VTT's second Professor of Practice, Dr. Holger Pöhler will deliver in-sight in the field of industrial chemistry. His position belongs to VTT's research area of Sustainable Energy and Chemical Technologies, which promotes bio-economy and sustainable use of natural resources as well as solutions for circular economy.
VTT helps its customers and the society to grow and renew through applied research and technical innovations. Professor of Practice is a new type of a position at VTT, targeted to deliver business in-sight and customer point of view to VTT's research and to enforce its applicability. Professor of Practice complements the work of VTT's Research Professors who guarantee the scientific excellence of the research.
Holger Pöhler has over 20 years of experience in industrial chemistry, and he has been leading teams of experts in pilot plants, application centres and R&D organizations.
– I'm a very practical guy and I have always worked in the industry. When I was contacted about this position and heard the word "Professor", I first thought that this was an academic position. But then again, the words "of Practice" sounded different. I was very attracted by the possibility to create something completely new at VTT and by the freedom to decide how to do it.
– Chemistry is one of the key enablers for many things now and in the future. There are countless ways we can integrate and combine chemistry into new ideas and create tangible solutions for many of the grand challenges we are facing, says Tuulamari Helaja, Vice President of the research area Sustainable energy and chemical technologies. – Professor of Practice plays a key role for shaping the future with chemistry. Holger has long experience and profound in-sight into this area due to his wide industrial background; he knows the field and especially plastic sector. Plastic recycling, or circular solutions more generally speaking, and bio-based products are surely themes Holger will work extensively with and where chemistry will play significant role for enabling industrially viable bio and circular economy solutions.
Holger's specific field is circular plastics. He will be working for closing the loop in the plastics economy and finding new ways to avoid plastic waste by reusing and recycling plastics.
– This is a major global challenge and relatively new field of research at VTT, although we have processing equipment that enables mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics. My task will be to estimate how VTT can contribute to the industry in this field and what is feasible to us, and to build up the strategy and processes for achieving our goals.
Holger started as Professor of Practice in May 2019. His first impression was that VTT offers a very cooperative working environment with an entrepreneurial attitude. – It will be motivating to work for sustainable solutions that help to tackle some major global challenges.