UK’s first energy transition degree launched to ‘meet a need’


THE University of Aberdeen has launched the UK’s first postgraduate degree programme in energy transition systems and technologies.

The university said the new course reinforces and builds upon the city’s reputation as a major international energy centre.

It is billed as educating a new generation of systems engineers, with the MSc course providing industry-relevant skills and training with future career possibilities in all of the energy sector.

An emphasis will be placed on the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy types through the integration of low carbon technology into current and future energy systems, with the programme encouraging students to take a ‘systems-thinking’ approach to energy transition.

Based in the university’s school of engineering, with contributions from the schools of geosciences, business and law, the university said that the course will draw on much of the research being conducted within its centre for energy transition (CET).

Programme director, professor Russell McKenna, said that Aberdeen’s heritage and global reputation as the energy capital of Europe means that it was perfectly placed to be holding UK’s first such degree programme.

He said, “This course was set up to fill a gap and meet a need. In recent years, non-hydrocarbon based energy has grown significantly in Aberdeen due its large talent pool of energy engineers and scientists, and the abundance of wind and ocean energy resources off the Aberdeenshire coast.

“The past 20 years has seen increased interest in more sustainable energy systems. The transition towards these systems has gathered momentum, aided by new technological innovations in areas such as wind and tidal energy, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, biofuels and hydrogen. Energy transition, however, continues to pose significant technological, commercial and political challenges for businesses and governments.

“Energy transition engineers are faced with the challenge of redesigning our entire energy infrastructure while ensuring continued access to reliable and affordable energy. To achieve this, we must understand how to successfully integrate Low Carbon Technologies (LCTs) into our current and future energy systems.”