The application round for the new Master’s Programme begins on 15 December 2014

Are you passionate about science? Do you want to know more about using science sustainably in advanced ways?

Choose from one of seven fascinating majors and work towards becoming one the experts of the future! The application round for the School of Chemical Technology’s new Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering began on 15 December 2014. Future experts in sustainable development have until 30 January 2015 to apply for the programme.

Natural sciences at the heart of every main subject area

There are seven major subject areas in the Master’s Programme:

Biomass refining

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).


Graduates from the Biotechnology major have a strong multidisciplinary knowledge of biotechnology and engineering and the ability to apply this knowledge in a research and business environment. The major gives an in-depth understanding of molecular level biological phenomena, their modeling and application. At the core of the teaching are biotechnologically important organisms and enzymes, their properties, as well as their applications in products and processes. Students acquire practical skills and the ability to use key methods of biotechnology, including genetic engineering and synthetic biology, and learn to apply these tools to the development of biotechnological processes.

Chemical engineering

The Chemical Engineering major is based on a multi-scale perspective to underlying physical and chemical phenomena in chemical processes. It starts with molecular level origins of relevant phenomena, explains how processing unit level models and design practices emerge from them, and further considers integrated chemical plants and ultimately societal level effects. The emphasis is to educate engineers with a deep perspective on how natural sciences are applied with best engineering practices in Chemical Process Industries. The graduates of this major are capable of acting as chemical processing experts in various industries, are capable of evaluating designs and designing feasible and sustainable chemical processes with the help of modern tools.


The Chemistry major has a strong scientific basis in chemistry. It begins with molecular and quantum mechanical level description of matter and chemical reactions. The organic and inorganic study paths provide good knowledge on synthesizing and analyzing organic or inorganic materials. The physical chemistry study path focuses on electrochemistry and computational chemistry. In addition to the natural science basis, the major provides good knowledge in chemical engineering practices, especially when complementing the major’s courses with chemical engineering courses. The emphasis is on educating engineers capable of acting as chemistry experts in various branches of the industry and capable of solving chemistry related problems, such as planning reaction procedures and analyzing materials in detail.

Fiber and polymer engineering

The Fibre and Polymer Engineering major is built on a solid fundamental understanding of polymers, their synthesis, structure, processing and properties, as well as the structure and properties of fibres and the materials and products manufactured from them. In line with the strategic focus areas of the School of Chemical Technology, considerable focus is placed on fibres and polymers derived from bio-based feedstock – ‘biopolymers’ and ‘bio-fibres’. As part of this major, students have the opportunity to specialise, though course work, tailored projects and their final thesis, on topics that are of special interest to them. Specialisations include wood-based materials and their applications, web-structures and converted fibre products as well as polymer science and technology.

Functional materials

Functional materials major concentrates on structure-processing-properties relationships of materials, while chemistry and physics take a more fundamental approach, and mechanical and electrical engineering are more driven by the applications in their specific fields. Compared with materials engineering and chemical engineering, functional materials is more about physical properties of materials, and less about chemical transformations that are involved in processing.

Sustainable metals processing

The major is a specialist field that deals with the extraction of metals and mineral products from primary and secondary resources through the application of scientific principles. Considered is the bigger cycle of materials linking rigorously to product design, material science, energy recovery and bio-materials.

The (extractive metallurgy) major focuses in a multi-scale approach to the relevant physical and chemical  phenomena  in  the  processes.  It  covers  atom-level  basics  of  relevant  phenomena, explains how unit process level models and design practices can be derived from them, and considers integrated metals extraction plants and their material flows. An important factor is sustainability of metals extraction and the system approach allowing the availability of metals over their life cycles. The aim is to educate engineers with a deep understanding on how sciences are applied with engineering skills in the metallurgical industries. They will act as metallurgical processing experts in various industries, are capable of evaluating equipment and process designs and designing feasible as well as sustainable metals extraction processes with the help of numeric simulation tools.

 The master’s degree studies include a 5 ECTS package, which is common to everyone in the programme regardless of their main subject. During this part of the programme, the different main subject students come together to work on joint projects. Only courses offered by the School of Chemical Technology can be included as main subjects in the master’s programme. Minor subject studies can be taken from other schools at Aalto University. For example, you may wish to include business or design courses.

As a master’s degree student at Aalto CHEM, you will be trained to become an internationally-minded, multi-disciplinary, and responsible scientific expert, and as such you will take part in instigating far-reaching changes across a range of areas of Finnish industry,  including the bioeconomy and the metal, electronics, forestry, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, bioculture, and food industries. This programme will also prepare you for a diverse range of jobs in other sectors.

For more information about the programme and the application process, please see

 Photos: Mikko Raskinen/Aalto University

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