

For more information

For additional information, please contact Professor Herbert Sixta ([email protected]) (in matters related to the recruitment process, HR Coordinator Tiina Torvinen [email protected].

Ready to apply?

To apply, please submit the following materials (in English and pdf-format) through our online recruitment system:

  • cover letter
  • CV
  • list of publications
  • short research interest description
  • course transcripts of Doctoral degree with grades and Certificate of Doctoral degree
  • referees with contact details

Please send your application, at earliest convenience and no later than 30.9.2020 through the online recruitment system (link below).

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.

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