School of Chemical Engineering

Student Jonna Jyrämä: 'I can make a difference by shaping a greener future'

Inspiring a new generation of future chemists at part-time job for Aalto Junior, working in different teams to create new innovative solutions and an interest towards sustainability, Jonna Jyrämä is graduating in 2021 from the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Fibre and Polymer Engineering
Jonna in a ballgown in the park wearing a Teekkari cap

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

I have followed the footsteps of my parents, who are both alumni from former TKK, now Aalto University. Whilst in high school it was very clear to me that my future studies would be related to engineering and technology. I was very interested in mathematics, physics and chemistry. During my studies in high school I found chemistry the most interesting of these three topics and that has been leading my choices when applying to university.

I chose to study in a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, since I think this major gives excellent skills for the future work life ahead and from this major I will graduate to be an expert in my field. As an expert, I feel like I have the ability to make a difference and to change the game towards better and greener future. Sustainability and more eco-friendly approach are certainly needed in this world and with the means of science and chemistry, we have good chance to make this world a better place for the generations to come after us and I want to be part of that.

What was the best thing about your studies?

In the major of fibre and polymer engineering the best thing all in all is the endeavor to find better solutions. By this I mean that the studies are based on current situation in the research and industrial field and the students are urged to question the current knowledge and innovate new solutions. Innovativeness, creativeness and taking initiative are encouraged throughout the studies. Accompanied with a lot of practical work in laboratory and different types of team work, this major provides an excellent skillset for the future work life.

Another great thing about the studies is the academic freedom. The studying and the progress of the studies are in my own responsibility, which enables flexibility in the timetables and schedules, but also teaches a lot. During my studies I have learned to manage my time well as well as to be organised and productive.

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

My favourite course so far has been Cellulose-based fibres during the first semester of the Master’s degree, which included first a more theoretical, lecture-oriented part and after that practical hands-on part in the laboratory. What made this course so great, was the fact that the required knowledge to complete the laboratory part was given in the first part, before entering the lab. It made me more confident about the laboratory project. Another major thing that made me love this course was that we students got to ideate our own laboratory projects and take the initiative. Of course, the theme had to be somewhat related to the cellulose based fibres, but otherwise we got to choose freely. Me and my lab partner were fascinated about the cellulose based glitter, which had already been done in Aalto. We asked from the people in charge of that research, whether we could do our project in that area and they agreed! We got to make our own beautiful and unique glitter from natural raw materials. The close connect to eco-friendliness and nature made this unforgettable!

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

Actually, I have not worked yet in the field of my own major, but instead I have developed myself another area of expertise by working in the MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) industry for three years. At first I worked as a processing operator for one summer and after that I started working as an engineer trainee, during the following two summers full time and during school years part time. Inspired by my job I decided to study an elective minor in my Master’s Degree from the area of Functional Materials.

I am very happy that as I graduate, I will of course have excellent knowledge on fibre and polymer engineering thanks to my major studies, but also a solid foundation about MEMS industry, MEMS manufacturing and work as a process engineer thanks to my job as an engineer trainee. I feel like in the time of one degree I would have gained two.

I have also had another part time job during the past three years. I have been part of Aalto Junior organisation, which is like the whole Aalto University in miniature size. We ideate, create and organise interesting workshops, camps, visits, courses, lectures and events in the fields of science, arts, technology and business to kids all ages, and to their parents and teachers as well. This year, all these are also organised virtually!

In Aalto Junior I have worked a lot as an instructor of chemistry and science related workshops in a laboratory to encourage primary, secondary and upper secondary school students to study these subjects in the future. My time in Junior has been great and educational, and I always try my best to make chemistry and science fun! I love working with kids and I always hope to see a smile on their faces as I manage to bring them joy and enthusiasm by the means of chemistry and science!

What are your future career goals? 

After my graduation I want to work in an inspiring and challenging position, where team work plays a big role. I’m hoping that I can work with the topics I have already worked with during studies. I hope that my future job is related to developing environmentally better solutions and working towards more green future, since sustainability is close to my heart.  

I have also interest in management and leadership, since I like to work with different kinds of people, and I have had positive experiences from smaller leading roles during my studies. In one way or another I am aiming to move towards that: it can mean promotions in my future job, studying additional courses or another degree in that area. I am letting time to tell me which of these pathways is the best, luckily I don’t have to have every step of the future completely planned yet!

Read more about the programme

Fibre and Polymer Engineering major

Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Fibre and Polymer Engineering

Do you want to use your science and engineering skills to help tackle some of society’s biggest challenges? If so, the Fibre and Polymer Engineering could be for you. As a graduate from Fibre and Polymer Engineering you will have a diverse set of science and engineering skills that you can apply to the development of tomorrow’s sustainable materials. In addition to a strong grounding in science and engineering, graduates from Fibre and Polymer Engineering acquire skills in interdisciplinary team working, multidisciplinary thinking and product development. At the core of education in Fibre and Polymer Engineering is sustainability. Our focus is on the resource-efficient conversion of renewable biobased resources into materials for textiles, composites and many other products.

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