Inspired by nature and committed to create and maintain energy-efficient and healthy built environments, TAMK confirmed a new master’s degree in Risk Management and Circular Economy. Circular economy is a popular concept in which growth and prosperity are decoupled from natural resource consumption and ecosystem degradation. Its objective is to create a healthy economy in balance with nature by refraining from throwing away used products, components and materials, and instead re-routing them into the right value chains.
Dr. Ulla Häggblom, Head of Degree Programme in Bioproduct and Process Engineering, expects all future applicants to ask themselves important questions regarding the future of sustainability.
– We want our students to understand and rethink processes and services by promoting the use of current resources in a sustainable way. How do you see the future? How do you look at the material you’re using? What is your take on sustainability? Circular economy and risk management are common issues globally. Also, this is a matter of attitude.
The Master’s Degree in Risk Management and Circular Economy
The master’s degree programme focuses on the fields of environment, forestry and process engineering. It qualifies for Master of Engineering, Master of Natural Resources or Master of Business Administration. The study time is 1.5 years and the programme consists of online distance learning phases and five intensive study weeks in Finland.
With creativity, scientific tools and the latest technology, an idea that once seemed like an environmentalist’s pipe dream can now transform economies and communities worldwide.”
Knowhow accumulates in networks
The studies in the Circular Economy and Risk Management programme mainly proceed on a virtual platform. During a complementary five intensive weeks, the primary focus is on creating the right teams in order to achieve maximum success in their final projects. There will be hands-on courses in which the students move outside “to see, experience and explore the spirit of the forest”, as well as workshops in collaboration with Tampere-based companies to tackle future changes in the environment.
Furthermore, TAMK actively cooperates with the universities of applied sciences in Lahti and Turku to advance information retrieval and learning skills and to implement teamwork and multidisciplinary courses.
This mutual effort funded by Sitra (The Finnish Innovation Fund) aspires to integrate the circular economy knowhow and mindset in all fields and functions and to promote collaboration and learning activities between different disciplines and operators.
Accumulated knowledge will be contained in motivational guidebooks and videos, and later spread in personalised packages to benefit both national and international schools. Students who earn study credits get a chance to be involved in new assignments to support work packages, like creating contents or analysing methods. More pilot courses using developed teaching modules for circular economy are also going to be conducted by the partner universities of applied sciences in Oulu, Kuopio and Vaasa.
We want our students to understand and rethink processes and services by promoting the use of current resources in a sustainable way.”
Time to reassess our lifestyle
To evaluate the implications of circular economy, applying a lifecycle approach is highly beneficial.
TAMK employs LCA, a robust and science-based tool that measures impacts of the new circular economy products and business models, validates assumptions and gets feedback for improvement. Reuse and recycling of materials require expertise in material handling and understanding the risks involved with harmful chemicals and physical properties.
Engineering skills are a must, but so are communications and leadership skills in order to complement a powerful vision.
TEXT: ANDRUTA ILIE | PHOTOS: ESSI KANNELKOSKI, ANNA VÄTTÖ
– Current and future generations have to reassess the way they live, work, travel and consume, Ulla Häggblom firmly believes.
Circular economy development programmes are complex matters aiming for very little to zero waste. With creativity, scientific tools and the latest technology, an idea that once seemed like an environmentalist’s pipe dream can now transform economies and communities worldwide.
– The way I see it, somebody’s waste can be someone else’s raw material.