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Covestro Collaborates with University of Pittsburgh to Establish First U.S. Circular Economy Graduate Program

Jenny Heumann Godes

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.

PITT Covestro Circular Economy Program

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.

About the Author
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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