I am a 29-year-old doctoral candidate originally from Mikkeli in eastern Finland. I currently live in Espoo where I work towards a doctorate in Engineering Physics in prof. Tapio Ala-Nissilä's group Multiscale Statistical Physics at Aalto University School of Science. My research concerns computational modeling of defected two-dimensional materials such as graphene, and the tentative title of my thesis is Phase field crystal modeling of two-dimensional materials. I have completed my PhD midterm review. I completed my bachelor's and master's in 2013 and 2015 at Aalto University School of Chemical technology. The titles of my theses were Modeling the mechanical loading of a thin film (unofficial translation) and Phase field crystal modeling of grain boundaries in graphene, respectively. The major of my studies was Applied Materials Science and the minor Electrophysics. As a special study module, I completed Materials for Electronics.
In my undergraduate studies I have familiarized myself with a variety of materials characterization techniques. I understand where the properties of materials stem from and how to influence them—both in production and in post-processing. I have specialized in micro- and nanotechnology, and in computational methods and computer modeling. In addition, I have studied some statistical mechanics, control theory, optics and electromagnetism. I have passed the compulsory foreign language in German with good-to-excellent grades. In my doctoral studies I pursue a deeper understanding in materials modeling and in high-performance computing.
Since spring 2014 I have been working in prof. Tapio Ala-Nissilä's group Multiscale Statistical Physics in the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University School of Science where I study two-dimensional materials computationally using phase field crystal (PFC) models. During this time I have written my master's thesis and coauthored several research articles in collaboration with PFC, molecular dynamics and density functional theory experts. My research is going smoothly as multiple new projects are well in the pipeline. My latest research poster summarizes our work. Besides having learned a lot about two-dimensional materials, I have acquired a good working knowledge of several phase field crystal variants and have familiarized myself better with molecular dynamics. While carrying out my research work I have improved my skills in parallel and high-performance programming, practiced data analysis and visualization using Matlab, and learned to exploit the computational brawn of computing clusters. I have also gained teaching experience as a teaching assistant in student labs.
Vacationing (summer 2013)
I was busy with school work and in my slightly excessive self-confidence applied for too few too high-end jobs and landed none. I came through by studying, traveling, hobbying and relaxing. I set up this site to avoid future unemployment!
Physical Characteristics of Surfaces and Interfaces group (June 2011 – August 2012)
In prof. Jari Koskinen's group Physical Characteristics of Surfaces and Interfaces at Aalto University School of Chemical Technology I specialized in finite elements (FEM) modeling of microelasticity- and heat transfer-related problems using COMSOL Multiphysics. I analyzed, for example, a MEMS-thin film-adhesion measurement structure that I treated in my bachelor's thesis, microtextured tribological surfaces, and helium-cooling of a silicon wafer. In addition, I got practice in the preparation of metallographic samples, in carrying out profilometric measurements, and in treating various experimental data.
Inspector of recycling material
I received and evaluated recycling material at Seutula recycling site in Vantaa. Additionally, I prepared cars and refridgeration devices for scrapping.
Vacationing (summer 2009)
Having made a lot of savings at Ahlstrom, I took it easy and traveled in central Europe.
Ahlstrom Oyj (May - August 2008, March - December 2007)
Production machine operator
I worked as a production machine operator at Ahlstrom production facility in Mikkeli. I oversaw and sustained my machines producing semi-finished fiberglass products.
Awards and Achievements
The Vilho, Yrjö and Kalle Väisälä Foundation of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters awarded me with a grant of 25 000 € for doctoral studies in fall 2016.
Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology awarded me with a grant of 14 000 € for doctoral studies in spring 2016.
My master's thesis was awarded the 2015 thesis award of 1 000 € in the degree programme in materials science and engineering.
I completed my master's degree with a distinction (avg. 4.7/5.0).
List of scientific works and communication
K. Azizi, P. Hirvonen, Z. Fan, A. Harju, K.R. Elder, T. Ala-Nissila, and S.M. Vaez Allaei. Kapitza thermal resistance across individual grain boundaries in graphene. Carbon (submitted 2017).
Z. Fan, P. Hirvonen, L.F.C. Pereira, M.M. Ervasti, K.R. Elder, D. Donadio, A. Harju, and T. Ala-Nissila. Bimodal grain-size scaling of thermal transport in polycrystalline graphene from large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. Nano Letters (submitted 2017).
P. Hirvonen, Z. Fan, M.M. Ervasti, A. Harju, K.R. Elder, and T. Ala-Nissila. Energetics and structure of grain boundary triple junctions in graphene. Scientific Reports 7, 2045-2322 (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-04852-w.
Z. Fan, L.F.C. Pereira, P. Hirvonen, M.M. Ervasti, K.R. Elder, D. Donadio, T. Ala-Nissila, and A. Harju. Thermal conductivity decomposition in two-dimensional materials: Application to graphene. Physical Review B 95 144309 (2017). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.144309. arXiv: 1612.07199.
P. Hirvonen, M.M. Ervasti, Z. Fan, M. Jalalvand, M. Seymour, S.M. Vaez Allaei, N. Provatas, A. Harju, K.R. Elder, and T. Ala-Nissila. Multiscale modeling of polycrystalline graphene: A comparison of structure and defect energies of realistic samples from phase field crystal models. Physical Review B 94, 035414 (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.94.035414. arXiv: 1605.03765.
K.R. Elder, Z. Chen, K.L.M. Elder, P. Hirvonen, S.K. Mkhonta, S.-C. Ying, E. Granato, Z.-F. Huang, and T. Ala-Nissila. Honeycomb and triangular domain wall networks in heteroepitaxial systems. The Journal of Chemical Physics 144, 174703 (2016). DOI: 10.1063/1.4948370.
J. Lyytinen, M. Berdova, P. Hirvonen, X.W. Liu, S. Franssila, Q. Zhou, and J. Koskinen. Interfacial mechanical testing of atomic layer deposited TiO2 and Al2O3 on a silicon substrate by the use of embedded SiO2 microspheres. RSC Advances 4, 37320-37328 (2014). DOI: 10.1039/C4RA05807K.
Master's thesis, Phase field crystal modeling of grain boundaries in graphene (graded 5/5), April 1, 2015, Aalto University School of Science.
Bachelor's thesis, Modeling the mechanical loading of a thin film, April 30, 2012, Aalto University School of Chemical Technology.
Multiscale modeling of polycrystalline graphene. Physics Days, March 23, 2017, Helsinki, Finland.
Multiscale modeling of polycrystalline graphene. APS March Meeting, March 17, 2017, New Orleans, USA.
Multiscale modeling of polycrystalline graphene using PFC models. Phase-field models for the evolution of complex structures summer school, September 26, 2016, Peyresq, France.
Multiscale modeling of grain boundaries in graphene. COMP All-Day Seminar, May 17, 2016, Espoo, Finland.
Multiscale modeling of grain boundaries in graphene. E-MRS Spring Meeting, May 3, 2016, Lille, France.
P. Hirvonen, Z. Fan, M.M. Ervasti, M. Jalalvand, K. Azizi, M. Seymour, L.F.C. Pereira, D. Donadio, N. Provatas, S.M. Vaez Allaei, A. Harju, K.R. Elder, and T. Ala-Nissila. Phase field crystal for multiscale modeling of realistic two-dimensional materials. International summer school Fundamental problems in statistical physics XIV, July 16-29, 2017, Bruneck, Italy.
P. Hirvonen, M.M. Ervasti, Z. Fan, M. Jalalvand, M. Seymour, S.M. Vaez Allaei, N. Provatas, A. Harju, K.R. Elder, and T. Ala-Nissila. Multiscale modeling of polycrystalline graphene using phase field crystal models. Phase-field models for the evolution of complex structures summer school, September 19, 2016, Peyresq, France.
P. Hirvonen, K.L.M. Elder, K.R. Elder, S.K. Mkhonta, Z.-F. Huang, T. Ala-Nissila. Phase field crystal model of graphene surface ordering. COMP Full-Day Seminar, February 24, 2015, Espoo, Finland.
P. Hirvonen, K.L.M. Elder, K.R. Elder, S.K. Mkhonta, Z.-F. Huang, T. Ala-Nissila. Phase field crystal model of graphene surface ordering. Winter School on Physics of Small Quantum Systems: Thermal and Topological Phenomena, January 12 - 16, 2015, Tuusula, Finland.
P. Hirvonen, K.L.M. Elder, K.R. Elder, S.K. Mkhonta, Z.-F. Huang, T. Ala-Nissila. Phase field crystal model of graphene surface ordering. Jyväskylä nanoscience days 2014, November 20 - 21, Jyväskylä, Finland.
My expertise is, besides materials science, in micro- and nanotechnology, and in computational methods. Due to my keen interest towards the physical world and technology, I have acquired lots of knowledge that I can apply readily to practice. My projects page should further demonstrate this and my eagerness to learn new things.
I have plenty of experience in blue-collar work and have an able pair of hands: I'm a good drawer and a decent painter. As metalwork I have made a sword, and I have built a wind tunnel out of plywood, plexiglas and drinking straws.
I’m a conscientious and calm character. I get along with people well, but I am not the one who hoards all the attention. I enjoy problems I can delve into alone, but also work gladly as a part of a team. I’m initiative and persistent in achieving goals. Furthermore, I’m resourceful and creative; also quite curious when it comes to technology and natural phenomena. My hobbies include skiing, ice sailing with my kitewing and my power kite, kickbiking, weight training, writing simulation and problem solving programs, composing "music" and juggling. Feel free to browse my website to find out more about my creative side and my problem solving skills!
I have traveled quite a lot and have thereby been able to broaden my horizons. Below I list scientific conferences, workshops, schools, etc. that I have attended, as well as some other memorable trips.
Present and future
As mentioned, I am currently working towards a doctorate in Engineering Physics. I will be studying two-dimensional materials using phase field crystal models. I have more than two years left to complete my thesis and things are going very smoothly. I doubt that I will pursue an academic career so dear employers, wait patiently!
Thanks for making it this far; I appreciate your interest in me! I will gladly give additional information about myself, my projects, and other stuff. Don't hesitate to contact me!
March 10, 1988, Mikkeli, Finland