Why Environmental Engineering programme?

Finland is a beautiful country with an intact nature. This indicates how much both ordinary people and authorities care about natural resources. So, in my view, it can be an excellent destination for enthusiastic students who like to pursue their education in Environmental Engineering.

My application journey

In my case, as I knew my desired field of study, I started to look for a university with high education standards and a good university ranking in the world. The most important factors for me were how much this programme is considered as an important field among the society and the country’s academic environment.

Fortunately, I found the University of Oulu before the application deadline. I reviewed the website and application portal to evaluate myself according to the admission requirements for this specific programme.

The application procedure itself was entirely straightforward, and there was nothing ambiguous for me. I knew my interests, and I applied for the master's programme in Environmental Engineering with the Sustainable Energy Systems study option. After an interview, I eventually got admitted.

In the interview, I found that motivation and interest are essential factors for continuing higher education (master’s or PhD). So, in my perspective, everyone should find their own interest and inspiration and then keep it up and try to get what they desire.

Three study options

There are three different study options available for Environmental Engineering students at the University of Oulu:

  1. Sustainable Energy Systems
  2. Hydrology and Water Management
  3. Industrial Environmental Engineering.

Sustainable Energy Systems: in this option, we study the approaches toward producing, distributing and managing clean and renewable energy modes in an efficient way.

Hydrology and Water Management: the aim is to tackle water-related issues such as lack of clean water, wastewater treatments and water purification methods and detection of underground water.

Industrial Environmental Engineering: the more industrialised courses can be found in this study option, such as industry and environment, sustainable development and industrial ecology.

Depending on your interests and academic background, you can choose the most suitable study option.

I took this picture in September 2021, the first time I went to the university.

My study choice

I studied Mechanical Engineering in my bachelor’s degree. I was more into fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and energy conversion fields. After my graduation, I enthusiastically decided to continue my education in energy-related areas, which I like the most, to boost my knowledge in this field.

In my first period, I had 22 credits. My most favorite courses so far are Fundamentals of Nuclear Energy and Energy System Engineering.

Since the nuclear field itself needs lots of precautions and monitoring when it comes to running a plant, and as a consequence, it requires a thorough knowledge about how the nuclear reaction chain and the power plant works.

About Energy System Engineering, I believe this course is entirely an engineering kind of course that makes the students grasp the fundamentals of general issues on managing, distributing and consuming energy.

All environmental engineers have the opportunity to have an internship/summer job either at the university or outside of it. I believe this will be a great chance to practically learn new skills while proving the abilities we obtained in our studies.

Making an impact as an engineer

In my home country, energy production is based on fossil fuels, and conventional power plants are still running. Unfortunately, there is still no initiative for tackling environmental problems in my country.

The impeccable environment in Iran, in the south, north, east and west, is in danger because of humans’ activities. We have endangered many biodiversity, flora, and fauna to generate electricity and heat, while Iran has great potential to use clean energy sources like solar PV.

I took this picture after the first snow in September 2021, that surprised everyone! Look at the amazing sky; nature in Finland is stunning.

The problem is not limited to Iran only. Icebergs are melting down due to global warming. Have you noticed the hot weather last summer in Finland? What do you think is the reason? Finland was not the only country with hot summer. The further we go, the warmer the Earth will be.

So now is the most critical time to take green issues more seriously because of the irreparable side effects we are imposing on the environment.

Having seen all these catastrophes every day in my country and the world, I decided to take my part as an engineer to save the world! This might seem like an ambition, but I try to make the world a better place for ourselves and the next generations. :)

About the author

Elaheh Moallemkolaei from Iran is studying Environmental Engineering at the University of Oulu. On weekends, she spends her time in the nature and explores new places with her friends.