Start as an ESR in Kemira & Secondment to KTH Royal Institute of Technology


During the last year of my master studies, I was eager to have one year gap to work in a company, then decide if I would continue my PhD study. Then my dream job was just coming in April 2018, as I received an interview invitation from Mari Zabihian, the senior manager of Industry & Water team in Kemira R&D Center, who brought me the following story. In August 2018, I started being the ESR6 in the EU-funded project FibreNet, working mostly in Kemira, a chemical company in Finland, and having altogether 10 months of secondments in KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.

I really appreciate that I have this chance to do my PhD study in Kemira and KTH. In Kemira, I am taken care of so well by my colleagues, words cannot express my gratitude to them. I got excellent training about Kemira business and how to work smoothly and safely in Kemira R&D Center. I can feel that all the members in Fibre & Bioeconomy team are very willing to help me promote the progress of my experiments. Even though my project manager Mari Zabihian works in other team, she always does her best to answer my questions and helps me with everything.

Then I started my first secondment in KTH on 16th of October. I came to Stockholm alone and I was confused with the complicated metro system, which is totally different from my home country. Luckily, I met some PhD students from the Fibre Technology group at KTH in Sundsvall, Sweden, where we took a Surface Chemistry course together. This helped me to become familiar with the environment of the Fibre Technology lab and KTH faster. The lab members are hard-working and bright, they always have ideas about the research. I had meetings with Torbjörn Pettersson and his other students, Prof. Lars Wågberg and especially with another FibreNet ESR Vedad Tojaga and supervisor Artem Kulachenko. They all have given me valuable suggestions about my research. I have also got instruments training for some of the instruments in the department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, including Tabletop SEM, AFM imaging system, and I was showed how to use the contact adhesion tester (e.g. a light microscope equiped with a balance and a linear stage), AFM force measurements with colloidal probe, and microrobotic system at the Solid Mechanics department.

Working in Kemira and KTH makes my life more meaningful everyday, thank you all!






Left: Kemira R&D Center / Right: KTH Entrance (Photos by Mengxiao Zhao)



Mengxiao Zhao

ESR6 - Kemira