Master Industrial Ecology (MIND)

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ERASMUS MUNDUS Master's Programme in Industrial Ecology

ERASMUS MUNDUS Master's Programme in Industrial Ecology ( is a two-year programme with 120 ECTS, offering a unique Industrial Ecology (IE) education for 15 third country and 10 EU students per edition. Those 25 students can study at two or three universities of the MIND consortium - representing seven universities - that consists of:

  • University of Graz/Austria (co-ordinator)
  • Chalmers University of Technology (Gothenburg/Sweden)
  • University Leiden (The Netherlands)
  • Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
  • Waseda University (Tokyo/Japan)
  • Asian Institute of Technology (Pathumthani/Thailand)
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (USA/New York State)

All these universities gained internationally acknowledged IE expertise in teaching and research.

IE is an emerging interdisciplinary field, combining natural, technical and social sciences in a systems view at scale levels from the global to the local. Its core concept is the analogy between processes in nature (biosphere) and processes in society (technosphere). Evolution has resulted in a highly efficient use of materials and energy in biosphere systems: waste from one process is a resource for another. In today's society, resources are exploited, producing unusable waste streams and release of pollutants to soil, water, and air, leading to complex sustainability problems. Society might take lessons from the biosphere to solve these problems. The objective of the MIND programme is to train students:

  • to conduct IE analyses of such complex sustainability problems,
  • to design IE solutions for these problems and
  • to develop implementation strategies for those solutions identified.

Therefore, MIND is in the heart of the EU needs of the "Europe 2020 strategy", because due to the current sustainability problems and imminent EU and global transitions in energy systems, food systems etc. there is a great need for IE trained persons that have a grasp of the complexities of the field of sustainable development.

The MIND programme combines the expertise and experience of prominent groups in the area of IE research, within and outside the EU. MIND will be the first international master programme in IE worldwide, offering a joint degree (from Austrian and Swedish partners) and/or a double degree (from Dutch partners plus the other two EU partners), depending on the students' choices. Moreover, MIND students are provided with the possibility to join a mobility semester in the U.S. or Asia.

Each MIND partner provides a special IE focus, such as

  • IE methods/tools, in particular modelling certain material systems (Leiden, Delft)
  • Sustainable technical systems (Gothenburg)
  • Human dimension of IE – decision-making models and sustainability assessment (Graz)
  • Asian perspective on IE and technology issues in IE (Asian Institute of Technology)
  • Alternative energy and decision analysis (Rochester Institute of Technology)
  • Industrial ecology methods based on Input-Output analysis, with special emphasis on waste and resource management (Tokyo)

Thus, the unique MIND programme offers crucial benefits for its students and outstanding possibilities for its scholars. Those from the four EU universities can visit the non-EU universities for guest lectures and vice versa. This mutual exchange is fruitful for the further development of IE and supports networking and research.

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