Processes and production technology in the conversion industry - whether chemical industry, environmental technology, food production, surface engineering or pharmaceuticals - distinguish themselves by increasing technological complexity and a high integration of both inter- and intra-company sub-processes. For this reason there is an increasing demand for employees who are able to analyse, design and optimise complex overall processes.
At the same time industry, consumers and legislators worldwide demand improved processes that combine higher resource efficiency, minimal environmental impact and better cost-effectiveness.
The term 'sustainable process engineering' clarifies that this is a degree course oriented towards the production industry. The necessity of interaction between different disciplines and ability to "see the bigger picture" are the two recurring themes in process engineering. Process engineering calls not only for being well-versed in the theoretical aspects of conception, but also for careful consideration of the entire process chain: from the orginal material all the way to the final storable and marketable product. Here principles of sustainability serve as a guideline, i.e., product manufacturing should transpire with minimum use of resources and maximum environmental efficiency. This requires being able to calculate environmental impact, compare alternative processes and have knowledge of process optimization. Equipped with these skills graduates can create ideal energy- and resource-saving process chains.
Using simulations and adapted measurement and control technology, economic potential can be elevated and competitive advantages implemented. Ever-shorter product cycles require continuous further development of products. Specific changes in a product's microstructure, often leads to new product features or applications without having to alter the chemical structure of the resources or active ingredients in any way. Additionally, fringe and surface phenomena play a fundamental role in creating new application features.
Graduates gain an overview of multi-faceted processes in quicky changing professional fields, and are able to work through new tasks and challendes with the use of scientific methods. They can apply methods that facilitate analysis and design of complex, integrated processes. Graduates are also able to address both technical aspects as well as ecological and economical constraints.
The ability to communicate and cooperate professionally with colleagues, especially with those from other disciplines, has become more and more important as a key qualification. These soft skills will be addressed during the course and trained in projects.