Master's programme in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure
The master's programme in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure provides students with the tools to solve future environmental problems and prepare for careers as environmental engineers. Students will increase their understanding of the properties and functions of water and ecosystems, learn how to assess the local and global environmental impact of human activities, and apply advanced methods, techniques and modelling tools to describe, quantify and solve environmental problems. The scope of the programme is international and interdisciplinary.
Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure at KTH
The programme has no tracks and there is, in general, a large degree of freedom for the students to select courses within the programme, given that the specific course prerequisites are fulfilled. The courses offered within the programme are based on a combination of theoretical and practical approaches, both in the field as well as in laboratory, using tools as GIS, different computer models and tools for decision support.
Seven different competence profiles are meant to be an advice on the choice of courses and course sequences for competitive specialisations. In each competence profile, there is an inherent progression. The different competence profiles are:
- Water Technology; water systems, hydropower, effects of climate change.
- Environmental Geotechnology; contaminated areas, environmental geology, geotechnical aspects.
- Water and Wastewater Engineering; managing our water resources (drinking water and wastewater).
- Environmental Management and Information; environmental monitoring, measurement techniques.
- Sustainable Infrastructure; managing infrastructure and natural resources in a sustainable way.
- Environmental Systems Analysis; environmental assessment, life cycle assessment.
- Sustainable Societies; social and economic mechanisms that affect sustainable development.
The programme ends with a degree project that gives students the opportunity to investigate a problem in-depth, under the supervision of experienced practitioners and researchers. The topic for the degree project should be within the scope of the programme and relate to knowledge acquired through the courses. The thesis work is carried out in Sweden or abroad, and can be oriented towards research, technological development at a company or organisation, or a combination of both.
This is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Campus in Stockholm by the School of Architecture and Built Environment (at KTH).
The programme has no tracks and there is in general a large degree of freedom for the students to select courses within the programme. Competence profiles are meant to be an advice on choice of courses and course sequences for competitive specialisations. In each competence profile there is an inherent progression.
This competence profile is intended to provide specialisation in hydraulic engineering and in surface water hydrology. It is important to note that one can become a hydraulic engineer in both this master's programme and in the master's programme Civil and Architectural Engineering. In our programme, the hydraulic engineering student will acquire advanced knowledge of hydrological processes, whereas in the other programme students are more focused on engineering mechanics. The courses in our sequence give a thorough knowledge on water and solute transport (AE2201 Environmental Dynamics - Physical Processes), hydraulics (AE2612 Hydraulic Engineering) and applied hydrology, such as urban hydrology (AE2610 Applied Hydrology). In addition to the three courses above those interested in hydraulic engineering are also recommended to take the course AF2609 Foundation Engineering, which is also included in the master's programme Civil and Architectural Engineering. However, it is important to note that only those who have passed Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering (course AF1601), or equivalent, are eligible for this course. Students who are interested in the modelling of water-related processes are recommended to take the course AE2107 Modelling of Water Systems, in which different hydrological modelling tools are introduced and used.
The competence profile in Environmental Geotechnology aims to satisfy a need in the industry, i.e. to educate civil engineers with an expertise in geology, geotechnical engineering and chemistry. These engineers can, for example, work with investigations of contaminated land. The course AE2801 Environmental Chemistry and Risk Assessment provides knowledge concerning contaminant behaviour in the environment and risk assessment of contaminated sites. The AE2401 Engineering Geology course gives detailed knowledge existing geological / geotechnical aspects and AF2609 Foundation Engineering provides a good knowledge of foundations. These three courses are largely complementary, i.e. they are more or less independent of each other. Two examples of suitable additional courses for students interested in this field are AE2104 Environmental Measuring and Monitoring, where different techniques for environmental measurements (including geophysical techniques) are presented, and AG2800 Life Cycle Assessment, which introduces a life cycle perspective on natural resources (including geological resources).
Water and Wastewater Engineering
This competence profile provides advanced knowledge in sanitary engineering including water supply. After the course AE2801 Environmental Chemistry and Risk Assessment, students take an introductory course in sanitary engineering (AE2304 Water and Wastewater Handling). The following courses provide knowledge in the production of drinking water from ground water (AL2301 Applied Hydrogeology), and purification techniques for waste water and drinking water (AE2302 Water Treatment Processes). Appropriate additional courses may, for example, be AE2612 Hydraulic Engineering Systems and AE2603 Applied Hydrology, which provide knowledge of hydraulic aspects of, e.g., sanitary sewers. Note however that the prerequisite background A is required to join these courses.
Environmental Management and Information
This competence profile, together with courses in the competence profile 6, Environmental Systems Analysis, provide skills that are of interest in connection with environmental impact assessments for infrastructure projects, urban planning, establishing remediation and monitoring programs, etc. The competence profile focuses on the collection and processing of environmental information, which is essential for environmental engineers working with environmental data. The course AE2503 Environmental Data provides theoretical and practical knowledge on environmental data collection and data processing in geographic information systems (GIS), as well as GPS. The AL2300 Natural Resources Management Tools course contains advanced data treatment and analysis by GIS and other tools, for scientific modelling as well as for decision support. AE2104 Environmental Measuring and Monitoring introduces other techniques for collecting and analysing environmental information, i.e. through surveys, field studies and monitoring as input for in-depth environmental analysis. 4
AG2143 Sustainable Rural and Urban Development deals with starting points for sustainable infrastructure based on the UN Millennium Development Goals. The course emphasises the interaction between different measures to achieve sustainable development. The AG2141 Urban Infrastructure course deepens these issues with a focus on the development of technical infrastructure. The course puts infrastructure in a socio-technical perspective, which means that the development and management of technical infrastructure is viewed in a social context. The course AE2707 Governance of Land and Water Resources is focused on how use of natural resources can be managed in the long term.
Environmental Systems Analysis
This competence profile provides students with knowledge and skills in the use of a number of important environmental assessment tools. AE2501 Environmental Impact Assessment is an established legal tool used worldwide. AE2507 Strategic Environmental Assessment concerns an internationally recognized system of procedures for strategic decisions on environmentally relevant issues. AG2800 Life Cycle Assessment is a tool used to analyse the life cycles of substances and products, primarily in industrial processes.
The competence profile Sustainable Societies address sustainability from a social perspective. In AG2142 Political Economy for Environmental Planners global and economic mechanisms are analysed that affect the process of sustainable development. AG2811 Planning for Resilience has its starting point in these questions and introduces the use of action plans / strategies to meet threats to sustainable development of societies. This knowledge is further strengthened in AG2803 Ecosystems Support and Environmental Justice, which puts action plans and strategies into concrete actions. These are evaluated from an ecological and societal perspective.
The courses in the EESI programme
The courses in the EESI programme have many more links to each other than described here. Further, they can be grouped according to their scientific content. The blue and purple fields embrace the courses that build on natural science and technology, the yellow field embraces the courses that build on social science, while the green field in the middle represents courses that are based on systems analysis, impact assessment and sustainability science, and/or has the ambition to bridge the science-policy interface in different ways.
Our society has major challenges in managing a changing climate, developing and securing good water quality, developing systems for recycling materials and nutrients, and developing renewable and environmentally smart energy solutions. The needs for environmental engineering expertise are, therefore, almost endless, and the labour market is very diverse. Students will be able to work privately and publicly – in environmental consultancies, with contractors, water- and wastewater companies or government agencies; internationally, nationally or locally.
There are also graduates from the programme who go on the doctoral studies at KTH or other universities nationally and internationally. Some examples of employers of programme graduates are SWECO, Stockholm Vatten, WSP, Swedish EPA, Tyréns, Geosigma, COWI, Vattenfall, and SIDA, as well as a number of international agencies.
Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.
Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure are:
The programme is transdisciplinary and includes both courses that build on natural science and technology as well as courses that build on social science and planning. Thus, it covers to a varying degree several of the UN SDGs. To what extent is further depending on how the students select courses in the programme (see above under Competence profiles). Courses in the Water and Wastewater Engineering profile will address goal 6 from a primarily technical point though with a combination with courses from the Sustainable Infrastructure profile will add to the student’s abilities to address the goal also from a social/planning side. Several opportunities to make combinations like this are available, based on the students preferences, and opens up for addressing the SDGs Clean Water and Sanitation; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (with an emphasize on Infrastructure) and Sustainable Cities and Communities. The combination of the selected courses in the extension will give the students the tools that leads to being able to work for example as environmental coordinators, urban water planners, geotechnical engineers or as researchers and thus to different degrees with sustainability issues and being part of solving the SDGs.
Faculty and research
The master's programme is situated at SEED (Sustainable Development, Environmental Science and Engineering) at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at KTH. The department performs research in several areas connected to sustainability for example Environmental Engineering, Environmental Modelling, Sustainability Assessment and Management, Water and Waste Management as well as Industrial Ecology.