Students and teachers of our Master participate in an international program on circular economy in Porto

Students and teachers of our Master participate in an international program on circular economy in Porto

The BIP is an intensive training in hybrid format aimed at students of 2nd and 3rd cycle of engineering, technology or sciences.

It is difficult to find someone who has not heard of the concept of circular economy, closely linked to sustainable development. precisely because of the topic, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) was associated with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) – BarcelonaTech, in Spain, and the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (UniNa), in Italy, to launch the Intensive Integrated Programme on Circular Economy. After a week in distance mode in early September, the program, funded by the European Union, brought together 21 students from nine European countries interested in completing their knowledge in the field of the circular economy through innovative and practical pedagogical approaches.

"This programme promotes the exchange of students, simultaneously enhancing institutional relations between universities. All this in a hybrid format, which allows flexibility to participants through distance learning and encourages the exchange of practical and intercultural knowledge through face-to-face classes”, says Joana Maia Dias, professor at the Department of Metal and Materials Engineering and director of the Bachelor and Master in Environmental Engineering at FEUP, and responsible for the degree at the Faculty.

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BIP's face-to-face teaching week in Circular Economy included a social program to foster exchange among participants.

An opportunity to learn more about the Circular Economy by integrating the realities of Portugal, Spain and Italy, as well as other countries that have joined the initiative, such as Latvia and Romania, the intensive training program brought together experts from the fields of engineering and sustainability to promote collaborative learning on topics such as circularity of resources and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations.

Understanding the principles of the circular economy, identifying opportunities to improve current processes and products and developing new relations of production, distribution and consumption are some of the objectives of the program, which has already received a good reception from students.

"BIP is a great opportunity to improve my knowledge of circular economy, my interaction with other cultures and my level of English. I'm leaving here with much more information that I can apply in my academic and professional day-to-day and with many friends around the world", explains Chiara Civolani, a student at UniNa.

Next, discover the testimonies of our students of the Master in Sustainability Sciences and Technologies who actively participated in the BIP:

The Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) on Circular Economy has been a truly enriching experience. The face-to-face week was highly didactic and stood out especially for the constant teamwork that allowed us to understand the circular economy in a practical and applied way. Business visits added significant value to the program, giving us concrete and in-depth perspectives on how the circular economy is implemented in real industry. In addition, knowing and collaborating with colleagues from different countries and academic disciplines has been an invaluable opportunity to enrich our learning and our global perspective. I greatly appreciate the dedication and attention of programme coordinator Joana Maia Dias, who played a fundamental role in the exceptional success of the program, supported by a passionate and committed teaching body from different associated universities such as the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) of Spain, and the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (UniNa) of Italy. In short, the BIP on Circular Economy has exceeded my expectations and has been a comprehensive and inspiring educational experience.

Cindy Pamela Cairampoma Granados

"The "Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) on Circular Economy" in Porto, Portugal, was an exceptional experience in every way. The face-to-face week I liked very much for its practical and didactic approach, and the best of all, it allowed me to personally meet my classmates, with whom we had very good chemistry from the beginning, we were able to share experiences, learn about our various cultures and enjoy together the beauty of Porto, its gastronomy, its nightlife and we were surprised when they told us that the author of Harry Potter, used the university books for The visit to the cork recycling company “The Cork Experience”, where we discover the multiple applications of this material in various fields such as sports, construction, aviation... They help in the best understanding of the circular economy and expanded my knowledge in a tangible way. The professors of the University of Porto and the partner universities showed a high level of attention and commitment, which ensured that the course was developed exceptionally. I take away not only solid knowledge in circular economy, but also global friendships and a deep appreciation for the beauty of Porto. This experience will be unforgettable and very useful both in my working life and in my professional development.

Sergio Martin Jacinto Ruiz

Visit to the cork recycling company “The Cork Experience” (credits: Sergio Jacinto Ruiz

I liked the didactics of the program, since it marked the difference with respect to what we are accustomed to. In addition to the theoretical lessons, we had the opportunity to work on the development of solutions for real problems of several companies. Thus, the case studies were related to the improvement of selective waste collection, wastewater treatment and waste recycling in the textile industry. I believe that this learning strategy was enriching to consolidate the knowledge acquired during the weeks of class. Finally, I would like to highlight the opportunity to share with students from different nationals and professional profiles, which has allowed me to understand the importance of the multidisciplinary approach to moving towards a circular economy.

Katherine Omaira Tinoco Macedo