From July 17 till 20, a group of 20 master and PhD-student gathered in the lovely Leuven for a summer school on ‘Digitizing the Circular Economy’. The summer school, supported by EIT Raw Materials, allowed a deeper insight in the evaluation of resource efficiency. Flowsheets of physical separation, metallurgical and recycling systems were reviewed, using exergy, LCA tools and specific software. As such, students were able to link simulation and footprinting.

Students learned to use the HSC Sim software to work out their own models and apply it on their specific research. Damien Latacz, one of the students of the summer school stated: “I came to the summer school to learn how to improve my calculations in my research for my master thesis which is about combustion of electronic scrap. Prof. Reuters’ expertise on the HSC Sim software was very helpful to get a broader view on the complete process.” “With the help of software now I am able to solve my problems I encountered during my master thesis,” says Berfu Göksel, a student from RWTH Aachen, “It is a great opportunity to learn more about the metallurgy and the innovations in the field.”

Metallurgy is a key enabler of a circular economy (CE), its digitization is the metallurgical Internet of Things (m-IoT). In short: Metallurgy is at the heart of a CE, as metals all have strong intrinsic recycling potentials. Process metallurgy, as a key enabler for a CE, will help much to deliver its goals.

The organizers of the summer school are very thankful to EIT RawMaterials for supporting such events, aimed to the education of so called ‘T-shaped professionals’. As such, researchers become not just specialists in their field of expertise, but also to become innovative entrepreneurs focused on sustainability.

If you are interested in circular economy and entrepreneurship in the raw materials sector, a list of similar events is available on the EIT RawMaterials website, where a broad selection of doctoral and masters courses, as well as short-term courses for professionals is featured: