Mika Järvinen | AIChE

Mika Järvinen

Associate Professor
Aalto University

I did my Master’s degree in Lappeenranta University of Technology and graduated 1997 from the Department of Energy Technology. My first experience on working in the laboratory of Energy Engineering and Environmental Protection (ENY) as a summer research assistant was on 1996. During 1996-7 I worked in the Ahlstrom Machinery Corporation as a research engineer/Master’s thesis worker in Helsinki and Varkaus works in Finland. I came back to Aalto University 1998 to carry out my post-graduate studies. After my dissertation 2002, I have been a post-doctoral researcher in several research projects. Currently I work as a Academy of Finland Research Fellow and Professor (fixed term) and head of our laboratory.

During the last 10 years I have been very actively searching new co-operational partners and fields of technology to extend the research selection that we can offer. Based of my own experience, a broad spectrum of different fields gives the unit flexibility in changing economic situations. For example, when being involved with energy, pulp and paper, biomass, metallurgy and waste management areas gives us continuity over longer periods of time. This also helps to keep you mind open and it is easier to keep up motivation. I want to base research work and also teaching on good knowledge on basic sciences: physics, thermodynamics, chemistry, mathematics and programming skills. If you know these well, there are no limitations on what field you can operate. Of course, it is not possible to be a real expert on everything, so you also need partners.

After the retirement of our former and long time professor Carl-Johan Fogelholm, I have been the professor and the head of the laboratory on fixed term (May 1, 2012 – November 31, 2013). This has been a really interesting and nice period. I have enjoyed the new tasks and possibilities offered by the professor position. I was nominated to Aalto University TENURE TRACK 1st of December 2014 for 5 years so no it is time show that I really can manage this job.

Although having a long history within the Energy engineering and environmental protection unit, I am not fixed to maintain the “old and good” standards. I like to continuously challenge myself and the others in the unit to keep our minds open and to search for new solutions, to open new doors, to look behind the corner and to find new co-operational partners.

I also act as an Academy Research Fellow 2012-17. The objective of my Academy of Finland research project is to develop effective simulation methods and tools for processes involving complex multiphase reactions combined with mass transfer limitations. Some example processes that will be studied in greater detail are the AOD converter used to manufacture stainless steel and CO2 capture process based on mineral carbonization. With better models materials, energy and money can be systematically saved – “Environmental protection by crushing numbers”. The topic is extremely challenging but rewarding - having a robust and generalized method to calculate reactions in a multi-component reactive flow would greatly increase the understanding on the operation of many industrial processes and to make the effective use of CFD possible. The grant makes it possible for the applicant to build a solid basis for his own research group on process modeling. This project is affiliated with the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster, Fimecc. The project applied supports the Fimecc/AMMe project giving a possibility to go deeper in the fundamental mechanisms that greatly affect the operation of many industrial processes.