Salla Heinonen, Chemistry, University of Jyväskylä
What do you study and where? How did you end up studying this field?
I study chemistry at the University of Jyväskylä. So, I'm going to be a chemist. I have always been interested in science and I think I first thought of working in chemistry in the seventh grade. After upper secondary school, I considered studying nutrition or chemistry. The scale and versatility of chemistry swayed the decision in its favour, and I was accepted to the University of Jyväskylä on the basis of my exam results.
What is it about your studies that excites you?
I like the fact that chemistry is practical and that the more I learn about it, the more I understand the world around me. Chemistry is everywhere and it is unbelievable how much small molecules and different bonds affect our everyday lives!
If the sky was the limit, where would you like to work in the future?
In future, I would like to work on sustainable development and the circular economy. I would like to be involved in developing the sustainable use of natural resources and ways to recycle as many valuable raw materials as possible. Our society needs raw materials, but their availability is limited.
Which global or everyday challenge would you like to solve with the help of chemistry/your work?
In the future, I want to use my chemistry skills for the benefit of society. I am interested in natural resources and their use and recycling. That is why I would like to solve the problem of the sustainable and efficient use of the earth's raw materials through chemistry. Chemistry plays a decisive role in the development of the circular economy and the well-being of the environment, and promising circular economy methods have already been developed with the help of chemistry.
What do you think is an interesting innovation in the field of chemistry?
I am excited about chemical innovations related to the circular economy, such as the reuse of waste materials, recycled plastics and the recovery of valuable metals from wastewater.