Sustainable Design engineering
Do you want to transform products and systems in order to achieve greater sustainability?
Sustainable Design is a two year engineering programme focusing on design and development of sustainable solutions.
Free e-course: is this programme your match?
Since day one, we were involved with several companies through our semester projects.
Focus on The Sustainable Development Goals
The Master’s programme in Sustainable Design combines sustainable product design with tools from innovation theory and user-oriented design. Visualisation and experimentation are important strategies to develop new innovative solutions, which can overcome system dependencies and achieve sustainable system transformation in various societal sectors.
You engage in challenging design-oriented problem solving in collaboration with NGO´s, companies, public institutions and professional groups. Perhaps you design and develop future relief tents, robot vacuum cleaners or bike airbags. You can also work with rehabilitation of older, energy-efficient mobility or waste systems in cities.
The programme includes interdisciplinary components to satisfy the need for combining methods from social science and technology studies with technical subjects and design practices. You will gain the ability to understand, stage and carry out innovative processes leading to design and the implementation of sustainable products, services and socio-material system solutions through involvement of relevant actors.
Learn about the approach of Sustainable Design
Learn about visual knowledge sharing practices - a developing PBL project
The master's programme gave me the opportunity to work in teams and create new international and meaningful friendships.
The Master’s programme in Sustainable Design is a 2 year full time engineering education with special emphasis on design and innovation of sustainable solutions.
The programme includes interdisciplinary components to satisfy the need for combining methods from social science and technology studies with technical subjects and design practices. The programme will provide you with the ability to understand, stage and carry out innovative processes leading to design and the implementation of sustainable products, services and socio-material system solutions through involvement of relevant actors.
The programme’s focus on sustainability is reflecting the challenges that development, production, consumption and dismantling of technologies pose for resource utilisation and climate. It builds on the broad notion of sustainability including the environmental, the social and the economical aspect. The realisation of these societal goals implies a focus on sustainable transitions in a design perspective, which is a core activity in the programme.
I needed to combine my profile with a humanistic engineering approach where sustainability and stakeholder involvement would come into play.
Internship & study abroad
During your 3rd semester, you can choose between:
- Design Research Project
- International Design Project
- Internship in a company
- Study abroad at another university
International design project
During this project work, you learn to independently take part in collaboration with a variety of actors and organisations in an international development context. Focus is on setting project goals, managing and staging an international design project in a multicultural environment. You learn about personal responsibilities and risks for engaging in engineering work in multicultural environments.
Design research project
During this project work, you learn to independently take part in collaboration with other researchers and actors and define your own role in the work. You learn to give reflected criticism to others in terms of design work and results. In this project you gain knowledge on how to set project goals and manage a design research project. You learn, first hand, how to interact and relate with other actors in the project.
Internship in a company
If you choose to do an internship in a company, you learn to professionally engage in the planning and staging of concept driven process. You learn to collaborate with different stakeholders in design and to define your own role in terms of this.
Moreover, an internship is an excellent way of building your network for when you graduate, and it will enable you to strengthen your resume in a hands-on way.
Study at another university
A study at another university is an excellent opportunity for you to gain valuable educational, cultural and international experience, if you choose to study at an university abroad. Aalborg University has established cooperation agreements with a number of Danish and foreign universities with a special view to student exchange.
For more information about internship and study abroad please, visit the local homepage for International Office.
Admission and requirements
Working in the Sustainable Design Lab
Study life at AAU CPH
Teamwork in Design Studio
Designstudio is the creative space for students
Job and career
With a degree from ’Sustainable Design’, you will be an attractive candidate for many different positions. You can apply for a job in Denmark as well as abroad because of your interdisciplinary approach to sustainable design.
The growing global focus on sustainability, climate change and energy-efficient solutions in both private and public companies opens up many exciting career opportunities now and in the future. As an engineer in Sustainable Design, you could work as:
- Design Engineer who develop sustainable products or systems in a public or private company.
- Process Consultant who facilitates innovative processes
- Development and transition employee
- Consulting engineer
- Self-employed entrepreneur
- User Experience (UX) designer
- User Experience (UC) researcher
- Ph.d., Researcher
I work as an Innovation Strategist at Acacia – a sustainable innovation hub. Like the acacia tree, we are pioneers at heart. Conceived as a catalyst for sustainable transformation, we are an innovation hub, helping businesses tackle the greatest challenges that our planet faces.
Design engineer in public or private company
You can be employed as a design engineer who develops sustainable products and systems in a private company or services in a municipality or region.
This could be in a product development department of a large or small private company in which you are in charge of designing new product-service systems or finding and implementing exciting new technologies in products.
You can also become an employee of an innovation center that works with implementation of products to the public sector, e.g. hospitals. Here, you can help analyze processes and procedures at the hospital and involve patients and nurses in the development of new wards by facilitating idea workshops, create mock-ups and do usability tests.
Process- and innovation consultant
As a process and innovation consultant, you could be responsible for coordinating and implementing development projects, and to ensure that relevant innovation processes and development methodologies used. This could be as responsible for the integration of methods for user involvement, and their investigation and implementation of new innovation processes, for example in the development of welfare technology, sustainable systems and energy-efficient products.
You can choose to start your own business. Based on an idea or a specific development project, which you have prepared during the course of your study, you can fold out as a self-employed Entrepreneur. Maybe you will develop and sell a radical new device to measure blood sugar, or an IT-based platform that enables carpooling for commuters, or something total different.
You can also become an independent consultant and sell your specialised knowledge on sustainable systems and energy-efficient products as consultancy to companies. Sometimes it is possible to find one or more former fellow students or friends who will join you and you can start a business together.
As a consulting engineer, you work as a consultant, typically for a large consulting company. You will be sent out to the customers in teams of consultants to various project assignments.
Project tasks can vary widely and include both technical, socio-technical and business aspects. You could be included in projects around the implementation of new IT systems or mapping, restructuring and streamlining of work processes. You could be working with infrastructure related to the extension of the metro in Copenhagen, or to help a business to make their production more sustainable.
Development and transition employee
As a development and transition employee, you will usually be employed in a large company, where you - as part of a team – help the organisation become more innovative and efficient in order to develop better products and systems faster, cheaper and in a more sustainable way.
This could be through the implementation of "open innovation", where you ensure that multiple users are involved in the development process. It may also involve implementation of new work flow processes and development methodologies.
With a Master's degree in Sustainable Design, you have the opportunity to apply for a Ph.D position either at Aaloborg University or at other Danish or international universities.
As a PhD-employed, you will get to work with a specific research project and cooperate with internal and external partners. You will receive ongoing guidance from your supervisor, go on study trips abroad and you will also in limited extent be part of the teaching of students, so that your new research also anchored in the education of new Sustainable Design Engineers.
Your PhD project can also be done as a business Ph.D. in collaboration with a company where you work with the company while you do your Ph.D. project.
User experince designer/researcher
As a UX design or researcher you will work in private companies with user insight. In such a position, you study user practices related to a product or service to be designed. These insights are then analysed and translated into design requirements to be worked with by other engineers in the company. The UX designer/researcher facilitates co-creation processes among a variety of stakeholders.
Increased focus on UX is a tendency among a large part of Danish and international companies.
Meet graduates - Sustainable Design engineers
Get help at AAU to start your career in Denmark
AAU Career helps you on your way from student life to job life in Denmark by giving you the tools to examine your options and find out what to do.
While studying at AAU, you can participate in career and job-related events, find help on our website, and book a personal career counselling session to talk about e.g.:
- Finding your way in your career
- Danish working culture
- Application and CV the Danish way
- What you can offer an employer
- How to go about job search in Denmark – both student job, internship and full-time job
A. C. Meyers Vænge 15
2450 København SV - DK