Re-Thinking Plastic!

Three newly reconceptualized academic degree programs at the Johannes Kepler University Linz are taking education in polymer engineering technologies to a whole new level!

A floating plastic continent in the world's oceans. Microplastics in food and in our bodies. There is nothing to be said for these problems. We can only educate engineers capable of taking a more critical look at the issues regarding plastics and who can ultimately come up with revolutionary solutions to address the problems.

This is why we here at the JKU are re-thinking the future of polymer technologies. When it comes to materials and resources, how do we find environmentally-friendly solutions along with lasting, sustainable, eco-friendly, and high-performance plastics and bioplastics?

Conduct research with us on these future-oriented topics! A new Bachelor's degree program and two Master's degree programs will provide you with the education you need to become a revolutionary idea generator and engineer in the area of polymer technologies!

Key Facts

Sustainable Polymer Technologies & the Circular Economy

Bachelor's degree program starting in Fall 2023

Plastics Management & Sustainability

Master's degree program starting in Fall 2024

Polymer Engineering & Science

Master's degree program starting in Fall 2024

Location

Linz

The JKU's New Degree Programs in Polymer Engineering Technologies

  • Sustainable Polymer Technologies & the Circular Economy - Bachelor's degree program starting in Fall 2023
  • Plastics Management & Sustainability - Master's degree program starting in Fall 2024
  • Polymer Engineering & Science - Master's degree program starting in Fall 2024

All-New Content and a Revolutionary Approach

The current academic degree programs polymer engineering studies at the JKU have been completely revised and revamped! The curriculum contains new content, new approaches to education and learning, more hands-on experience, and more support by industrial partners and the business community, including at our teaching, learning & research facility, the LIT Factory.

Studierende in Maschinenhalle im Science Park

Sustainability & A Circular Economy

This theme will be an integral part of your studies as you explorethis area from a variety of perspectives:

  • Materials and processing technologies
  • Digitalization
  • Recycling technologies & material cycles 
  • Life cycle assessments
  • Social contexts
  • New scientific topics, such as the use of polymers in medicine and renewable energy technologies


Digital Transformation and Sustainable Technologies

The JKU's new degree programs in polymer engineering sport a modular structure, allowing you to focus on completely new, forward-looking areas of study:

  • Digital Transformation and Polymers
  • Sustainable Technologies and Polymers
  • New electives, such as "Digitalization for Engineers" or "Hybrid Materials"

Ranging from Problem-Based-Learning to a "Flipped Classroom"

The new programs feature state-of-the-art didactic and educational methods. You will experience a high degree of independence as you learn how to come up with new solutions based on current problems. Hone your skills by addressing concrete content. Students attend on-site courses as well as online courses through the Moodle learning platform.

We incorporate a blended learning approach as well as the concept of "flipped classroom", in which you learn the fundamental theories yourself "in front of the lecture hall" and then work with your professors and fellow students to reinforce the educational content.

Vortragender und Studierende im Hörsaal

The New Degree Programs in Polymer Engineering Technologies offer "Future Skills" and Outstanding Career Prospects

In addition to expertise in polymer technologies, the curriculum includes honing "future skills". You will develop the expertise necessary to successfully act and interact for the good of the environment, humanity, society, business, and technology. You become a pioneer able to rethink polymers and plastics as well as create solutions to address these challenges.

This matches educational requirements and job profiles for the 21st century's VUCA world (volatility-uncertainty-complexity-ambiguity) when it comes to future professional fields. Depending on your area of specialization, you will be educated as a tech-science problem-solver in industry, science, or - with the help of technical (polymer) solutions - as a problem-solver to address and support social challenges.

What does a polymer engineer do?

Your skills in polymer technologies are in high demand, particularly in the following industries:

Sport and Recreation: Polymer variability facilitates high-performance products to support a wide range of sports: Ski and snowboard equipment, balls for balls sports, lightweight bicycles, sailboats, sportwear, and much more.

Energies: Polymers facilitate the longevity of silicon cells used for photovoltaic systems. Lightweight plastic construction is vital to construct functioning large wind turbines at wind farms. When it comes to residential construction, insulation panels and window frames are also just a few examples that guarantee saving energy and ensuring safety.

Medicine: Plastic products are multifunctional, enabling orthotic, prostheses, and implant devices; plastic materials are used to make blood bags, tubes, syringes, etc. hygienic; packaging keeps contents sterile; suture and dressing materials, hearing aids, contact lenses, condoms, pregnancy tests, Covid tests - and many more items - are made out of plastic.

Electrical and Electronic Systems: The only reason you can read this text right now is because of the plastics in your screen. Cable sheaths and casings safely provide your devices with a continual supply of power.

Mobility: Resource-efficient mobility requires lightweight solutions made out of plastics and composites. Thanks to the use of plastics, trains, buses, airplanes, and automobiles are becoming lighter and more comfortable.

Packaging: This is where you help more people to learn about - and better understand - the responsible use of plastic packaging. When it comes to plastic packaging, you create real solutions to support a circular economy.


As a graduate in polymer engineering, you will be highly sought after in industry and science in the following areas:
 

  • You develop innovative solutions to support a circular plastics economy and introduce new recycling technologies
  • You develop new types of polymer compounds, multifunctional polymer composites, and polymer hybrid materials
  • You conduct research and work on material-specific polymer processing, including advancements and optimizing process technologies
  • You create designs and construct polymer products, manage their specifications and qualifications as well as ensure quality and certification
  • You conduct base-knowledge research in these areas of technology and apply them in practice

Frequently Asked Questions

You can transfer academic credit from your current undergraduate degree program in polymer engineering to the new program at any time. You may have to repeat certain content or prove you have an understanding of certain subject areas.

In general, you do not need previous education in this area, only a fundamental underlying technical interest. You will need to show your educational qualifications that allow you to enroll at a university, whether they are from an HTL, HLW, or an AHS school.  The program is broad, starting with the fundamentals of technical sciences and engineering.

In an effort to help you prepare for university-level lectures, the JKU offers preparation courses designed to review major aspects of secondary-level material in a more summarized, consolidated format. These courses are ideal for new students enrolled in engineering programs. Click here to learn more about the preparation courses.

Leading Partners in Industry and Business

Business and industrial companies in Upper Austria are also interested in your new ideas, approaches, and developments, actively fostering and supporting the new direction of polymer engineering courses at the JKU.

 

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Why Study at the JKU?

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The LIT Factory

Our Teaching, Learning & Research Facility.
Von links: Janos Birtha, Eva Kobler, Niki Chung (an der UD-Tape Anlage der LIT factory)
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