Specialisations

This page contains short descriptions of the courses and the different chair groups within each specialisation.

A - Biomass Production and Carbon Capture

Sea kale

focuses on understanding how we can use our knowledge in plant physiology, genetics and plant biotechnology to produce crops suitable for a Biobased Economy. Several aspects will determine which crops are most suitable for which applications and how you can grow them in the best way.

Different production systems will be discussed, indoors vs outdoor and terrestrial vs aquatic, as well as how crops can improve for different production systems and for biomass quality for a biorefinery.

Courses

CSA-21306 Seagriculture: Seaweed Biology and Cultivation

This course deals with the biology, agronomy, physiology and ecology of seaweeds, in order to analyse cultivation, ecophysiology and ecology in marine systems vs. terrestrial systems.

CSA-30306 Advanced Crop Physiology

Molecular biology has made impressive strides in elucidating the molecular regulation of processes in plants, but the challenge is to understand what this means for processes in real crops as this is the level at which farmers act to produce food, forage, fibre, and fuel.

FEM-30806 Resource Dynamics and Sustainable Utilization

This course deals with the extraction of resources from natural ecosystems. Resource use includes the exploitation of timber, the collection of fruits and resin, the extraction of wood for biomass production, hunting of animals.

FEM-31303 European Forest Resources and the Bio-economy

Forests are one of the most important types of land use for biodiversity conservation, recreation and tourism, environmental services such as water provision, storage of carbon and provision of renewable raw materials for the bio-economy. Under the bio-economy the demand for wood will increase rapidly. This course deals with the consequences of this increasing demand in wood.

FTE-34806 Modelling of Biobased Production Systems

Advanced biobased production systems combine product flows and waste flows from plant and animal production processes together with novel bioprocessing technologies. It is often expensive to test these systems in a pilot plant, but mathematical models of the process can be a powerful tool to predict the performance and behaviour of the proposed system solutions.

PBR-30306 Breeding for Stress Tolerance and Quality

In current agriculture, abiotic and biotic stress are the main factors lowering the yield and quality of crops. During this course, breeding techniques for resistance against these stresses to improve the yield and quality are addressed.

PBR-37306 Advanced Bioresources

This course builds on the basis knowledge taught in the Bioresources course. It aims to develop new biomass production systems that are better adapted to a Circular and Biobased Economy, by improving crops and finding new solutions.

PPS-30306 Quantitative Analysis of Land Use Systems (QUALUS)

Problems associated with food security and depletion of natural resources and the need for economically viable and socially acceptable systems, make redesign of the land use system necessary. This course presents an overview of quantitative methods for regional and farm level land use analysis and design.

Chair groups

Msc Thesis or Internship Crop Physiology

This chair group aims to contribute to the understanding of how plants function. How do they respond to changes in their sometimes hostile environment? How do they cope with stresses and how do they adapt and interact with other organisms?

Msc Thesis or Internship Plant Breeding

The research in this chair group focusses on characterisation, conservation and use of genetic material. This means that collections of plants are built; knowledge about instruments for detection, quantification and efficient utilisation of genetic variation is enlarged; and methods that make plant breeding more efficient, like markers, improved identification, selection and transformation are developed.

Msc Thesis or Internship Forest Ecology and Forest Management

This chair group offers you a wide range of thesis projects ranging from fundamental to applied, where you can study from the plant- to the ecosystem level, in the temperate and tropical zone, by doing field studies, experiments, lab studies, or modelling.

MSc Internship Bioprocess Engineering

Bioprocess engineering focuses on design of biotechnological processes for production of pharmaceuticals, healthy food ingredients, bulk chemicals and biofuels. These bio-based products should be produced in a sustainable and economical way.

MSc Internship Environmental Technology

In this chair group innovative environmental technologies and concepts based on processes from nature, to recover and reuse essential components and maintain and create a viable environment are developed and evaluated.

B - Biorefinery and conversion

Biorefinery

focuses on the processing steps needed to produce chemicals, biopolymers, feed or renewable energy from biomass. Engineering is fully integrated with process technology, physical-, organic- and biochemistry, product quality and process requirements. All fields play an important role when designing a biorefinery.

Courses

BPE-36806 Advanced separation process design

The biobased industry needs people who know how to design a complex industrial-scale separation process, based on economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. This course teaches you how to make such a design for bulk products and high-value products.

BCT-32306 Advanced Biorefinery

Biorefinery concerns the technology for sustainable processing of biomass from plants, organisms and biomass available in waste streams into a spectrum of marketable products and energy. This course concerns approaches how to design biorefineries and to how to develop new conversion, extraction and separation concepts by using all components of the biomass. 

BCT-33806 Conversions in Biobased Sciences

We should use planets resources in a sustainable manner and want to keep (or increase) our standard of living. Therefore we need to convert renewable feedstocks, such as biomass, as efficient as possible to desired products. In this co urse you learn how to tune chemical, biochemical and microbial catalysts in order to prepare desired products based on biomass. 

BPE-35306 Microalgae Biotechnology

Micro-algae and cyanobacteria, are an abundant source to tap products that can contribute to human health and well-being. They contain high-value food ingredients, bulk chemicals, lipids and protein. This course is focused on a mathematical description of microalgal growth in photobioreactors to optimize the production.

BPE-36806 Advanced separation process design

The biobased industry needs people who know how to design a complex industrial-scale separation process, based on economic, environmental and social sustainability criteria. This course teaches you how to make such a design for bulk products and high-value products.

ETE-30306 Biological Processes for Resource Recovery

The subject of this course is the exploration of microbiological opportunities to recover resources within Environmental Technology, thereby closing material cycles with minimal losses. Thermodynamic, microbiological and biotechnological unified principles are used to assess the viability of those opportunities for application in practice.

ETE-32306 Renewable Energy: Sources, Technology & Applications

Access to sufficient energy is a key prerequisite for any industrial society, nowadays fossil fuels are the dominant energy source, but their use involves a number of environmental problems. Energy savings and the use of renewable energy are necessary. This course will focus on harvesting sustainable energy sources as a key factor in solving environmental problems.

ORC-30306 Applied Biocatalysis

The purpose of this course is to get insight in the possibilities and the problems concerning  the application of biocatalysts for the preparation of chemicals and (bio)pharmaceuticals. This includes enzyme immobilization, chemical routes, downstream processing, enzyme kinetics and economics.

Chair groups

MSc Thesis or Internship Biobased Chemistry and Technology

The main focus of this group is to develop and define measures to reduce industrial energy consumption on a global scale, to fully exploit available and as yet uncovered cheap resources of agricultural (waste) streams, and to decrease CO2 emissions and pollution. This is done by enlarging knowledge on efficient and sustainable (catalytic) conversion processes, products and chains.

MSc Thesis or Internship Bioprocess Engineering

Bioprocess engineering focuses on design of biotechnological processes for production of pharmaceuticals, healthy food ingredients, bulk chemicals and biofuels. These bio-based products should be produced in a sustainable and economical way.

MSc Thesis or Internship Environmental Technology

In this chair group innovative environmental technologies and concepts based on processes from nature, to recover and reuse essential components and maintain and create a viable environment are developed and evaluated.

MSc Thesis or Internship Organic Chemistry

The focus of this chair group is directed towards the study of organic reactivity at the forefront of 21st century chemistry, specifically at the overlap of nanotechnology, chemical biology, and organic synthesis.

C - Biobased and Circular Economy

Circular economy

focuses on economic aspects to enable the transition from a petrochemical to a biobased economy. This includes resource management, logistics, closing of energy, water and nutrient cycles, policy, biobased business and sustainability analysis methods.

Courses

AEP-32806 Life Science Economics and Policies

Life Science Economics and Policies will be discussed in this course. This includes the whole value chain from R&D, over application, processing, retailing and final demand and how the value chain and the rents and their distribution along the chain are affected by policies.

ENR-31306 Economics and Management of Natural Resources

This course deals with the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. The key question is how intensely a resource should be exploited, considering the typical properties of the resource, possible externalities, and future generations.

ETE-34306 Energy, Water and Nutrient Cycles in the Built Environment

This course focuses on the positive impact, concepts and methodologies of a circular approach: closing resource (energy, water and nutrient) cycles in accordance with sustainability principles by applying various and suitable technologies and sustainability concepts to achieve this in practice.

MST-33806 Circular Entrepreneurship: Co-creating the circular economy

In this course we depart from the concept of Cradle to cradle (C2C) to develop a critical and interdisciplinary evaluation of sustainable solutions to design products, businesses and systems. In so doing we move from a product design to a system thinking approach, discussing how to transition into a circular economy.

MST-34806 Biobased and Circular Business

This course is focused on the business and societal views on biobased and circular economy; strategic niche management and transitions; multi-stakeholder management; new business development, and managing circular cycles; alliances, bio-refineries and business model development; and, feasibility assessment of biobased products.

ORL-32306 Biobased Logistics

Biobased Logistics (BBL) is a disciplinary course in the field of Operations Research and Management. The course aims to provide a good understanding of the biobased supply chain focusing on decision problems related to the logistical structure of the chain as a whole. The students are trained to recognize problems, conceptualize solutions and develop quantitative models to support decision making in the biobased supply chain. 

ORL-32806 Sustainability Analysis

In this course, you learn how to systematically and quantitatively evaluate sustainability, and how to optimise and redesign sustainable supply chains, both for existing supply chains as well as for novel, re-designed, or circular supply chains.

Chair groups

MSc Thesis or Internship Management Studies           

This group studies innovation and entrepreneurship in chains and networks, focusing on the agri-food industry. In a globalising world, where firms face major challenges related to global warming, urbanisation and food security, we provide the knowledge and insights needed to internally organise and govern firms appropriately and for firms to effectively collaborate in chains and networks.

MSc Thesis or Internship Operations Research and Logistics

Our mission is to contribute to the state-of-the-art of Operations Research and Logistics Management in agrifood and biobased supply chains to cope with contemporary complexity issues by developing innovative logistics concepts, decision support models, and solution approaches.

MSc Thesis or Internship Environmental Economics and Natural Resources

This chair group aims to improve the understanding and management of national and international environmental problems, with an emphasis on natural resource management, environmental pollution, and climate change.

MSc Thesis or Internship Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy

The Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group (AEP) carries out research focusing on economic and institutional issues within the bio-economy, and teach across a wide range of aspects related to the contribution of the bio-economy and the agricultural sector in particular to sustainable development.

MSc Thesis Urban Systems Engineering

This sub-group of Environmental technology (ETE) focusses on development and evaluation of sustainable concepts and technologies for urban water, sanitation, materials and energy management. Due to increase in urbanisation, there is more demand for sustainable and renewable concepts.

MSc Internship Development Economics

This group wants to contribute to an improved understanding of the processes of sustainable development, institutions, conflict and poverty alleviation. To this end, we select teaching material and focus on research that can shed light on the dynamics of factor productivity and resource use in developing countries.