Sustainability along the entire production chain and throughout the processes involved are set to become the main focus in the future. Global problems such as the scarcity of fresh water, plastics invading the world’s oceans, climate change, pollutant emissions and dwindling resources are in the spotlight of public perception and the focus of business concerns.
And so people and companies alike are clamouring after extensive recycling and sustainability strategies to overcome the problems visibly linked to produce. Engineers who specialise in this field can manage and optimise a company’s internal recycling and processes. They can also help make production more environmentally friendly and sustainable as a whole, while also focusing on saving costs by optimising processes, making sensible use of resources and scrutinising routine procedures.
The new degree programme in Food and Packaging Technology at Kempten University of Applied Sciences addresses the following and many other key issues:
Graduates from the degree programme in Process Engineering and Sustainability are trained intensively in processes and processing technologies, based on the fundamental principles of engineering and natural sciences.
New elements go above and beyond conventional process engineering, shifting the focus towards recycling processes, water management and environmental technologies. The aim is to equip graduates with the expertise to optimise processes and procedures with regard to sustainability and resource preservation. In addition, they can also contribute the social finesse and team skills that are required to work collaboratively, including together with other experts in other disciplines.
The need for qualified graduates with knowledge and skills in production technologies remains high in German industrial companies, coupled with the expectation that they can make a particularly good contribution to their economic success. At the same time, the careful use of resources and minimum impact on the environment are becoming increasingly prominent issues, calling for sustainable processes. Prospective fields of work for resources and production technology engineers include waste management and recycling, for example. The new packaging ordinance that came into force in 2019 further emphasises the need for recycling materials, raising the quotas for plastics from the previous level of 36 % to 63 %. This is only achievable using new technologies and processes. The need for engineers trained in this field is rapidly growing. Some of the major challenges lie in refuse collection, transportation and sorting, the utilisation of production, raw materials and energy, but also disposal and business waste management. Major optimisation tasks loom in the fields of resource efficiency and material flow management, particularly in the plastics processing industry, where raw materials make up 50 to 80 percent of total costs – making internal recycling of waste and remnants from production highly relevant. Process engineers can use intelligent process management and optimisation strategies to successfully save costs. This calls for a high level of know-how in recycling procedures and knowledge of plastics. Food and packaging manufacturers, who predominantly use plastics to package their products, are in need of skills in these areas.
Energy efficiency and alternative energy generation are particularly relevant to the high energy consumers in the chemical and plastics processing industries, as well as the foods sector, considering the special industrial processes that they use for e.g. multiple heating and cooling cycles. Engineers are required to perform the important tasks of optimising energy consumption and implementing sustainable procedures to save and make more efficient use of energy, focusing on energy-efficient production processes, energy efficiency in buildings and devices, and renewable energy technologies.
A further field of action lies in boosting the efficient usage of raw and other materials, e.g. using replenishable raw materials (bioplastics, substitute products for the chemical industry, compound materials, paints and coatings, insulants). This makes it possible to weigh up the costs and benefits of using new raw materials, to discuss industrial processes rationally, and to reduce environmental impact.
Further key areas of operation lie in treating water and waste water, air purification, and disposing of contaminated waste.
Knowledge of sustainable processes and the appropriate skills are required in many areas of the processing industry, to recover valuable materials, and for the treatment of waste and residues. Above all, this applies to conventional sectors such as the food, chemicals and pharmaceutical industries, but also new fields such as biotechnology or the manufacture and use of new materials or optimised recycling concepts.
The regions surrounding Kempten University of Applied Sciences (Allgäu and Swabia) are peppered with small and medium-sized businesses conducting industrial processing operations. The demand for process engineers is accordingly high.
We know how exciting the prospect of going to university can be. So we want you to know whom you can get in touch with if you have any questions about studying with us –
whether they’re about the degree programme, applying or anything else.
If so, please don’t hesitate to contact the university’s central Student Advisory Service or an academic advisor.
for general questions about studying, applications, admission and formalities.
Tel. +49 (0)831-2523-105
Building D, 3rd floor, Room D 410
Mon, Tue, Weds & Fri: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
for any questions concerning the content of the degree programme or the course structure.
Professor Wolfgang Mayer, Dr.-Ing.
Tel. +49 (0)831-2523-9528
Building S, Room 1.10
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