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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’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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