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New master’s programme in sustainable chemistry

This autumn Stockholm University will start a new master’s programme in sustainable chemistry. It is the first complete master’s programme in this area in Europe and part of the university´s effort to focus on sustainable chemistry.

Sustainable poly(lactic acid)nanofibres with green light-emitting properties for biological applicat
Sustainable poly(lactic acid)nanofibres with green light-emitting properties for biological applications. Material and photograph by Bruno Manzolli.

Sustainable, or green, chemistry is a broad field that addresses and solves important environmental and climate change related problems. This field will most likely accelerate and support a shift in industrial production of chemicals, materials and other products towards resource-efficiency with minimal or almost zero pollution. Stockholm University has long been home to several research groups in green chemistry and it has been part of the education programmes in chemistry.

Stockholm University has decided to raise the profile in this area. One part is the new centre for sustainable chemistry (SUCCeSS). Another part is the new master’s programme in sustainable chemistry, starting autumn 2021.
 

Picture of Adam Slabon.
Adam Slabon, director of the new programme.

Adam Slabon, Assistant Professor in inorganic chemistry at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, is director of the new programme. He says that there is an increasing awareness in society for sustainability and that chemistry has an important role to play.

“By using the methods in sustainable chemistry we can give chemistry a `better name`. We can show that chemistry is a central part of the solution to create a more sustainable society. Our goal is to provide students with technical knowledge and laboratory skills to contribute to the development of a truly sustainable industry.”

According to Adam Slabon this will be the first complete master´s programme in sustainable chemistry in Sweden and also in Europe.

Integrate teaching of toxicology in the programme

The master’s programme will equip students with the knowledge on how to assess chemical syntheses and processing routes that are environment-neutral. They will gain comprehensive understanding on how to design sustainable materials and chemicals and learn the fundamentals of green chemistry. An important feature of the programme is that it will integrate teaching of toxicology as part of the programme. Another one is giving students opportunities to participate actively into research on green chemistry carried out at Stockholm University.  

The programme will cover specific topics touching areas such as recycling, water purification, carbon capture and storage, sustainable organic syntheses, renewable materials, and energy conversion and storage. Teaching will be accomplished by professors and experienced researchers from several departments at the university together with industrial scientists.* In addition to the new master’s programme the university’s bachelor’s programme in chemistry will weave various aspects of sustainable chemistry into several courses.

Member of the platform Beyond Benign

Through the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry, Stockholm University has also become one of the first European members of Beyond Benign, a US-based platform for education and knowledge dissemination in the field of green chemistry whose members include more than 50 higher education institutions from all over the world. Adam Slabon hopes this membership will open up for further cooperation with other universities on sustainable chemistry, both in Europe and outside Europe.

Adam Slabon is happy with this focus on sustainable chemistry.
“I see sustainable chemistry as the future for Stockholm University and this is in accordance with the international commitment Stockholm University signed to implement the sustainable development goals.”

Read more on Master’s Programme in Sustainable Chemistry.

EU/EEA and Swiss students can still apply for the autumn 2021. Deadline is 15 April.


Read article on SUCCeSS, the new centre for sustainable chemistry at Stockholm University: A new centre strengthens sustainable chemistry research

*The programme content has been designed by professors Lennart Bergström, Adam Slabon, Anja-Verena Mudring, Aji Mathew, Mika Sipponen, Cynthia de Wit, Jiayin Yuan, and Joseph Samec.