D.Sc. (Tech.) Mikko P. Mäkelä was named to the post of Research Professor in smart processing of biomass at VTT from 1 May 2020. Mäkelä has previously worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and most recently, Aalto University.
Smart processing of biomass involves the optimisation and digitalisation of processing through the utilisation of new measurement and modelling methods, among other things. In his post Mäkelä will be supporting VTT research with the help of experimental design and mathematical data analysis and will be making new research initiatives in the development of imaging and machine vision applications for handling biomass and textiles, for example. The task requires many types of skills and knowledge and the building of a collaborative network of experts in different fields.
“With this professorship we will strengthen our goals of moving in the international front line in the utilisation of digital technology and new methods of measurement in the development of biomaterials of the future”, says Jani Lehto, Vice President, Biomass processing and products.
In his new post, Mikko P. Mäkelä will be advancing the utilisation of the latest machine vision technologies in recycling processes:
“Machine vision solutions based on hyperspectral cameras and mathematical image analysis will enable us to determine the chemical and physical characteristics of textiles for future sorting and recycling. As an example, we can quickly determine the composition of textile fibres and fibre mixtures with a sufficient degree of precision from large material flows. The fibres can then be sorted and – for instance – chemically recycled to make new fibres. This supports the circular economy of textiles and reduces the need for virgin fibres and the associated environmental impacts”, Mäkelä explains.
Research professor Mikko P. Mäkelä
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