Vice President pre výskum | VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
Katariina Torvinen knows the new possibilities of nanocellulose, papermaking processes and the potential of bio-based materials in the circular economy. Torvinen, who currently works as Research Manager at VTT, has had a comprehensive career as a researcher and familiarised herself versatilely with the different applications of biomass, including the above topics. As Research Manager, she is responsible for leading research on biomass processing and products.
“I follow the progress of research around the world and consider how we at VTT should develop our expertise. As Research Manager, I also prepare jointly funded projects, such as projects funded by Business Finland or the EU. My job is to bring to them the concerted expertise of VTT’s experts”, Torvinen says.
Torvinen has been able to look at VTT from many different angles. She transferred to the research institute from Valmet in 2000 to become a research scientist, after which she advanced first to senior research scientist and then to research manager. Her approximately 20-year career at VTT has included research project management, numerous customer projects, piloting and a doctoral dissertation. She has also acted as Vice President, Research in the Solutions for natural-based resources and environment business area for bio-based resources and materials.
In research and laboratory work, Torvinen has analysed, for example, paper and board products and piloted various biomaterials. Nanocellulose, which has also been called the supermaterial of the future, is one of her specialties, and Torvinen wrote her doctoral dissertation on its applications in printed electronics.
“I do more and more strategic work these days, but sometimes there is an intense longing for the laboratory and piloting. For example, the NoMa project focusing on fibre materials and EffNet were instructive projects. Diverse duties have made me an expert in the circular economy, and nowadays I lecture a lot on the new possibilities of wood, replacing plastics and VTT’s circular economy strategy, for example”, Torvinen says.
Torvinen is passionate about developing environmentally friendly materials. There are many potential uses: biofibres can be used in, for example, textiles, and fibre plastics in the automotive industry.
“I am most inspired by the fact that I can bring VTT’s experts together to solve today’s difficult challenges. It is also great to see cooperation delivering results. My ultimate vision would be for us to be able to replace critical materials, such as cobalt and platinum, with renewable raw materials.”