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How To Make the World More Sustainable With a Master’s in Raw Materials

How To Make the World More Sustainable With a Master’s in Raw Materials main image

Sponsored by EIT RawMaterials

Not only is the world in the midst of a climate crisis but a resources crisis too. With attempts at tackling climate change and other sustainability issues such as resource efficiency and renewable energy at fever pitch with five times the global population, we’re also consuming around double the amount of materials and three times more energy per person than the world did in 1900.

You only need to glance at a newspaper, the television or social media to see a surge in breaking news articles about the Amazon and Siberian wildfires, record-breaking summer temperatures, rising sea levels and shrinking ice caps.

There is, however, some good news. Creating a sustainable world is indeed possible. Although it will be a challenge, we do have the resources, knowledge, expertise, skills as well as the awareness to do this.

We spoke with EIT RawMaterials to find out how studying a master’s in raw materials can help make the world more sustainable.

The pressure is on

We live in a world that’s built on a fast turnover principle, where we always want the newest model or gadget. We also live in a world where easily accessible materials and resources to keep up with such demand are depleting – and fast.

One solution to this is the circular economy. The transition from a linear economy to a circular economy definitely isn’t as complicated or as costly as some may consider it to be. And no, it isn’t just the latest sustainable buzzword, fad or simply a fancier term for ‘recycling’.

Instead, all stages of the value chain need to be adapted in order to create a more circular economy. The industrial process begins with exploring the materials needed for a product, extracting the raw materials, processing them, designing the product and then manufacturing the product. After it has been used and recycled, the process comes full circle and starts again.

The circular economy essentially transforms the outdated and damaging linear economy of take, make, and waste into a regenerative and restorative closed-loop production process which ensures the prolongation of materials and resources, therefore reducing or eliminating waste altogether.

While recycling issues are not only related to technical aspects either, the right collection schemes, right market conditions for secondary products, as well as regulation are all key issues that need to be considered.

Working towards a greener and more sustainable future

Higher education institutions are at the forefront of research and are developing degree programs designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge to produce innovative solutions that help combat the climate and sustainability crises.

A pioneer in raw materials and sustainable education is the EIT RawMaterials Academy. Their master’s programs such as the International Master Program in Advanced Materials: Innovative Recycling, Master European Mining Course (EMC), and the Master in Sustainable Materials develop students into passionate and knowledgeable innovators and entrepreneurs who are highly motivated, ready to take on challenges and have a genuine desire to create and drive forward sustainable solutions to help change society for the better.

When it comes to educating the next generation of engineers, miners and resource managers, it’s vital there’s a clear and defined understanding of the importance of the raw materials value chain, how it contributes to the success of the circular economy and how it decarbonizes the economy.

We also need materials to successfully transform our economy to a low-carbon model. For example, electric vehicles need cobalt and lithium for rechargeable Li-ion batteries, photovoltaics and solar panels rely on silicon, and gearless wind turbines require rare earth elements to generate renewable electricity.

The International Master Program in Advanced Materials: Innovative Recycling has a particular focus on the overall raw materials value chain, including general chemistry, material science, and the lifecycle of materials, which allows students to identify and develop new routes for materials recycling, thus contributing new solutions to the circular economy.

While Master European Mining Course (EMC) students learn about the entire value chain, with a particular emphasis on the environmental impact of mining and how to do so in a sustainable way.

For those who like to think outside the box and are business-minded, the Master in Sustainable Materials degree program trains students to become the entrepreneurs of the circular economy of tomorrow.

Take a look at this short video to find out more about EIT RawMaterials’ master’s programs.

Sadik A, Mieny N & 3 others saved this
Written by Stephanie Lukins
As the sponsored content writer for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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