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Become a Sustainable Materials Entrepreneur

Change society for the better

The Master Programme on Sustainable Materials (SUMA) aims to train tomorrow’s industrial engineers in collaborative work in a global world and gather some of the best educational programmes in the field of Sustainable Materials Engineering in Europe.

They stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership and focus on circular (eco)design, materials substitution, life cycle engineering and circular economy design, materials processing and recycling, manufacturing and innovation.

The programme involves studies in two different institutions (depending on your Programme Path selection), an internship in a company and a Master thesis in collaboration with a company. Learn more about the course and partner university locations below.

The SUMA programme structure consists of the following parts:

  • The backbone: a solid scientific and technical basis (60 ECTS), broadly covering aspects of:
    • Materials and Processing
    • Sustainability and Recycling
    • Circular (eco)design and Life Cycle Engineering
    • Materials Substitution
    • Manufacturing
  • The heart and brain: courses on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (30 ECTS)
  • The arms and legs: an internship (6 ECTS) and the Master Thesis (24 ECTS)

SUMA aims to educate tomorrow’s materials engineers with:

  • Up-to-date technical skills and state-of-the-art technological knowledge
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, focused on the sustainability of industrial activities

All SUMA students develop their own research activities under the supervision of experienced mentors.

The proposed research areas are inspired by real-world industrial and technological challenges:

  • Materials recycling and upcycling
  • Industrial waste valorisation
  • Assessment of environmental impact and reduction of the environmental footprint of the Materials and Metals industry
  • Life cycle analysis of industrial products and consumer goods
  • Energy production, storage and reduction of energy use
  • Minimising environmental pollution
  • Saving natural resources for future generations

The details

Start

September 2023

Duration

2 years

Partner universities
  • KU Leuven, Belgium
  • University of Trento, Italy
  • Grenoble INP, France
  • MU Leoben, Austria
  • University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
Industrial Partners
  • Umicore
  • Atlantic Copper

SUMA Master's Programme

The Sustainable Materials programmes are two-year Master’s courses embedded in the engineering departments of the participating universities (120 ECTS).

They combine a high level of expertise in materials with competencies in sustainable materials engineering and sustainability to educate responsible materials-orientated entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders for the future.

Structure

The Master’s programmes have a solid, technical backbone that broadly covers all aspects of materials and processing, sustainability and recycling, circular (eco)design and lifecycle engineering, materials substitution and manufacturing (60 ECTS). This is completed with courses on entrepreneurship and innovation (30 ECTS), an internship (6 ECTS), and the Master thesis (24 ECTS). The internship and thesis are positioned in companies strongly related to the field of sustainable and raw materials.

Different Tracks

Five partner universities offer nine different tracks. Each track of the Master programmes on Sustainable Materials consists of one year at an entry university, followed by a second year at an exit university. All courses are taught in English. Depending on their background, some students might be invited to follow additional preparatory courses.

Each track has been granted the EIT-label, fostering students to become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurs. Thanks to this EIT Label, students are entitled to a student enhancement allowance.

Explore where and what you can study

Five high-level European universities offer you the chance to obtain a double Master’s degree. More information on their Master’s programmes can be found on their respective websites:

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending on the selected track. More information will be given as you explore the programme paths below.

Please note that the suggested fees correspond to the academic year 2022-2023, and might vary slightly for the academic year 2023-2024. Fees might also increase in case of late graduation (after two years of study).

Choose your Programme Path

Click on each programme path below to find out more about the curriculum for each university combination. Make your selection for the first year of study, then scroll down to select the second year. Return to the first year to change your selection and create a new combination.

You can find more information about the individual courses by clicking on the links above, which will lead you to a more detailed description on the website of the university organising the course.

CHOOSE YOUR 1ST YEAR OF STUDY

KU Leuven

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Montanuniversitaet Leoben

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U. Trento

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UNIMIB

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CHOOSE YOUR 2ND YEAR OF STUDY

INP Grenoble

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KU Leuven

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Montanuniversitaet Leoben

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U. Trento

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UNIMIB

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Your combined programme syllabus for...

KU Leuven – INP Grenoble

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: €979.60
Second year: €1473

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €6,600
Second year: €5,000
The student will pay tuition at KU Leuven for the first year and at INP Grenoble for the second year.

Curriculum

The first year at Leuven is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving the general basic knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites) jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques, materials modelling and materials processing. The students interact with industrial partners through company visits and lab sessions.
The second year in Grenoble aims, apart from optimisation skills, to give students the complete and big picture of the field of “sustainable materials management” with technical knowledge but also economical, organisational and managerial knowledge. It gives students a profound education in the field of sustainable industrial engineering, with particular regards to material efficiency (recycling, reuse, additive manufacturing, product design) and new value chains (reverse logistics, supply chain, economics, processes performance). In Grenoble the students will specialise in sustainability and industrial engineering and will be able to make sustainable decisions on industrial value chains or on specific new technologies/processes regarding the materials value chain.

U. Trento – INP Grenoble

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 (per year depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: €1,473

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 (per year depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: €5,000

Curriculum

The first year at Trento is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving the general basic knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites) jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques and mechanical design.
The second year in Grenoble aims, apart from optimisation skills, to give students the complete and big picture of the field of “sustainable materials management” with technical knowledge but also economical, organisational and managerial knowledge. It gives students a profound education in the field of sustainable industrial engineering with particular regards to material efficiency (recycling, reuse, additive manufacturing, product design) and new value chains (reverse logistics, supply chain, economics, processes performance). In Grenoble students will specialise in sustainability and industrial engineering and will be able to make sustainable decisions on industrial value chains or on specific new technologies/processes regarding the materials value chain.

UNIMIB – INP Grenoble

2019-2020 EEA / non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: € –
Second year: € –
On hold

Curriculum

The first year at Milano-Bicocca is based on mandatory courses characterised by three aims. i) Advanced knowledge in the physics and chemistry of materials. Aim of this part of the programme is the acquisition of a general scheme for the interpretation and the design of function vs. structure relationships in a wide class of materials. ii) Acquisition of competences in experimental techniques of material characterisation and synthesis, with activities in experimental laboratories interacting with research groups at the Department of Materials Science. iii) Specific classes of materials and function-related structures, giving also a basis for understanding the strategy for a sustainable technology.
The second year in Grenoble aims, apart from optimisation skills, to give students the complete and big picture of the field of “sustainable materials management” with technical knowledge but also economical, organisational and managerial knowledge. It gives students a profound education in the field of sustainable industrial engineering with particular regards to material efficiency (recycling, reuse, additive manufacturing, product design) and new value chains (reverse logistics, supply chain, economics, processes performance). In Grenoble students will specialise in sustainability and industrial engineering and will be able to make sustainable decisions on industrial value chains or on specific new technologies/processes regarding the materials value chain.

KU Leuven - Montanuniversitaet Leoben

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: 979.60
Second year: €979.60

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €6,600 
Second year: €6,600

Curriculum

The first year at Leuven is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving the generalbase knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites), jointly with courses on materials properties and characterization techniques, materials modelling and materials processing. The students are interacting with industrial partners through company visits and lab sessions.
The second year at Montanuniversitaet Leoben has a strong focus on process- and business management as well as economics, building the base for an entrepreneurial mind-set and leadership skills. This is complemented by product development, production planning and logistics courses (innovation and sustainability). The master thesis and compulsory internship establish supplementary ties to industry.

U. Trento - Montanuniversitaet Leoben

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 per year (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 per year (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)

Curriculum

The first year at Trento is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving the general basic knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites), jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques and mechanical design.
The second year at Montanuniversitaet Leoben has a strong focus on process- and business management as well as economics, building the base for an entrepreneurial mind-set and leadership skills. This is complemented by product development, production planning and logistics courses (innovation and sustainability). The master thesis and compulsory internship establish supplementary ties to industry.

KU Leuven – U. Trento

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: €979.60
Second year: €979.60

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €6,600
Second year: €6,600

Curriculum

The first year at Leuven is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving a general base knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites), jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques, materials modelling and materials processing. The students are interacting with industrial partners through company visits and lab sessions.
The second year at Trento is based on the curriculum of Industrial Processes Management and Optimisation. This curriculum is characterised by a set of disciplines crossing the fields of Operations Research and Industrial Management aimed at building useful skills for an efficient management of manufacturing processes and optimisation of materials, considering all aspects, i.e., scientific, technological, economic and organisational. For the achievement of such skills, special emphasis is devoted to models and methods of mathematical and reticular programming, systems for the simulation and management of tails, decisions and quality control supporting systems, informative systems for logistics and production. The final goal is to build a Materials Engineer that combines good technical skills (acquired during the first year at KU Leuven) and well developed entrepreneurial attitudes to successfully drive innovation in large companies and SMEs.

KU Leuven - UNIMIB

2021-2022 EEA Tuition fees

First year: 979.60
Second year: 979.60

2021-2022 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €6,600
Second year: €6,600

Curriculum

The first year at Leuven is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving a general base knowledge on materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites) jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques, materials modelling and materials processing. Students also interact with industrial partners through company visits and lab sessions.
The second year at Milano-Bicocca comprises various courses on entrepreneurship and industrial aspects in the area of materials science – including nanotechnology, composites, microelectronics, and molecular materials – which may be composed in a personalised programme through mandatory and elective courses. A relevant number of credits are devoted to the research activity of master Thesis and internship in close connection with research groups and industrial partners, putting the student in contact with cutting-edge research topics and up-to-date methods of investigation. The full immersion in team activities within research groups and international networks stimulates specific awareness for managing research, applications and curiosity for new problems and ideas. Additional activities include seminars from experts of industry on management and innovation topics, along with laboratories on scientific language and an Italian language laboratory (together with a wide cultural proposal on transversal competences).

Montanuniversitaet Leoben - KU Leuven

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: €42.40 
Second year: €42.40

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €1,495.84
Second year: €1,495.84

Curriculum

The first year at Montanuniversitaet Leoben is mostly based on compulsory technical courses giving students a basic knowledge in characterisation techniques, classes of materials (building materials, ceramics, and metals), material processing and recycling complemented by simulation and modelling courses.
The second year at Leuven has a strong focus on science based knowledge as a basis for innovation (master thesis), exposure to industry (through thesis and internship) and modules aimed at developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mind-set, as well as leadership values.

U. Trento – KU Leuven

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: Between €146 and €3,345 (depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)

Curriculum

The first year at Trento is mostly based on compulsory technical courses aimed at giving the general basic knowledge of materials science and engineering. Courses focus on different classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites) jointly with courses on materials properties and characterisation techniques and mechanical design.
The second year at Leuven has a strong focus on science based knowledge as a basis for innovation (master thesis), exposure to industry (through thesis and internship) and modules aimed at developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mind-set as well as leadership values.

UNIMIB – KU Leuven

2022-2023 EEA Tuition fees

First year: €456 – €3,756 depending of the country of residence. See related link. (For Italian citizens, the fee varies depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)
Second year: €456 – €3,756 depending of the country of residence. See related link. (For Italian citizens, the fee varies depending on the applicant’s financial conditions. See related link)

2022-2023 non-EEA Tuition fees

First year: €456 – €3,756 (depending of the country of residence. See related link.)
Second year: €456 – €3,756 (depending of the country of residence. See related link.)

Curriculum

The first year at Milano-Bicocca is based on mandatory courses characterised by three aims. i) Advanced knowledge in the physics and chemistry of materials. The aim of this part of the programme is the acquisition of a general scheme for the interpretation and design of function vs. structure relationships in a wide class of materials. ii) Acquisition of competences in experimental techniques of material characterisation and synthesis, with activities in experimental laboratories interacting with research groups at the Department of Materials Science. iii) Specific classes of materials and function-related structures, giving a basis for understanding the strategy for a sustainable technology.
The second year at Leuven has a strong focus on science based knowledge as a basis for innovation (master thesis), exposure to industry (through thesis and internship) and modules aimed at developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mind-set as well as leadership values.

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Students are selected and admitted to the programme and track, based on their academic results, prerequisite requirements, motivation and language skills. They must demonstrate an excellent command of spoken and written English.

Candidates must meet the admission criteria of the Master’s Degree Programmes for both partner institutions in a track. The admission of students is always subject to final approval by the partner institutions involved in the track, as they must meet the admission criteria of the Master’s Degree Programmes of both partner institutions.

All students should have:

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering or equivalent. Candidates must have obtained(*) a BSc diploma (or equivalent) of substantial quality and at a level corresponding to at least three years’ study at a university, equivalent to 180 ECTS. Depending on the background, some students might need to follow additional preparatory courses.                                                  (*) or demonstrate that they are less than 40 ECTS away of obtaining the BSc diploma.

English proficiency: the minimum for the SUMA Master’s is a TOEFL iBT score of 79, with a minimum of 20 on both speaking and writing, or an IELTS Academic score of minimum 6.5, with a minimum of 6 on speaking and writing for non-EEA students who are not native speakers.

Students participating in the Dual Master’s Degree tracks will be entitled to participate in any introductory programme, including language courses, that may customarily be arranged for international students at the host institution.

To be admissible for the second year of a Dual Master’s Degree track, the student must have completed a minimum of 48 ECTS. If this minimum is not reached, the student can continue within the regular Master’s Degree programme at the entry institution, but not in the Dual Master’s track.

Scholarships

Because the SUMA Master programmes are EIT Labeled, we are able to support all accepted and enrolled students with an ‘Added value student activities grant’ (AVSA grant). For students starting in September 2023, the AVSA equals EUR 13,500 and is paid in full to the students in 2024.

EIT RawMaterials determines the payment modalities of these scholarships. 

Please note that the grant is not sufficient to cover the costs of the full programme. You need to plan for additional sources of funding.

For guidance on average living costs, you can check: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/life-at-ku-leuven/money-matters/cost-of-living-in-belgium

Living Costs

Students are responsible for covering living costs during their stay, including accommodation, equipment, consumables, health and travel insurance, third-party liability insurance and student union fee (where applicable).

Upon applying for VISA or residence permit, the students are obliged to show that they have sufficient financial means to cover their study and living expenses for the duration of the studies.

The information about proof of financial solvency can be found below:

  1. KU Leuven: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/admissions/travelling/blocked-account
  2. UNIMIB and University of Trento: https://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en
  3. MU Leoben: https://www.migration.gv.at/en/types-of-immigration/temporary-residence/

 

 

 

Accommodation

Please contact the housing offices of the universities to check the offer and receive administrative support when looking for room in a student residence. Take into account that usually the demand for rooms exceeds the supply, so it’s best to start looking for accommodation several months before your arrival.

KU Leuven: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/life-at-ku-leuven/housing

Milano-Bicocca: https://en.unimib.it/services/offices-and-facilities/bicocca-campus-opportunities-and-facilities/dining-and-accomodation/accommodation

U. Trento: https://international.unitn.it/incoming/accommodation

MU Leoben: https://starter.unileoben.ac.at/en/studying/prospective-students/housing

Grenoble INP: https://www.grenoble-inp.fr/en/academics/housing

 

The number of study places available is limited and the application process is highly competitive.

Applying for SUMA

The application for the SUMA programmes entails several steps:

  • First we invite students to register through this website. A selection committee  reviews all received applications.
  • Pre-selected candidates will be invited for a short skype/phone interview in which their background, scientific skills and knowledge, motivation and English proficiency is evaluated.
  • If your candidacy is accepted and the committee gives positive advice, you will be invited to register at the entry university where an administrative check of your transcripts takes place.
  • The final acceptance is granted once the check is positive. Then, you will receive an admission letter and you can start the SUMA Master Programme at the university of your choice.

Students interested in following one of the tracks of the SUMA programme should register to apply and upload the following:

  • Motivation letter stating their motivation and the specific track they would like to follow (in English)
  • Short CV (in English)
  • Track record: list of all the courses successfully followed (original names, merged to one PDF)

Students are required to choose an entry AND an exit partner institution from the beginning of the track.

Apply for the SUMA Programme

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