1 Technical University of Denmark (DENMARK)
2 Aalto University (FINLAND)
3 Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 291-299
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0124
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
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 5 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 a 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. This paper presents the process of the curriculum design, experiences and challenges from the design process, how to attract students to a new programme and the first students’ feedback for this joint master programme.
Joint degree, civil engineering, marine technology, electrical engineering, remote sensing, Arctic.