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The world is becoming increasingly aware of the urgency of resolving the many issues associated with global energy consumption. It also seeks to address the threat of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Dealing with both of these crucial issues will require fundamental innovations effecting the world´s energy landscape.
The generation of energy from sustainable sources will be essential, especially when considering the determination in developed societies to maintain a high standard of living, and the aspirations in developing societies to adopt the energy-intensive lifestyles now prevalent in the developed world.
Securing a sustainable energy future for all
Securing a sustainable energy future implies an energy revolution. A revolution that will require a new generation of specialised engineers and researchers capable of developing, optimising and integrating sustainable energy sources including solar power, wind power and energy from biomass. Research is also required on innovative batteries and the potential to exploit hydrogen as an energy source. New technologies need to be integrated into existing socio-technological networks, and research is required into new forms of energy distribution, new energy market structures and new means of intelligently satisfying the energy needs of complex modern societies.
Energy technology at three universities
TU Delft´s unique MSc Programme in Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) aims to give engineers broad knowledge in the field of energy technology. To achieve this goal a modern, flexible curriculum is offered. The programme is offered by the 3TU Federation, a consortium of the three universities of technology in the Netherlands: Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Twente.
Sustainable Energy Technology - Career prospects
Because of current trends in the energy sector, future engineers will need more than just solid technical knowledge. Engineers must have insight, for example, into institutional economies and innovation and transformation processes. They must also be prepared to deal with the impact on technology and society that result from the introduction of sustainable energy technologies into our energy infrastructure.
Accordingly, sustainable energy technology engineers are highly sought after in the energy sector and closely related sectors. Furthermore, the internationally supported 'Clean Development Mechanism' opens up wide-ranging opportunities in developing countries. International organisations, local governments and energy companies are looking for engineers who can exploit local renewable sources to produce energy for the international market.
The two-year programme consists of 120 ECTS credit points, 24 of which are reserved for electives. There are two kinds: compulsory and free. Compulsory electives are those modules at programme start that ensure all students achieve the same level of starting knowledge. Free elective courses are reserved to deepen knowledge on a student´s graduation theme. Students will discuss electives with their graduation project supervisor.
During the first year, much of the curriculum consists of lecture courses introducing key concepts, like renewable energy, flow and transport phenomena or `Smart Energy Products´ . Several of the courses also include a practical in which acquired knowledge is applied.
Students may also supplement their basic knowledge with electives in specialisation subjects such as energy from biomass, solar energy, wind energy, hydrogen or electrical power engineering.
Interdisciplinary co-operation is a major goal, especially in the first (group) project. During the second semester, students follow more advanced courses in their particular fields of interest and have opportunities to work on projects organised in close co-operation with industry. In these projects both the system approach and the typical engineering and social science approaches to scientific research are used. Students also work on individual research projects.
The focus during the second year is on research and design. Elective courses make it possible to acquire in-depth knowledge relevant to the graduation project.
Students complete their programme with a graduation project, working for a period equivalent to 32 full-time weeks within one of the research groups involved in Sustainable Energy Technology. Students may choose their final project from one of the six specialisations at any of the 3 TUs.
Examples of graduation projects include:
* Energy storage and conversion
* Solar cells with quantum dots and nanotubes
* Gas cleaning & upgrading unit related to fuel cell research
* Energy saving technologies in households and changing user practices
* Operation of semi-autonomous power grids
* Wind turbine design
Students can choose from one of the six specialisations:
Energy from Biomass
Biomass is considered one of the key resources for an energy system based on renewable sources. This specialisation deals with topics like global warming and biomass, conversion processes, conversion systems, and emissions. The student will get knowledge of and insight into problems of energy supply technologies based on biomass thermochemical conversion processes.
The primary focus in the Solar Energy specialisation is on solar cells - advanced semiconductor devices as a new source of energy for the 21st century, which deliver electricity directly from sunlight. The suitable semiconductor materials, device physics, and fabrication technologies for solar cells are presented. The guidelines for design of a complete solar cell system for household application are explained. The cost aspects, market development, and the application areas of solar cells are presented.
This specialisation covers the development and application of advanced technologies for wind power application. Research on wind energy is driven by the following three objectives:
* Maximising the reliability of wind turbine and wind farm operations (through development of accurate design tools);
* Minimising the loads on the structures (on both the rotors and support structure);
* Optimising the entire energy supply chain (wind, wind turbines, grid layout and onshore connection, integration into the main grid).
In the transition to a sustainable energy future, hydrogen will likely play an important role. Methods for sustainable and renewable hydrogen production include solar energy, wind power and direct photo-electrolysis of water. The social acceptance of hydrogen requires cheap, safe, lightweight and easy to handle storage of hydrogen. Light metal hydrides, large adsorption surfaces, and nanostructured materials can provide safe means of storage, but a truly practical solution has not yet been discovered. Fuel cells for electricity production from hydrogen have generated a great of interest for applications such as emission-free vehicles. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) and other fuel cell types will be discussed.
Electrical Power Engineering
This specialisation deals with topic like transformers, electric machines and power electronic devices. The behaviour of the various components in relation to the generation and transport of power in the electricity grid is also addressed in this specialisation.
Energy and Society
This specialisation deals with topics like design of innovative systems in energy and industry, economy of future energy systems, market design, policy issues, technology assessment.
Numerous scholarships are awarded to admitted students with exceptional promise and outstanding academic achievement by the university, its faculties, departments and industry partners. Consideration for these scholarships requires students to have been admitted to their MSc Programme. Make sure you submit your application as early as possible to be in time for all the scholarship deadlines. More information: