Flagship projects & special programs
There are several high level projects in the field of materials research and teaching at the moment. Here are some examples of our research excellence:
The Academy of Finland's centre of excellence HYBER operates from 2014 to 2019, and it is hosted by Aalto University. Academy Prof. Olli Ikkala directs HYBER, and the other principal investigators from Aalto are Prof. Markus Linder, Prof. Orlando Rojas and Prof. Janne Laine. The combined expertise enables research of controlling and designing self-assembly and structural hierarchies in multicomponent hybrid materials from the molecular and colloidal level upwards.
Computational Nanoscience (COMP)
The Academy of Finland's centre of excellence COMP (2012-2017) is hosted by Aalto University and directed by Academy Prof. Päivi Törmä. COMP consists of eleven different research groups working on condensed matter and material physics. COMP spans two departments at Aalto University -- the Department of Applied Physics and the Department of Chemistry -- and includes the Department of Physics at Tampere University of Technology.
Closing the loop for high-added-value materials (CloseLoop)
The CloseLoop is a 3.6MEUR programme funded by the Academy of Finland's Strategic Research Council (2016-2019). Prof. Maarit Karppinen leads the project which involves Prof. Jari Koskinen from Aalto. CloseLoop has a multidisciplinary approach to close the loops of high-added-value materials in the secondary circle of materials flow. The project combines social studies on consumer behaviour, public acceptance, and effective policy measures with high-level material and life cycle design.
Prof. Dean Janne Laine and Pirjo Kääriäinen lead the multidisciplinary research collaboration project DWoC, funded by TEKES, focused on finding new and innovative applications for cellulosic materials. The DWoC project combines design thinking and design-driven prototyping with strong competence in technology development. The project takes place 2013-2018 and has received 4.9 MEUR funding.
The NewGlobal project is funded using a strategic research opening by TEKES. The project is lead by Prof. Minna Halme and also involves groups lead by Prof. Peter Lund and Prof. Olli Varis from Aalto University. The target of this project is to create new business innovations for sustainable well-being in resource-scarce communities.
Coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology and Aalto’s responsible Prof. Harri Lipsanen. GRAPHENE is a Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) Flagship funded by the European Union. The research directions within the flagship include graphene and other 2D-material -based nanoelectronics, nanoelectromechanical systems, optoelectronics, photonics, incorporating materials synthesis, characterization and modelling. Other members from Aalto University are Prof. Pertti Hakonen, Prof. Peter Liljeroth, and Prof. Zhipei Sun.
EIT Raw Materials aims to turn the challenge of raw materials dependence into a strategic strength for Europe and in this major EU program, Aalto University is a core partner with high volume in projects. Besides the materials aspects, a further aim is to modernize education and to support entrepreneur thinking that has been implemented into two Master's program at Aalto: Sustainable Metals Processing and Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability.
The European Research Council funding (ERC)
ERC funding is awarded to leading researchers for pioneering work at the frontiers of science. Scientific excellence is the sole criterion on the basis of which ERC frontier research grants are awarded.
ERC Advanced Grant funding
- Professor Pertti Hakonen: Quantum devices in topological matter: carbon nanotubes, graphene, and novel superfluids
- Academy Professor Olli Ikkala: Field driven materials for functions, dissipation, and mimicking Pavlovian adaptation
- ERC Advanced Grant: Biomimetics for Functions and Responses
- Professor Maarit Karppinen: Molecular-Layer-Engineered Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Materials
- ERC Proof of Concept: Novel Thermoelectric Energy Solutions based on Flexible Thin-Film Materials
- Academy Professor Päivi Törmä: Condensation in designed systems
ERC Consolidator Grant funding
- Assistant Professor Paula Hohti: Re-fashioning the Renaissance: Popular Groups, Fashion and the Material and Cultural Significance of Clothing in Europe, 1550-1650
- Visiting Professor Emma Master: Bio-derived High Value polymers through novel Enzyme function
Assistant Professor Robin Ras: Superslippery Liquid-Repellent Surfaces
Professor Mika Sillanpää: Cavity quantum phonon dynamics
ERC Starting Grant funding
- Professor Sebastiaan van Dijken: Electric-Field Control of Magnetic Domain Wall Motion and Fast Magnetic Switching: Magnetoelectrics at Micro, Nano, and Atomic Length Scales
- Postdoctoral researcher Michael Hummel: Unlocking the Entire Wood Matrix for the Next Generation of Carbon Fibers
- Professor Peter Liljeroth: Atomically precise nanoelectronic materials
- Researcher Jani Oksanen: In-cavity thermophotonic cooling
- Professor Hele Savin: Riddle of light induced degradation in silicon photovoltaics
ERC funding awards are categorised according to professional stage: Starting Grants are for top researchers with 2 to 7 years experience after PhD, Consolidator Grants for those with 7–12 years experience after PhD, and Advance Grants supports established researchers known as leaders in their respective field of research. In addition, ERC grant recipients may apply for Proof of Concept funding as a recognition of the innovative potential of their ERC work and to support its commercial use. There are several ERC grants in the field of materials hosted by Aalto University.