School of Chemical Engineering

Alumna Salli Aikio: "I want to make an impact and build a better future through sustainable metals processing"

Projects with companies working in the field, interesting trainee positions and a passion for sustainability. Salli Aikio graduated in 2019 from the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Sustainable Metals Processing.

Salli in the forest smiling

Why did you want to study a degree in Master of Science in Chemical Engineering?

It was an obvious choice for me to study my Master's Degree in the School of Chemical Engineering, since I had just finished my Bachelor's Degree at the same school. I wanted to strengthen the knowledge I had received during my Bachelor's studies. Furthermore, I wanted to study something that was related to sustainability, material science, and impacted the future. The degree in Master of Science in Chemical Engineering checked all the boxes.

 What was the best thing about your studies?

The fact that I am really studying something that is meaningful and important as well as realising that this is what I want to do in the future. It was great to see that all of the courses were somehow related to each other and that each course taught me a new point of view of metals processing. I also enjoyed when some of the courses were in collaboration with the European Mining Course (EMC) and we had a chance to get familiar and work with students from different European universities.

What course did you find most interesting and what was it about?

I think the most interesting courses were the ones where we had to solve real life cases. For example, in the Applied Electrochemistry and Corrosion course we had a corrosion design task in which we had to figure out how the corrosion can be prevented and can we redesign the system by a corrosion preventing method to the object. In addition, project courses, such as designing a battery waste recycling plant, were really interesting. This is because we really got close to doing things that are really being done at corresponding companies and the subjects were related to current trends in the metals processing industry.

Do you already have a job after your studies? How did you get it?

Unfortunately, I do not have a job related to my studies. The worldwide pandemic has been in the way of my job hunting. However, in such a situation, one must not become discouraged. My advice for the future graduates looking for a permanent job related to their studies is that your persistence will be rewarded and new opportunities are waiting just around the corner.

 Have you been working during your studies in the field that you are studying (for e.g. summer job)?

Yes, I have! Before my Master's studies, I worked as a summer trainee in a steel factory called SSAB. This increased my interest and eagerness to study metals processing. During my Master's studies I had the chance to work as a Product Development Trainee in the aforesaid company and later my Master's Thesis was conducted by the same company. It is important to pay attention to your summer jobs, since they might play a big role when it comes to finishing the Thesis and graduation.   

What are your future career goals? 

I want to be in a position where I enjoy my work and where I am able to create new technologies and make the future even better. I am not expecting that I would be in my dream job right away. Even though I have graduated, I still think I am constantly learning new things about this industry. Therefore, I want to have a job, where I can develop myself and improve the skills that I already have and what is important, learn completely new things. 

Read more about the programme

Students inspecting batteries

Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Sustainable Metals Processing

Sustainable Metals Processing at Aalto University is the only major specialisation field in Finland focusing on sustainable production and recycling of metals and minerals – the main pillars of modern society and economy. For example, no modern cities, energy, transportation or smart phones would not exist without them.

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