Graduate Certificates

Sustainable Polymeric Materials amd Additives Certificate

The Plastics Engineering program at UMass Lowell is known for pushing new frontiers in new plastics materials, design and processing. With the growing concern over the environmental effects of plastics and the slow but steady shift of the industry towards increased use of “greener materials,” the department has identified a crucial need to provide students, industrial engineers and scientists with an exposure to the latest developments in sustainable materials in the context of plastics design and manufacturing.

However, shortly thereafter, the industry began making plastics from feedstocks derived from oil and natural gas.

The Department of Plastics Engineering offers this program as a stand-alone, four-course graduate certificate in "Sustainable Polymeric Materials and Additives.” This certificate program is designed for students who have attained a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering and want to enhance their knowledge of renewable materials and additives, but are not ready to commit to completion of a Plastics Engineering master's degree.

However, these certificate courses may be applied to appropriate graduate degrees if students want to continue their education.

More information can be found on the UMass Lowell Plastics Engineering website. You can apply for this certificate program through UMass Lowell Graduate Admissions.

For the latest course information and descriptions please visit the UMass Lowell online Graduate Academic Catalog.

Required Courses:

26.533 Coatings Science and Technology I  This course reviews the basic principles of design and formulation of waterborne, high-solids, powder resins used for the development of solvent-less green coatings and the use of bio-derived resins, mostly based on soybean oil and other renewable raw materials. The mechanisms and methods of curing and of polymerization for polymers used as coatings will also be covered.

26.596 Plastics, Elastomers and Additives from Renewable Resources  This course will product an introduction to plastics, elastomers and additives obtained from renewable resources. Processes that involve conversion (chemically/enzymatically) of naturally occurring precursors (monomers) obtained from renewable resources to plastics and elastomers will be reviewed. Brief discussion of processing, degradation and recycling of these materials will also be included.

Elective Courses:

26.547 Materials for Renewable Energy and Sustainability  This course reviews the selection and design of materials for use in energy generation and conservative applications. Both traditional and renewable technologies for energy generation are reviewed, and the differences in materials needs for generation, storage and transmission highlighted. Particular emphasis is placed on organic and polymeric materials technological challenges in solar, wind and hydro/geothermal energy and future transportation fuel production. The concept of life cycle assessment is introduced for the optimization of systems from a materials science perceptive. The impacts of global economics, ethics and efficiency are also addressed. The course approaches sustainability as an open-ended engineering problem and introduces students to the broad range of career opportunities for materials engineers in renewable energy.

26.575 Biomaterials I  A comprehensive study of the history, current and future rents within biomedical devices and their applications. Students will be introduced to research techniques used to analyze the different classes of biomaterials. An overview of typical host reactions such as inflammatory response and their evaluation will be touched upon.

10.535 Cell and Microbe Cultivation  This course presents the principles of biochemical engineering with an emphasis on the unit operation of cell cultivation for production of commercially important products, especially biopharmaceuticals. The bioreactor is viewed as a device for controlling the environment or recombinant and traditional cultures. Major topics include media design, kinetics of growth and production, expression systems, bioreactor types, cell physiology, and bioprocess economics.

84.563 Chemistry of Natural Products  Covers the proof of structure of various types of natural products, approaches to the total synthesis of these products and the biosynthetic pathways.