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SD2320 Challenge-based Railway Systems Design 7.5 credits

In the course students will be presented with a mobility challenge that can be solved with railways, and they will engage with its stakeholders in the different interactions and contradictions involved in the vehicle-infrastructure-operation system, including the interference in design requirements from the different stakeholders in both the railwayand the wider transport system.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SD2320 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Sustainability goals, railway system, transport, innovation, Design Thinking, solving open and wicked problems, interaction with stakeholders.

Intended learning outcomes

After successfully completing the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the railway system, including both the internal relationships of its different stakeholders, and its function and usefulness in the wider transport system.
  • Solve open complex challenges in the wider transport system where railway solutions are a valid mobility option.
  • Collaborate towards the sustainability goals in groups with diverse backgrounds (including stakeholders), facilitating discussions and, in turn, learning from peers.
  • Analyse and judge the optimality of solutions to sustainability-related challenges, from normative restrictions to own personal motivations.

Course disposition

The course is group-based, organized in six to seven weekly-based modules where different elements are introduced and developed. Each module starts with an introductory seminar and finishes with the consolidation of that week before next module. The modules cover:

  • Module 1 – Sustainable development goals and challenge driven projects
  • Module 2 – Stakeholders and challenge definition
  • Module 3 – Design Thinking, Empathize
  • Module 4 – Design Thinking, Define
  • Module 5 – Design Thinking, Ideate
  • Module 6 – Design Thinking, Prototype and Test
  • Module 7 – Presentation and wrap-up

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Completed degree project on Bachelor level.

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • PRO1 - Project task, 7.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

The grading scale will be Fail/Pass/Pass with Distinction.

The assessment will be based on:

  1. Technical Portfolio and Self-reflection - an individual journal where the students reflect on their own learning, from both technical aspects and more open ones.
  2. Oral presentation - a group presentation where they present their work and reflect on the multidisciplinary collaboration.
  3. Personal interview: the grading will be fine-tuned with a personal interview that intends to deepen in the analyses and answers provided in the Portfolio and Self-Reflection

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SD2320

Offered by

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Carlos Casanueva Perez (