Project "chemical & materials engineering for a sustainable future"

lmapr2001a  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Project "chemical & materials engineering for a sustainable future"
5.00 credits
22.5 h + 30.0 h
Main themes
Chemistry and materials science and engineering, sustainable development, life cycle assessment, processing, recycling, social life cycle assessment of products, innovation
As stated in a report of the UN Environment Programme1, “shared concerns about the state and sustainability of environmental, economic and social dimensions of today’s and tomorrow’s world are expressed through the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’. The journey towards sustainability finds sustainable production and consumption at its very heart. It also relates to the social responsibility of organizations and the objective to improve social and environmental performances along with sustained economic profitability -all in the perspective to contribute notably to greater human well-being.”
Engineers, particularly in chemistry and materials science, have a key role to play when dealing with these constraints to turn them into opportunities. The project will aim at giving the opportunity to students to practice this concept of Sustainable Development. A large panel of scientific and technological challenges related to sustainable chemical and materials engineering will be considered. 
The project will focus on the assessment of case studies. Specific engineered solutions of chemical engineering and/or materials science used for specific problems / applications will be the starting points of the project.  These case studies will be related to the processing, recycling or use of structural and/or functional materials or devices. In small groups, the students will have to carry out a life cycle assessment of the existing solution, to critically assess it and to propose alternative and innovative solutions taking into account social, environmental and economical constraints. Innovative eco-design will be actively considered. Seminars on specific topics will be organized. Evaluation of the potential economical and societal impacts of the proposed solution will have to be carry out, including wasting or recycling issues. Motivated presentations of the proposed solutions will have to be carried out.
1 UNEP, Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment Of products, 2009
Teaching methods
The project is led in small groups of students. It involves the reading of a portfolio of review articles and book chapters related to the proposed case studies, the input of external experts, the simulation of processing paths, of materials/devices properties (when appropriate), the innovative design of alternative solutions, the management of a social life cycle assessment, the evaluation of economical impacts, the communication of their findings to adequate audiences.
Evaluation methods
The students are evaluated both individually and collectively based on the acquired learning outcomes. Except exceptional situations, the evaluation takes the whole group performances into account. The following items will be accounted for:
    the work done by the group during the whole semester;
    intermediate reports;
    final report;
    public presentation;
    answers given to the questions raised by the audience.
Other information
All the course material will be available in the Moodle platform.
Online resources
All needed resources will be made available via the Moodle website of the project.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Master [120] in Environmental Bioengineering

Master [120] in Chemistry and Bioindustries

Interdisciplinary Advanced Master in Science and Management of the Environment and Sustainable Development