E-CirP: Implementing digital services in teaching

Helsinki meeting VR
© e-CirP project consortium
Helsinki meeting 2019 a-c: The consortium tests the possibilities of using virtual reality in teaching.

If the transformation towards a sustainable economy is to succeed, it is essential that circular economy aspects are integrated into product design and optimization. However, companies often lack the necessary expertise to modify the design of their products accordingly in their business operations. The e-CirP project (Embedding Circular Economy into Product Design and Optimization) aims to close this gap: master students across Europe are learning how to integrate the principles of a closed-loop economy into product design by analyzing real industrial cases. Modern teaching concepts, such as virtual reality or flipped classroom learning, are being used. Companies and students - the specialists of tomorrow - are thus brought together at an early stage and a modular training package is developed.

Project goals

Aimed at engineering students, the e-CirP project provides an interactive educational, networking, and knowledge-sharing opportunity that implements a wide range of online teaching services. This will be successively extended and further developed. A particularly ambitious part of the project is to integrate mixed reality technologies into teaching concepts, such as the use of virtual reality models to examine case studies or the virtual implementation of negotiation scenarios.

Furthermore, the project aims to give companies the chance to have current and pressing challenges - e.g. concerning product design, life cycle sustainability or circularity - investigated by master students under the guidance of experts. It thus brings together stakeholders in the European Union and accelerates the transformation of educational services and the economy.

Current project status

Digital teaching services already complement face-to-face courses and currently ensure the continuation of teaching operations. In the future, these can be further extended to improve educational cooperation at European level. The teaching materials developed in the e-CirP project represent an important building block for this. In a trial run, the newly designed teaching units have already been integrated into lectures and supplemented by further educational services for the participating students. In the future, the students will have the opportunity to collaborate internationally within the project framework. The developed teaching services and knowledge platforms will also give students online access to relevant teaching materials. They also benefit from educational coaching sessions held regularly by experts from the University of Helsinki with all partners. The coaching ensures that knowledge transfer is shaped according to the latest research results in the teaching field. Through the integration of feedback loops, work is continuously being undertaken to further develop the range of teaching services.

Fraunhofer IBP is implementing the results of this project, among other things, in the “Sustainability in Engineering Sciences” course at the University of Stuttgart. The first learning videos have already been prepared for this. You can gain an insight into them below:


Example of an educational video produced by Fraunhofer IBP.

Project partners

The consortium extends throughout the whole of Europe: The project is led by the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT, Finland). In addition to Fraunhofer IBP, partners include the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), TU Delft (Netherlands), the University of Padua (Italy), the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the company Outotec.

Funded by EIT RawMaterials
© EIT RawMaterials
The project is funded by EIT RawMaterials.
Science Corner Helsinki
© e-CirP project consortium
Presentation in Science Corner Helsinki: Project presentation in the so-called "Science Corner" of the University of Helsinki.
Coaching Session Helsinki
© e-CirP project consortium
Helsinki meeting 2019 a-c: Experts from the University of Helsinki hold educational coaching sessions regularly with all partners.
Helsinki 2019
© e-CirP project consortium
Helsinki meeting 2019 a-c: The consortium tests the possibilities of using virtual reality in teaching.