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What are all the potential uses of biocomposites?

Fibres have a central role in determining the key characteristics of many everyday products. Tampere University of Technology (TUT) is coordinating the international FibreNet project that develops new tools and methods for controlling the properties of different products that contain bio-fibres.
A unique system developed at TUT for the mechanical characterization of individual cellulose fibres that combines robotics and optical microscopy is utilized in the FibreNet project.
A unique system developed at TUT for the mechanical characterization of individual cellulose fibres that combines robotics and optical microscopy is utilized in the FibreNet project.

The goal of the FibreNet project is to control the properties of fibre-based products throughout the production process from fibres to end products. The research activities are organized into PhD projects. The FibreNet consortium is made up of seven universities and eight companies from Europe. 

“The FibreNet project focuses on bio-fibres as opposed to man-made fibres, such as glass or carbon fibre. Special emphasis is placed on packaging materials, biocomposites and medical products, such as drug-releasing wound dressings and tissue engineering applications. The methods developed during the project will apply over a range of different fibre-related applications,” says FibreNet's coordinator, Professor Pasi Kallio of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering at TUT.

FibreNet is an umbrella project for individual subprojects conducted by 15 PhD candidates.

“In order to achieve the objectives, each subproject will tackle different bio-fibre related challenges ranging from functionalization and characterization to modelling and production. The scope of the project covers nano-, micro- and production scales.”

FibreNet is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN). The EU-funded H2020-MSCA-ITN projects support early-stage researchers and promote research mobility.

“ITN grants are extremely competitive and carry considerable prestige. More than 1,700 proposals were submitted to the 2017 call, and the success rate was 6.8 per cent. We did well despite tough competition,” Kallio says.

According to FibreNet’s funding model, the researchers who will be working in Finland are hired from outside of Finland. The 11 positions available in the other European partner universities are open to MSc graduates who have completed their degree in Finland. Applications are now invited for three-year PhD positions in the FibreNet project. Four positions are open in Finland, three at TUT and one at Kemira.

“FibreNet offers a unique opportunity to build an extensive professional network and work at the interface between academia and industry while completing a PhD in the field of bio-fibres,” Kallio says.

For more information on the open positions and to view the application instructions, please go to www.fibrenet.eu/positions. Positions are open at TUT in the Laboratory of Materials Science and the Micro and Nanosystems Research Group.

News submitted by: Anna Naukkarinen
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