Research

Sustainable Cities, MSc in Engineering

Meet Signe Boelsmand

Meet Signe Boelsmand

Signe has studied Sustainable Cities. Find out more about her view on the programme here.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO STUDY SUSTAINABLE CITIES?

I chose to study Sustainable Cities at Aalborg University because I wanted a broader understanding of how to incorporate sustainability in all aspects of planning. I have always been very curious on a lot of different topics regarding cityplanning but it was important for me to see the interrelatedness between these topics. That is what Sustainable Cities provided. The combination between transport, water, energy, waste and buildings and the ability to see all of this as a part of a system that can be transformed.

I also chose to study my master at Aalborg University Copenhagen because internships where a central part of the study. I have a bachelor in Geography and Geoinformatics from Copenhagen University, which I loved, but the opportunity to take an internship there was not very good. So I decided to take my master at Aalborg University.

HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE YOUR STUDY TIME AT THE UNIVERSITY?

I had a great experience studying at Aalborg University. My classmates where nice, and it was fun to have so many international students as study partners. It gave another dimension to the classes.

Coming from another university I had to get use to the amount of time used on group projects. Looking back, it was time well spend. It gave us the opportunity to put theory into practice.

Furthermore, Aalborg University supported two of my field trips related to a semester project and my master thesis. Field trips, that really shaped the projects and gave me a lot of experience and knowledge within the field of water.

DID YOU DO AN INTERNSHIP?  IF SO, WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT? AND WHERE?

Yes, I did an internship at Rambøll in their department of Climate adaptation and Blue-green infrastructure. It was a great experience for me as I got to experience how a consultant company works and how it was to have a full-time job. I had very different tasks while I was there and would definitely recommend an internship if you are interested in consultant companies. I did however end up proposing a more structured plan for their interns.

The internship led to a part-time-job while I did my masters.

WHAT SKILLS FROM YOUR EDUCATION CAN YOU USE IN YOUR PRESENT JOB?

I wrote almost all of my projects about climate adaptation and the water sector. All of that has given me knowledge that I use in my present job. I have also learned to see climate adaptation as a part of a sustainable transition, which I can especially thank my thesis supervisor for.

Sustainable Cities had a prior focus on energy and transport, however being able to understand the different systems (structural, political and natural) in the sectors have given me an ability to see my ‘own field’ in a more holistic way.

The knowledge I got from the semester projects and my master thesis are definitely a big part of why I have a job today. After my master thesis I worked seven months as a research assistant at the university, which strengthened my knowledge within climate adaptation even more and gave me the opportunity to get the job I have today.

IF YOU were  TO HIGHLIGHT PROJECTS YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN – WHICH WOULD THAT BE?

In my job as a process consultant in the network KLIKOVAND I have worked with a variety of different projects within the water-field. I especially enjoyed an innovation project where we tried to use Augmented Reality technology to visualize raingardens. We have created a demo-app that is meant to help in the communication between municipalities or consultants and citizens.

Another project I have been involved in was a process together with Dansk Byplanlab and Teknologirådet where we tried to establish some common data and cooperation between the different municipalities and utilities around Værebro Å (a river at Zealand).