By Olivia Thomas
June 19, 2019

waste management and critical raw materials | university courses


From EdX and Delft University of Technology 

"How can we ensure the continuous supply of the increasingly scarce raw materials that are needed to make the products we use every day? In this course, we will look at the potential benefits of circular procurement and how recycling technologies and more efficient ways of collecting and recycling critical raw materials (CRMs) can make your business and production more resource resilient.

A good number of the materials found in everyday products are now referred to as "critical". This means that there is a risk of failure in their supply and that they are also critical in terms of economic importance. 

Many metals, for instance, are already critical or could become critical in the near future due to their limited availability and the growing demand for products worldwide. Think of the newest electronic products that contain critical metals such as gallium, which is used in integrated circuits; beryllium, used in electronic and telecommunications equipment and permanent magnets and germanium found in infra-red optics.

Innovative product design and reusing, recycling and remanufacturing products can help to deal with a raw materials shortage. But this can only provide an integrated solution if we keep CRMs in the loop through smarter CRM management.

Scarcity in the supply chain can not only damage businesses but also negatively impact economic development and the environment. For this reason, the course will also discuss environmental issues and electric and electronic waste regulations.

This course will be of value to a wide range of professionals working in or interested in this field. These include professionals involved in producing products containing CRMs (such as electronics) as well as local or national government officials tasked with organizing waste management and recycling for these products. Students interested in the field of waste management will also find this course helpful for their studies in electronics, industrial design, and industrial ecology."

"This course has received funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT receives support from the European Union’s Horizon2020 research and innovation program."

What you'll learn;

  • Current challenges and opportunities in resource resilience
  • Environmental problems caused by waste mismanagement of products that contain CRMs
  • Waste collection methods and efficient collection of waste in households and at companies
  • Remanufacturing, refurbishment, re-use and recycling processes of products which contain CRMs
  • Waste prevention through chain optimization
  • Benefits of circular procurement to keep critical raw materials in the loop through smart waste management
  • How product design can support efficient recycling and remanufacturing
  • How to uncover new business models to reduce waste and to make your business more resource resilient



  • 6 WEEKS


Jan-Henk Welink | Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Delft Project Management | Delft University of Technology

Colin Fitzpatrick | Senior Lecturer in Electronic & Computer Engineering | University of Limerick, Ireland

Kamila Mascart | Bioengineer | Ghent University

Michael Johnson | Postdoctoral researcher | University of Limerick

Maud Rio | Associate Professor (PhD 2012), permanent research fellow Grenoble Alpes University G-SCOP Laboratory | Grenoble Alpes University G-SCOP Laboratory

Florence Betmont | Engineer in Environmental Science and Chemical Engineering | University of Grenoble Alpes

David Peck | Senior Research Fellow, Circular Built Environment and Critical Materials - Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment | TU Delft

Sophie Sfez | Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Green Chemistry and Technology | Ghent University 


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