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SINReM is a 2-year master programme (120 ECTS credits) leading towards the joint diploma of International Master of Science in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management. Students graduating from the programme are also awarded the EIT Label Certificate, demonstrating their innovation and entrepreneurship knowledge. SINReM is part of the International Training Centre of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering of Ghent University and the EIT RawMaterials Academy.

1st year

During the first semester at Ghent University, students are taken through the value chain of raw materials, and are introduced to the sustainability challenges of the circular economy. Students learn to develop novel technologies to recover and extract precious metals and raw materials from waste streams and learn to create new technologies to mine materials in a sustainable way. Students take a 3-weeks course on the process chain of mineral resources at TU Freiberg in September.

During the second semester at Uppsala University, students are trained in georesource exploration and entrepreneurship, and are stimulated to excel in creativity with a entrepreneurial mindset and innovative problem-based technology development skills. All students move as a cohort between all three partner universities in the first year which has significant networking and social cohesion advantages.

During the first part of the summer, students follow the Resources Chemistry course at TU Freiberg. The course covers fundamentals in chemistry of ore deposits, kinetic aspects of precipitation and extraction, and chemical foundations of metallurgical processes. Students are made familiar with applications in hydro- and pyrometallurgical processing and recycling technologies.

2nd year

During the third semester, students choose a major consisting of mandatory and optional courses in a particular field of sustainable and innovative natural resource management. Student follow the major at one of the 3 partner universities.

Click on the image below to discover more about the different majors.

During the summer holidays between the first and the second year, or at any other convenient period, students perform an internship related to their major. The internship is supervised by an academic staff member and a non-academic partner from the extensive SINReM network of research institutes, private companies and other institutions.

The SINReM programme is completed by a 30 ECTS credits master dissertation. The work is done during the fourth semester, although some students start already in the third semester.

Georesource exploration

‘Georesource exploration’ offered at Uppsala University, involves cutting-edge education and  research on geophysical and mineralogical-geochemical exploration of mineral deposits. Uppsala University has expertise in mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry applied to mineralization and ore deposits as well as mine waste for critical elements. 

The courses and master dissertation focus on geological, geochemical or geophysical exploration, including mineralogy, critical minerals and metals. Other aspects involve management of primary resources (mines and exploration sites), urban mining and mineral supply, environmental aspects of mining and environmental baselines for potential mine sites as well as sustainable development issues related to mines and mining.

Sustainable processes

‘Sustainable processes’ offered at TU Freiberg, focuses on the different stages of the mineral processing pathway: from the exploration of new deposits, the development of alternative energy technologies and materials, to the recycling and management of resources. 

Master dissertation projects focus on the science and/or engineering aspects of materials processing, e.g. comminution and the sorting of raw materials, hydro- and biohydrometallurgical mineral leaching and recycling methods to extract strategically important metals from primary sources or secondary raw materials such as tailings and old batteries, the treatment of aqueous process streams, selective separation of strategically important elements from polymetallic streams using membrane techniques, the development of electro-winning and refining procedures as well as pyrometallurgical methods on both the lab and pilot plant scale.

Resource recovery and sustainable materials

‘Resource recovery and sustainable materials’ offered at Ghent University, focuses on the application and development of resource recovery and recycling technologies and the development of more sustainable materials, e.g. using waste as a resource or by substituting less sustainable materials components to avoid depletion of natural resources. Focus is laid on metals and mineral resources. Technologies for water reuse, recycling of plastics and carbon capture and utilization are also dealt with, particularly if new technologies developed in these domains may help to make the raw materials value chain more sustainable. Accordingly, the sustainability of new materials and technologies is also assessed through e.g. life cycle assessment tools. 

The mandatory course in this major deals with sustainable management of resources in the circular economy (including e.g. industrial symbiosis). Waste(water) treatment, sustainable materials (e.g., composites), waste management, resource recovery and recycling technologies are the scope of elective courses. Other elective courses offer students a wide range of tools that may aid in the development of these new technologies and materials (e.g. extraction and separation technologies, control and process engineering, life cycle and environmental impact assessment). 

Circular societies

‘Circular societies’ offered at Ghent University, focuses on re-engineering the value chain, designing sustainable processes, systems and new business models to evolve towards a circular society. Data on material flows within the society are collected, analysed, and processed, and the sustainability of these novel processes and systems is assessed. Prevention of waste generation is targeted, and generated wastes are explored as potential new resources. These activities create symbiosis between different stakeholders and actors in the value chain. Particular attention goes to the management of societal changes, aligned with the sustainable development goals. The city of Ghent acts as central case in this major.

Mandatory courses deal with sustainable management of resources in the circular economy (including e.g. industrial symbiosis) and the design of sustainable circular cities. Elective courses focus on sustainable development, sustainable waste(water) management, and the organisation of circular societies, including transport and logistics, sustainable mobility and sustainable energy production. The latter are not only essential for evolving towards a sustainable society, but also increase the need for critical metals and raw materials in the society.

Programme overview

Master year 1 (60 ECTS)

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*housing in Freiberg is arranged by the SINReM programme during this 2-week course and is included in the programme cost

**continued in the 2nd semester by blended learning

Master year 2 (60 ECTS)

Choose a major of 15 ECTS by combining the mandatory courses with electives. The master thesis (30 ECTS) is to be taken at the same university as your major (15 ECTS). The Training in Industry (internship, 10 ECTS) can be taken at another partner university. Literature Study & Business Plan (5 ECTS) is offered during summer between the 1st and 2nd year at Freiberg.

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