A scientist who dreamed of explosions discovered the value of reading

Enthusiasm for experimental research led Konsta Turunen to develop a new material for heat storage as a doctoral researcher. In his researcher blog, he opens up about what his dream job in experimental research is really like.

“As a slow reader, reading was never my cup of tea. I preferred to spend my time with experiments like rubbing sticks together to start a fire or creating large sugar crystals with a saturated sugar solution. However, as a doctoral researcher I soon realized that my shrewd career choice in experimental research did not mean less reading but actually quite the contrary.

There is a huge amount of published research in the scientific community, and new ones are constantly being added. It truly takes some effort if you want to keep up with the latest research results. In fact, about a half of my time nowadays is spent not in the lab, but on background work that creates context, significance and quality for his research. The importance of background work becomes more important the deeper you dive into the research topic, because that’s where the novelty value is found.

Fortunately, for audiovisual learners like myself, there are also lectures, videos and audio recordings to use. They work great for getting an overview of a new topic. Nowadays you can find interesting Youtube videos or Wikipedia articles on almost everything. So I challenge you to choose an interesting topic and really delve into it! Watch educational videos on YouTube or read Wikipedia so that you understand the nuances of your subject.”

The author, Konsta Turunen, is a 32-year-old doctoral student at Aalto University. In his research, he develops a material intended for long-term heat storage and analyzes its melting and crystallization properties. His goal is to find out the usability of the material in applications by testing it in a prototype device of the kilogram size class and to continue scaling to larger size classes.

Want to learn more about Konsta’s research? 

Read Konsta’s whole blog in Finnish here!

Related scientific articles (open access):

“Cold-crystallizing erythritol-polyelectrolyte: Scaling up reliable long-term heat storage material” 

“Exceptional cold-crystallization kinetics of erythritol-polyelectrolyte enables long-term thermal energy storage”

“Long-term thermal energy storage prototype of cold-crystallizing erythritol-polyelectrolyte”


In Researcher Blogs KAUTE’s grant recipients tell about their research and viewpoints in their own words.