Faculty of Technology, Process Metallurgy

The University of Oulu is one of the biggest and most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. We create new knowledge and innovations that help to solve global challenges. We offer you an international and inspiring working environment where you are given responsibility and can use your skills, develop yourself and do work that matters. Our flexible and family-friendly workplace makes it easy for you to balance work and leisure. The University of Oulu is ranked in the top 3% of the world´s universities. 

We are now recruiting a

Doctoral researcher

to join us in the Process Metallurgy Research Unit at the Faculty of Technology.

The Process Metallurgy Research Unit focuses on pyrometallurgical metal production and other high-temperature processes with the main emphasis on the production of iron, steel, and ferroalloys. Research is executed in close cooperation with the metallurgical industry. MET also has a wide national and international network with leading research institutes and universities working in the field of metallurgy and related disciplines. At the moment, the key areas of research are circular economy and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in metal production by hydrogen reduction, electrified processes, and biofuels. The main external funding sources include Business Finland, the Academy of Finland, RFCS funds, and Horizon EU programs.

About the job

The doctoral researcher will work on the newly accepted project Hydrogen plasma reduction for steelmaking and circular economy – H2PlasmaRed. The main objective of H2PlasmaRed is to develop a green CO2-free steelmaking route based on H2-plasma technology while promoting a circular economy by valorizing industrial sidestreams to meet the targets of the European Green Deal for reducing CO2 emissions in the steel industry across Europe. To achieve this, H2PlasmaRed will:

  1. Explore the fundamentals of the hydrogen plasma smelting reduction (HPSR) process
  2. Develop HPSR from TRL5 to TRL7 by demonstrating the HPSR in a pilot-HPSR reactor (hundred kilogram-scale) and a pilot-scale DC electric arc furnace (5-ton scale) by retrofitting the existing furnace.
  3. Develop innovative solutions for process control and modeling, along with state-of-the-art technologies for retrofitting existing industrial furnaces and significantly increasing industrial viability.
  4. Establish a framework for upscaling and uptake of the processes by integrating life cycle and safety assessment, economic evaluation, and exploitation strategy in the technology development.
  5. Emphasize energy and resource efficiency, H2-safety, and fundamental understanding of HPSR, enabling long-lasting impact and deployment of the technology in Europe in the coming decades.

Doctoral researcher’s work will focus on using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) and image analysis to characterize the H2-plasma, addressing especially points 1 – 3 while also contributing to points 4 – 5 in the list above. The work includes laboratory and pilot-scale tests in collaboration with the project’s partners in Austria, Germany, and Sweden. Based on the OES, image, and reactor data, the doctoral researcher will

  1. use (physics-based) plasma characterization to create a deeper understanding of the HPSR
  2. find out how the material’s reduction/metallization degree can be assessed from the data
  3. create an analysis algorithm, with the aim of using it for online (real-time) analysis
  4. create and provide data for HPSR model development

The project consists of interdisciplinary partners from the steel and mining industry, academia and research institutes, technology providers and developers, small-medium enterprises, and steel experts from six countries.

What we offer?

  • The support of an experienced and enthusiastic team where you can share your expertise and grow as an expert.
  • Wellness benefit ePassi covering sport, culture, and well-being. Read more about other staff benefits.
  • Development and career options of the big organization.
  • Work that matters and a workplace that promotes flexibility and work-life balance. Read more about working with us.
  • Our Buddy Programme and Spouse Network support you and close-ones in settling into Oulu.
  • We have a HR Excellence in Research -quality label which is a recognition awarded by the European Commission for the development of researchers’ working conditions and careers. 
  • Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. Read more about living in Oulu.

Who are you?

A successful candidate for the position must have the following:

  • Master’s degree in Physics, Process Metallurgy, Chemical Engineering, or Chemistry
  • The degree must be completed with good grades, latest by the start of the employment
  • Basic knowledge of spectroscopic phenomena and analysis methods
  • Good proficiency in the English language (both written and spoken)
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of a team and independently

The following merits are considered as an advantage:

  • Experience in programming environments (e.g. MATLAB) or using programming languages (preferably Python, C++, or C#).
  • Experience in optical emission spectroscopy and/or image analysis
  • Knowledge of metallurgical processes.
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis and/or machine learning to interpret large data sets.

Please see also the requirements of the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS).


The position is fixed-term for 4 years. The H2PlasmaRed project starts on 01.01.2024, but the work contract can start before that. At the latest, the work should start as soon as possible when the project has started.

The salary will be based on levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (a maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). The starting gross salary will be approx. 2400-2600 € per month (before taxes). A trial period of 6 months is applied for the position.

How to apply?

Interested? If yes, please apply by 3.10.2023 (23:59 Finnish local time) through our Varbi recruitment system. The application should be written in English and include the following:

  1. Cover/motivation letter summarizing the applicant’s professional experience and expertise, describing why the applicant is interested in the position. Also, information on personal research interests and career plans should be provided here.
  2. CV following the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
  3. Certificates/Diplomas. In case the degree is still in process, please give an official notification from the supervisor or faculty to address the estimated date of graduation.
  4. Contact information of two persons available for recommendation

The eligible applicants fitting best in the profile expected for the position will be invited to an on-site or remote interview. All applicants will be notified during the selection process.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, such as people of different ages, genders, and lingual, cultural, or minority groups. 

Contact Information

If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Henri Pauna (e-mail: henri.pauna@oulu.fi; tel. +358 50 4471053).


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Oulu
County Pohjois-Pohjanmaa
Country Finland
Reference number 2023/406
  • Henri Pauna, +358504471053
Published 13.Sep.2023
Last application date 03.Oct.2023
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