Senior / Principal Scientist, Plastics and Biomass Pyrolysis

Are you interested in creating value from side streams and looking for a new job opportunity in the field? Would you like to do impactful research with superb colleagues who are top experts in their field? Do you want to strengthen your 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. Get to know us further by exploring VTT’s research infra at VTT World. 

We are now looking for Senior / Principal Scientist to join our Thermal Liquefaction and Upgrading team. 

In this position, you will have a key role in planning, implementation, and leading projects in the field of thermochemical conversions.  

As a Senior / Principal Scientist you are responsible for building, implementing and steering our project portfolio in the field of biomass and plastics pyrolysis, while developing substance knowledge and competence for our organisation’s and customers’ needs. You’ll have an active role in customer relations and project acquisition. Your in-depth expertise will help steer research at VTT level. 

Our team, Thermal Liquefaction and Upgrading, works on thermochemical conversions of biomass and plastics to develop new solutions for renewable fuels production, chemical recycling of plastics, and carbonization. We have unique 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. The team works in close collaboration with our customers and other research teams at VTT with a business development and customer-oriented approach.  

Read more about our research:

Thermochemical conversion

VTT Bioruukki piloting centre for new bio-based products and circular economy solutions

Your responsibilities as Senior / Principal Scientist: 

  • Project acquisition and planning regarding plastics and biomass pyrolysis. Acting as project manager in large and often international projects. 
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with our co-operation partners and recognising their research needs. 
  • Participating actively in publication and innovation activities, often also as a supervisor for publications. 
  • Directing and developing our team’s capabilities in cooperation with other team members 

Who we are looking for: 

  • A top-level expert with a background in thermochemical conversion processes or biomass/plastic pyrolysis product upgrading R&D, good networks and previous experience in leading industrial and/or multi-national R&D projects. 
  • Combination of academic education and practical work experience is a good background for the role. Minimum M.Sc. degree with a relevant focus (etc. Chemistry, Energy or Process Engineering). Doctoral degree can be considered as a benefit.  
  • You are fluent in written and spoken English. Other languages incl. Finnish is a plus. 

As a person, we hope that you are: 

We are looking for a candidate who can work efficiently and proactively in our research team and be independently responsible for project management. Good communication skills are required, as you will be collaborating regularly with scientists, technicians and other stakeholders.  

  • You work well in a group as well as independently 
  • You have good presentation and networking skills 
  • You love to share your vision and expertise and develop it further 

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 October 9 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 Research Team Leader Aino Kainulainen +358504659887 on 26.9. 9-10,  28.9. 9-10 and 4.10.15-16.


We look forward to hearing from you! 


Location: Ruukinmestarintie 2, Espoo, Finland 

Apply between and
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 is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

VTT – beyond the obvious.

Location: Ruukinmestarintie 2


Address on map

Are you sure you want to withdraw this application?

Saving changes
Saving changes