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Doctoral Researcher in Polymer Technology

The universities of Helsinki and Tampere, together with the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and participating companies, run a joint DSII Scale-up Pilot project, which offers positions for doctoral researchers working in close cooperation with industry.

Of the eight researchers who will be selected for the program, half will be located at the University of Helsinki and half at Tampere University, but both universities participate in the guidance of selected doctoral students. This enables a unique opportunity for diverse and complementary research from theory to applications in a highly motivated, cross-disciplinary environment, while focusing on research questions that are directly relevant to industry and business.

The partner company for this position is Borealis Polymers Oy. Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European front-runner in polyolefin recycling. 

The employer for this position is Tampere University.

Job description

The purpose of the job is to create new knowledge for academia and industry in polymer technology. The motivation for the research stems from Circular Economy: there is a need to increase the amount and quality of recycled polyolefin (PE, PP) feedstock. Currently, there is significant variation in the feedstock quality and purity, which negatively affects the level and consistency of the end product quality.


Thus, the objective of the project is to study means to homogenise the recyclate feedstock to achieve constant and high-quality end products. As a result of the project, we will better understand the variation within the feedstock, ways to control it and procedures to ensure the targeted end product quality.

As a doctoral researcher, you will conduct research and contribute to developing new methods for automatically retrofitting products using software solutions. You will work with the behavioural models of existing products. Part of the product’s functionality change can be programmed, but other aspects may need to be experimented with using AI/ML.


The cloud testing environment potentially allows using machine learning methods for searching for a good fit of the new product configuration to match the behaviour of an existing product. The results will be disseminated in scientific peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, doctoral network events and events with industry.

The results will be disseminated in scientific peer-reviewed journals, international conferences, doctoral network events and events with industry.

At the universities, the work will be supervised by Assoc. Prof. Essi Sarlin (Tampere University, research group of Plastics and Elastomer Technology) and Prof. Tomi Männistö (University of Helsinki, Empirical Software Engineering research group). You will also be supported by practitioners in the steering group, including company representatives and postdoctoral university staff members. 

By participating in DSII events, excursions and meetings with your fellow doctoral students and the DSII team, you will both get and provide peer support and make your own contribution to the development of DSII.

DSII Scale-up Project requires the doctoral researcher to be ready to work on the campuses of both universities and also on the premises of the partner company when necessary.


You need an applicable master’s degree in materials science, polymer chemistry or a related discipline.

The position requires:

  • Knowledge of processing-structure-property-performance hierarchy of polymeric materials, specifically thermoplastics

  • Theoretical knowledge and preferably hands-on experience in processing and characterization of thermoplastics

  • Analytical skills

  • Ability to adjust in a dynamic environment like circular economy

  • A good command of both spoken and written English.

We appreciate that you would have experience in at least some of the following: 

  • Recycling of plastics

  • Statistical process control

  • Statistical data analysis.

Therefore, you need to have an inquiring mind and the ability to think independently while also being able to work in a team and be an active member of the DSII community.

A good command of English, both in writing and in oral presentations, is required.

How to apply & more info

The position will be filled for a fixed-term period of four years, starting in fall 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter.

APPLY and find a more detailed description of the position, salary, and other terms of employment and working conditions on the Tampere University.

For further information, please contact:

Assoc. Prof. Essi (on August 7th or thereafter)
Prof.  Tomi Männistö 

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