Margareta Wihersaari. Photo: Ari Nykvist.

The Energy Technology Programme at Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa commenced in the autumn of 2011. Students graduate from the course as Masters of Technology in Chemical Engineering with energy and environmental technology as their main subject.

“We have a separate admission procedure for engineers with a Bachelor’s degree, so new engineering students cannot start the course directly; they have to apply and be admitted,” says Margareta Wihersaari, Professor in Energy Technology at Åbo Akademi University.

There is an interest among both recently graduated engineers and more experienced engineers active in working life in joining the energy technology programme. According to Wihersaari, the difference between this and many other engineering programmes at universities in Finland is its successful combination of science and applied studies, which is possible because most of the students already have a basic degree in engineering. Issues such as the energy balance in real systems are explored and the subjects studied include process control as well as process design and systems engineering.

“We focus on knowledge with a direct practical application. This is possible as our students are often directly associated with the industry,” explains Wihersaari.
“One of the advantages of contacts to the industry is that we don’t need to put much effort into finding suitable subjects for the students’ theses. They have a very clear idea of what they need to study and what they want to achieve by their studies.”