Wednesday, February 20, 2013

From paper industry to mining environment

After my career as paper industry microbiologist (1983 - 2009) I have totally reoriented towards environmental problems of mining industry today.

 Reasons for the closure of the paper microbiology development is the depression of this industrial area. No interest in rapid control methods can be found anymore. Positive attitudes still exist (esp. in Finnish innovation organisations) but "money rules" today. No economical support can be found for e.g. luminometric ON LINE methods from paper companies - and it is really a pity.

Short summary of my career in paper microbiology:

I actually started as environmental microbiologist in HU / Dep.of Microbiology, Helsinki, Viikki. I recall shortly the most interesting projects in the beginning of 80's: cyanobacteria, nitrogen fixation, Bacillus-based insecticides, soil microbiology, coliform research..and then I found myself in the projects of prof. Seppo Niemelä. We were able to perform species analyses of different waste water types and found the best indicators of paper industry effluents which were led to Lake Lohjanjärvi. Growth temperature ranges of most important indicator coliforms were also determined by Tmax method. Several scientific analyses were written and I started my doctoral thesis about environmental and clinical species of a certain coliform. - Thank you, Leena, for your help to detect plasmid-bound antibiotic resistances!

A big chance of my career happened in Autumn 1986 when I was accepted to work as the research microbiologist for Enso-Gutzeit Ltd. I had to leave my doctoral work (all documents still in my book shelf!) but I got a job where I learned everything about paper industry microbiology - from raw materials up to waste waters! There were countless persons who helped me to understand the world of paper making - I will thank them all  because the name list would be too long to be published.

After some reorientation in my private life I headed towards Jyväskylä in 2006 and had the great chance to work with late prof. Christian Oker-Blom (R.I.P., Chrisse!). We constructed several project proposals for paper industry with several Finnish and foreign companies but it seemed that there were no money left for this kind of projects in paper companies anymore. Some interesting projects of air quality etc. then follows (thank you, Markus!) in the last years of 00's.

The last post of mine was the key account director of Samplion Ltd. No matter my title, I was able to perform real laboratory evaluations in JAMK laboratory and field tests in paper and paper additive companies - interesting!

In addition to the posts mentioned, I have worked as a part-time teacher for professional teaching organisations (especially TL, AEL, POHTO), companies and universities of applied sciences (especially Imatra, Jyväskylä, Kotka).

Today, as formally retired, I am more and more activated in environmental microbiology (greetings to Helge and BIOTECHTOUCH!). Coming back to those years in Viikki - the circle is now closed. I wonder if I have to reconstruct my blog but let it wait...I'll try to inform my readers in Twitter and Facebook about my reorientation. Please follow the key word "Talvivaara"...!