Aalto University, Otakaari 1 B, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Markus Joutsela (Package Design Researcher/Lecturer)
Jouni Paltakari (Professor, Department of Forest Products Technology Aalto University School of Chemical Technology)
+358 50 409 4405
Aalto University is a university primarily located in Greater Helsinki, Finland. It was created as a merger of three leading Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology (established 1849), the Helsinki School of Economics (established 1904), and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (established 1871). The close collaboration between the scientific, business and arts communities is intended to foster multi-disciplinary education and research. The Finnish government, in 2010, set out to create a university that has innovation built into its foundations, merging three institutions into one along the way, forming an entity that serves as Finland's model for an innovation university.
It now comprises six schools with over 19,000 students and 5,000 staff members, thus being Finland's third-largest university. The six schools of Aalto University are all renowned institutions in their respective fields.
School of Arts, Design and Architecture
The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is the largest of its kind in the Nordic countries and one of the most prestigious in the whole world. The school researches design, digital media, audiovisual presentation, art education and visual culture. The viewpoint of usefulness forms the foundation of artistic activity.
School of Business
The School of Business is one of the leading business schools in Europe and globally recognized for its management research and education in particular. It is the first Nordic business school to receive all three of the field’s international accreditations (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS).
School of Chemical Technology
Areas of emphasis for the School of Chemical Technology include environment-friendly and energy-efficient processes, the diverse utilisation of wood and other biomaterials, new materials and their application, new engine fuels, the shaping of micro-organisms and enzymes as well as novel pharmaceuticals and biomaterials.
School of Electrical Engineering
Important research areas at the School of Electrical Engineering include traditional electronics, electrotechnology and telecommunications technology. Micro- and nanotechnology have also been emphasised by researchers in recent years. There are almost two dozen research units, which focus on subjects ranging from acoustics to intelligent power electronics.
School of Engineering
The School of Engineering researches and teaches fields that encompass all aspects of our built environment. Climate warming, energy conservation and the sustainable utilisation of natural resources form the focal areas of both research and education.
School of Science
The School of Science engages in world-class fundamental research, the results of which it uses to develop scientific and technological applications. The fields of computation and modelling, materials research as well as ICT and media account for a large share of the research performed at the School.
Aalto University is a foundation-based university.
IAPRI’s June Conference was successful on many levels, but may also be remembered as the first event to feature a trial Academia Meets Industry session.
As the name suggests, the aim is to bridge the gap between industry’s needs and the research capabilities of IAPRI member organizations and university departments. “The central idea is to create an opportunity to encourage collaboration,” says co-organizer of the session, Yves Wyser of Nestlé Research Center.
An audience of around 30 heard three five-minute presentations. Two of these were from academia, seeking industry partners to take their projects a step further. Dan Xu of Southwest University, Chongqing, China, talked about nanomaterial applications in food packaging, and Cristina Guzman of UDEM, Mexico, presented on the characterization of Mexican roads.
Frank Zeng of York Colour, Jinjian, China, reciprocated by outlining his company’s needs regarding cost-effective light barrier in beverage packaging.
Helping to coordinate the new event were Jun Wang of Jiangnan University, China, and Tamal Ghosh of Omya Singapore. The idea had been proposed in previous years, but has only now come to fruition.
“Attendees welcomed the initiative, which will be pursued at future IAPRI events,” says Wyser. Format and frequency are still being discussed, he adds. Suggestions can be addressed to the organizers via Secretary General Ed Church: firstname.lastname@example.org
The IAPRI Student Exchange Scholarship for the 2018-’19 academic year has been awarded to Wanjun Chu of Linköping University, Sweden, for his proposal to investigate the influence of on-pack information on consumers’ food waste behavior.
He says he is “excited and grateful” to have this opportunity, and plans to spend time at Karlstad University, also in Sweden, and RMIT University, Australia. The Scholarship, worth $7,000, is generously sponsored by PepsiCo.
In his video presentation, pitched to an IAPRI judging panel during the Zhuhai Conference, he pointed out that there was an urgent need to develop improved understanding of how packaging attributes affect behavior around food waste in different contexts. The proposal is to focus on date-related on-pack information on dairy products. As he notes, studies have shown that the date label triggers as much as a third of avoidable household food waste in the UK.
One concern is that products which have been correctly stored are thrown away, even though perfectly edible, simply because the ‘best before’ date (but not the ‘use by’ date) has expired. Wanjun Chu first plans to interview experienced design masters students at Linköping for feedback on methodology. At Karlstad and RMIT, the aim is to recruit around 10 households in each location and spend three or four months assessing the impact of date information on behavior and exploring possible adjustments to on-pack design.
Design options could include a calendar-style visualization of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates or a QR code link to a webpage with more detailed information on storage and shelf-life.
Activity Theory will be used to interpret collected data. A design ethnography approach will be applied in order to address challenges of accurate self-reporting and motivation among consumers.