Master of Science in Sustainable Materials Engineering

The programme Master of Science in Sustainable Materials Engineering aims at the study of properties, production or extraction, processing, use and recycling of a whole range of materials.Dealing with limited resource availability worldwide in a sustainable way is an important objective of the programme. Important materials dealt with are metals, synthetic materials, textiles, composites and ceramics.

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

What

The programme 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 behaviour, durability and degradation of materials in different user circumstances. Dealing with the limited resource availability worldwide in a sustainable way is an important objective of the programme. Important materials dealt with are metals, polymers, textiles, composites and ceramics.

Aandachtspunten

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

For whom

The admission requirements depend on previous degrees (type of degree, country of issue etc.) or additional experience.

Structure

The master consists of 4 parts: (i) general compulsory courses, (ii) a choice between two majors to allow specialization in a specific field of materials engineering, (iii) elective courses, and, (iv) the master’s dissertation. The compulsory courses target basic material sciences, specific material types, material structure and performance, and production and processing technology.

The Major Metal Science and Engineering focuses on metals with an emphasis on understanding and developing innovative, light metals used in constructions where these metals have to fulfil increasingly stringent safety requirements. Both optimization of the chemical composition (alloy formation) and processing are discussed in detail. Ceramic materials are also highlighted. The concept of sustainability is addressed. On the one hand, the student will acquire knowledge to understand why a material deteriorates and how surface engineering can increase its life span. On the other hand, you will learn to process metals from secondary sources, such as scrap or e-waste, and will understand that metals can be produced that are equally performing as metals produced from primary raw materials (ores). Further, emphasis is put on modelling. You will become familiar with the available options to simulate the material properties and their evolution and subsequently will learn to adequately interpret the outcome of these simulations.

The Major Polymer and Fibre Engineering focuses on polymers, fibres and fibre-based materials such as textiles and composites, both natural and man-made. You will acquire knowledge on the physical, chemical and mechanical structure of these materials, but also on the properties, the processing technology and applications. Emphasis is put on understanding the fundamental properties and behaviour of the different materials, how they relate to the material structure and how these are affected during processing. You will learn about additives, colourants and coatings, which are used to give plastics, textiles and composites a specific aesthetic and better or even new properties (flame retardancy, waterproofness, anti-static, …), thus creating added value. You will also acquire knowledge on new technologies such as nanotechnology, intelligent textiles, and bio-based materials. Throughout the courses, the aspects of sustainability are addressed and new technologies are discussed, allowing future engineers to develop more eco-friendly materials.

The elective courses offer students the possibility to further concentrate on specific materials or on specific themes such as ecology, nanotechnology, smart materials, chemistry or business oriented technical and non-technical topics. As part of the elective courses, a master student can choose for a minor (18 credits) in their curriculum, i.e. a series of subjects grouped around a well-specified theme. The following minors are offered: Operations Management, Environment and Sustainable Development and Automotive Production Engineering. The two main subjects and the minors are formally acknowledged in the diploma supplement.

The master’s dissertation finally stimulates independence, critical thinking and project management skills. Students can pick one of the many topics that are proposed by the lecturers, or they can suggest a topic themselves.

Labour Market

Graduates (Masters in Materials Engineering) – like all other engineers (Masters in Engineering) – have a wide range of possibilities. The demand for engineers (MSc in Engineering) exceeds the number of graduates available including material science engineers. Graduates have careers in industry, public service or scientific research. Fundamental and applied scientific research concentrates 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 in academic and industrial research centres. In industry, material science engineers have technical, commercial or management positions.

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 expertise centres (material properties and study of insurance claims), packaging, transport (e.g. composites), pharmacy, agriculture… Material science engineers often work along with mechanical engineers, architects or chemists but have a specific complementary profile which is of vital importance in the implementation of engineering projects.Innovation and development of advanced products for new markets and the application of new technologies are essential for a healthy industry. This requires an increasing number of Masters in Engineering with a specialisation in Materials Engineering. They hold leading positions in the development, production and sales of high-value materials.