Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biomass Refining
Master of Science (Technology).
Field of Study:
Technology and Engineering
2 years, full-time
An appropriate Bachelor´s degree or an equivalent qualification.
Tuition fees & scholarships:
Yes, for non-EU citizens.
Language of Instruction:
2017-12-15 - 2018-01-24
The School of Chemical Engineering combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way. This allows the results of our research to be refined a long way and put into practice as ready products and processes. Each innovation secures both our renewable and non-renewable natural resources for the future.
The School provides education for a wide range of responsible future professionals. M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates in technology work in diverse positions in Finland's largest industrial sectors, in the metal and electronics industry, wood processing industries as well as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries. The research and teaching are supported by an extensive international academic and industrial cooperation network.
The learning outcomes of the master's degree are based on the aims set for education leading to a Master of Science (Technology) as defined in the degree regulations of the School of Chemical Engineering. The learning outcomes of the degree are further specified in the major- and course- specific descriptions of learning outcomes.
The focus areas of the education are the sustainable use and processing of natural resources and new materials, including their technical applications. In the studies towards the major, students acquire advanced knowledge in a specific area of biotechnology, chemical technology or material science and technology. The education leading to a master’s degree is based on the professional practices of fields requiring expertise in science and technology and on scientific research generating new knowledge. Students may choose their minors or elective study modules so that their degree is a combination of technology, business, and art, typical of Aalto University.
Students will adopt a responsible, goal-oriented and systematic way of working, and develop skills to work as experts in their area of specialisation both independently and in cooperation with experts of different fields, also in an international working environment. They will be able to express themselves clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing and to tailor their communication to the target audience.
The School of Chemical Engineering trains Masters of Science (Technology) who have the skills and knowledge to work as pacesetters of the fields of biotechnology, chemical technology and material science and technology in various managerial, planning and research duties serving industry or related stakeholders, the scientific community or public sector. The studies of the programme provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for applying scientific knowledge and scientific methods independently and for continuing to doctoral education.
Graduates of the programme will have achieved the key scientific and professional working methods of their area of specialisation and will be able to continuously deepen their knowledge by acquiring, evaluating and processing scientific, technical and professional information. They will gain the knowledge and skills to understand the challenges of the field from the point of view of users and technical and social systems, as well as from that of the environment and be able to use this knowledge in developing new solutions, also as members of multidisciplinary teams.
The master’s degree programme consists of 120 study credits. This means two study years including master’s thesis.
The programme includes:
- 65 cr major subject courses
- 30 cr thesis
- 25 cr electives
Biomass Refining - Making bioeconomy real
Biomass refining constitutes the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. The key technological contents of the major is treatment of biomass with tailored mechanical, chemical, biochemical and thermochemical processes leading to selective and efficient fractionation of the biomass components into functional fractions, and further refining of the fractions to fibres, polymers, chemical compounds and fuels or their reactants. The focus point of the major is the physiological function and structure of plants as well as the reactivity of the chemical components of lignocellulosic biomass in the conversion processes. Great attention is paid to process integration modelling, taking into account recycling and waste management. This includes the development of an integrated, rational and transparent evaluation framework for sustainable assessments, such as Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).
The major Biomass Refining applies knowledge of the fields of biotechnology, chemistry, and process technology.
After graduating from the major, the students:
- are able to describe the global availability of biomass resources and can formulate scientifically justified arguments on the sustainable use of biomass.
- can give an overall description of biomass structure, from macro structural aspects to microscopic and molecular level the emphasis being on the plant cell wall architecture and the structure and interactions of lignocellulosic components (cellulose, lignin, hemicelluloses, resins and inorganic compounds).
- can identify the principal cellular organisms relevant inbiomass refining and describe and apply the principles and practices in (bio)catalysis and explain how biosynthesis of plant cell wall constituents and cellular metabolites proceeds.
- can model and simulate mass and energy phenomena in multiphase systems and are able to calculate material and energy balances of complex systems.
- have thorough knowledge of the separation methods used in biomass refining, and based on this knowledge can formulate suggestions for practical applications.
- can predict and describe chemical reactions of biomass components in different conditions and can design and perform experiments to test the hypotheses.
- can give detailed scientific and technical descriptions on the industrial-scale mechanical, thermo-chemical, chemical, and biochemical methods for biomass fractionation into platforms (carbohydrates, lignin, extractives).
- are able to suggest feasible and sustainable production schemes for value-added products from the platforms, including LCA analysis of the products.
- can perform biomass fractionation experiments in practice and can use the most relevant analytical methods and equipment for analysing and characterising the products.
- demonstrate an understanding of societal, economical, and environmental effects of engineering solutions.
The Master’s programmes offered by the School of Chemical Engineering apply the following principles during the academic evaluation of eligible applications. These principles are revised annually.
The student selection process is competitive. The applicant’s suitability for the programme is evaluated. The best applicants are granted admission to the programme. The selection of students is primarily based on the application documents. Not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted, CHEM Master’s programme does not have a minimum quota to be fulfilled.
The programmes reserve the right to interview the applicants if it is necessary to clarify the applicant’s motivation or other information in the application.
Biomass Refining specific criteria for academic evaluation
1. Content of the previous degree
B.Sc. or equivalent degree in the natural sciences or engineering of a relevant field. Relevant degrees are e.g. in the fields of chemistry, biotechnology or chemical engineering or its subfields, such as process systems engineering, polymer engineering, food engineering or pulp and paper engineering.
The major applies chemical engineering, biotechnology and chemistry in processing of biomass and therefore adequate knowledge and skills in chemistry are a mandatory prerequisite for the studies.
This Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge and enhance the career prospects of the applicant. Thus, applicants who already have a Master’s degree in the closely related field will only be accepted onto the programme for very specific reasons. These reasons must be stated in the application.
2. Study success
The applicant's success in previous studies (those that give basis for applying into the programme) will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Preference is given to students with a GPA average equivalent to minimum of 3.0 (on a scale 5.0 max).
The time taken to complete previous studies will also be taken into account. Applicants, who have previously studied at Aalto University, e.g. as exchange students, will also be evaluated according to the grades in those studies and the number of credits obtained in comparison to the time taken for completion.
3. Recognition and quality of the home university
The applicant's previous degree will be evaluated based on the recognition and quality of the university.
4. Motivation and commitment
The applicant must demonstrate genuine motivation (motivation letter, max. 1 page) to study the chosen field and be committed to full-time studies with a plan to complete the Master's degree in two years’ time. The applicant is asked to inform if applicant has a study right to another master or doctoral programme.
5. Language proficiency
The studies are conducted fully in English. The applicant must meet the mandatory language requirements of Aalto University. Student must be able to demonstrate that he/she is able to effectively use English as a working language.
6. Recommendation letter
Max. two recommendation letters can be attached to the application. Recommendation letter should be in English written by professor. It can be original letter or certified copy of it.
7. Other relevant achievements
The applicant's other relevant achievements may be considered if documented in the application.
These can be, for example:
- experience of work in the field of the programme
- participation in scientific research which has led to publications, posters for applicants whose Bachelor's degree is from a Finnish university of applied sciences, prior
- completion of required complementary studies with good grades (transcript required)
- other previous studies (transcript required)
In addition to the compulsory documents, applicants to the programme are also requested to provide the following documents:
- Copies of relevant work certificates
- Original or certified copies of recommendation letter/letters
- Information about publications or posters
- Transcript of other previous studies
All enquiries regarding admission, admission documents and language tests should be sent to admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi.
Students admitted to the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering may be required to take complementary studies, max 20 credits. Complementary studies may not be included in the degree of Master of Science (Tech).
The content and number of the complementary courses depend on your previous studies. The complementary studies will be set latest in September.
The fees will concern non-EU/EEA degree students who start their studies in English-taught Master's degree programmes in August 2017 or after that.
Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering
Street address: Kemistintie 1, Espoo, Finland
Enquiries regarding the application process, application documents, language tests etc: admissions [at] aalto [dot] fi
Enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Chemical Engineering: studies-chem [at] aalto [dot] fi