From a researcher to a Chief Sustainability Officer

PhD Meri Lundahl with a carbon fibre paper sample.

PhD Meri Lundahl with a carbon fibre paper sample.

PhD Meri Lundahl joined Teraloop in 2019 Through the Post Docs in Companies program. She was permanently hired in Teraloop already after a year of PoDoCo and was recently appointed Chief Sustainability Officer.

Teraloop is developing a flywheel in which rotating motion stores energy efficiently. It solves a wide range of solar and wind energy storage problems.

Lundahl came to the company through PoDoCo program to develop bio-based carbon fibers for the flywheel that could be used as cheaper and fossil-free raw materials. (Read more about the subject here)

The cooperation started from Slush event. In discussions with Teraloop’s representatives, Lundahl realized that her expertise in nanofibers could have uses in the energy sector. Then she heard about PoDoCo program and funding from the KAUTE foundation gave the fresh doctor a chance to join the startup.

Targeting circular economy

With the help of Meri Lundahl’s expertise, the company expanded its expertise to materials technology. In addition to using recycled materials, the company is aiming to build its own product with maximum recyclability, thus targeting full accordance with circular economy.

Successful cooperation is leading to the formation of a whole team focused on materials technology. Lundahdl’s job description will involve more administration in the future, so the company’s new PoDoCo doctor Wang Ling will accompany her on the research work.

What kind of advice do you have for your new team member or other PoDoCo doctors?

“PoDoCo is an excellent time to try out things in industry and showcase own capabilities without any huge pressure. So use that time to do the research-related work you really want while also looking for other opportunities for where to help the company with your skills”, says Lundahl.

Innovative place to work

For her the change from research to working in a company has not been difficult.

“I need to shuffle a wider area of expertise now, and it means not fully understanding everything I work with. Sometimes it’s a painful loss not to have the time to dig one topic so extensively, but it’s more meaningful when I can accomplish more in practice by utilising others’ expertise and dealing with challenges on a more systemic level. It is quite much like I expected. Though it‘s more free and less bureaucratic than I feared. At least for Teraloop it’s a high priority to keep the work innovative and independent.”