Master of Science in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Sustainable Metals Processing


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Program Description

Imagine a world without metals. Without metals, there would not be cities, energy, transportation and many products that improve our quality of living. Metals have been, are, and will be one of the main pillars of modern society and economy.

The circular economy requires more sustainable, efficient, environmentally friendly and economic metals processing. The major study subject of Sustainable Metals Processing answers to these demands.

Sustainable Metals Processing is a fully integrated study program that combines metals and mineral processing technology based on scientific and engineering principles with the economy and society. It covers the whole cycle of materials from acquiring raw materials to recycling end-of-life products. The focus is on the processes that make metals production and recycling possible.

This study field includes diverse multidisciplinary areas, spanning from theoretical metallurgy, experimental studies and process engineering to knowledge-intensive design and optimization of the processes, equipment, plant operations and product applications. The aim of the major is to introduce a broad way of thinking: whatever you do as an engineer, always include the economic, environmental and social aspects in it.

Sustainable Metals Processing offers you interesting and diverse career opportunities in multidisciplinary international teams in research and industry working on the challenges to make our world a better place. We welcome you to join this exciting field!

Study objective

The major Sustainable Metals Processing is the only integrated major study program in Finland focusing on production and recycling of metals and minerals using primary and secondary resources. The major covers the whole life cycle of materials linking product and process design, materials engineering, recycling, energy recovery, environment protection, economy and society.

The focus is on a multi-scale approach to understand and use the relevant physical and chemical phenomena in industrial processes. This spans atom-level basics of relevant chemical phenomena, process-level models and design practices that can be integrated into sustainable metals processing plants. As our graduate, you will have good knowledge of raw materials, metals production, and their effects on environment, economy and society. Our aim is to educate engineers with a deep scientific understanding in these fields. You will have an ability to apply engineering skills in the industry to produce clean water, renewable energy or products that enable high quality of living.

After graduation, you can act as a metallurgical processing expert in multidisciplinary international teams, capable of evaluating equipment and process designs and designing feasible and sustainable metals processing. You can additionally pursue doctoral studies to understand the challenges of the field from the different points of view - of users, technical and social systems, the environment - and be able to use this knowledge in developing new solutions.

Language of instruction

English. Possibility to complete some courses in Finnish/Swedish.

Career opportunities

As a graduate of the programme, you will have the skills and knowledge to work as a pacesetter of your field in various managerial, planning and research duties serving the industry or related stakeholders, the scientific community or public sector.

Post-graduate study options

Eligibility for doctoral studies.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Non-EU/EEA students selected to the study option will be charged a tuition fee of €15000 per academic year. They are eligible to apply for scholarships awarded from the Aalto University Scholarship programme.

Learning outcomes

After graduating from the major ‘Sustainable Metals Processing’, you possess:

The core scientific and engineering knowledge

  • Types of primary and secondary raw materials and their suitability for processing.
  • Chemical thermodynamics, phase equilibria and reaction kinetics.
  • Transport phenomena in homogeneous, heterogeneous and particulate systems to design and optimize processes and equipment.
  • Process dynamics, systems engineering and their connections to process design, utilizing the best practices and technology flow-sheet integration.
  • Societal, economic and environmental impacts and associated responsibilities relevant to processes.

Core scientific and engineering skills:

  • Applying systems engineering principles to process design and using the best practices to develop processes and products with quantified sustainability in terms of high materials efficiency, low energy use and low environmental impact.
  • Experimental studies of metals processing systems and processes at low and high temperatures, gathering and analyzing the data, and evaluating the process performance.
  • Model, develop and optimize production processes, equipment, and plants with the help of different numerical and simulation tools.
  • Ability to act as a metallurgical engineering expert in multidisciplinary international groups developing feasible and sustainable metals production processes, equipment and plants

Structure of studies

Two-year full-time Master’s programme of 120 ECTS credits.

Degree includes:

  • 65 cr major dependent studies
  • 30 cr Master’s thesis
  • 25 cr electives

You can find more information about major dependent studies and the degree on Into pages.

Major or specialization fields

The application target defines the major, please choose the major/application target carefully.


Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. Master's theses are typically performed in cooperation with the industry or in the research project(s) of the department(s).


The study environment in the programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The international atmosphere shows in everyday life at the school, where 37 per cent of academic personnel is from abroad. Our teaching methods support networking with people from diverse backgrounds.

Aalto University offers many possibilities for you to develop your global competence by:

  • Completing part of the degree abroad, for example, a minor, in an international partner university as an exchange student.
  • Choosing courses with the intercultural approach, learning foreign languages and/or becoming a student tutor for international students.
  • Conducting practical training or Master’s thesis outside Finland.
  • Taking summer courses abroad.
  • Several funding options available for internationalization.

Corporate and other collaboration

One of the strengths of this Master’s programme is the close cooperation with the industry: from industry assignments, projects in courses and special courses with teachers from the industry to conduct your Master’s thesis in a company. Furthermore, field trips and excursions to companies and research institutes of the field give new perspectives to studying. We recommend you to take part in these activities to enhance your position in the international job market. Many of the Finnish companies in the field operate internationally. In addition, departments have academic co-operation with high-quality international universities and organisations.

You can include multidisciplinary studies to your degree by choosing courses from fields of arts and business within Aalto University. You can even take courses from other Finnish universities via The Flexible Study Right Agreement (JOO).


Programme-specific admission requirements

Applicants to the programme must first meet the general eligibility and language requirements that are common to all Master's programmes in Science and Technology.

The following principles apply during the academic evaluation of eligible applications. These principles are revised annually.

The student selection process is competitive. The applicant’s suitability for the programme is evaluated. The best applicants are granted admission to the programme. The selection of students is primarily based on the application documents. Not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted, CHEM Master’s programme does not have a minimum quota to be fulfilled.

The programmes reserve the right to interview the applicants if it is necessary to clarify the applicant’s motivation or other information in the application.

Complementary studies

Students admitted to the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering may be required to take complementary studies, max 20 credits. Complementary studies may not be included in the degree of Master of Science (Tech).

The content and number of the complementary courses depend on your previous studies. The complementary studies will be set latest in September.

Last updated November 2019

About the School

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and desig ... Read More

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and design, architecture, and technology in Finland. Read less
Espoo , Helsinki , Pori , Mikkeli + 3 More Less