Anniriina Hytönen: Sustainable development is visible throughout

FEC training: chemists for the bioeconomy

Anniriina Hytönen graduated from the University of Helsinki as a Master of Science in analytical chemistry at the beginning of 2016. Last September she started a training period at Teknos, as part of the "Chemists for the bioeconomy" FEC training program.

"I know several people who have completed FEC training in other fields and they have had positive experiences. I was excited when I heard there was a training program for chemists. I consider the training program and the associated work placement as a good route into working at an interesting company. Luckily, the training program also accepted a lot of people like me who do not have a long career behind them: it can be difficult for graduates to find their first job," says Anniriina Hytönen.

The training program has shown Anniriina an entirely new side of the bioeconomy.
"The bioeconomy is such a broad concept – before the training program, I did not have a clear picture of the roles open to chemists. A period of classroom teaching gave me a wide-ranging view of these positions. The focus was on utilizing wood, but the refinement of other bio-based raw materials was also discussed."

Anniriina was particularly interested in lectures given by visiting speakers.
"We heard about matters such as patent rights, the opportunities of the circular economy, and chromatography on an industrial scale. In comparison with traditional university teaching, the training was strongly weighted towards industry and practical applications. The participants in the course came from different backgrounds, so our discussions gave us new perspectives on the course themes." 


Training period provides springboard​

Anniriina's work placement is performed in Teknos' product development department as a researcher working on interior paints.

"A normal day includes making and analyzing paints, meeting raw material suppliers, and carrying out investigative work of various types. In this development role as part of the bioeconomy training period, I am creating a report on a range of interior paints – this is required for the paints to be granted the Nordic Ecolabel, which is also known as the swan symbol."

Sustainable development is visible throughout – including in paint manufacturing.
"A good surface treatment protects wooden structures from environmental stresses and prolongs their useful lives. In addition, a high-quality paint surface is durable, so the environmental impact of manufacturing is divided over a long period. Sustainable development is also taken into consideration in energy generation and by increasing the use of renewable raw materials."

Anniriina is almost halfway through her five-month training period. There is plenty to do.  
"I want to learn as much as possible about the theory and practice of manufacturing paint. I have enjoyed working in this role for Teknos. I hope that I will be able to continue after the training period."​

After the training period Anniriina received a permanent position as a ​R&D Chemist in AC segment.

Text: Matti Laurila/Kemianteollisuus ry​