Printed Intelligence: A world of possibilities – My summer job as a research trainee in the Printed Materials Systems team

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Grace Shammas
A couple with scooters

Printed materials have created unprecedented opportunities to fabricate flexible electronics in a scalable and more sustainable way via roll-to-roll printing and hybrid manufacturing technology. VTT is constantly striving to find unique solutions to the world’s problems, and I was recruited to contribute to their work in printed materials.

Last year, I took a big leap and moved to Finland to complete my Nordic Masters degree in Innovative and Sustainable Energy Engineering at Aalto University. Being a center for innovation, VTT became a company I often heard about, whether it be via lecturers in classes, or online. VTT never ceased to intrigue me by their novelty and ambition towards finding solutions to the world’s biggest problems.

By June, the school library was replaced with an office, and I became a VTT summer research trainee in the Printed Materials Systems Team. It did not take long until I felt part of the community, surrounded by friendly employees who were all working towards a common purpose, to make a difference. It was refreshing to be able to utilise the knowledge I have acquired throughout my studies and put it into important work.  

Versatile experiences − from literature reviews to conducting measurements in the laboratory

At VTT, I had the privilege to research and write about meaningful topics regarding the fabrication of flexible printed electrochromic and hybrid system integration. I also conducted a literature review on the fabrication of solid-state batteries utilising a roll-to-roll environment. I spent time in the lab conducting measurements on various OPV samples, learning a number of new skills and was able to develop others. It is a great feeling to know that I was able to grow as a young professional while working on projects that matter and will have a positive impact on the world.  

Working in Finland as an international student

Trying to find work in Finland without being able to interact in Finnish posed to be a challenge when I began searching for a summer position. Many young international students sent in applications and strived to reach out to companies to no avail. It was encouraging to see companies like VTT striving for diversity, giving non-Finnish speaking applicants the same opportunities, and rather focused on what we as individuals can bring forth to the company instead. I believe this has allowed the company to acquire personnel with various backgrounds and life experiences, thus promoting creativity in decision-making and problem solving. 

Reflecting on my experience, I can simply say that I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity and I hope to be able to use this experience in solving technological challenges in the future. I worked with incredibly talented and brilliant individuals who are very driven and have a passion to make a difference through their work.  

 

The author is completing her Nordic Masters in Innovative and Sustainable Energy Engineering at Aalto University. She works as a research trainee in Printed Materials Systems Team at VTT. 

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