Polymers are natural abundant materials, representing today the development core for life comfort. They may be defined as the material basis of natural world and human body. As materials they became since their discovery indispensable for a modern, prosperous society. On the other hand polymers form the class of functional and flexible materials, base of all modern industries from the chemical, fibers, medical, biological, pharmacological, electronic, and aeronautical field, as well as many other advanced technologies.
The bachelor training program Science and Engineering of Polymers offers integrated technical education covering every aspect of the field: synthesis, structure, physical properties, functionality. The fundamental teaching mission of forming specialists able to approach various applicative fields is based on lectures, experimental activities, and design projects on themes characteristic to chemical engineering, harmoniously combined with specialized topics, namely synthesis, characterization and processing of polymers.
The curriculum, structured into fundamental, specialized, and complementary subjects, totals 3346 teaching hours in four years, out of which 3248 hours are dedicated to fundamental and specialization topics. Specialized subjects amount to approximately 37 %, offering a solid education to the graduates, so that they may work in any practical area in the manufacturing and/or usage of materials.
Consolidation and development of general knowledge in physics, mathematics, chemistry (inorganic, analytical, organic, silicates chemistry or electrochemistry) is completed in the second half of the undergraduate education program by specific subjects. The group of the specialized fundamental subjects consists of:
-Polymer Physics, structured in two parts, is focused on understanding the peculiarities of polymeric systems by deepening the relationships between physical state transitions and structure at molecular level, together with the mechanisms involved. The behavior of different types of polymers as solutions, mixtures, gels, rubbers, crystals, and liquid crystals is analyzed.
- Macromolecular Compounds Chemistry: approaches in theory the principles and fundamentals of polymer science from the classification, synthesis, polymerization mechanisms, structure – property relations point of view, together with complex experimental activities, illustrating the fundamental principles of synthesis.
- Technology of Monomers and Polymers, Technology of Plastics, Technology of Elastomers, Technology of Synthetic Fibers are fundamental subjects corroborating engineering knowledge with physics and chemistry to give the practical dimension to the specialization: design and operation of specialized installations.
- Polymer Processing tops up synthesis technologies by developing practical concepts of material manufacturing according to a beneficiary needs.
There are also formative subjects introduced in the worldwide context of the new valences given to the material percept; they have an introductory character in connected activity field, such as: Biopolymers and Bio-composites, Packaging, Polymer Recycling, Nanomaterials, Polymers for Special Applications.
The industrial practice represents a significant part of the training program for such an applicative specialization, taking place in industrial organizations, as well as in small and medium enterprises, and research institutes.
Graduates of the bachelor program Science and Engineering of Polymers demonstrate at graduation time a solid set of general and professional knowledge connected to abilities to imagine, collect, and process information specific for the design, synthesis, and processing of polymeric materials, usage of information and communication technology specific for the field, written and oral communication skills, foreign languages included, coordination of work teams and teamwork, with assumed responsibilities for setting-up a personal development program and managing specific processes and manufacturing activity as a whole.
- chemical industry (manufacturing engineer or technologist, quality control inspector)
- tire industry
- yarns and fibers industry
- varnishes, paints, and adhesives industry
- packaging and plastics industry
- petrochemical industry
- polymer recycling and biodegradation industry
- research institutes
- teaching in high schools and universities
Graduating the Bachelor degree in Science and Engineering of Polymers does not limit the further professional development, all graduates possessing the fundamental knowledge to take any other specialization direction in the university and/or to enroll in the manufacturing areas previously mentioned.
The human resource involved in running the Science and Engineering of Polymers educational program consists of 46 academics, out of which 40 held a PhD degree, working in 13 departments of the university (4 general departments).
The logistic support, developed through the research activities of academics and postgraduate students, give undergraduate students a good chance to become familiar to modern synthesis and characterization techniques for polymeric materials. The Advanced Polymer Materials Group activates as a research platform within the department, and consists of 4 laboratories for characterization and investigation of polymers.
There is a continuous involvement of the undergraduate students in research projects on actual successful topics, under the supervision of the academic staff. Their results have received continuous recognition at national and international scientific events year after year.