Postdoctoral Researcher for X-ray scattering analysis of bio-based materials

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 16 Jun 2022

Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. We shape a sustainable future by making research breakthroughs in and across our disciplines, sparking the game changers of tomorrow and creating novel solutions to major global challenges. Our community is made up of 12 000 students, 400 professors and close to 4 000 other faculty and staff working on our dynamic campus in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The School of Chemical Engineering is one of the six schools of Aalto University. It combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way.

The Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems is looking for

Postdoctoral Researcher for X-ray scattering analysis of bio-based materials

A detailed picture of the structure of plant-based materials and efficient methods to characterize it are highly desired to accelerate the development of new, sustainable applications from this abundant renewable raw material. X-ray scattering offers powerful tools for studying the hierarchical structure of wood and other bio-based materials under various external conditions.

We are searching for a Postdoctoral Researcher to support us in wide and small-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS and SAXS) analysis of bio-based materials. Your role includes planning and conducting scattering experiments both inhouse and at synchrotron beamlines, analyzing scattering data and reporting the results, writing and publishing high-quality papers, and interacting with other team members and collaborators from different fields. The position may be especially suitable to a scattering expert, who aims to specialize or gather experience in the scattering analysis of wood-based materials. In this position, you will learn on the applications of scattering methods in bio-based materials, produce fundamental new knowledge on wood nanostructure and its characterization, and enable the development of advanced applications for renewable plant resources. You will also have a chance to instruct the work of PhD candidates and to develop towards a more independent position.

The position is based at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems of Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering (Otaniemi Campus, Espoo, Finland), in the Biobased Materials Structure group led by Dr. Paavo Penttilä. The group’s research evolves around applying scattering techniques to characterize the nanostructure of wood and other bio-based materials, including the development of the associated data analysis. The topics of our ongoing projects include the moisture behavior of wood-based materials and the development of machine learning based analysis of scattering data from wood. We are actively involved in collaborations inside and outside of Aalto University, which are supported by the FinnCERES Flagship Programme of the Academy of Finland. The inspiring and international research environment offers state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, including the X-ray scattering facilities of the OtaNano national research infrastructure.

Your background and expertise

Required qualifications:

  • PhD degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, or a related field, obtained during the past 5 years (excluding possible parental leaves or similar absences)

  • Solid experience in X-ray or neutron scattering or related methods

  • Demonstrated ability to produce high-quality research papers

  • Experience in scientific programming (e.g. Python)

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

Desired previous experience (or interest in learning):

  • Soft matter, biological materials, cellulosic materials

  • Small-angle scattering techniques (SAXS/SANS)

  • Machine learning and its use in scattering analysis

  • Working in a chemistry laboratory

We are searching for an active person with good interaction skills and interdisciplinary mindset.

What we offer

The salary is defined according to the salary system of Finnish universities. The expected starting salary for a postdoc is 3560 €/month and will increase with responsibilities and performance over time. The position is initially for 1 year, with a possibility of extension depending on the funding situation. The contract includes occupational health care, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. Aalto University provides excellent learning and development opportunities, commuter ticket benefit, and versatile exercise services offered with staff discount by UniSport.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact Dr. Paavo Penttilä and in recruitment process related questions, please contact HR Coordinator Tiina Torvinen. Emails:

Ready to apply?

Please, submit your application through our online recruitment system by using the link on Aalto University’s web page ("Apply now”).  

Aalto University’s employees and visitors please note: you should apply for the position via our internal system Workday -> Internal jobs -> find jobs (not external webpage on open positions) by using your existing Workday user account.

To apply, please include the following documents in English and in PDF format:

  • Motivation letter

  • Curriculum Vitae (with list of publications)

  • Doctoral degree certificate

  • Names and contact information of referees

The call for applications is open until June 16, 2022, but we may start reviewing and interviewing candidates immediately. We aim to identify the suitable candidate at latest by the end of June, and the employment would ideally start in September 2022.

Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: Aalto University – Towards a better world , Aalto People , and Shaping a Sustainable Future . You can also check out our webpage about Aalto and Finland: and check out our new virtual campus experience:

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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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