VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Thermophotonics

Do you want to start changing the world for the better next summer? Are you all about science and technology? Would you like to develop your skills and use them to tackle the greatest challenges of our time? VTT might be just the place for you. Apply now for VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 traineeships. Together, we can turn these challenges into a hopeful future.

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 2100 brilliant minds from 50 different nationalities 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. Now, we are looking for passionate changemakers – you – to join us as summer trainees.

Do you want to be our next Research Trainee in our Optical microsystems team? Join us - and let’s make science work for hope next summer! 

Our team, Optical microsystems works on the development of Fabry-Perot interferometers for hyperspectral imaging and sensing, infrared detectors, and thermophotonic devices for optical cooling and energy harvesting. Our technologies enable us to solve world-class problems for a cleaner and safer environment and society, more sustainable industries, and better health and wellbeing. 

What would your responsibilities as a Research Trainee include?

As a Research Trainee, you would be working in close collaboration with other VTTers and with our domestic and international partners toward energy harvesting and electroluminescent cooling applications.

You would be responsible for some of the following, depending on your background and interests:

  • Development of component fabrication steps in VTT’s cleanroom (tools and methods such as EBL, UV-lithography, laser writing, thin film coating, and other processing methods for silicon and III-V semiconductor materials)
  • Electrothermal, electrical, and photonic characterization of fabricated devices
  • Structural device characterization, for example, by SEM and AFM 

Who we are looking for?

You are preferably conducting Master’s degree studies in physics, electrical engineering, photonics, material science, or similar and are soon entering to Master’s thesis phase of your studies. Ideally you have knowledge or experiece in some of the following: 

  • Nano- or Microfabrication/cleanroom work
  • Solid-state physics
  • Photonics
  • Electronics

As a person, we hope that you are thorough and systematic in your approach and strive for excellence and efficiency in your work. We also want you to be eager to develop great communication and collaboration skills. With a positive attitude and a willingness to learn you will come a long way.

The ideal VTT Changemaker is a curious mind, who is eager to develop and take on new challenges. We appreciate ambition and willingness to learn over having all the answers or skills ready when you start. You are also a team player with strong collaboration skills who wants to drive positive impact in the world.

What would we offer you?

  • Impactful work for the future. As a leading applied research organisation, we are on a mission to bring exponential hope to the world by joining together people, businesses, science and technology. We tackle the biggest challenges of our time – from climate change and resource sufficiency to industrial renewal and smart healthcare – and turn them into sustainable growth. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Career opportunities, top-level mentors. At VTT, your skills are appreciated and supported with the opportunity to learn from the top experts in their field. You’ll get to discover our community of over 2100 experts representing more than 50 nationalities working across cutting-edge fields of science and technology.
  • Meaningful projects, real responsibility. With us, you get to take on meaningful projects and create innovative scientific and technical solutions as part of our optical microsystems team. We treat all employees as equals and give you real responsibility from the start. VTT is a caring employer that supports your growth and work–life balance and offers a range of well-being services.

What is like to work with us solving the biggest challenges of our time? Check from the video what kind of experiences Aymara, Daniil, Eric and Isabella had from their summer traineeships and what kind of change did they drive.

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!

Come, curious minds and clever changemakers! Prepare your CV and cover letter, and send in your application with your transcript of records via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 5 February 2023. Let’s change the world for the better next summer.

All VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships are paid and the duration is usually between 3 and 6 months. The exact starting date and length of the traineeship can be discussed. We will process applications as they come in, and fill in the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Please read more of VTT Summer of Changemakers from here: https://www.vttresearch.com/en/summer-changemakers

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information, please contact team leader Aapo Varpula, aapo.varpula@vtt.fi, +358 40 357 1370 on Thursday 19.1 at 14-15 or on Monday 23.1 at 10-11. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Location: Tietotie 3, Espoo

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Employment type: Full-time, Fixed-term (Summer traineeship)


VTT is one of Europe's leading research organisations, a visionary innovation partner for businesses and society. We bring hope to the world by turning the greatest challenges of our time into sustainable growth with cutting-edge science and technology. We employ a community of over 2100 world-class problem-solvers across fields of science and business. You can familialise yourself with VTT's research infra from here.

VTT – beyond the obvious

Location: Otaniemi, Espoo

Currently, we have over 40 truly meaningful and versatile traineeship positions open! See other summer trainee position from VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 pages.


VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Thermophotonics

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