Sustainable Energy Engineering, Msc in engineering

Academic content

PV solar panels


During the MSc specialisation in Process Engineering and Combustion Technology, you will work with energy systems based on thermal processes or combustion technologies. The programme covers thermal energy systems for heat and power, fluid mechanics and flow systems as well as offshore oil and gas systems.

The programme provides you with knowledge of how to design, analyse and simulate devices for process and combustion systems.

You will explore questions such as:

  • How to design efficient systems for thermal processes and combustion systems
  • How to optimise process parameters and  minimize operational problems in thermal systems
  • How to improve the design of cleaning systems for facilities to meet environmental demands.


The teaching takes place in an innovative, dynamic and challenging environment, through a combination of research-based courses, team-based project work, and a high degree of interaction with industrial partners.

The companies take an active part in providing project proposals for the problem-oriented project work, with real life problems to be solved by students in close cooperation with industry.

In the programme’s first two semesters, you will spend half of your study time on courses while the other half of your time will be spent doing a semester project. Each semester has an overall theme and within this theme, you conduct a semester project with your project group, where you investigate and attempt to solve a relevant issue within your field of study.

The study programmes at AAU are based on problem based learning and project work, which gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice in your semester projects, which will prepare you better for your future career.

Experiment with wind tunnel


At the Department of Energy Technology, you will find a lot of well-equipped and modern test laboratories enabling you to carry out exciting laboratory experiments. These tests will verify the theoretical analysis, which you apply during the project work.

The laboratories make it possible to perform realistic tests which enables the student to verify theoretical calculations performed for the problem investigated in the semester project. 

Read more about the laboratory facilities
Students at lecture

Semester Description


For students with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree from Aalborg University, the credit of the project work is 15 ECTS, whereas it is 10 ECTS (INTRO project) for students with a BSc degree from another university.

The projects' technical topics are identical, but students from another university have one extra small course, about Problem Based Learning (PBL), which is the primary teaching method used at Aalborg University. Furthermore, students with a BSc degree from another university also have a course in Control theory and Matlab.

The documentation of the project work is also different:

Students with a BSc degree from Aalborg University should:

  • Document the project work with a paper, a poster, a presentation at an internal conference (CES) and an appendix report - all in English.

Students with a BSc degree from another university should:

  • Document the work with a project report written in English.

See more about projects and courses on Process Engineering and Combustion Technology.


In the first semester, you and your project group work with a simple fluid flow setup. The purpose of the project is to analyse the performance of an typical engineering flow component. The component is investigated using a mix of analytical, numerical and experimental methods. The project should involve Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the component and the simulations are to be verified by laboratory experiments using advanced experimental techniques. The project is documented by a scientific article and a poster which is presented at an internal conference which is arranged by the Department of Energy Technology. 


In this semester, you will learn more about the Problem Based Learning (PBL) method applied at Aalborg University by doing project work and writing a project report about a typical engineering flow component. The component is investigated using a mix of analytical, numerical and experimental methods. Often the project will involve Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of the component and laboratory experiments to some extend with the aim to verify the simulation. The project is documented by a traditional project report.


  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Multiphase Flow (5 ECTS)
  • Fluid Mechanics and Compressible Flow (5 ECTS)
  • Probability Theory, Stochastic Processes and Applied Statistics (5 ECTS)
  • For students with a BSc degree from another university: Control Theory and MATLAB (5 ECTS)


  • Fluid Mechanical Analysis Methods (15 ECTS)
  • For  students with a BSc degree from another university: Problem Based Project organised Learning in Combustion Technology (10 ECTS)

examples of PROJECT topics

  • CFD and PIV investigation of the flow in a mixing channel
  • CFD and experimental measurements of the flow in a ceramic filter
  • Programming of a basic CFD code for a backward facing step.



In the second semester, you and your project group investigate a combustion or process system which involves aspects of either multiphase flow and/or chemical reactions.

The project should involve simulation of a combustion or process system or part thereof. Tools such as numerical optimisation, Computational Fluid Dynamics, process simulation or similar should by applied.

The project could be based on a steady state process, operational variations or transient problems arising from start-up and shut down of combustion and/or process facilities.       

The results obtained from analysis, modelling or simulations should be attempted to be verified by laboratory experiments or existing process data from a plant. 


  • Process Simulation (5 ECTS)
  • Combustion Technology and Chemical Reactors (5 ECTS)
  • Optimisation Theory and Reliability (5 ECTS)


  • Combustion and/or Process Systems (15 ECTS)

examples of PROJECT topics

  • CFD modelling of a gas-liquid cyclone for refrigeration purposes.
  • Modelling of a laminar premixed flame
  • Thermodynamic modelling of a biorefinery.

Incineration site

3rd semester

During the third semester, you have different options to earn the required 30 ECTS credits:

  • You can do a traineeship in Denmark or abroad, where you take part in the day-to-day operations in the business. During the traineeship, you will write a project about one or more of your tasks during the process
  • You can do a semester at another educational institution abroad or in Denmark
  • You can do a regular semester at AAU with elective courses and project work
  • You can begin your Master’s thesis, so your work is spread out over both your 3rd and 4th semester.

Aalborg University has collaboration agreements with universities around the world, and the programme’s research environment has a wide range of traineeship contacts.


If you opt to stay at AAU, you will choose elective courses that give you 10 ECTS and you will work on a combustion or process system, or parts thereof. The project should involve the use of advanced analysis, simulation or experimental methods.

The project should encompass a state-of-the-art analysis of the present system or process and be focused towards finding new insight into the topic.

The project can be fully based on experimental work, fully on simulation models or both. The project should be based on an on-going research project at the department or at an industrial partner. 

To practice scientific communication skills, the project’s result, or parts of it, must be published in an article written in English. This article is presented at an internal seminar.


  • Elective course (5 ECTS) *
  • Elective course (5 ECTS) *


  • Advanced Combustion and Process Systems (20 ECTS)

examples of PROJECT topics

  • Analysis, modelling and optimisation of a helical coil heat exchanger for CO2 condensation
  • CFD modelling of a sprout fired combustion plant
  • Thermodynamic modelling of a water hammer for offshore installations.

The elective courses may vary from year to year, depending on the number of students in the various specialisations, the on-going projects and the research performed at the Department of Energy Technology. Further, courses from other universities might be used as elective courses.

Analyzing data


In the fourth semester, you write your Master’s thesis, where you draw on all the knowledge, experience and skills you have acquired during your studies. Depending on your choice of topic, the thesis will be developmental work, further development, or actual research.

master’s thesis

  • Self-selected topic (30 ECTS)

examples of thesis topics

  • Process modelling of a carbon capture plant
  • CFD modelling of rope formation in a pulverized fuel burner
  • Investigation of the non-Newtonian flow of dough in a pellet press.

Students with supervisor

Read more about TRAINEESHIP and STUDYing ABROAD

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau