"After completing my Bachelor studies in Civil Engineering in Belgium, I moved to Aalborg and completed the Master in Civil Engineering with a focus on Water and Environment"
"The difference from my bachelor study was quite large. I used to study and practice theoretical knowledge on my own by solving well-defined problems: there was always only one right answer.
In Aalborg however, the problems we were confronted with didn’t have a priori of a well-defined outcome. We were confronted with a problem in a group, and we got the opportunity to tackle this by applying our gained insight in our own way. This allowed us to focus on an aspect of the problem that seemed interesting, and it gave us the freedom to learn more about this aspect on our own terms.
The problems we were facing were not some artificially created problems, but they were problems that were taken directly out of the environment around us. Groundwater modelling, treatment of oil-spills or environmental problems with a fjord are much more interesting to face when you can perform your own measurements on the site itself where the problems are occurring. You get an idea of what you might work with when you finish your studies.
The combination of working and at the same time learning in groups proved to be a good background for both a job in a private engineering company, as I noticed during the cooperation with NIRAS for my Master’s thesis, and a job within a research environment, as I notice now."
Niels from Belgium is a former student at the Water and Environment programme.