MSc ENTECH – Master’s in Energy Technologies

Student – Lukas Keller

Graduate – Alexandra Ferreira

Graduate – Stephan Hartmann

Graduate – Vladyslav Milshyn

Graduate – “Allen” Ali Mohammadi

Graduate – Alexandra Ferreira

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Name: Alexandra Ferreira
Nationality: Portuguese
Name of Master’s Programme: MSc ENTECH
Current Employer: EDP Renewables
Current Position: Offshore junior engineer

MSc graduate Alexandra Ferreira energetically shares her fond memories of InnoEnergy Master’s School. The time spent here was full of intellectual and personal growth, and the intangible skills she gained in the programme are already helping her career with a leading global renewable energy company.

Why did you choose the MSc ENTECH programme?

I was doing an integrated master programme (5 year bachelor plus master in Biological Engineering) at IST and in my last year of the bachelor, I wasn’t happy with the master programme I was about to start. Then random chance introduced me to the students of ENTECH 2013, who were presenting their masters at my university. I was really interested when I heard the concepts behind these programmes and the possibility of doing the master totally abroad. The decision was clear – I only applied to InnoEnergy Master’s School.

Do you have any particular passion in the sustainable energy field?

I’ve always been interested in learning how to make current processes more efficient; being able to use available resources in the most efficient way in order to avoid waste, reduce costs and guarantee we keep the world as it is for future generations. Back in 2014, I was applying this to bioprocesses – but the same applies to energy. ENTECH allowed me to connect my passion about bioprocesses to energy, as there are already bioprocesses in commercialisation to produce energy in a sustainable way – and more under development. I was actually able to write my thesis about a novel process of bioenergy production from sewage sludge (avoiding landfill and water/soil pollution).

What is your best memory from your time at InnoEnergy Master’s School?

Career-wise: Kick-off 2015. I had no professional experience during my bachelor and this always concerned me – as I wanted to complement my academic background with industrial experience. During the event, I had the opportunity to connect with a process engineer at Outotec, which led to me doing my thesis in the field I wanted and with this well-known company specialising in this area. A perfect example of the valuable interactions we students get with industry partners!

Personally: When I close my eyes, tons of memories come to my mind: from 8am lectures at KIT, where we didn’t see the sun for two months (I am from Portugal!), to my dorm in the Grenoble mountain, to watching snow in Schmidt during the Open Space studio, to travelling to Zurich during a weekend with ENTECH friends, to participating as a catalyst in the Kick-off 2015 and meeting dozens of people, to spending Christmas at home with now one of my best friends, Rani (from Indonesia)… I could just keep writing and writing!

 How did your programme help to prepare you for what you’re doing today?

At EDP I work on projects that seek to develop renewable energy while avoiding the use of resources such as oil and coal. The programme gave me knowledge not only on the technical specifics of wind energy, hydropower and bioenergy, but also knowledge on the renewable energy market. I learned profitability measurements, as all projects are associated with a certain investment, cost, debt, revenue. You can’t make any progress in technology without the solid business backing to make it economically feasible. On top of this knowledge, the intangibles – such as the ability to adapt quickly to change, the international experience and the extensive InnoEnergy network, which is so important. The programmes are also designed to encourage thinking “outside the box” using hands-on experience. These things would not have been possible in a conventional master programme. I’m really happy I did this!

Graduate – Stephan Hartmann

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Name: Stephan Hartmann
Nationality: German
Name of Master’s Programme: MSc ENTECH
Current Employer: Porsche AG
Current Position: Energy Manager

MSc ENTECH graduate Stephan Hartmann has a strong drive to be part of a major energy technology change. Where cities, neighbourhoods or houses have little or no impact on the environment – especially energy-wise. His time at InnoEnergy Master’s School might be over, but his exciting career path is well under way! 


Why did you choose the MSc ENTECH programme?

I was looking for a Master degree that is technical, but also with business fundamentals. During different industrial experiences (internships) I noticed how important these skills are – and how I was lacking in them.

A friend gave me a flyer for the InnoEnergy Master’s School programme and it was perfect. It not only linked technology topics with business economics and entrepreneurship, but also is a topic I am passionate about – the field of energy.

Why are you interested in sustainable energy?

As an engineer, you always tend to think in systems involving input and output. If I look at our world this way, I see a growing consumption of resources and their diminishing availability – this is not a balanced system. Sustainability is the only way to prevent its collapse!

What is your best memory from InnoEnergy Master’s School?

Definitely the intercultural talks in our Summer and Winter Ateliers – bringing people from more than a dozen different countries together to collaborate – absolutely unique! These experiences truly teach us how to work in a multi-cultural environment successfully, which is really key in today’s global marketplace.

How did you find the integration of business and entrepreneurship in the programme?

So many great examples, but one in particular that comes to mind was the lecture by Professor Terzidis at KIT. The way he and his guest speakers shared their business experience with stories and anecdotes was very inspiring. Besides the courses at university, the Summer and Winter Ateliers gave us the opportunity to not only to learn about entrepreneurship, but also to work and interact with start-up owners. To hear about their obstacles is very helpful.

What would, in your opinion, be the main benefit of doing an InnoEnergy Master’s Programme?

I would say the development you go through personally. Being surrounded by people of various cultures, spending very intense times together as a group and then living in two different cities – all this has a huge and positive impact on you. Also, there is a great Alumni network. I am still in contact with a lot of InnoEnergy colleagues and friends. These connections are so important.

How did your programme help to prepare you for what you’re doing today?

The programme’s mix between energy technology and business is incessantly important in the energy department of an industrial company with production sites. The implementation of sustainable or energy efficient solutions always depends on their economic feasibility – so technical knowledge is not enough.

At the company that you are currently working at – what challenges do you face in the coming years?

Probably the most exciting project of Porsche AG will be the introduction of a new electric sports car in about two years. The challenge is not only the development of the car itself, but also the development of the infrastructure to (quickly) charge its battery. The latter includes a lot of stakeholders (including the electric power supply companies, the grid operators and the governments), which bring a lot of interests and uncertainty factors into the undertaking. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that in the near future we will see way more E-cars (not only from my company) on our streets. It’s an exciting time!

Student – Lukas Keller

Name: Lukas Keller
Nationality: German
Name of Master’s Programme: MSc ENTECH
Current University: Uppsala University


MSc ENTECH student, Lukas Keller is finding his time here at InnoEnergy Master’s School to be one of incredible – and sometimes very intense – growth. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. He wanted a more complete education, one that would give him the technical tools, but to also one to stretch and grow his characte
r.

Why did you join the MSc ENTECH programme?

I didn’t only want to have a solid engineering programme in energy technologies, I wanted to learn the tools I will need in the world to put stuff into practice. A holistic view. Having it all together, in one place. A high degree of freedom in specialisation and a focus on building up your character. Getting a great Masters abroad and doing what’s right? I was in!

Is there any special project or a degree thesis that you are working on at the moment – or have worked on before?

A few, actually! In my last assignment I created a Market Study and a few Business Cases for Battery Storage in Sweden. For example, the influence of regulation on the viability of a storage business case is higher than that of technology price. Things like this that I learned on the way were incredibly valuable for me and helped me prepare for my master thesis, which I will soon begin. I will also be working for a start-up developing new business models for distributed generation and battery integration in tradable flexibility products. I wouldn’t be here if InnoEnergy had not set the framework for me to learn so much and connected me to the right people.

Has there been a special moment from your time with the Master’s School so far that you would like to share?

In the beginning of the first semester with the local CommUnity Manager in Lisbon. The CommUnity is the networking dept. of InnoEnergy, creating added value connections both internally and externally. So I went up to talk to the guy, being totally amazed by the things I had heard. I told him “we could do X…” and “why not Y and it would be great if we had Z, etc…” He calmly listened and simply asked one question afterwards: ‘Ok, what do you need?’ I was completely stunned. I was actually expecting a headshake, kind of “yeah… ok” answer, but he absorbed what I said. Suddenly, I was going to organise an event where I invited many start-ups to present themselves. He thoroughly guided me through all the steps and advised me how to approach things – helping me to evolve my idea. It was awesome… and tough … a time of great personal growth.

Do you feel you were able to interact with InnoEnergy start-ups and industry partners during or after your studies?

Absolutely. InnoEnergy was founded on the idea that Education, Innovation and Business Creation together are more than the sum of the three. You have expertise and great minds in-house for every part of the journey from idea to market. The framework – this “growth journey” that you are in let’s you really take your ideas and figure out how to make them work.

Has the programme atmosphere give you any inspiration for products, services or companies?

The academic part will take you right to the frontline of technology. But these technologies need a societal and business context. They will challenge you to come up with your own solutions for tricky problems. And when you found something new and valuable, you will discover a fruitful environment where people help you take your idea to the next step. Big picture stuff! That’s exactly what happened to me. InnoEnergy helped open my eyes so I can now see way more options where I can make a positive impact.

Graduate – Vladyslav Milshyn

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Name: Vladyslav Milshyn
Nationality: Ukraine
Name of Master’s Programme: MSc ENTECH
Current Employer: Market Creator, InnoEnergy Scandinavia
Current Position: Project Manager “Energy Management”

MSc ENTECH graduate Vladyslav Milshyn’s dream is to improve the affordability of energy storage for the mass market. His time spent in the programme has been a journey to gather all the tools and skills necessary to accomplish this goal. He knows the importance of education and innovation – but realises the business side is just as important to bring these technologies to market.

 

Why did you choose the MSc ENTECH programme?

While searching for a Master’s programme in Germany, Karlsruhe Institute offered the ENTECH Master programme which grabbed my attention. The idea to switch from fossil fuel-based power engineering to the renewable energy sources sounded like a cool plan – and to switch universities in the middle of studies made it even cooler.

What is your best memory from your time at InnoEnergy Master’s School?

Summer 2015. All the students of my ENTECH batch spent a lovely time near Munich. It was Summer Atelier, a part of the 2-year integrated Open Space Studio Journey which ENTECH students are lucky enough to experience in several different sessions. I reunited with peers, spent a lot of time in the sun (quite needed before the dark winter in Sweden), and co-created to help one of our InnoEnergy start-ups develop a master plan for a product go-to-market strategy. The Open Space Studio Journey runs parallel to our studies. ENTECH students from all the locations get to meet and work on our soft skills. We present, pitch, create start-up ideas, learn multi-cultural skills, etc. – something valuable outside our studies as engineers. We discover our strengths and fears – and explore these together with the other students in this safe space, this comfort zone we’ve created over time. It’s really a personal journey.

Do you feel you were able to interact with InnoEnergy start-ups and industry partners during or after your studies?

I had a lot of chances: the Industrial Days at Open Space Studio where start-up reps and InnoEnergy industrial partners share their extensive experience; CommUnity speaker series events with successful InnoEnergy start-ups; study visits to exciting industrial sites; European Utility Week conference where start-up present their products (great for gaining contacts!); and my current job which is in the heart of the InnoEnergy’s highway incubator, where on the daily basis I can see the hard work of InnoEnergy supported entrepreneurs.

How did you find the integration of business and entrepreneurship in the programme?

This is not just a regular university programme, where you attend courses and study for exams to get a diploma. In Lisbon, a compulsory part of our program was a training called “Entrepreneurship in a Week: From Dawn to the Pitch”. It was a whole new experience, to create and develop a product or service with commercial potential and positive environmental impact. Apart from what the programme offers, staying pro-active opens up many doors to the activities organized by other European Institutes involved in the area of SE. During the summer break, I did a 5-week business course within Climate-KIC (part of EIT), which deepened my knowledge of business idea development by writing a detailed business plan and pitching our idea in front of the jury of VCs – competing against 20 other teams.

What would, in your opinion, be the main benefit of doing an InnoEnergy Master’s Programme?

InnoEnergy is positioned at the intersection of all the European energy transition pathways. Students are at the epicentre of innovation in the energy sector by having access to cutting edge knowledge, internships, soft skills coaching and business education. The main benefit, however, is the open-minded management – who always seek to improve the programme, enlarge the number of extracurricular activities and blend education with practical experience.

What would you like to say to a student interested in taking an InnoEnergy Master’s programme?

Don’t be afraid that the programme sounds “too hard”… just do it… take a chance and apply. The extraordinary benefits this programme brings will amaze you – and it will definitely become a turning point in your career.

 

Graduate – “Allen” Ali Mohammadi

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Name: “Allen” Ali Mohammadi
Name of Master’s Programme: MSc ENTECH
Current Employer: Hippogriff AB
Current Position: CEO and Co-founder

MSc ENTECH graduate Allen Mohammadi has already started making his mark in the world. His 2016 EIT CHANGE award winning innovation in heart disease detection landed him a spot on Forbes “30 under 30” list – and this is only the beginning. Allen shows us what passion and determination really looks like.

 

Why did you choose the MSc ENTECH programme?

There were several other options in other countries – but what made me choose this programme was the “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” module. Because I believe these important skills are truly valuable in today’s world – the two main pillars to build a better and more sustainable world.

Why are you interested in sustainable energy? Do you have any particular passion within this field?

My greatest motivation in life is my passion to create positive impact on the world around me. There is already undeniable evidence that humans, animals and plants are being affected by climate change and global warming. This is directly related to industrialization and human activities. Unless greenhouse gas emissions are severely reduced, all species will face enormous risks and complications in the near future. Therefore, implementing sustainable energy solutions are the key to meet today’s demand of energy – without putting the next generation of humans and animals in danger.

How did you find the integration of business and entrepreneurship in the programme?

For me, the most valuable part was the integration of business and entrepreneurship courses and skills within. In other words, effective and valuable courses through InnoEnergy Master School broadened my horizons by enabling me to see the “Big Picture” while enhancing my innovative thinking.

What would, in your opinion, be the main benefit of doing an InnoEnergy Master’s Programme?

Integration of business, innovation and entrepreneurship. Mobility. InnoEnergy Community and building that important network that will help you succeed.

Tell us a bit about your company…

My brother Max and I have co-founded Heartstring (also known as Complex Disease Detector), after our grandmother died suddenly of a heart attack. She had no signs or symptoms. So I was thinking, what if we could have detected the disease earlier and saved her life? Heartstring is an innovative technology based on Artificial Intelligence, which helps to detect heart disease at a significantly earlier stage – even before the patient has any symptoms. It has been tested on more than 700 individuals successfully. Heart disease is still the number 1 killer around the world. My vision is to save at least 1 million lives each year.

How did your programme help to prepare you for what you’re doing today?

InnoEnergy has had a remarkable effect on improving my professional skills and gaining valuable knowledge within business and innovation. Moreover, InnoEnergy supported me by promoting my success after winning prestigious awards such as the 2016 EIT CHANGE award and then a spot on Forbes “30 under 30” list. For me, the celebration wasn’t about winning just a competition or being on a prestigious list, but it was the celebration of hard work. I believe that winning isn’t about getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself and becoming a better version of you!

What would you like to say to a student interested in taking an InnoEnergy Master’s programme?

Get engaged within the InnoEnergy Community activities. Start building that network right away.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?

We need to maximize our impact. Be sustainable. By improving knowledge and industry expertise within the sustainable energy field, we can build a more sustainable future for our next generation. Because I believe that the earth is not inherited to just us, but to our children and the next generation also. We owe them that!