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Tampere University of Technology to launch new study module on circular economy

The cross-disciplinary module becomes available to students in 2018. Sitra has awarded 100,000 euros of funding for implementing the module.
Studies in circular economy are developed at TUT, among others, by Pirjo Kuula, Juha Nykänen, Marika Kokko, Valtteri Ranta, Minna Lanz, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos and Matti Pentti.
Studies in circular economy are developed at TUT, among others, by Pirjo Kuula, Juha Nykänen, Marika Kokko, Valtteri Ranta, Minna Lanz, Leena Aarikka-Stenroos and Matti Pentti.

The transition to a circular economy requires new skills and knowledge in Finland. Tampere University of Technology (TUT) responds to this need by launching a study module that produces new professionals in circular economy.  

The cross-disciplinary studies bring together technological and business perspectives. The preparations are conducted in collaboration between as many as five laboratories at TUT, namely those of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Industrial and Information Management, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Systems, Materials Science, and Civil Engineering. They represent a wide range of engineering fields and ensure that the new module has an exceptionally broad cross-disciplinary focus.

The new study module in circular economy will be a suitable minor subject, for example, for students pursuing studies in the fields of engineering, the humanities or economics.

“The students who attend the new module will, among others, learn how technology can promote the sustainable use of natural resources, such as nutrients, materials and water,” says Assistant Professor (tenure track) Marika Kokko from the Laboratory of Chemistry and Bioengineering.  

In addition, the module examines ways to enhance the cost-effectiveness of new technologies, products and services that promote circular economy.  

Worldwide challenge

As the shift to a circular economy is a global challenge, international scholars and experts will be involved in teaching the courses included in the module.

“In addition to a strong international dimension, other important principles governing the module include close collaboration with industry, business and the broader society as well as flexible and interactive teaching methods,” says Associate Professor (tenure track) Leena Aarikka-Stenroos from the Laboratory of Industrial and Information Management. She oversees the coordination of the new module.     

The courses explore the latest developments in circular economy. For example, the course on recovered materials in earthworks has recently won the GeoTeko Award for pioneering contributions to education in the field.  

“The development of circular economy education is an excellent example of the integration of education and research at TUT. Cutting-edge research enables our University to keep education up to date and relevant,” says Vice President for Education Petri Suomala.      

Energy- and eco-efficiency is one of the strategic profile areas of Tampere University of Technology.  

Sitra awards 100,000 euros of financial support

Sitra supports the development of the circular economy module at TUT and has awarded 100,000 euros for the purpose. The Steering Committee that oversees the development of the module includes representatives of Sitra and the Council of Tampere Region, which brings a regional perspective to the process. Verte, Sweco, Ramboll and BMH represent industry perspectives.

The curriculum for the academic year 2018-2019 is prepared in spring 2018. However, the study module will be piloted during spring 2018.

Further information:

Associate Professor (tenure track) Leena Aarikka-Stenroos, tel. +358 50 301 5476,

News submitted by: Tuuli Laukkanen
Keywords: education and studies, circular economy, sitra, funding