This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 3 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Why Smart Cities and Engineers are a Perfect Fit

The global market for smart cities is projected to skyrocket to US$1.2 trillion by the year 2020, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts, Inc. The potential benefits of smart cities are many, including higher quality of life, more equitable opportunities for all; unparalleled social, environmental and economic growth; increased participation from smart citizens; massive consumption reductions in both energy and water; and enhanced interconnectivity, communication and response, including during natural and manmade calamities.

All of which begs the question: What, exactly, is a smart city? In setting out to answer this question, The Pew Charitable Trusts ultimately came up with the following conclusion: It depends on who you ask.

Brooks Rainwater of the National League of Cities told Pew, “The concept of a smart city is somewhat amorphous, but it’s focused on cities leading with technological innovation,” while Jesse Berst of the Smart Cities Council said, ““It’s just using digital technology to improve community life.” Kansas City’s innovation analyst Kate Garman summed it up as “a paradigm shift in the way we think.”

The Hindu Times, meanwhile, offers the following, more specific definition: “A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability. It is a city where information technology is the principal infrastructure and the basis for providing essential services to residents. There are many technological platforms involved, including but not limited to automated sensor networks and data centres.”

While the definition may be somewhat slippery, we can all agree that smart cities do share some common characteristics, with mobility and connectivity at their core. But these bedrocks of smart cities ultimately serve a higher purpose: the wellbeing of inhabitants.

In discussing smart city features which not only make our environments more efficient, but also safer, friendlier and cleaner, David Perry, Director of Development and International Affairs at Lille, France’s HEI: Hautes Etudes d’Ingénieur, told Masterstudies, “We need to find solutions to what 20th century urbanism has left out, that is urban life metabolism and the flows that connect us to nature. What we take in, what we give off — circular economies.”

Where Are the Smart Cities?

Smart cities may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the truth is that they’re alive and well all over the world. When asked to name a few of the globe’s smart cities, Perry rolled off an impressive list: “To name just a few prominent examples which demonstrate the variety of Smart Cities worldwide, we could mention: Digital Greenwich and London, England; Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba in Brazil; Paris and Lille in France; Yangon and Mandalay in Myanmarand Thessaloniki, Greece.” He continued, “There are many more. Barcelona, Amsterdam, Marrakech and others on all continents. Let’s not forget the great cities of Mumbai, Singapore and Jakarta or the cities of Mexico City and New York.

In this breadth and depth or examples of urban development and connectivity, lies the “nature and attraction of smart cities,” according to Perry.

Investing in the tremendous potential of smart cities is imperative, says smart city and IT Expert Vasco Gonçalves, CEO of consulting agency SDNC sàrl, who recently called for The European Union Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to commit to investing in “experimental city and make all the data available for free to European industries, universities and the rest of the world, or for a little fee, so that everybody, including small businesses, have a chance to participate.”

How Do You Fit In?

Universities — and engineers, in particular — are stepping up as leaders in the shift to smart cities. Take the five-year-old SunRise smart city project out of Lille University’s Civil Engineering and Geo-Environment Laboratory (LGCgE). This large-scale experiment involves the building of a model smart city where a team of engineers could undertaking planning and testing while gathering data toward creating the true embodiment of the concept with optimal resilience and sustainability at the forefront.

Of course, smart cities don’t happen on their own. A vital part of the equation? Smart people with ICT knowledge to innovate and implement the technology. If you’re looking to become a leading contributor in the field, a Master of Science and Engineering (MSE) in Smart Cities from HEI can help you gain the training you need to succeed.

Not only does HEI’s prime Lille location offer first-hand experience with smart living, but it also boasts numerous other benefits for aspiring engineers in this field, including plenty of opportunities for practical experience thanks to internships and a future-oriented curriculum.

One of the program’s most noteworthy features, says Perry? It’s student-oriented approach. He said, ““We are concerned about the future for us, our students’ careers and our Industrial stakeholders. We have been for 130 years. Our graduates are successful in their chosen professions, globally oriented, Multicultural and multilingual world citizens who easily adapt to their respective career environments.”

Smart cities aren’t without their share of challenges pertaining to everything from scalability to security. With training and tools from HEI, however, engineering grads are uniquely positioned to play a key role in transforming these obstacles into something else: opportunities.

Do You Have a Future in Hurricane Disasters Prevention?

 What are Atmospheric Sciences?

NASA defines atmospheric science as “the study of the physics and chemistry of clouds, gases, and aerosols (airborne particles) that surround the planetary bodies of the solar system.” It comprises a number of specialties, including climatology; dynamic meteorology; cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry; atmospheric physics; aeronomy; and oceanography.

Graduates with degrees in atmospheric sciences can be found working in a broad range of environments, including for the government, private weather services, the media, commercial airlines, state governments, colleges and universities, public utility companies, consulting firms, and aircraft and instrument manufacturing companies across areas comprising field research, laboratory studies, and computer analysis and modeling.

Why Atmospheric Sciences Matter

Barring the opinions of climate change disbelievers, hard science tells us that climate change is not only very real, but it’s packing a wallop in the form of extreme and unprecedented weather.

Explains Dr. Antti Lauri, Programme Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Master’s Programme at Finland’s University of Helsinki, “Hurricanes get their energy from condensation of water vapor over warm tropical oceans. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases act to warm the atmosphere and the oceans. This leads to larger evaporation from the ocean and stronger condensation of water vapor in the atmosphere. Therefore, in suitable conditions, hurricanes can grow more intense, with stronger winds and more precipitation.”

As a result, there is a critical need for experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and earth system. And as knowledge continues to expand and as new regulations and directives are implemented, people who understand this complex issue from a scientific point of view will be tasked with navigating the challenges ahead.

What, specifically, can atmospheric studies do to mitigate hurricane disasters? Continues Lauri, “In the short term, the simplest way is to discourage building in areas most prone to hurricane disasters. It is of course also possible to adapt by building stronger structures, introducing new alarm systems based on more accurate scientific results about the forming and evolution of hurricanes, and ultimately by introducing climate engineering methods such as injecting cooling sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere.”

As far as the long-term goal of preventing stronger and more threatening hurricanes from developing, Lauri calls for a strong decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, which can be achieved through strategies including the use of renewable sources in energy production and afforestation.

Be at the Forefront of Hurricane Disaster Prevention….in Finland?

Finland may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of hurricanes, but the University of Helsinki is not only home to a national center of excellence in the field of atmospheric sciences, but also plays host to global experts in the field.  Students in the program are exposed to word-class teaching and cutting-edge research while also having the unique opportunity to collaborate with dozens of research groups from around the world.

Equally as important, insists Lauri, is the programme’s multidisciplinary approach across physics, chemistry, meteorology, geophysics of the hydrosphere, and biology. “Our master’s programme in atmospheric sciences focuses in the holistic understanding of the earth system,” he says. “We work on different levels, from sub-atomic processes to understand the chemical reactions in the atmosphere to models describing the whole earth system.”

Still wondering why you’d undertake tropically related studies in a decided non-tropical location like Finland? You don’t have to live in a hurricane-impacted area to understand these storms and to play a role in defending the earth and its people from their devastation they cause. Explains Lauri, “Hurricanes obey the same physical laws as other meteorological phenomenal. We teach meteorology and convection on a level, which allows the student to concentrate on different phenomena related to convection, such as a hurricane.”

Why (and Where) You Should Do a Multidisciplinary Master’s Degree

 “The knowledge economy requires an adept workforce and cadre of leaders to help address the many challenges and needs facing companies, governments and societies worldwide,” according to a recent piece published in the academic journal, Palgrave Communications: “Many of the challenges we face today are new and there will undoubtedly be others arising in the future that will require innovative approaches and solutions to overcome them. No longer are higher education institutions able to train graduates to address all of the current and emerging challenges from a singular disciplinary source.”

Enter multidisciplinary studies. Rather than teaching students to look at a problem within one intensive yet narrow context, this growing field encourages them to draw on a broad range of sources and subject matter. Explains thePalgrave Communications article, “Higher education disciplinary approaches often tend to focus only on a set of trees within a great forest. While disciplinary experts are essential for understanding particular ways of knowing within specific fields of study, their perspectives in addressing larger and more complex issues is often limited.”

In other words, the ability to solve complex problems ultimately relies not on extensive knowledge of a single focus area, but on the ability to apply critical thinking skills to make connections, synthesize different perspectives, and acquire new knowledge — all toward supporting the development of invaluable holistic perspectives. After all, what good is a solution if, in its lack of a broader context, it only creates new problems elsewhere? In giving students the freedom to roam outside the conventional constraints of a single discipline while tailoring their own degree programs to meet their academic visions, multidisciplinary programs open new doors (and windows) for today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders to devise new, comprehensive and lasting opportunities.

And contrary to common misconception, multidisciplinary studies aren’t just for students who don’t know what to study. Rather, a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies can expand a student’s potential both within a specific area and also in terms of transferring that knowledge in the most meaningful and impactful ways (Note: if you aren’t yet sure of your career objectives, meanwhile, multidisciplinary studies can play a vital role in helping you narrow down your options).

An added benefit of allowing students to create and follow their own paths? They also develop a vested interest in their studies and are therefore more highly motivated.

Why Choose Multidisciplinary Studies at Hanze University?

Hanze University of Applied Sciences (Hanze UAS) in Groningen, the Netherlands sets the standard when it comes to multidisciplinary studies thanks to nine internationally recognized Master’s programs in business, communication, art,music and engineering.

For example, the aim of Hanze UAS’s European Master in Renewable Energy is to develop professionals capable of filling the gap between the growing industry demand for specialized renewable energy expertise and the skills currently available on the job market. An urgent demand also exists for trained staff specializing in renewable energy technology. Therefore the European Master in Sustainable Energy System Management’s focuses on the business aspect of energy transition and also offers an interesting career perspective.

The Master in Sensor System Engineering, meanwhile, prepares students for bright futures in the world of sensor technology, a subject area that is rapidly growing and which will provide all kinds of interesting career opportunities for ambitious engineers.

Lastly, the Master in International Business & Management offers a double degree with our partner university in Cambridge and has a unique boardroom concept that prepares students for complex decision making in a dynamic international business environment. (Interested in where the Master in International Communication will lead you? Watch this video to find out in which parts of the world some of our alumni have ended up.)

What do all of these programs share in common? They aren’t just focused on educating students, but also on cultivating tomorrow-ready leaders. With society facing more challenges than ever due to the increasing rate of globalization and digitalization, the demand for multidisciplinary teams of flexible and innovative experts in their fields is growing. Hanze UAS trains students to see issues and problems in their rightful context and from there to transform them into opportunities. Its Master’s programs build on the knowledge and abilities students have acquired during their undergraduate studies and encourage them to deepen their understanding within their areas of expertise while linking this knowledge to other relevant areas.

An added benefit of choosing Hanze UAS? Groningen is the place to be for students. A dynamic, innovative, thought leader in areas such as culture and technology, Groningen was recently crowned “Best Student City of the Netherlands 2016” by Dutch news magazine Elsevier and research firm ResearchNed. This vibrant city scored highest on measures of cultural hotspots, nightlife and restaurants, and relative student population.

In fact, what truly sets Groningen apart from other cities in the Netherlands is its low average age. Almost 25 percent of its 200,000 citizens are students! The 40,000 students who call Groningen home during their studies at the University of Groningen and Hanze UAS bring the city to life. The two universities also share facilities and collaborate — meaning exponentially larger opportunities for students at both schools. The takeaway? Choosing Groningen means choosing the best student experience you can get!

What Foreign Language Should You Study?

 1. The goal: You want to do business throughout the world.

    The language: Mandarin

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg garnered major attention when he revealed that he was learning Mandarin. While it’s hardly surprising given that his wife is Chinese, the reality is that the China is a great economic power, and the Chinese market is full of opportunities.

While many Chinese business people are accustomed to the Western way of doing business, most of their foreign partners are woefully inept. The takeaway? Those who do step up and learn the language are certain to distinguish themselves. Explains FluentU, “What happens when we, as Western professionals doing business in China and with Chinese, step out of that line of thinking and make genuine efforts to understand the language, the culture and the business environment of our Chinese counterparts? Almost without exception, they are unbelievably appreciative of those efforts.”

And while experts say that it’s unlikely that Mandarin will displace English anytime soon as the preferred language for global business communication, it’s also true that China — and Mandarin, by proxy — will be increasingly present on the global stage moving forward. Because of this, the British Council has included Mandarin on its ranking of most important languages for the UK’s future.

2. The goal: You want to do business or study in Europe.

    The language: German

Switzerland, Austria and Germany are all power players in the European marketplace. What do they all share? The German language. In fact, because of the massive number of native speakers of German throughout Europe, it has the distinction of being the EU’s most spoken language.

Germany is not only the world’s largest exporter of goods, but it’s also the US’s largest European trading partner. That makes it a smart language to learn for those in the business sector.

But German is also useful for academics due to its status as an important scientific language. In fact, 40 percent of US scientists recommend the study of German, while this figure spikes to more than 70 percent in Poland and Hungary,according to the Goethe-Institut New York, which declares German to be “the ticket to a successful scientific and scholarly exchange.” Even internet searching is easier if you know German. Why? Because it’s the second most common language on the internet.

With Brexit looming, meanwhile, experts suggest that the German language –alongside French — will become even more important.

3. The goal: You want to work in diplomacy.

    The language: Arabic

The official language of more than 20 countries, Arabic is the 5th most spoken native language in the world with more than 300 million native speakers. It is also an official language of many different organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Conference, the African Union, and the Arab League. Certainly, US government workers with Arabic skills are in great demand.

But it doesn’t end there. Says Vistawide, “Relatively few Westerners ever venture to learn Arabic. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is thus an extreme shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others. Only one percent of the United States 12,000 FBI agents have any knowledge of Arabic at all, and this includes those who know only a few words.”

The Middle East is also an exploding market for trade, prompting TheRichest to declare, “Because of the fast-growing market of eager consumers in the Middle East, businesses should consider making their products easily available to Arabic speakers, and enterprising businesspeople should consider taking a few lessons.”

4. The goal: To travel.

The language: Spanish

Spanish is the US’s second largest language with more than 33 million speakers, but this represents just a small percentage of the world’s 400 million Spanish speakers. Indeed, Spanish is pretty much everywhere — making it a wonderful tool for travelers who truly want to connect with their destinations.

Says, “While it is certainly possible to travel to a Spanish speaking country without knowing any Spanish, your trip will in no way compare with the incredible adventure that awaits the traveler who speaks Spanish. If you only speak English, you will be forced to confine yourself to popular tourist resorts where nearly everyone speaks some English. But if you want to explore the area and get to know the local people, you need to know Spanish. Even simple things, such as reading signs and menus, asking directions or telling a cab driver where you want to go requires some knowledge of the language. Hispanic people are amazingly generous, and if you speak Spanish you will find yourself being welcomed in a way that would never happen if you spoke only English. Simply put, when you travel to a Spanish speaking country, knowing the language will allow you to move from the role of observer to that of an active participant.”

Again, Spanish also has benefits in a business context. The British Council reports that 34 of UK businesses find Spanish language skills to be “useful to their organization.”

5. The goal: You want to pursue an interest in robotics.

    The language: Japanese

QS Top Universities says of Japan, “Known for making things smaller, faster and first, Japan was until recently the second-largest economy in the world (it’s now third, behind the US and China). Its economic strength is at least partly due to the strong research and development industry that underlies successful international brands such as Nissan, Toyota, Panasonic, Canon and Sony – as well as producing robots for every need imaginable.”

Why is Japan the undisputed champ when it comes to the field of robotics and automation? Asserts Time, “Japan’s love for robots is rooted deep in the country’s history and beliefs.” If you want to play a role in building the next three-legged ping-pong playing robot, then Japanese language skills will more than come in handy.

Learning a language isn’t easy — although some are easier than others — but anyone who has ever invested in foreign language studies will speak to the unquantifiable rewards of doing so. One last thing to keep in mind? Having a goal is not enough. The difference between “getting by” and true fluency lies in having both the desire and the drive to truly immerse yourself in another culture and way of thinking.