Antti Grönroos and Hanna Kyllönen

Antti Grönroos and Hanna Kyllönen


Antti Grönroos and Hanna Kyllönen are married couple and visiting scientists from Finland. They are here in the University of Maine for one year doing research in the area of biorifinery with Professor Ardiaan van Heiningen. Antti tries here to enhance hemipolymers extraction using ultrasound as a modern physical matrix opening method. Hanna struggles with fouling problems in membrane filtration of hemipolymers.  In Finland they both work as senior scientists at VTT, the Research Centre of Finland. Their home is in Jyväskylä, which is about 120.000 inhabitant’s town in the middle of Finland.

VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, is the biggest multitechnological applied research organisation in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world class technologies and applied research services thus improving its clients’ competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, creates business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders. VTT is a part of the Finnish innovation system under the domain of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. VTT is a not-for-profit organisation.

Hanna and Antti Family
Hanna and Antti Family in Maine

Antti has worked at VTT over 13 years. He finished his PhD studies in 2010 in the Unversity of Jyväskylä. The title of the thesis was “Ultrasonically Enhanced Disintegration: Polymers, Sludge, and Contaminated Soil”. He has worked at VTT as a senior scientist and manager of separation technology group. Nowadays he mostly leads different projects in the areas like treatment of side streams of process industry, wet chemistry of Pulp and Paper industry, water reuse and, of course, biorefinery. Antti’s specialities are different kinds of power ultrasound applications.

Hanna has been leading different filtration projects, such as projects of the Centre of Sustainable Water Efficiency Excellency (SWEET). Membrane filtration for wastewater treatment, potable water making, water reuse and biorefinery are familiar subjects for her. Hanna has worked at VTT over 20 years. She finished her Doctor of Technology –studies in 2005 in Lappeenranta University of Technology. The title of the thesis was “Electrically or ultrasonically enhanced membrane filtration of wastewater”.

They came to Orono last August with two of their children, Kaisa and Jussi. One of their children, Anna, stayed home in Finland because of her studies. Kaisa is doing her school work in the Orono High School and Jussi is a second grade student at the Asa Adams Elementary School in Orono.  They found at once that Maine is a wonderful place to be. People are very friendly and landscape is glorious. Especially Ocean shore and Acadia Nature Park were the places for them during fall time. One of the most wonderful places where they have been is their landlord, Ted Curtis’s place in an island in front of Portland. They saw American eagles, seals and a lot of lobster traps and lobster boats.  During the winter time, downhill skiing is one of their favourite hobbies. Thus, Saddleback Mountain in Maine and Rocky Mountains in the Colorado state are the places which they have visited. They are looking forward to Maine summer time.  There are many new places and happenings to go and see, like Niagara Falls and Mount Katahdin. The one year visit in Maine has been a wonderful experience for their whole family.