There is a need for continued advancement to improve product efficiency and reduce waste, and improvements depend upon requires education and innovative ideas to develop and advance products with longer lifespans and recycling and recovery of waste materials.
Covestro is collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh in establishing the first circular economy-focused graduate program in the United States, to address global waste and its impact on the environment and climate.
The graduate program will provide holistic training in circular design tools and principles, educating graduate and PhD students who may go on to create circular, sustainable product and service solutions.
Covestro LLC and the University of Pittsburgh have created the first circular economy-focused graduate program in the United States to address global waste and its impact on the environment and climate.
The Covestro Circular Economy Program, housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, will matriculate its first class of graduate students in fall 2022. The program aims to create opportunities for the research, education and innovative advancement of circular economy principles to help students develop expertise in circular economy and create circular, sustainable products and solutions.
The program is addressing a gap that currently exists within much of the academic arena – professional training in the relevant sciences has often not included holistic training in circular approaches. While the private sector is working to embed circular design principles into its innovation approach, academia has yet to consistently integrate design principles in advanced degree programs. By establishing the program, Covestro and the University of Pittsburgh are providing a dedicated academic setting for students and professionals to innovate new approaches to materials, design, and planning.
Initial funding will help establish a transdisciplinary academic, research, innovation and cooperative employment initiative to prepare students with circular economy training and expertise to carry into academia, industry, government and NGOs. Pitt and Covestro are also seeking to collaborate with corporations, foundations, and governments to expand the program’s reach and potential.
The new graduate program builds off of more than three decades of collaboration between Covestro and Pitt’s chemistry department, chemical engineering school and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) to investigate and implement sustainability initiatives in research, scholarship and engagement.
In 2020, Covestro announced a global corporate vision to become fully circular. The company’s initial focus toward this vision includes alternative feedstocks, advanced recycling technologies, renewable energy and collaborations.