The joint master's programme in Energy for Smart Cities (SMCS) gives you a broad education in electrical and mechanical energy systems. It enables you to refine your knowledge of the electrical, thermo-mechanical and technical-economic aspects of the energy industry, and to participate fully in the design and operation of advanced energy solutions. Your technological and engineering studies are combined with knowledge of socio-economic and environmental aspect of smart cities, such as energy efficiency in buildings, electric transportation, energy economics, smart lighting, and other urban services.

You will learn how to construct and employ contemporary energy-conversion technologies and secure energy supply, while taking into account the technical limitations, environmental consequences and economic considerations of new energy technologies and systems. Throughout your studies, you will consider the impacts of changing energy systems on the end users of the electrical value chain: people, businesses, and the city itself.

Year 1

For the first year of the MSc Energy for Smart Cities programme, you can choose to attend either KU Leuven or KTH: Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In your first year, you will combine electrical and mechanical engineering courses with energy-related socio-economic subjects.

Year 2

In the second year, you choose to attend either KU Leuven, KTH, INP: Grenoble Institute of Technology, or UPC: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech. You will have the opportunity to take general, broadening and option-specific elective courses that enable you to specialise in areas that interest you most.

The choice of courses in the second year will determine which university you attend.

Please note: you must attend a different university in each year of study. This means you may not spend both years at KTH or both years at KU Leuven.

The Innovation Journey

The Innovation Journey is a critical element of the MSc Energy for Smart Cities programme that runs over the two years of study. During the innovation journey you will work in teams on a real-world challenge set by one of our start-up or industrial partners, using Systematic Inventive Thinking® (SIT) tools to prompt innovative thinking and manage its implementation. The end goal of the innovation journey is to create a feasible prototype that can be developed for market.

There are three milestones on the innovation journey, each consisting of a one-week course in a different European city:

  • Smart cities week, Barcelona: At the beginning of smart cities week, our partner companies present students with a number of real-world innovation-related challenges. In a group with fellow students, you analyse the challenges using SIT tools, develop a proposal and present it to your colleagues. During smart cities week, you will gain new insights into innovation methodologies, the link between business and innovation strategy, rapid prototyping, effective communication, and future trends among start-ups working in the field of smart cities. Smart cities week coincides with the annual Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
  • BIZ boot camp, Leuven: At the BIZ boot camp you will work on the business model for your proposed prototype. The BIZ boot camp helps you understand the value creation process, and equips you with creativity and brainstorming techniques, market research, business creation and modelling methodologies, as well as intellectual property (IP) tools needed to bring innovation successfully to market.
  • Entrepreneurship summer school, Amsterdam: During the week-long entrepreneurship school in Amsterdam, you will focus on innovation methodologies and apply the finishing touches to your prototype, before presenting it to peers and industry experts using storytelling and elevator-pitch techniques.

Master’s thesis

During your second year, you will also undertake a research project on electrical or thermo-mechanical energy, or on one of energy’s technical-economic aspects for your Master’s thesis. During your thesis you will learn to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme. Each year, the programme directors and the directors of InnoEnergy Benelux award a prize for the best thesis on innovation and the best on entrepreneurship.

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