One year at Aalto University

I started to work as a tenure track professor at Aalto University in February 2017.  Initially, I was working part time (60%) during a half-year transition period (the rest I worked at VTT), and since August, full time. As one full year is gone, it is a good time to look back.

The first year as a professor at Aalto University has been buzy and interesting.

I currently have a nice small research group with one postdoc/university lecturer and three excellent doctoral candidates. In addition to the doctoral candidates at Aalto University, I am supervising several doctoral candidates outside Aalto University who work with catalysis-related subjects; the total number of doctoral students under my supervision is currently ten. This spring I will supervise at least four Master of Science theses of Aalto University, one of which is made in our laboratory and three are made outside Aalto University. I have recruited one postdoctoral student (we got more than a hundred applications!) who will start in March. Discussions are further going on with two persons who would like to come to do their M.Sc. thesis for other European universities under my guidance.

My teaching responsibilities currently comprise:

  • CHEM-E1130 Catalysis  (M.Sc. level, 5 cr)
  • CHEM-E1140 Catalysis for biomass refining (M.Sc. level, 5 cr)
  • (code to come) Licenciate seminar on Industrial Chemistry and Catalysis (doctoral level, course with varying contents, 3-7 cr)

In addition to taking care of the group duties and teaching, my first year has comprised participating in conferences (also on the organizing side), doctoral defence-related activities (being a custos (supervising professor) and an opponent), participating in the activities of the Finnish Catalysis Society and in the Council of the European Federation of Catalysis Societies (EFCATS), taking an introductory pedagogical course, and preparing funding applications. And of course taking part in internal Aalto activities, as professors are expected.

The first year has been of a continuous change, and I don’t expect the second to be any different in this respect. I am looking forward to and curious of how the second year will be as a tenure track professor at Aalto University.

Posted by Riikka Puurunen

About Riikka Puurunen

Associate professor, Catalysis Science and Technology, at Aalto since February 2017
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