When it came down to decide which study I want to go for, I knew that it had to be related to sustainability and environmental aspects. Therefore, I decided to do my Bachelor’s degree in “Environmental Systems Sciences / Natural Sciences Technology”. The main topics of this study are chemistry, physics, and systems science, and, in addition, it contains two courses in process engineering. During these two courses, I discovered my interest in process engineering which is why I decided to enroll the Master’s program “Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering” where I am currently doing my Master thesis dealing with the isolation of technical lignin from process streams at the "Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology". In the Master’s program “Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering”, students learn the basics of process engineering and are faced with current topics of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Since I was always more interested in chemistry, I have laid my focus on the chemical engineering part of the curriculum.
Last year the Master’s program “Biorefinery Engineering” was introduced on the Graz University of Technology. As already mentioned, I am really interested in the topics of sustainability and renewable resources. Natural disasters and climate change are clear signs for a necessary change of paradigm. A shift from fossil-based materials to renewable materials is needed. This requires new processing technologies and the improvement of existing processes. The new Master study imparts the knowledge for these tasks. The topics are very diverse, e.g. algae biorefineries, pulp and paper production, processing of different renewable compounds, and the basics of general process engineering.
In my opinion, the field of biorefinery will play an important role in the future and is for sure a sector with rising research interest. This is the reason why I decided to enroll this Master in addition to the other one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Demmelmayer is one of the first students enrolled in the European Master Programme Biorefinery Engineering, developed in the frame of the BioEnergyTrain Project, and offered by the Graz University of Technology, Austria.