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Masters Degrees in Materials Science, Belgium

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The programme is co-organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), offering students the possibility to obtain a double master's degree at the end of the programme. Read more

About the programme

The programme is co-organised by Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), offering students the possibility to obtain a double master's degree at the end of the programme. The first year of courses is taught at the ULB Engineering Campus in Brussels, while the second year is taught at VUB.

The Master of Chemical and Materials Engineering educates students to become innovative engineers who will contribute to their profession and to society. Engineers in chemistry and materials play a unique role in sustainable development, where they must manage resources, energy and the environment in order to develop and produce novel materials and chemical commodities. Our graduates are prepared to face the demands of the modern technological employment field and for an international career with English as their professional language.

Course content

The Master in Chemical and Material Engineering (120 ECTS) offers a solid core of courses in both of these engineering fields. The integrated and the multidisciplinary approach provides students up-to-date knowledge enabling them to propose innovative engineering solutions in numerous modern technological sectors. Students have the possibility to specialize in Process technology or Material Science.

The Master of Chemical and Materials Engineering program consists of two profiles: Process Technology and Materials.

Profile: Process Technology:
The Process Technology orientation trains students to become engineers who are employable and innovative both in production units (operation and optimization of production facilities) and in engineering groups (develop new production units that meet desired performance specifications). An emphasis is placed on the biotechnology and food industries. Students are also trained to identify, solve and avoid environmental problems including waste management, water, air and soil pollution.

Profile: Materials:
The Materials orientation prepares students for the materials and materials technology sectors (metals, polymers, ceramics and composites). Students are trained to become creative engineers capable of designing sustainable multi-functional materials which meet specific applications. Students also have the capacity to contribute to the whole life-cycle of materials from their processing into semi or full end products using environmentally friendly and safe production processes to their recycling.

Become a skilled scientific engineer

This Master offers:
- a unique interdisciplinary programme which prepares you for employment in a professional field related to chemical engineering, materials or environmental technology.
- a high level scientific education that prepares you to a wide range of job profiles.
- the possibility to work in close contact with professors who are internationally recognized in their own disciplines and favor interactive learning.

Curriculum

http://www.vub.ac.be/en/study/chemical-and-materials-engineering/programme

The programme is built up modularly:
1) the Common Core Chemical and Materials Engineering (56 ECTS)
2) the Specific Profile Courses (30 ECTS)
3) the master thesis (24 ECTS)
4) electives (10 ECTS) from 1 out of 3 options.
Each of the modules should be succesfully completed to obtain the master degree. The student must respect the specified registration requirements. The educational board strongly suggests the student to follow the standard learning track. Only this model track can guarantee a timeschedule without overlaps of the compulsory course units.

Common Core Chemical and Materials Engineering:
The Common Core Chemical and Materials Engineering (56 ECTS) is spread over 2 years: 46 ECTS in the first and 10 ECTS in the second year. The Common Core emphasizes the interaction between process- and materials technology by a chemical (molecular) approach. The Common Core consists out of courses related to chemistry, process technology and materials and is the basis for the Process Technology and the Materials profiles.

Specific Courses Profile Materials:
The profile 'Materials' (30 ECTS) consists out of 2 parts, spread over the 1st and the 2nd year of the model learning track: Materials I - 14 ECTS in MA1 and Materials II - 16 ECTS in MA2. The profile adds material-technological courses to the common core.

Specific Courses Profile Process Technology:
The profile 'Process Technology' (30 ECTS) consists out of 2 parts, spread over the 1st and the 2nd year of the model learning track: Process Technology I - 14 ECTS in MA1 and Process Technology II - 16 ECTS in MA2. The profile adds process technological courses to the common core.

Elective Courses:
The elective courses are divided into 3 options:
- Option 1: Internship (10 ECTS)
- Option 2: Elective courses (incl. internship of 6 ECTS)
- Option 3: Entrepreneurship
The student has to select one option and at least 10 ECTS within that option. All options belong to the 2nd year of the model learning track.

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What's the Master of Materials Engineering about? .  The structure of the program consists of a core of 60 credits, four options of 12 credits, three fixed elective packages of 12 credits, engineering and general interest electives of 12 credits and the Master's thesis of 24 credits. Read more

What's the Master of Materials Engineering about? 

 The structure of the program consists of a core of 60 credits, four options of 12 credits, three fixed elective packages of 12 credits, engineering and general interest electives of 12 credits and the Master's thesis of 24 credits. The four options focus on materials families or on application domains: Metals and Ceramics, Polymers and Composites, Materials for Nanotechnology, and Materials for Biomedical Applications. The three fixed elective packages have been designed to help the students in imagining themselves in their future professional environment and thus in developing a career profile: research, production and management. The two latter packages include industrial internships.

The programme is crowned with the 24 credits Master's thesis where the student will apply his/her knowledge to a research topic of choice. These topics are usually embedded in a cutting-edge research project in cooperation with other institutions and/or industrial companies.

Spotlight 

  • The hosting Department of Materials Engineering (MTM) is a world player in production, characterization, modelling and development of new materials to solve material challenges in sectors such as transport, energy or health. MTM has close ties with industrial partners through a broad variety of national and international projects which is reflected in the program through plant visits, practical exercises, internships and the master thesis topics.
  • Thanks to the diversity of the research profile of the host department MTM, the programme is able to cover a broad gamut of materials families and applications. Concerning structural materials, MTM is one of the few materials departments where both metals and composites are strongly represented in both research and teaching. Concerning functional materials, the close links with imec and KU Leuven's biomedical group position the programme in addressing upcoming application domains.
  • Scarcity, closed materials loops ('cradle to cradle') and recycling processes are core research topics and are taught in several engineering courses as well as in a dedicated core course on Sustainable Materials Management. The efforts in this domain have recently been rewarded with the grant of an EIT-KIC 'Raw Materials'.
  • At MTM, students in classes, exercises and practical sessions meet fellow-students, assistants (68% non-Belgian) , lecturers (26% non-Belgian) from all over the world. In terms of outgoing mobility, participation in the Erasmus+ programme is encouraged for the Belgian students. The concentration of core courses in the first Master year has considerably simplified Erasmus exchanges.
  • In terms of gender, Materials Engineering is doing pretty well among the engineering disciplines: in the Dutch-language programme, 21% of the students are female, in the English-language programme 41% and among the incoming Erasmus students 37%.

This programme is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time of part-time basis.

Career perspectives

Graduates have access to a wide range of engineering sectors. Prominent technical industries such as the automotive, aerospace, energy, microelectronics, and chemical industries and emerging sectors such as nanotechnology, biomaterials and recycling are keen to hire qualified and talented materials engineers. Materials engineers are also well suited for functions as process engineers, materials or product developers, design specialists, quality control engineers or consultants. Graduates with an interest in research can apply for an R&D position or start a PhD. Several alumni have also gone on to start their own companies.



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What is the Master of Welding Engineering all about?. The Advanced Master is the ideal stepping-stone to a high-level job in the field of welding and joining technology. Read more

What is the Master of Welding Engineering all about?

The Advanced Master is the ideal stepping-stone to a high-level job in the field of welding and joining technology. In many countries, there is a permanent and growing demand for scientists and engineers who are knowledgeable and trained at an academic level in the field of welding engineering.

The programme is indispensable (and obligatory) for engineers seeking to work as Responsible Welding Coordinators. Engineers interested in R&D, quality, design, production, maintenance and particularly welding metallurgy will also find the programme instructive.

Structure

4 Clusters in the programme:

  • Welding processes and equipment
  • Materials and their behaviour during welding
  • Construction and design
  • Fabrication, applications engineering

Degrees and certifications

Upon successful completion of the entire programme (60 ECTS), you will be awarded the degree of MSc in Welding Engineering

Upon successful completion of the course (40 ECTS), you gain access to the International Institute of Welding oral examination. A passing score results in IIW accreditation as a certified International Welding Engineer (IWE) and European Welding Engineer (EWE).

Technology Campus De Nayer, Authorised Training Body

The green KU Leuven Technology Campus De Nayer, near Mechelen, is certified as an Authorised Training Body for International Welding Engineering by the Belgian Welding Association (BVL), which represents the International Institute of Welding (IIW).

Objectives

This advanced master's programme strives to offer students a complete training in the professional niche of Welding Engineering. The programme has the following goals:

  • Guaranteeing a complete accordance with the minimal requirements of the International Institute of Welding as described in its IIW Guideline in document IAB 252r2-14 "Minimum Requirements for the Education, Examination and Qualification for Personnel with Responsibility for Welding Coordination";
  • Provide broad and in-depth knowledge and skills of all kinds of courses related to welding necessary for a welding engineer to function in the current social and economic context. These courses include welding processes, materials science, metallurgy of high and low alloy steels, non-ferrous materials, metallurgy of compounds of heterogenous materials, the prevention of corrosion and abrasion, construction codes, welding standards, design exercises, quality control, production and manufacturing techniques.

To this end, students must acquire sufficient knowledge, skills and abilities in order to:

  • Work as a qualified welding engineer with a sufficient scientific background in welding (i.e. materials science, corrosion and protection, welding processes, standards and codes, quality, workshop lay-outing) to tackle welding-related problems individually or as part of a team.
  • Be well acquainted with legal aspects, business economics, professional ethics and safety.
  • Obtain a professional attitude that demonstrates a clear volition towards technological innovation, creativity and lifelong learning.
  • Use available information sources in a fast and efficient manner (scientific databases, patent databases, norms and codes).

Career Options

This programme opens up a wide spectrum of professional possibilities and exposes you to an extremely varied field of action: petrochemistry, the aviation and aero-space industry, civil construction, assembly plants, the nuclear sector, shipping and logistics, general construction, and more. As a welding engineer, you will carry out a wide range of duties, including research, design, production, maintenance, sales and quality inspection. 

Our graduates find employment in local SMEs, large multinational industrial companies as well as private and public organisations at home and abroad. There is a real need for experts with the capability to conduct research, carry out quality control analyses, and perform inspections, monitoring and certification in the broad field of welding. Some graduates start a career as independent consultants. 



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What's the Master of Chemical Engineering all about? . The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Read more

What's the Master of Chemical Engineering all about? 

The Master of Science in Chemical Engineering programme is primarily aimed at applying chemical engineering principles to develop technical products and to design, control and improve industrial processes. Students also learn to take environmental and safety issues into account during all phases of the process.

Two guiding principles of sustainable development – the rational exploitation of resources and energy, and the application of the best available technology – are emphasised, as is the mantra “reduce, reuse, recycle”.

As a chemical engineering student, you will learn to think in a process-oriented manner and grasp the complexity of physico-chemical systems. Even more than other specialists, you will be asked to solve problems of a very diverse nature. Insights into processes at the nano and micro scale are fundamental for the development of new products and/or (mega-scale) technologies.

While students should have a foundational knowledge of chemistry, the underlying chemistry of the elements and components, their properties and mutual reactions are not the main focal points of the programme.

With a focus on process, product and environmental planet engineering, the programme does not only guarantee a solid chemical engineering background, it also focuses on process and product intensification, energy efficient processing routes, biochemical processes and product-based thinking rather than on the classical process approach.

Structure 

The programme itself consists of an important core curriculum that covers the foundations of chemical engineering. The core curriculum builds on the basic knowledge obtained during the Bachelor’s. In this part of the programme, you will concentrate on both the classical and the emerging trends in chemical engineering. 

Students also take up 9 credits from ‘Current trends in chemical engineering’-courses. These courses are signature courses for the Master’s programme and build on the research expertise present within the department. These courses encompass microbial process technology, process intensification, exergy analysis of chemical processes and product design. 

The curriculum consists of a broad generic core, which is then strengthened and honed during the second year, when students select one of the three specialisations: product, process and environmental engineering.

This choice provides you with the opportunity to specialise to a certain extent. Since the emerging areas covered in the programme are considered to be the major challenges within the chemical and related industries, graduating in Leuven as a chemical engineer will give you a serious advantage over your European colleagues since you will be able to integrate new technologies within existing production processes.

During their Master’s studies, students are encouraged to take non-technical courses (general interest courses), organized for instance by other faculties (economics, social sciences, psychology…) in order to broaden their scope beyond mere technical courses.

An important aspect of the Master’s programme is the Master’s thesis. Assigning Master’s thesis topics to students is based on a procedure in which students select 5 preferred topics from a long list.

The Master’s programme highly values interactions with the chemical industry which is one of the most important pillars of the Flemish economy. As such, some courses are taught by guest professors from the industry.

International and industrial experience

One or two semesters of the programme can be completed abroad in the context of the ERASMUS+ programme. Additionally, you can apply for an industrial internship abroad through the departmental internship coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.

The department also offers a new exchange programme with the University of Delaware (United States) and with the Ecole Polytechique in Montréal (Canada).

The faculty’s exchange programmes are complemented by the BEST network (Board of European Students of Technology). This student organisation offers the opportunity to follow short courses, usually organised in the summer months. The faculty also participates in various leading international networks.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty website.

Career perspectives

The chemical sector represents one of the most important economic sectors in Belgium. It provides about 90,000 direct and more than 150,000 indirect jobs. With a 53 billion euro turnover and a 35% share of the total Belgian export, the chemical sector is an indispensable part of the contemporary Belgian economy.

As a chemical engineer you will predominantly work in industrial branches involved in (the production of) bulk and specialty chemicals, oil and natural gas (petrochemical companies and refineries), non-ferrometallurgics, energy, waste treatment, food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The following professional activities lie before you:

  • design, planning and building of installations ('project engineer')
  • monitoring and optimisation of existing processes ('process engineer')
  • design/formulation and optimisation of products ('product engineer')
  • R&D of technical products, processes and devices
  • customer services, retailing ('sales engineer')
  • management

Apart from the traditional career options, your insight into complex processes will also be much appreciated in jobs in the financial and governmental sector, where chemical engineers are often employed to supervise industrial activities, to deliver permissions, and to compose regulations with respect to safety and environmental issues.

As self-employed persons, chemical engineers work in engineering offices or as consultants. Due to their often very dynamic personality, chemical engineers can also be successful as entrepreneurs.



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What's the Master of Mechanical Engineering all about? . The Master of Science in Engineering. Mechanical Engineering is a general training programme integrating all disciplines of basic sciences, engineering and technology. Read more

What's the Master of Mechanical Engineering all about? 

The Master of Science in Engineering: Mechanical Engineering is a general training programme integrating all disciplines of basic sciences, engineering and technology. An essential element of the mechanical engineering curriculum at KU Leuven is the direct training of each student in a real-life industrial or research setting. Following up on the design assignment in the Bachelor's programme, the Master's programme brings the student in close contact with the industrial reality.

Structure 

Three versions

The Master's programme in Mechanical Engineering has three versions:

  • A Dutch-language version for students who have already obtained a Master's degree of Engineering Technology: Electromechanical Engineering
  • A Dutch-language version for students who have completed their Bachelor's training at our Faculty or at another university with Mechanical Engineering either as a major or as minor.
  • An English-language version which mainly addresses foreign students, and to which admission is granted after evaluation of the application file.

Five modules 

The programme consists of five modules.

  • The first major component is the core module in mechanical engineering.
  • The second major component is one out of five options, which have been put together in a complementary way.

Three generic options 

  • Manufacturing and Management: modern techniques for the design and production of discrete components, CAD and computer integration in production, management techniques, maintenance and logistics of a production company.
  • Mechatronics and Robotics: mechatronics is the discipline in which the synergy of construction, sensing, actuation and control of machinery are concurrently defined and tuned for optimum integration
  • Thermo-technical Sciences: physical principles and analysis, design, construction and operation of combustion engines and thermal and flow machines, cooling machines, power plants, etc.

Two application oriented options

  • Aerospace technology: physical principles, analysis, design, construction, exploitation and operation of aircraft and space systems;
  • Vehicle technology: physical principles, design, analysis and production of cars and ground vehicles and of systems for ground transportation.

Elective courses 

The third and fourth components in the programme structure concern a set of elective courses, to be chosen from a list of technical coursesand from a list of general interest courses.

Master's thesis

The final component is the Master's thesis, which represents 20% of the credits of the entire curriculum.

Strengths

  • The department has a large experimental research laboratory with advanced equipment, to which Master's students have access. FabLab (a "Fabrication Laboratory") is also directly accessible for students.
  • The department has built up an extensive network of companies which recruit a large number of our alumni since many years already, from whom we receive lots of informal feedback on the programme.
  • In addition to their academic teaching and research assignments, several members of the teaching staff also have other responsibilities in advisory boards, in external companies, science & technology committees, etc. and they share that expertise with students.
  • The programme attracts a large number of students.
  • The programme offers students the choice between application oriented options and generic methodology oriented options.
  • Many courses are dealing with contents in which the R&D of the Department has created spin-off companies, and hence can offer very relevant and innovation driven contents.
  • The programme has a clearly structured, extensive and transparent evaluation procedure for Master's theses, involving several complementary assessment views on every single thesis.
  • Several courses are closely linked to top-level research of the lecturers, and they can hence offer up-to-date and advanced contents to the students.

International experience

The Erasmus+ programme gives students the opportunity to complete one or two semesters of their degree at a participating European university. Student exchange agreements are also in place with Japanese and American universities.

Students are also encouraged to learn more about industrial and research internships abroad by contacting our Internship Coordinator. Internships are scheduled in between two course phases of the Master’s programme (in the summer period after the second semester and before the third semester).

These studying abroad opportunities and internships are complemented by the short summer courses offered via the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) network. This student organisation allows students to follow short courses in the summer period between the second and the third semester. The Faculty of Engineering Science is also member of the international networks CESAER, CLUSTER and T.I.M.E.

You can find more information on this topic on the website of the Faculty

Career perspectives

The field of mechanical engineering is very wide. Mechanical engineers find employment in many industrial sectors thanks to our broad training programme. Demand for this engineering degree on the labour market is very strong and constant. A study by the Royal Flemish Engineers Association, identifies the specific sectors in which graduated mechanical engineers are employed.

  • mechanical engineering: e.g. production machinery, compressed air systems, agricultural machinery
  • metal and non-metal products: a very wide range of products e.g. pressure vessels, piping, suit cases,...
  • off-shore and maritime engineering
  • automation industry
  • vehicle components, such as exhaust systems, drivetrain components and windshield wipers,...
  • development and production of bicycles
  • aircraft components, such as high lift devices, aircraft engines and cockpit display systems
  • building, textile, plastic, paper sector
  • electrical industry
  • chemical industry
  • environmental engineering and waste management
  • energy sector
  • financial, banking and insurance sector
  • communications sector
  • transportation sector: infrastructure and exploitation and maintenance of rolling stock
  • software development and vendors
  • technical and management consulting: large companies and small offices
  • education and research
  • technical and management functions in the public sector


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What is the Master in Chemical Engineering Technology all about?. This master's programme includes a variety of disciplines. Read more

What is the Master in Chemical Engineering Technology all about?

This master's programme includes a variety of disciplines. In addition to fundamental chemical-scientific course units, the curriculum includes the fields of socio-economics (company management, economics) and chemical technology (engineering, separation techniques, chemical process technology, industrial process technology, surface chemistry, environmental technology, etc.). A flexible cross-campus elective package and a master's thesis conducted in either a research-specific or industrial context enable you to focus your studies according to your specific interests and career goals.

In the Sustainable Process and Materials Engineering option emphasis is placed on reliable technology that meets today's needs without jeopardising the welfare of future generations. This implies that materials and energy must be used efficiently, taking into account their impact on the environment. Thus, on the one hand this option is aimed at sustainable designing, development, and manufacturing of products and systems, and on the other it is aimed at development, properties, characterisation, production and processing of (new) materials.

Add an in-company or project-based learning experience to your master's programme

You can augment your master's programme with the Postgraduate Programme Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Engineering. This programme is made up by a multifaceted learning experience in and with a company, with an innovative engineering challenge as the central assignment. It is carried out in a team setting, has a distinct international dimension, and usually requires a multidisciplinary approach. Entrepreneurs and students alike are encouraged to innovate, transfer knowledge and grow. It is a unique cross-fertilisation between company and classroom.

International Campus Group T

The Faculty of Engineering Technology maintains close ties with universities around the world. At Campus Group T, more than 20% of the engineering students are international students. They represent 65 different nationalities from all over the world. This international network extends not just to Europe, but also to China, Southeast Asia, India, Ethiopia and beyond.

Campus Group T is the only campus of the faculty who offers all the degree programmes in the business language par excellence: English. The language is ubiquitous both inside and outside the classroom. If you've mastered English, you feel right at home. And if you want to explore more of the world, you can do part of your training at a university outside Belgium as an exchange student.

Objectives

 This master's programme brings students to the advanced level of knowledge and skills that is associated with scientific work in the broad sense, and more particularly to those areas of the engineering sciences that are related to chemistry. This programme offers a broad academic training in chemistry and chemical (processing) technology, in which a clear emphasis is placed on chemical analysis in production, quality management and research.

Degree holders are able to apply the acquired scientific knowledge independently in a broad social context. Furthermore, they have the necessary organisational skills to hold executive positions.

Career paths

The chemical sector (petrochemical, synthetic, pharmaceutical, etc.) offers a broad and fascinating field of work. On completion of this master's programme, you are equipped with the skills to lead and coordinate industrial production units and research, analysis and screening laboratories in technical-commercial, administrative and educational environments. You can also set up applied research and design activities on a self-employed basis.



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