Research Professor, Fusion Technologies

VTT is establishing a Professorship in the field of Fusion Energy related technologies. Would you like to develop innovative technology with superb colleagues who are top experts in their field? Do you want to build an excellent science career and work at the interface of the academy and industry? Are you enthusiastic about working with fascinating projects in state-of-the-art research facilities? VTT might be just the place for you. 

VTT is one of the leading applied research organisations in Europe. What unites us are curiosity, a passion for learning, and a purpose: to solve the biggest challenges of our time and turn them into sustainable growth and well-being. Our cross-disciplinary community of over 2000 brilliant minds focuses on creating impact through science-based innovation. In recent years, we have created ground-breaking innovations such as the world's fastest and most accurate radiation detector, a cancer-sniffing sensor device for smartphones, and a headphone set entirely made of microbial materials. Get to know us further by exploring VTT's research infra at VTT World

Harnessing fusion energy to produce heat and electricity in a power plant is one of the biggest challenges in energy research. While the technology could be exploited only within several years from now, the research has already made progress in science. ITER, the international flagship project of Fusion energy, is about to produce the first plasma within this decade. At the same time commercial companies are pursuing, with help of private investments, new innovative fusion technology solutions to be available to energy market within the same time frame.

Cross-technological research and contributing from the existing competence of fission power plant technologies is essential element in supporting the commercial birth of fusion energy. Development of fusion technology requires   innovations and top notch excellence on various disciplines and application of them into an operating power plant can create new industrial business opportunities.

VTT is seeking to create impact and support for solutions that mitigate climate change and at the same time boost the industrial activity within Finland. Fusion technologies has been identified as remarkable opportunity. VTT, together with a network of Finnish companies, is currently running an innovation ecosystem aiming to take a leap forward in fusion technology.

Fusion research at VTT encompass topics such as fusion plasma physics, remote maintenance and robotics, fusion diagnostics and experiments, artificial intelligence, materials technology, power plant technology, as well as licensing and safety. VTT has 60 years of experience working within fission nuclear energy and therefore has unique possibilities when applying the excellence into solving fusion energy related questions. For example, VTT has a new hot cell laboratory capable for material research of irradiated materials and analytical and computational skills to model and assess effects of neutron irradiation on materials. VTT has  developed a variety of solutions on nuclear waste management domain and has experience that could be applied to nuclear waste streams of fusion energy. Fusion research has started at VTT already in mid-70’s. VTT has been the programme leader of Finnish fusion research since the national fusion research programme was established in 1993.

We are seeking to reinforce our scientific excellence in the field of fusion technology by strengthening and widening the fusion research scope at VTT and exploiting  synergies that are available from research achievements on fission energy. We want to make impact through innovations, implementing them together with industry, while seeking to benefit from fusion related funding to accelerate the development work.

We are now looking for a visionary Research Professor to further grow VTT’s competences in fusion technology.

You  develop fusion related activities and projects in Finland and internationally. You participate in the building up of strategic partnerships with universities, RTOs and companies. Therefore, you should know key actors of the field, and to be aware of trends and major R&D activities in the national and international level.

You work in close co-operation with international fusion research community and with the customers from different industries to whom fusion energy might be a new business area. You are responsible for scientific credibility as we open doors for larger customer projects. You will be interacting with funding agencies and some of the world's leading scientific experts. Hence, you are required to have a combination of scientific knowledge and business sense.

Your role as a Research Professor:

  • Continuing the development of VTT’s scientific excellence in fusion energy
  • Identifying and understanding operational environment and emerging business opportunities in relation to fusion
  • Visionary development of fusion technology while exploiting synergies between fusion and fission technologies
  • Besides scientific results, the outcomes should include IPR and new business innovations
  • Building new interdisciplinary approaches and thought leadership in the area
  • Mentoring and sparring of the researchers at VTT (especially supervising PhD works and postdocs) and preparing high impact scientific publications.

We expect you to have:

  • Capability to exploit the EU funding and private fusion funding opportunities also in benefit for fission research and fusion-fission synergy at VTT
  • Capability to build a visionary fusion research portfolio with global scientific excellence, visibility and credibility. You have capability to initiate new fusion research openings, including both jointly funded and customer solutions.
  • Outstanding scientific and innovation merits in the field of plasma fusion physics. We especially appreciate previous experience on experimental and computational research of fusion reactors and solid understanding of technology related to fusion energy.
  • Strong experience in international and national networking, and proven capabilities to prepare, execute and lead large international and national projects.
  • Demonstrated skills to support creation of multi-technology innovations from fusion energy.
  • Industrial experience and industrial stakeholder contract network is appreciated.
  • A person with proactive and collaborative ways of working as well as good communication and networking skills, thus having an impact both in the scientific community, in the industry and in the society.
  • Interest in inspiring young scientists in their career and all people to do world class research and willingness to support others to achieve excellent results
  • Willingness to support customers in their needs is essential
  • In addition, the successful candidate should understand well the changing operational environment and business landscape of fusion.
  • The applicant should have a doctoral degree and preparedness to work and travel around Finland and internationally.

As a person, we hope that you are:

  • An inspiring and persistent leader
  • Motivated to work in a customer-oriented, multidisciplinary and multi-cultural research organisation
  • Active on international research arenas and networks
  • Ability to develop bigger research initiatives and portfolios
  • Curious and open-minded, and able to combine different competencies for new solutions
  • Innovative and entrepreneurial, identifying commercial opportunities from our research
  • Excellent networker with good communication skills
  • A role model, who will be promoting VTT’s values, spirit and culture in the organisation and act according to VTT`s leadership principles.

With VTT, you’ll enjoy:

  • Visionary work in technology. We offer positions at the cutting-edge of technology and engineering, from next-generation microelectronics and quantum technology to automation and robotics, energy systems, and more. Our research agenda is dedicated to creating sustainable growth by solving systemic and technological challenges, so your work will go towards creating a real, positive impact. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Fascinating projects, excellent research environment. Our researchers get to work on a combination of cutting-edge academic research and applied customer projects locally and internationally. At VTT, you'll have state-of-the-art research facilities, such as Micronova, the Finnish research infrastructure for micro-, nano-, and quantum technologies.  
  • Great career opportunities, superb colleagues. At VTT, excellence in research is a strategic priority. We offer long-term positions and stable career paths in top-level research. People tend to stay with us for over ten years since there are always new roles and responsibilities to grow into. Collaborating in a cross-disciplinary community with superb colleagues is a source of learning, inspiration, and fun. Read more about our organisational culture as the builder of the world's most meaningful place to work.
  • Nordic work–life balance. Working in Finland, the happiest country in the world, enables a great quality of life. At VTT, we make our people’s well-being a strategic priority. We offer 6 weeks paid vacation a year, and our benefits include extended occupational healthcare, and a range well-being services, such as exercise and culture benefits and hobby clubs. Read more about the benefits of living and working in Finland as well as VTT's support for relocation of the new employees.

Application should consist of the following documents (in English):

  • A complete curriculum vitae, maximum of 10 pages
  • A cover letter indicating your motivation for the position
  • A complete list of publications (10 most significant publications marked)
  • Summary of research activities carried out so far (maximum two pages)
  • Your research vision as a research professor, maximum of two pages

Please send your application and the documents above with your salary request via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 26 September 2022. VTT uses international experts to evaluate the scientific relevance of the applicants to this topic.

Interested and want to know more?

For further information, please contact Tommi Nyman, Vice President, Nuclear Energy,, +358 50 360 7823 on 5 September at 2pm–3pm or 20 September at 9am–10am.

The position of the Research Professor is fixed term for five years with the possibility of a new five years period and/or permanent position.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply between and
Employment type: Fulltime, Fixed term


VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have over 75 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

VTT – beyond the obvious.

Location: Kivimiehentie 3, Espoo

Please see our other Green Transition positions from here: Apply for VTT's Green Transition opportunities

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