Recently many people are becoming aware of the urgency of the limited availability of fossil fuels and the threat of climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions. Both issues demand for fundamental innovations in the world's energy-landscape.
Sustainable generation of energy will play a key role in coping with both these issues, especially if the current western standard of living has to be maintained, or even expanded worldwide.
Technologies applying promising sustainable energy sources like biomass, water, wind and sunlight and new energy carriers like hydrogen need to be researched, developed, optimized and integrated into existing socio-technological networks. At the same time, the energy market, embedded in the complex modern society, is changing as a result of internationalization and liberalization. Realizing this "revolution" demands for a new generation of specialized engineers and researchers.
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MSc Sustainable Energy Technology Program Overview
The master programme Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) offers a multidisciplinary technical programme with additional subjects from social sciences, that anticipates the sketched innovations. Research groups from departments like Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Applied Sciences and Technology Management have specializations that contribute to the multidisciplinary programme. The main focus is on technology, but about one quarter of the programme addresses societal and economical aspects of innovations in energy technology.
Master of Science in SET at the 3TU
The Master's degree programme Sustainable Energy Technology is organized by the 3TU federation, the collaboration of the three Dutch technical universities: Delft University of Technology (TUD), Eindhoven University of Technology (TUe) and the University Twente (UT). A largely identical programme can be followed at any of the three locations, with subtle differences related to local specializations. Through the cooperation students can profit from the specific strengths of all the three universities in various fields of sustainable energy technology.
The course duration is two years. Each year consists of 60 EC (European Credits). To provide a sound technological basis, the programme starts with a number of basic courses such as physical transport phenomena. The acquired knowledge is applied in specialized courses in the field of ‘energy from biomass’, ‘solar energy’, ‘wind energy’, ‘hydrogen as a sustainable energy carrier’ and ‘intelligent electrical networks’. The latter courses provide the in-depth technological background and focus on principles and ongoing research and development, as well as on application of existing technology. Additional courses are provided in which the introduction of technical innovations in modern society is a central element, including societal aspects, economic mechanisms and consumer behaviour.
The acquired fundamental knowledge in the master is a primary requirement for evaluation of the different technologies and assessment of their feasibility and potential. During the first year an integrating, multi-disciplinary group-project takes place. The year is concluded by an individual integration project or external internship. In the second year, courses deepening the knowledge of specialization are offered to help students in completing their graduation project, which comprises the major part of the year.
Students can choose their MSc assignment from one of the six focus areas: ‘energy from biomass’, ‘solar energy’, ‘wind energy’, ‘hydrogen technology’, ‘electrical power engineering’ and ‘energy and society’.
A strong demand for graduate engineers from the Master’s program in Sustainable Energy Technology is expected. Developments like liberalization of the energy markets, globalization and the increasing move towards sustainability in the energy industry demand for energy specialists with more than technical knowledge alone. They also need to have an understanding of economics, policy and innovation processes.
Specialists with a broad knowledge of sustainable energy will be needed both in the energy industry and in related fields such as the supply industry, research institutes, engineering offices, consultants and government agencies.
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