Master of Science in Sustainable Materials Engineering

In this Master's programme you acquire thorough knowledge about the production and recycling processes and the structure-performance relationships of materials. The programme covers a spectrum of materials, ranging from metals and polymers, to textiles and composites. Sustainability aspects are incorporated throughout the programme, for example through developing circular production processing, increasing energy efficiency and material innovation. Graduates are in high demand in the industry, public service and scientific research

EUR-ACE® Master + CTI

EUR-ACE® Master (EURopean ACcredited Engineering Master)

The EUR-ACE label was accredited to this programme by the Commission des titres d’ingénieur (CTI), under the auspices of the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education (ENAEE).

EUR-ACE® is a framework and accreditation system that provides a set of standards that identifies high-quality engineering degree programmes in Europe and abroad.

Master's Programme
2 year 120 credits
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture
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About the programme
Programme summary
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After graduation


The Master of Science in Sustainable Materials Engineering aims at the study of the extraction, production, processing, properties, sustainable use and recycling of a whole range of materials. This implies (i) the description and modelling of material properties, specifically for the chemical, mechanical and thermal production and processing aspects in materials engineering, (ii) the effect of the chemical composition and processing conditions on the structure and the properties of materials in view of optimal performance and application, and, (iii) the behavior, durability and degradation of materials in different environmental conditions. Dealing with the limited resource availability worldwide in a sustainable way is an important objective of the programme. These concepts are applied to various important materials: metals, polymers, textiles, and composites.

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The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) offers most of its Engineering programmes at Master’s level in English. This underlines the international ambition of the faculty, as well as the importance of an international education and multiple language skills for students.

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


The curriculum comprises four parts: (i) general compulsory course units, (ii) a choice between two majors to allow specialisation in a particular field of materials engineering, (iii) elective course units, and, (iv) the Master’s dissertation. The general compulsory course units focus on material sciences, specific material types, material structure/property relations and performance analysis, and production and processing technology. These course units lay the foundation for every materials engineer. The course units are also in line with the specific (regional) sectors such as the metallurgical and the plastics/textile industry. Throughout the course units, the aspects of sustainability are addressed and new technologies are discussed, allowing future engineers to develop more eco-friendly materials and processes. Among other things, we cover and/or foster:

  • the development of innovative and light-weight materials used in e.g. constructions and vehicles where stringent safety requirements apply;
  • the optimisation of chemical composition and processing of metals and polymers, and, an understanding of fundamental properties of the different materials, how they relate to the material structure and how these are affected during processing;
  • the simulation of material properties and subsequent interpretation of the outcome of such simulations;
  • an understanding of why a material degrades with time and due to environmental influences, and how surface engineering can increase its life span;
  • how to process metals from secondary sources (such as scrap or e-waste) that are just as high-performing as metals produced from primary raw materials (ores);
  • etc.

In the second year, students can choose between two majors to specialise further in one material group. The Metal Science and Engineering major focuses on metals with an emphasis on atomistic and microscopic understanding, modelling of microstructural processes and material properties and a further deep-dive into sustainable metal processing. The Polymer and Fibre Engineering major focuses on polymers and textiles with an emphasis on polymer processing and recycling technologies, colouring and finishing of fibres and a deep-dive into technical and functional textiles.

The elective course units offer the possibility to concentrate further on specific topics such as ecology, nanotechnology, smart materials, etc. The curriculum also leaves room for a minor (18 credits), which students can choose as part of the electives: Operations Management, Environment and Sustainable Development and Automotive Production Engineering. The electives also offer students the option of a research work placement or an industrial work placement at a company. This is a good way to get to know the different types of material engineers and their day-to-day job content.

Finally, there is the Master’s dissertation. Since the programme is strongly embedded in different materials research groups at our the faculty, you will also get a taste of the ongoing research activities in the discipline as well as get updated on state-of-the-art topics. The best way to illustrate this is our extensive list of dissertation topics, ranging from experimental to modelling work and from metals to textiles, all of them in line with the current research activities. The Master’s dissertation stimulates independent and critical thinking and enhances project management skills.

Labour Market

Masters in Sustainable Materials Engineering – like all other engineers– have a wide range of career possibilities. The demand for engineers exceeds the number of graduates available, including material science engineers. Graduates have careers in the industry, public service or scientific research. Fundamental and applied scientific research focuses on the properties, the behaviour, the processing and the production of different types of materials, such as metals, synthetic materials, ceramics, composites and ‘new’ materials. Others analyse and optimise existing or new production and processing methods. Researchers can work at academic and industrial research centres. In the industry, material science engineers have technical, commercial or management positions.

The innovation and development of advanced products for new markets and the application of new technologies are essential for a healthy industry. Traditional and new important industrial sectors for experts in materials are: the metal industry, the polymer and textile industry, both production and processing such as recycling of metals or polymers, assembly plants, component producers, chemical companies (e.g. corrosion or process engineer and material selection), machine manufacturers, micro-electronics companies (semiconductors), supervisory bodies and centres of expertise (material properties and study of insurance claims), packaging, transport (e.g. composites), pharmacy, agriculture, etc. Material science engineers often work along mechanical engineers, architects or chemists but have a specific complementary profile which is of vital importance in the implementation of engineering projects. They hold leading positions in the development, production and sales of high-value materials.