The members of the Wood Material Science Research Group
Tuula Jyske, Group Leader

My research focuses on sustainable, added-value use of wood and other nature-based materials. I am especially interested in forest derived biomass and its side-streams, especially for products with functional properties and long-term uses. I am also keen in understanding human-material interactions and carry out research on human wellbeing in built environments, for which the Living Lab at Hyytiälä Forest Station of the University of Helsinki provides a unique multidisciplinary platform.

Currently, I have responsibility for the module of wood material science for master studies in the Forest Ecology and Management study track and supervise doctoral, master, and bachelor theses on related topics.

Juha Rikala

I completed my doctor’s dissertation on the topic Spruce and pine on drained peatlands – wood quality and suitability for the sawmill industry. I am particularly interested in topics that combine basic research (wood properties) and applied research, i.e., the suitability of the raw material for different industrial uses.

At present, I am solely responsible for a few courses mainly at the bachelor’s level. In addition, I teach several courses with my colleagues, e.g., Basics in forest ecology and management and Field course in forest sciences: forest and wood technology. I also supervise bachelor’s and master’s theses and practical trainings (internships).

Ninni Westerholm

I am an architect with a focus on sustainable and circular practices in the built environment, particularly exploring the potential of local and natural building materials. I’m pursuing a doctoral degree within the Graduate School of Industrial Timber Construction at Tampere University, where I evaluate the potential of timber construction in the transition from a linear to a circular economy. At Helsinki University, I am renewing courses related to construction and integrating more circular economy thinking into them.

I am open to all kinds of collaboration that aim for increased circularity in the built environment.

Peter Petros, Doctoral Researcher

I am a trained civil engineer (water & environmental systems focus) with years of experience working as an R&D lead in the applied fungal biotechnology sector in Finland. Currently, I am a doctoral researcher for FUNgSULATION project under supervision of Tuula Jyske, Kirsi Mikkonen and Pauliina Lankinen. In FUNgSULATION, our approach is to explore the potential of fungi to biotransform paludicultural biomass fractions into value added thermoacoustic insulative biobased materials. 

I am passionate about nature-based solutions and ecosystem rehabilitation and I am open to discuss and connect about all things fungi, soil, water and carbon.

Elina Kettunen, Doctoral Researcher

I have graduated from the Master's Programme in Forest Sciences with a focus on wood technology and the properties of wood materials. I have studied the antibacterial properties of wood surfaces and have written a master's thesis on the subject. Currently, I work as a doctoral student in the Dust2Value project under the supervision of Tuula Jyske. The aim of my work is to study the utilization of wood fibers from various side streams in insulation materials. I am interested in ecological and healthy environments, as well as the circular economy. I am open to working with bio-based solutions, especially those involving wood.

Laura Haapala, Doctoral Researcher

I am a doctoral researcher in Faculty of Social Sciences specialized in working life studies and entrepreneurship, with a background in media. At the Department of Forest Sciences I am working on creating courses related to innovations and entrepreneurship, and doing communications and marketing of for example Hyytiälä Living Lab, and I am also part of the team building Viikki Wood & Forest InnoHub.

Katja Vahtikari, Doctoral Researcher

Working title: “What do we like in wood? – sensory perception of wood material attributes.”

Research Assistants and Students

Master Student, Reetta Nakari, Nature-Based Serenity Solutions

Master student, Tiina Korhonen, Wood Scent Components

Master student, Hiljahenna Tomminen, Heat treatment of beech

Master student, Emilia Rosenborg, Effects of the built environment and wooden buildings on well-being

Master student, Markus Malinen, Specialty wood market in Finland

Master student, Valtteri Kutvonen, Indoor air measurements as part of the monitoring of perceived and measured well-being in Hyytiälä living lab

Master student, Jenna Frantsi, Alternative fiber raw materials in the production of insulation solutions – how will the market and patent field develop, what do customers (B2B) and consumers expect?

Bachelor student, Rautavirta Vesa, From dust to value - insulation materials.

Bachelor student, Pauliina Piilola, The potential of saliva biomarkers in monitoring human stress load in built environments

Research assistant, Pauliina Piilola, Use of saliva biomarkers as part of the Healing interiors pilot