Nordic Biomaterials with CHEMARTS

Nordic Biomaterials with CHEMARTS inspires students to combine design and material science for new cellulose-driven concepts and ideas. Combining natural materials with advanced technologies offer new possibilities for sustainable development within existing and emerging industries.
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Aalto University Summer School




6 By Aalto University (ECTS)


1 400,00 € including VAT 24%

Course description

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. This means that we need many new ideas, collaboration across all borders and hard work to replace our existing material systems and consumption habits with more sustainable ones.

This graduate-level course teaches students with varying backgrounds (design, science, engineering, business) to combine design with material research. It introduces a broad spectrum of biomaterials, especially wood-and plant-based. During the course, students familiarise 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 the 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

Applying to the course

Apply by May 31st 2021. Note that all Summer School courses have rolling admission. Once the course is full, the registration is closed. The course accepts applications from exchange students, Aalto degree students and professionals and other lifelong learners. The minimum requirement is a finished Bachelor's degree. 

Course schedule

The course includes three phases: self-paced pre-work including Laboratory Safety course, two intensive workshop weeks and individual post-work assignment

2-6 August: Pre-work (online)

  • Self-paced course orientation
  • Laboratory Safety course

9-20 August: Intensive weeks (on campus)

  • Daily program 9-17, including lectures, hands-on experimentations and teamwork (detailed program to be shared later)
  • One-day excursion to the forest
  • Joint presentation event

by 31 August: Post-work (online)

  • A report including documentation of the research process and individual reflection on key takeaways, and course experience.

Tuition fee

The tuition fee for external students is 1400€ (including VAT 24%).

There is no tuition fee for nominated exchange students from a partner institution of Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto degree students, students with a flexible study right (JOO-right) from another Finnish university. Reduced tuition fee (50%) for students from Aalto University partner institutions who are not nominated for exchange.

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