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Chemical Engineering

Chemistry in Groningen has the CHE Excellence Label

Within the Master's degree programme Chemical Engineering you can conduct research in the following fields of expertise:

Design and engineering of new and improved products and processes 

A structured methodology is applied to design and develop materials and processes with unique performance properties. Recent examples include the design of:

- water-swellable elastomer formulations for sealing applications in oil wells

- novel polymeric materials for enhanced oil recovery

- new biobased and renewable (polymeric) products

-new processes for biomass conversion

Cooperation with many industrial sponsors ensures fast applicability of the obtained results in relevant and actual industrial problems.


Most processes in the chemical industry rely on the use of a suitable catalyst to produce the desired compounds with high yield and selectivity. Therefore, the design and development of enhanced catalysts is of crucial importance. Catalysis is also essential to achieve the production of chemicals according to the Green Chemistry principles. At the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Groningen you will learn how to synthesise, characterise and test the next generation of industrial catalysts, with a special focus on the production of useful chemicals from renewable and bio-based feedstock, such as CO2, glycerol, or agricultural wastes.

Chemical reaction engineering

In the coming years this research area will also move towards a product-oriented approach with a 'green' (renewable resources) accent. Examples include a) the modification of renewable polymers like starch and cellulose using new processes to obtain new structured products, and b) the design of new processes for platform chemicals based on renewable feedstock. Green Chemistry principles are being employed to assist the development of more sustainable chemical processes. Innovative reactor designs using process intensification methods such as miniaturisation are being used aiming at a substantial improvement in the reaction efficiency and a fast extraction of kinetic information.


  • Testimonial van

    Innovation makes waste water treatment more sustainable and cheaper

  • Testimonial van Bi Su

    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.

    – Bi Su
  • Testimonial van Mariana Cecílio de Oliveira Monteiro

    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.”

    – Mariana Cecílio de Oliveira Monteiro
  • Testimonial van

    Study Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen

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