Professor Rojas will introduce the vision of the future “Materials Bioeconomy” of Finland by way of the recently funded Aalto-VTT Flagship that is designed to catalyze fundamental research that will lead to scientific as well as economic impacts.
Here, the isolation of cellulosic and lignin nano- and micro-structures is considered to open a number of timely opportunities. From these building blocks, some suprastructures have been created for applications that include composite filaments, among others. Practical facets of the work include electronic platforms based on paper and nanocellulose that are being developed under a multinational EU project. A new process for 3D biofabrication will be discussed as a way to access complex objects with features such as multi-compartmentalization and encapsulation. Finally, an additional angle to our scientific inquiries will be described by way of our recent experience within the project Design World of Cellulose, in the context of Cellulose from Finland. Recently, our efforts have taken unexpected directions, including the development of super-bright nanopapers from cellulose nanofibrils and structural colour. Some of the outputs from our multidisciplinary work will be introduced as we connect science and art with unexpected and highly attractive results.
Professor Orlando Rojas is chair of the Materials Platform of Aalto University where he holds double affiliation with the departments of Bioproducts and Biosystems and Applied Physics. He is the recipient of the 2018 Anselme Payen Award, one of the highest recognitions in the area of cellulose and renewable materials. He is elected Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters and is the recipient of the 2015 Tappi Nanotechnology Award. He is co-PI of the Academy of Finland's Center of Excellence in Molecular Engineering of Biosynthetic Hybrid Materials Research, HYBER (2014-2019). His most recent research grants include the prestigious European Research Commission Advanced Grant (ERC-Advanced) and the Academy of Finland Materials Bioeconomy Flagship. He has published over 320 peer-reviewed papers related to the core research of his group, Bio-based Colloids and Materials, which mainly deals with nanostructures from renewable materials and their utilization in multiphase systems.