Dear colleagues, collaborators, emeriti, old and potential future colleagues and collaborators,
Year 2020 approaches the end. Quite a year it was, with Covid-19 impacting pretty much everything. Despite the challenges, the Catalysis research group kept on operating and made progress. It is a good time to look back on the activities in the past year.
As for research, in 2020, several projects started or progressed to the next level: the company-funded HDN catalysis project, the Academy of Finland funded COOLCAT project (on CO2 hydrogenation to methanol), and the ALDI project from the Academy of Finland September 2019 call. Positions for M.Sc. thesis workers, doctoral students, postdocs, research assistant and summer student were open and filled; this will continue in 2021. The current group composition can be viewed on our website, aalto.fi/cmet/catalysis and my project portfolio in https://research.aalto.fi/en/persons/riikka-puurunen/projects/.
In teaching, course CHEM-E1130 Catalysis in Jan-Feb was still completed mostly as usual, while Covid-19 impacted course CHEM-E1140 Catalysis for Biomass Refining (due to curriculum changes organized for the last time). In the spirit of the slogan “more openness for research and teaching”, the (overall very positive) student feedback is openly shared in the MyCourses websites of the courses, with teacher’s counter feedback. Part of CHEM-E1140 will live on — in a somewhat modified form — as a Scientific Article Exercise in the CHEM-E0105 Academic Learning Community course.
Other noteworthy things from 2020 from the Catalysis research group:
- In total nine articles were published by the current group members or previous associates of work made at Aalto CHEM – see the list at the end of this message
- Yaseen Khan defended his doctoral thesis
- Emma Verkama completed her Master’s theses
- Fully remote summer works (due to Covid-19) were successfully experimented with
- Joint presentation “On the fundamentals of ALD: the importance of getting the picture right” was given by Puurunen and van Ommen at ALD 2020, see e.g. Catalysis Professor’s Open blog https://blogs.aalto.fi/catprofopen/2020/07/05/on-the-fundamentals-of-ald-the-importance-of-getting-the-picture-right-by-puurunen-and-van-ommen/
- 2020 November Networking – ALD at Aalto University was organized fully online, experimenting with a Zoom-breakout-room-based online poster session. Feedback was overall very positive, also of the new type of poster session. At the time of writing this, the recorded lecture videos are still to be finalized, and the plan is also to share some of the feedback obtained. Thanks again for speakers and organizers!
- New startup started operating: Chipmetrics Oy commercializes test chips for ALD saturation profile measurement, developed by Puurunen and collaborators at VTT. More info e.g. in pillarhall.com. (For clarity: Puurunen is not affiliated with Chipmetrics Oy.)
- “More openness in science and teaching” has been realized e.g. by releasing images in Wikimedia Commons with Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 copyright, for reuse by anyone – see Category: atomic layer deposition