Master in Sustainable Materials (SUMA)

KU Leuven - University of Leuven

Program Description

Master in Sustainable Materials (SUMA)

KU Leuven - University of Leuven

The SUMA master programmes are labelled by the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) and funded by EIT RawMaterials.

The SUMA master programmes aim 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. They involve studies in two different institutions, an internship in a company and and a master thesis in collaboration with a company.

Master programme

The Sustainable Materials (SUMA) master programmes are two year master programmes embedded in the engineering programmes of the participating universities (120 ECTS). They combine a high level of expertise in materials with competences in sustainable materials engineering and sustainability to educate responsible materials oriented entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders for the future.


The backbone of the master programs is a solid technical basis broadly covering aspects of materials and processing, sustainability and recycling, circular (eco)design and life cycle 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.

Selected students can chose one of ten different options and study one full year at one of the partner universities and continue the second and final master year in a different country. Read more about the options on our programme page. Five participating universities offer a master programme with a focus on sustainable materials:

  • KU Leuven (Belgium)
  • Montanuniversität Leoben (Austria)
  • University of Trento (Italy)
  • Grenoble INP (France)
  • University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)

Students who pass all subjects receive a double degree from both institutions and a certificate from the EIT. The SUMA master programmes have been granted the EIT-label* which indicates that the programmes foster students to become more creative, innovative and entrepreneurs, and to aim for:

  • Robust entrepreneurship education
  • Highly integrated, innovative “learning-by-doing” curricula
  • International and cross-organisational mobility, the European dimension and openness to the world
  • Access policy and joint outreach strategy

Is this the right programme for me?

Any student with an interest or background in earth, mining, materials sciences and engineering (including product related activity) is a potential candidate. The Master programmes in Sustainable materials look for internationally-oriented and entrepreneurial engineering students who wish to find innovative solutions in materials engineering. We seek motivated young high potential individuals that want to take on the challenge of broadening their knowledge base with the aim of innovating the way we see and handle the materials market today. The programme is ideal for students who are fascinated by materials technology and interested in environmental and socio-economic factors, as well as the development of (technological) solutions for specific material and product cycles.

Graduates of this custom-developed programme are truly multi-disciplinary experts in the sustainable management of materials. They benefit a high quality education, get in touch with international experts in the field and enjoy a hands on training during their internship in industry. As a result, they are highly qualified to work in industry or research, or to take on policy-making roles in resource efficiency, engineering economy, or recycling and resource recovery.

Admission criteria

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 of both partner institutions of 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 institution of a track.

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 level corresponding to at least 3 years studies at a university, equivalent to 180 ECTS.
  • English proficiency: TOEFL score of 86 with a minimum 20 on both speaking and writing or IELTS score of 6.5 with minimum 6.0 on both speaking and writing for non-EEA students who are no 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. In case 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.

Career Perspectives & Employment Profile

The SUMA Master programme aims at training scientists with a solid background in chemistry and physics, with competences for designing and tailoring new material systems for specific functions, and with a specific view to the sustainability of processes and technologies in the field of material development.

Main job opportunities are in industries and research centres in Europe working on the development and production of functional materials for advanced applications and high technology, including polymers, insulators, semiconductors, alloys, ceramics, fibre optics, ionic conductors, superconductors, and materials for photonics. In this context, the Master student profile is tailored for creating highly valued future leaders to be employed in positions of responsibility in managing advanced material design, production processes and material qualifying protocols in high tech firms, material diagnostics and analysis in industries and research centres, and material development projects and scientific research projects in the field of material science and technology innovation.

Programme website:

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 23, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
2 years
Full time
Belgium - Leuven
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Belgium - Leuven
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info