Development of a joint Nordic master in cold climate engineering within the Nordic five tech alliance

Gunvor Marie Kirkelund, Jukka Tuhkuri, Knut V. Høyland

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Developments in the Arctic regions are intensifying and the industry now demands engineers who have Arctic competencies. Working as an engineer in the Arctic requires special skills, but yet no full Master’s programme in cold climate engineering has been offered in Europe. A joint Nordic master programme in Cold Climate Engineering was therefore established in collaboration between three Nordic technical universities; Aalto University in Finland, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). These universities are part of a strategic alliance, Nordic Five Tech, which was established in 2006 with the goal of utilizing the shared and complementary strengths of the universities and creating synergies, also within education in the form of joint master programmes.
    The Cold Climate Engineering students study for one year at two of the universities, having to pass 60 ECTS at each university. The programme is structured in three overall tracks: Sea (Aalto/NTNU), Land (DTU/NTNU) and Space (Aalto/DTU) using already existing courses offered by different
    departments at the universities. In Year 1, the students follow general competence and technological specialisation courses at University 1 and in Year 2, the students take one semester of technological specialisation courses and write their final Master thesis, which is co-supervised by University 1. This construction allows the students to achieve a double master’s degree.
    The three universities have their own unique teaching profiles, but individually offer a limited number of cold climate and Arctic related master courses. For the Sea and Land tracks, one or two semesters can be taken at the University Centre of Svalbard (UNIS) and for the Land track a semester at the DTU campus in Sisimiut, Greenland is compulsory. Thus, the significant strength of this programme is that the universities are joining the use of their cold climate courses, creating an MSc programme that stands out from the regular MSc programmes at the universities, as well as offering courses at Svalbard and in Greenland. The students have access to laboratory and testing facilities at the universities as well as they can conduct field work in the Baltic Sea, Svalbard and Greenland. By actually going to the Arctic and applying their skills, the students get valuable first-hand insight into working as an engineer in one of the most challenging areas of the world and being attractive candidates to companies and research institutions working in extreme climates and different cultures.
    The first students started in the autumn semester 2016, with students coming from the N5T universities, European and international universities. The students are highly motivated when starting in the MSc programme and are eager to develop their competences within Cold climate and Arctic Engineering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ICERI2017 Conference
    Publication date2017
    ISBN (Electronic)978-84-697-6957-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation - Seville, Spain
    Duration: 16 Nov 201718 Nov 2017
    Conference number: 10


    Conference10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation


    • Joint programme
    • Double degree
    • Graduate studies
    • Higher education
    • Arctic
    • Technology


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