Research & Art

Materials and sustainable use of natural resources

Materials research ranges from the performance and design of materials, condensed-matter and materials physics, textiles, nanotechnology, bio-based materials, and mechanics to the sustainable use of natural resources.
An abstract composition of different metals and forms.
Mixed compositions. Photo by Eeva Suorlahti.

Our expertise in the area of materials covers a wide range of fields: from the performance and design of materials, condensed-matter and materials physics, nanoscience and nanotechnology, mechanics and materials to the sustainable use and processing of natural resources.

Also, our materials research contributes to diverse applications in ICT, energy and health technologies, textile design for fashion industry, bio-based product and arts design, and many other areas of industry.

 

Materials Research at Aalto University

The materials research at Aalto University is well-established in excellence.

  • Publications in materials science at Aalto are cited 55% more than the world average (MNCS 1.55);
  • 17.8% of our publications belong to the most cited 10% in the world (Top 10 = 17.8%);
  • Aalto hosts two Academy of Finland Centres of Excellence and over ten ongoing ERC grants related to materials research.
  • The annual budget of the materials related research at Aalto is 75 million euros, from which one-third comes from external sources, such as the EU, Finnish ministries, and foundations.

 

The Aalto Networking Platform promotes cross-disciplinary collaborations and communication, inside and outside Aalto University, to advance the field of materials science and its applications. 

Upcoming events

Latest news in this area

Professori Monika Österberg.
Research & Art Published:

Professor Monika Österberg's team received funding for the development of bio-based packaging materials

The Finnish Research Foundation funding given to Professor Monika Österberg's team will enable Aalto University and Kemira to explore the possibilities of developing fully bio-based packaging materials to reduce the use of plastics in the packaging industry.
City of Grenoble where the Unite! Winter School takes place.
Studies Published:

Apply now to the Unite! Winter School on Biomass Valorisation

The Unite! university alliance's Winter School will focus on biomass valorisation. It is held on 6-10 February, 2023 in Grenoble, France.
Life 1.5 in black font and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.
Campus, Press releases, Research & Art, University Published:

Wardrobe of the Future, giant bug hotel, vertical farming and more - Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition of ideas for a more planet-friendly life

The exhibition themes this year are life without a trace, sustainable style and a healthier food chain.
MMD group in 2022
Research & Art Published:

The MMD research group is mapping the spaces between disciplines

The Multifunctional Materials Design research group (MMD) led by professor Jaana Vapaavuori focuses on experimental studies of soft materials, as well as inorganic-organic hybrids. The group’s ultimate goal is to combine multiple functionalities in the same material. Central to the group’s success are their efforts to stay open to ideas outside their own field, as well as the academic community itself.

Flagships and Centres of Excellence

Birch leaves. Photo: Valeria Azovskaya

FinnCERES - Flagship for boosting bioeconomy (external link)

Boosting the world’s bioeconomy by developing new bio-based materials with Aalto University and VTT, companies, and research organizations through a shared passion to create a sustainable future and a belief in innovations based on solid scientific foundations.

The LIBER Center of Excellence

LIBER aims to create dynamic and soft hybrid materials with a capability to learn, adapt or response to the environment. LIBER combines eight research groups with expertise on molecular self-assembly, soft robotics, surfaces and interfaces, genetic engineering of proteins, biotechnological production of engineered biomolecules, and computational modelling.

Researcher at Aalto University fixating a tool for graphene research purposes

GRAPHENE Flagship

The Graphene Flagship represents a new form of joint, coordinated research on an unprecedented scale, forming Europe's biggest ever research initiative.

The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the space of 10 years, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities.

Aalto Materials Platform
Image from remote site: batcircle.aalto.fi

BATCircle consortium (external link)

BATCircle aims at improving the manufacturing processes of battery chemicals and the mining and metals industries and to increase the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

Cross- and trans-disciplinary networks and initiatives

Creative Sustainability The Test Site with UWAS Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course. © Abigail Garbett

The Test Site

The Test Site is a student-led network of practical sustainability at Aalto University.

Creative Sustainability
Image: Aalto University, AaltoTEXTILES network

AaltoTEXTILES network (external link)

AaltoTEXTILES is a network linking all textile-material related activities within design, technology and business at Aalto University

Infrastructure

Kvanttibitit. Kuva: Jan Goetz.

OtaNano

OtaNano is Finland's national research infrastructure for micro-, nano-, and quantum technologies

Aalto Ice Tank

Aalto Ice and Wave Tank

Aalto Ice and Wave Tank is a multipurpose basin ideally suited for testing ships and other maritime structures in ice conditions.

Research and learning infrastructures
Arts_Infra - PrintLab workshop by Jaakko Kahilaniemi

Workshops - Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture

At the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, hands-on learning is essential. Our students have access to one of the finest workshop environment in the world, with a very high workshop to student ratio.

Bioeconomy Infrastructure

Research infrastructure (external link)

Learn more about our research equipment

Anturipiiri

Aalto Electronics-ICT - Electronics test facilities

School of Electrical Engineering offers 4 electronic test facilities

Services

Featured research bodies and courses

Photo: Nina Riutta

Bio2Future PhD Summer School - bioeconomy courses for postgraduates

Aalto University has launched a summer school to support PhD students who are studying bioeconomy-related subjects. Bio2Future offers 1-2 high-level postgraduate courses each summer in a range of current subject areas.

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Empirica tutkimusryhmän työtä

Empirica – Research on art, design and culture (external link)

Group approaches research with an attitude, where making, acting and engaging play important roles.

Illustration of a tree in soil with details of roots, carbon, nutrients

Carbon Lane -project

Carbon Lane (CarLa) is an EIT Climate-KIC funded project which takes place during 2019. The project explores practical carbon drawdown solutions for urban green areas

Department of Design
Aalto University/Ioncell-F

Ioncell-F

Ioncell-F technology developed at Aalto University in collaboration with the University of Helsinki converts wood into textiles without any harmful chemicals.

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems
Aalto Pack-age student project

Pack-Age

Pack-Age is an innovative packaging design course uniting visual communication, design, business and engineering thinking to sustainability and project-based learning.

Corporate collaboration

Our departments in this area

Low Temperature Laboratory

Department of Applied Physics

The Department of Applied Physics pursues vigorous research in physical sciences and creates important industrial applications that hold great technological potential.

Illustration of combined TMS and EEG methods

Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering

We study system-level dynamic functions of the human brain, mind and body.

 Simone Haslinger and Sherif Elsayed in the laboratory

Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Enabling bio and circular economy

Researchers in the lab

Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering

Sustainable future with high performance products

Kaksi henkilöä kuvan äärellä

Department of Built Environment

Water resources, spatial data, sustainable asset management and safe transportation.

Researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering

The Department of Civil Engineering aims to build the structures of tomorrow through research, education and collaboration.

Experiment underway in the Aalto Ice and Wave Tank

Department of Mechanical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is a leading multidisciplinary research establishment with strong industrial ties and impact on industry and society alike.

Image

Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation

The Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation is an ecosystem where scientists and engineers from different fields of microsystems, electrical engineering and automation work together to solve the most challenging scientific problems.

Aalto University / Aalto satellite / photo: Mikko Raskinen

Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering

Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering (ELE) conducts research and arranges related teaching courses in the fields of electromagnetics, micro and nanotechnology, radio engineering, and space technology.

Main image of Aalto Design Research Page

Aalto Design Research

Aalto Design Research is a leading centre of excellence of enquiry in and through design.

Department of Design
A coat made of Ioncell. Design: Anna-Mari Leppisaari. Photo: Eeva Suorlahti

Fashion/Textile Futures

The Fashion/Textile Futures research group explores new perspectives on human-centered design research. The group approaches research in the field of fashion, clothing and textiles in multi-faceted ways.

Department of Design

Key research area contact

 Dr. Heidi Henrickson

Dr. Heidi Henrickson

Manager, Materials & Sustainable Use of Natural Resources | Arts & Design Knowledge-Building Key research areas, Aalto Networking Platform
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