Topic outline

  • In the coming years, our material world will change dramatically. The overuse of existing raw materials cannot continue and global consumption must decrease. However, our need for materials will not disappear: also in the future, materials will come to nurture us, cover us, comfort us, delight us, as well as keep us alive. If used wisely, wood- and plant-based materials offer one possible pathway towards a more sustainable material world: they come from renewable sources, can be modified on a chemical level, and can be used for recyclable or biodegradable products. Combining natural materials with advanced technologies offer new possibilities for sustainable development within existing and emerging industries.

    Nordic Biomaterials with CHEMARTS (CHEM-E0165) inspires students with varying backgrounds (design, science, engineering, business) to combine design and material science for new cellulose-driven concepts and ideas. This graduate-level course introduces a broad spectrum of bio-based materials, especially wood-and plant-based. During the course, students familiarise themselves with practice-based material research, experience how interdisciplinary material research happens in practice, and explore how raw materials could be turned into innovative business ideas in the context of circular economy.

    Learning outcomes:

    • Familiarize with materials that are processed either chemically or mechanically from trees or other plants, such as cellulose fibres, fibrils (micro- or nano-structured), lignin, bark extractives and novel combinations of these
    • The ability to develop innovative ideas through hands-on prototyping and experimenting with materials
    • Awareness of the main sustainability issues related to this field
    • Understand the principles of scaling the ideas towards innovations and even commercialisation
    • Experience of an interdisciplinary working environment in practice