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Sustainable engineering design is about doing the right thing for the planet. In addition, the environmental impact of every manufacturing process is very dependent on the selection of the material and design of a product, meaning that material selection can become a complex process. It includes picking the materials that suit the design, that support a feasibly low carbon footprint target, that are not harmful during use, and that can be used again. Having materials wantonly discarded is not good for anybody. The problem engineers and designers face is having to sift through the vast arrays of information written about all these materials, because it can be difficult finding the facts that provide the necessary comparisons, and each material selection may require compromise. Drawing on industry-relevant tools, this module provide structure to these important material choices decisions, to meet sustainability-driven targets, regulations or aspirations.

Entry to the Certificate in Innovative Materials for Industry 4.0 programme and the associated minor awards is via direct entry with the following requirements:

Graduates with a Level 8 Honours degree engineering or science or equivalent


Graduates with a Level 7 Distinction award in Engineering or Science or equivalent with a minimum 2 years relevant post qualification experience.


EU and International graduates whose qualifications which are in line with the Bologna agreement or the international NARIC system for Level 8 comparison. International learners must have an English Language score of 6.0 ILETS or a Duolingo score of 100.

RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

All programmes are mapped to the SETU Carlow Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy and applicants who wish to apply using this route can request the specific RPL for this programme.

SETU Carlow’s RPL Policy offers clear pathways to the learner for recognition of previous learning undertaken and offer every credit to the learner in completing such learning. 

The Programme Board will be responsible for the assessment of entry standards and applications as part of any RPL Process.

Materials Property Infrastructure

Atoms, Molecules and Crystals, Chemical Bonding, Intermolecular forces, Lattice structures & defects, Solidification Phenomena and Influence of cooling rates, Phase Diagrams & Heat Treatments, Alloying, Organic and Inorganic materials. Smart Materials: design & application.

Local vs Global Variable Performance Space

Materials Applications, Property-Microstructure Relationship, Local vs Global Property RISK Analysis, Identifying Design Vulnerabilities, Static vs Dynamic Properties, Property Control Measures, Performance Criticality as a function of materials mix (for a material or component), Property Design vs Technical Performance.

Materials Criticality and Sustainability

Materials Sustainability, Geological reserves (balance between consumption, reserves, reserve base and recoverability) and economics, EcoAuditing, Host Mining and Geopolitics, Recycling vs Global Demand, Production (Environmental impact and Resource Consumption), Resource Declination and Global Policy.

Materials Selection in Methodological Design

Re-engineering (current vs updated concepts), determine translational properties, identify and measure relevant key local primary properties, implement materials criticality with design options, Alternative Material Selection based on Availability Criticality/Supply chain disruption, Re-design based on system vulnerabilities, appropriate functional properties, sustainable materials selections. Understand the evolution of Smart Materials and their potential impact on advanced design and Industry 4.0