Monika Österberg new FinnCERES Research Co-Principal Investigator at Aalto University
Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Professor Monika Österberg has been selected as the FinnCERES Research co-Principal Investigator at Aalto University, starting August 2020. She will support Aalto’s Research PI Orlando Rojas, as Orlando is currently transitioning to a new position as the Canada Research Excellence Chair in Forest Bioproducts at the University of British Columbia. Monika will start to take care of selected Flagship responsibilities and ultimately take over Orlando's position in May 2022.
Monika has been working at Aalto University as a Professor in Bioproduct Chemistry since 2012. In addition to supervising a dynamic research team, she has also actively contributed to development of teaching and assessing its quality at the School of Chemical Engineering.
As PI on previous externally funded research projects (Business Finland, Academy of Finland, Foundation for Research of Natural Resources), her expertise in bio-based material science and surface chemistry of lignocellulosics is cutting edge, with potential for novel applications. Currently, her research group is focusing on valorisation of lignin, development of lignocellulosic nanomaterials and exploring green approaches for their surface modification. In addition, she has broad experience in collaborating with industrial partners.
Since its early days, Monika has been active in FinnCERES. She leads a FinnCERES research project, LigCNF - Tailoring CNF(HEFCEL) properties by colloidal lignin particles aiming at structures with enhanced properties with colleagues at VTT. Furthermore, she supervises one of the recently hired Young Talents of FinnCERES, doctoral student Roberta Teixeira Polez, on another project, Bio-based hydrogels with lignin particles applied to tissue engineering.