European Master in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Bioceb Graduation Days of the first intake

The first Bioceb Graduation Days took place on September 2nd and September 3rd 2022!

After two intensive years spent in at least two different countries, the first intake’s students of Bioceb finally lived the long-awaited moment of their graduation. They had started the master programme in September 2020, during the difficult period of the covid sanitary crisis, and had to experiment the very first year of implementation of this joint undertaking.

The Graduation Days were hosted and organised by University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, where all the students spent the first joint-semester of the Bioceb master programme. Therefore, the return to Reims, where they started Bioceb, was highly symbolic for the students! For the newly recruited third intake, the Graduation Days were a unique opportunity to meet their elders and to propel themselves into their two Bioceb years to come.

Programme Graduation Days 2022

Friday 2nd September: Official Ceremony – Reims City Hall

To start the ceremony, the graduate students attended a participative workshop “Jazz and management” hosted by the band "Didier Burgaud Swing Orchestra". It was the opportunity for them to be reunited again through an entertaining musical activity while learning useful management skills.

The official ceremony then started at 6 pm, with no less than 100 participants. Among the guests were friends and family members of the graduate students, students of the third intake, Bioceb teachers and administrative staff, as well as official representatives of the consortium, of Reims city and of its region.

Several members of the Bioceb Board made the trip to Reims to attend this key moment of Bioceb project’s life: Jaan Kers and Yevgen Karpichev from TalTech, Anja Hänninen from Aalto, Sophie Landaud from AgroParisTech, Aurore Richel from ULiège, and of course Caroline Rémond and Philippine Henry from URCA. It had been a long time since that many members of the Bioceb Board were reunited!

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons, Stéphanie Baumberger, Bioceb coordinator, and Jeanne Beyrand, Bioceb project manager, could not attend the ceremony. Other members of URCA, ULiège and AgroParisTech were also part of the guests, among which Sandra Domenek, the coordinator of the Bioceb “Green Line Project” module.

Pr. Sophie Landaud (Professor in Microbiology, INRAE AgroParisTech) and Pr. Caroline Rémond (Professor in Biotechnology, Bioceb local coordinator, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne) hosted the ceremony and introduced the speeches of the official representatives:

  Mr. Dimitri Oudin, Deputy Mayor of the city of Reims in charge of international Events;

  Mrs. Patricia Durin, Vice President in charge of higher education, Communauté urbaine du Grand Reims;

  Mrs. Mounya Taggae, Deputy Mayor in charge of student life, Communauté urbaine du Grand Reims;

  Pr. Fjodor Sergejev, Dean of the School of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech);

  Mrs. Marine Godaux, Director of European & International Relations, AgroParisTech;

  Pr. Christophe Clément, Vice President for Research, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.

The impacts of welcoming such a diversity of excellent students in Reims were underlined. Indeed, welcoming international students is a priority of Reims, and the anchoring of Bioceb in the region contributes to its reputation as territory of innovation in the field of Bioeconomy. A special thank was given to Pr. Stéphanie Baumberger, Bioceb coordinator, for her ambition and her dedication in the Bioceb project, which materialised with the launching of the first intake in September 2020 despite the covid-19 crisis.

The successive project managers, Chiara Penon, Adam Garnell and Jeanne Beyrand were also thanked for the implementation and follow-up of the project.

After the speeches, the graduate students were called on stage by study-tracks:
  Track 1: Bioproducts, green chemistry, biomass engineering (URCA, TalTech, AgroParisTech)
  Track 2: Bioproducts, green chemistry, bioprocesses (URCA, TalTech, ULiège)
  Track 3: Bioproducts, green chemistry, materials, polymers (URCA, TalTech, Aalto)
  Track 4: Agro-resources, value-chain assessment, bioprocesses (URCA, AgroParisTech, ULiège)
  Track 5: Agro-resources, value-chain assessment, materials, polymers (URCA, AgroParisTech, Aalto)

The study-tracks are major structuring elements of Bioceb which ensure the pedagogical consistency of the students’ curricula and contribute to the jointness of the consortium. The students choose their study track when they apply to the Bioceb programme and spend all the three first semesters with the classmates of the same track, which settles strong links between them.

Jaan Kers, Yevgen Karpichev for TalTech, Anja Hänninen for Aalto and Aurore Richel for ULiège delivered short speeches while welcoming the students on stage.

For each track, a speech was made by the students, who shared with the audience their experience of the past 2 years.

  Track 1: Maria AGATHI, Amanda AMADOR-PRACHE, Ivan CITAKOVIC, Elena LÓPEZ RODRÍGUEZ, Esteban LÓPEZ TAVERA, Felipe MEJIA Otalvaro, Tommaso TAGLIANI, Berihu Gebretsadkan TEKLU

  Track 2: Khaled AL-SHWAFY, Mearg Alem AREGAWI, Muhammad Siddiq TARIQ, Adithya Raveendran THOTTATHIL, Veshal VENKAT

  Track 3: Mohammadhossein HAVAEI, Hadiqa JAVAID, Yasmini PORTES ABRAHAM SILVA, Jialin SHE

  Track 4: Pranita Shankar Rao DASI, Diana Maria GARCIA VALENCIA, Tommaso GRASSI

  Track 5: Juan Diego CARVAJALINO OLAVE, Amna GUL

The students received their diplomas and/or official documents from the consortium.

Each successful Bioceb student obtain a triple degree composed of the National Master Degree certificate of each university of his/her track:
 Master in Integrative Biology and Physiology (IBP), study track Biomass Engineering for Bioeconomy (BEB), delivered by the Université Paris-Saclay (UPSaclay), operated by AgroParisTech;
 Master of Science (Technology), delivered by the Aalto University;
 Master of Science in Engineering, delivered by Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Estonia;
 Master: Bioingénieur en chimie et bioindustries, à finalité (Master in Bioengineering: Chemistry and Bio-industries), delivered by the University of Liège (ULiège);
 Master in Biology AgroSciences (BAS), delivered by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA).

After this solemn and emotional sequence, everyone could enjoy a cocktail, while attending a musical entertainment played by the local band “Les vieux des boules”. It was a festive moment during which guests from all over the world, students, and teachers, enjoyed themselves, danced and tasted local drinks together! All the participants were happy and moved by the beautiful ceremony.

Video of the Graduation Ceremony:

Saturday 3rd September: Green Line Project pitch session, science popularization - Châlons-en-Champagne Fair

On September 3rd, the students from intake 1 and intake 3 had the opportunity to visit the Châlons-en-Champagne Agricultural Fair, and especially the Bioeconomy village.

The Châlons-en-Champagne Agriculture Fair is the second largest agriculture event in France and a strategic event for URCA and the Champagne-Ardenne Region. Furthermore, this year for the first time, a Bioeconomy village was held within the Fair, co-organised by URCA, the Grand Est Region and the Wallonia Region (Belgium).

All along the first 3 semesters of their track, the students carry-out in groups a joint transversal project in the framework of the “Green Line project” (GLP) module. Each group’s project corresponds to a research and innovation topic proposed by the Consortium and in some case by associated partners.

The jury was composed of:
  Caroline Rémond: Professor in Biotechnology, Bioceb local coordinator, University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne;
  Franck Mode: Bioeconomy and research project manager, Communauté urbaine du Grand Reims, Representative of Bioceconomy For Change;
  Stéphanie Clément: Head of Communication, Bioeconomy For Change;
  Sandra Domenek: Professor, AgroParisTech ;
  Yevgen Karpichev: Senior Researcher, TalTech University.

The students had the chance to count in the audience several guests of honors:
  Mrs. Hélène Lacroix, Head of development AEBB Center (Center of research in agrosciences, environement, biotechnology and bioeconomy);
  Mr. Christophe Clément, Reasearch Vice-Président in URCA;
  Mr. Essaid Ait-Barka, Deputy Vice President of international relations in URCA;
  Mr. Laurent Buisson, Dean and Executive Director of AgroParisTech;
  Mr. Florent Allais, Director of URD ABI, AgroParisTech.

The presented projects were:

 GLP1 - Interaction between biomass selection and pretreatment for the production of value-added substances or energy;
Co-supervised by AgroParisTech, URCA, TalTech, and ULiège;
Presented Ivan CITAKOVIC.

 GLP2 - From lignin originating (poly-)phenols extracted by bio-based solvents towards eco-friendly solutions for plant health;
Co-supervised by AgroParisTech and TalTech;
Presented by Amanda AMADOR-PRACHE and Elena LÓPEZ RODRÍGUEZ

 GLP3 - Valuation of lignin through green processes towards active ingredients of kerosene;
Co-supervised by ULiège, URCA and TalTech;
Presented by Adithya Raveendran THOTTATHIL.

 GLP 4 - Reactive extrusion for transesterification of cellulose in ionic liquids
Co-supervised by AgroParisTech, TalTech and Aalto;
Presented by Yasmini PORTES ABRAHAM SILVA.

The first prize was awarded to GLP 2 with the jury’s comment “We appreciated the very original idea of using phenolic extracts for plant health and the very lively presentation of the pitch showing enthusiasm of the graduates and technological understanding.”

GLP 3 and 4 were both awarded the second prize with the jury’s comment “We appreciated the originality of the uses of lignin in energetic applications and the high technical level of the presentation.”

GLP 1 received the third prize with the jury’s comment “We appreciated the high scientific quality of the project and the detailed presentation.”

The pitch session was also the opportunity for the students to meet actors of the Bioeconomy industry, and for the Bioceb programme to be better known in the Reims region and in the Bioeconomy sector.
Many thanks to all the persons involved in the first Graduation Days!

More pictures of the Graduation Days here (pictures of the Graduation Ceremony by Feng Shang Hatat).

- Updated September 2023 -