Research Team Leader, Liquefaction and carbonization technologies

Are you interested in to lead thermochemical conversion research and looking for a new job opportunity in the field? Do you want to build a science career and work in a versatile role at the interface of academy and industry? 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 is focused 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

We are now looking for a visionary Research Team Leader for our Liquefaction and carbonization team.

In this position, you will have an essential role in influence team’s research vision in development of new sustainable thermochemical conversion processes to achieve global carbon neutrality goals.

Our team, Liquefaction and carbonization, works on thermochemical conversions to develop new solutions for renewable fuels production, chemical recycling of plastics and carbonization. We have excellent facilities for R&D from lab to pilot scale on development and scale-up of thermochemical conversion technologies and product upgrading processes towards circular economy solutions. Team works in close collaboration with our customers and other research teams at VTT with business development and customer oriented approach.

Read more about our research here

Your responsibilities as Research Team Leader: 

  • Visionary leadership of the team. You will be the spokesperson for the research topics and take an active role in promoting its visibility and turning of new solutions into business.
  • Relevance and ambition of the team’s project portfolio and impactful collaboration with companies and other RTOs.
  • Working as one of the key contributors of the area and participating in relevant research projects also yourself.
  • As member of the research area’s leadership team, you find ways to combine competences and foster internal-/external collaboration to ensure wider impact.
  • This is a line manager role, so you are responsible for coaching the team and team members’ performance as an inspiring leader. Development of safety at work, employee wellbeing, recruitment and team’s competence development are your key priority

Who we are looking for:

  • Proven track record in research, process industry and/or energy industry with over five years of experience and responsibilities in different projects including good understanding of process safety and experience of taking responsibility of piloting environment.
  • Especially strong background in thermochemical conversions. More specifically, we are looking for a person background in liquefaction and carbonization of different streams.
  • Understanding of the technical, economic and sustainability conditions in process technologies from lab to pilot scale.
  • Proven research skills with a strong track record in driving excellence and impact in the area of research
  • At least M.Sc. or higher degree in the area of chemistry, chemical/energy engineering or related discipline
  • As a leader, you want to create positive drive and get people excited by coaching and setting ambitious targets together with the team. Strong and proven interpersonal skills are mandatory in the position.
  • Good communication skills in both Finnish and English and ability to build high value research collaboration in the area.

As a person, we hope that you are:

  • Motivating people leader with the ability to coach and develop people
  • Proactive and possess a self-driven mind-set
  • Creative and have the ability to develop new, innovative solutions for customers utilising existing and emerging techniques
  • Eager to learn new things and an ambitious to achieve high goals
  • We appreciate the ability to tolerate pressure and maintain good work-life balance, as well as the willingness to collaborate with experts and partners across different fields.

What we offer you: 

  • Natural sciences with an impact. VTT works on the cutting-edge of natural sciences, and we’ve invested into building state-of-the-art research facilities for natural sciences, such as the Bioruukki pilot infrastructure for bio- and circular economy. Our research agenda is dedicated to solving systemic and technological challenges, such as reaching carbon neutrality and unleashing the power of synthetic biology. That means that at VTT, your expertise in natural sciences will go towards creating real impact. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Superb colleagues and community. With VTT, you’ll join a community of over 2000 multidisciplinary experts who foster a culture of trust, openness and sharing knowledge. We work truly across disciplines, and house all the cutting-edge sciences from quantum computing to synthetic biology under one roof. Collaborating with superb colleagues is a source of learning, inspiration, and fun.  
  • Excellent career in research. 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 over 10 years since there are always new roles and responsibilities to grow into. A combination of cutting-edge academic research and applied customer projects keeps your career path interesting.
  • Support for your well-being. Our people are our main asset, so we take good care of them. We aim to nurture great team spirit and leadership and offer versatile well-being services to enable a good work–life balance. On top of 6 weeks of paid holidays we offer exercise and culture benefits, hobby clubs, and voluntary well-being services such as meditation programmes and trainings on cognitive ergonomics.     

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!


Please send your CV and application with your salary request via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 23th January 2022. We will process applications as they come in, and fill in the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information please contact Jarmo Ropponen, Vice President, Industrial Chemistry, e-mail: or tel. +358400215951 on January 11th between 14-15 and 17th between 15-16.


We look forward to hearing from you!

Location: Espoo, Ruukinmestarintie 2, (Bioruukki)

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Employment type: Fulltime, permanent


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´s turnover and other operating income is 258 M€. VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

VTT – beyond the obvious.

Location: Ruukinmestarintie 2


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