hours per week
hours per week
hours per week
in year one
The first-year is the foundation (propaedeutic) year
The first year of PFT will teach you the basics of engineering, such as advanced mathematics, chemistry and physics. Groan… and you thought you’d finished reading books and taking exams. Well, there is one major difference with secondary school. From day one at PFT you’ll receive regular assignments from food and (bio)chemical companies, to make first-year theory more interesting. You’ll learn how to make your own flavour of cheese, for example. Or how to produce the white pigment often found in toothpaste and plastic chairs. Obviously, we’re not training you to be a rocket scientist, but everyday consumables require advanced chemical engineering, so you’ll need a basic understanding of key theories before you can help companies like SHELL or Heineken solve their problems.
|Physics for Engineers|
|Project: Water treatment|
|Physics for Engineers|
|Industrial Micro Biology|
|Project: Food products|
|Molecules & Materials|
|Project: Inorganic products|
|Project: Organic products|
Those are enough general courses for now. In the second year of the Process & Food Technology programme students start with a project in which they’ll have to design a safe and sustainable processing plant. Again, you’ll deal with real companies in the following three blocks that want to reinvigorate their production processes, but this time they’ll expect results. Unilever might ask you to convert excess whey into baby food, or use it in the production of tennis racket strings. Or you could be helping beer producer Bavaria to improve the heat transfer process in one of its breweries. And what patented machinery could you devise to ensure Pepsi bottles are more carbonated than Coca Cola’s?
In year two students will also start with a minor. However, the biggest chunk of year two constitutes internships. PFT expects you to do either one long internship (20 weeks) or two shorter ones (10 weeks each) at an international company such as Heinz, BP, Albemarle, Sensus, DSM or Mars.
Internship and graduation
In year three you’ll become acquainted with the professional values needed for process and food technology. Some additional courses such as Thermo Dynamics, Quality Control and the Aspen crash-course – a professional modelling tool used by all process and food engineers - will definitely steer you in the right direction. The internship(s) in year two could be seen as appetisers for your graduation project in the last two modules. That’s right, you won’t have to write an extensive theoretical dissertation on some vague subject that no one’s actually going to read. Instead, you’ll do another internship. But this time, to prove your worth to a company you’d like to work for, you’ll apply all the engineering skills you attained during the first two years. You’ll hand in a report and pitch your ideas to its board members. And don’t worry; whichever company you choose to do your graduation project for, you’ll still be able to work in another industry later on. That’s the beauty of PFT: after graduation you’ll have the skills to be an engineer at a windscreen manufacturer like Sabic, or work your way up at a food conglomerate like Danone.
A personal supervisor will help you keep track of your study progress and further guide your career development. He or she will also support you if you have any personal problems that can adversely affect your schoolwork. Furthermore, a coaching assistant − usually a (recent) graduate − will also tutor you. He or she can assist you with the day‐to‐day practicalities of studying PFT. By improving your time-management skills for example, or finding the right people within the programme to answer more complicated questions.
In the first year, you are expected to earn at least 50 of the 60 credits available. In some cases, as part of the 50 credits, you will need have passed a certain subject.
If you fulfil all requirements, the Examination Board will issue a positive study advice and you can continue with your degree programme. If you fail to meet these requirements, you will be issued a negative binding study advice and will be required to leave the degree programme.
The Examination Board may take personal circumstances into consideration, such as illness or participation in professional sports. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The study advice may be deferred, possibly with certain conditions attached that must be fulfilled during the following academic year.
You are personally responsible for your academic progress, so make sure to contact your academic career coach early on if things are not going well.
In year two, thanks to a few minors, you’ll get the chance to specialise as a process and food engineer. Food Product Design for instance, focuses on the development of new food products. Which chemical crystals could make the caramel in Mars bars even creamier? And what ingredients would you use to brew your very own beer. Another option that PFT offers its students is a VCA-VOL minor: a certificate that allows you to work on a manufacturing plant. Very useful if you are aiming for a high-end job on an oilrig, for example. But you don’t have to share your innovative ideas with other companies. If you’re keen to start up your own business you could try the Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Global Perspective minor or The Many Faces of Globalisation offered by other THUAS faculties,
PFT is the only Bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands that offers Process & Food Technology at an international level. Thanks to our partnerships with universities in Brazil, Indonesia, China, the UK and the US, students get the chance to go on exchange and see, for example, how Brazilian farmers are developing new farming technologies to keep up with the world population growth. Although the PFT programme advocates a perfect mix of theory and practice, we understand that students also need other learning experiences. That’s why we organise excursions to water treatment plants, the Bavaria beer brewery and a cheese factory. This is mainly because half of the subjects you’ll get in the first year are assignments from these companies.