How can you increase the sustainability of a chemical process? How can you make biodiesel from the Jatropha plant?
How can you design a catalyst to convert the greenhouse gas CO2 into a biodegradable polymer? How can you recycle used car tyres into a waterproof rubber coating? How can you develop a new polymer that helps oil recovery from underground reservoirs?
These are some of the interesting questions you will be able to answer once you have completed the Master's degree programme in Chemical Engineering in Groningen. The two-year programme offers a core programme and then the choice between four specialisations: Advanced Process Technology, Bio-based Products, Industrial Catalysts and Polymeric Products.
Your research project will take place in one of our research groups in the field of Green Chemical Reaction Engineering and Chemical Product Technology. The Green Chemical Reaction Engineering group investigates the development of highly intensified catalytic technology for biomass conversion to biofuels and biobased chemicals. The Chemical Product Technology group performs research for the design of new or improved chemical products. Particular attention is devoted to the development of new catalytic systems and of polymeric products for specific applications. These activities are generally framed in a comprehensive sustainability context.
The unique feature of studying this Master programme at the University of Groningen is the combination of a wide range of Chemical Engineering topics with a solid background in Chemistry and a focus on Sustainability, which will allow you to become a modern chemical engineer that is well versed in both Product and Process Technology.
The teaching style at the university far exceeds my expectations
In Groningen I got introduced to a new way of teaching and studying. The teaching style at the university far exceeds my expectations. The Chemical Engineering programme is far more practical and requires more independence, compared to what I'm used to in China. This way we learn things you just can't learn by simply reading study books. Yes, I would certainly recommend studying Chemical Engineering in Groningen to other students in China!
When you get here for the very first times there's a welcoming ceremony for international students. During my welcoming ceremony we had a student-assistant who took us for a walk around the campus, so we could get familiar with the place where we would study. At this point there are 6 international students in our class. We are all friends now, and not only work together in projects but also hang out together in our spare time.
The atmosphere at the university and in the city is very welcoming. I never felt excluded for being from another country
Studying in Groningen was the second time I went abroad to a more developed country with a modern university. I had already left my home country of Brazil once to study English in Canada, and this time, I aimed to improve my career opportunities through the Science Without Borders exchange programme.
Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen has excellent reviews, and is headed up by one of the best lecturers in the Netherlands, Prof. Dr. Francesco Picchioni. I ended up working on research alongside him, which proved to be an incredible opportunity. I learnt a lot, and it is a great addition to my resume and experience.
This programme can be a challenge, but the combination of theory and practice makes it very interesting. To take the formulae that are in the book and apply them to a certain process to create a product is very rewarding. At home, studying is quite mechanical and everything is served to the students on a platter. In Groningen, students are given a lot more autonomy. Doing things by myself really taught me to be creative, innovative and independent – preparing me for working life. I've spent 16 months in Groningen and every day was worth it: I took special courses, worked on a renowned research project and even spent 6 months doing an internship at a big Dutch company.
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support I received from the Programme Coordinator and the International Service Desk before I made the move. Once I arrived, I realised that this helpfulness comes natural to the Dutch. The atmosphere at the university and in the city is very welcoming. I never felt excluded for being from another country as there are so many international students and the Dutch are very open to new cultures. The student life offers plenty of groups, workshops and interaction: these activities can truly help you focus on creating a career as a professional in your field. And, I've found it's always good to let your hair down after some serious studying and this city offers plenty of fun.
The only thing I wish someone had told about Groningen is that it can be quite rainy – I would have definitely come a bit more prepared. However, I love how proactive the Dutch are: they are always out and about, cycling, exercising. Brazilians can take the good weather for granted, but not the Dutch: when the sun comes out, they really appreciate it and go outdoors to soak it all up.”