The web portal Study in Greece is campaigning for the promotion and international visibility of Greek Universities and the comparative educational advantages of our country. In particular, the campaign focuses on the foreign language study programs that Greek Universities offer to Greek and international students. The initiative is supported by the General Secretariat of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In this context, a number of educational programs and actions are presented in detail on a regular basis, such as undergraduate and postgraduate programs, summer schools etc, to inform international students about the many foreign language options offered by Greek Universities.

Study in Greece interviewed Associate Professor Eleni Heracleous, Director of the MSc in Energy Systems offered at the International Hellenic University (ΙΗU) about the program, its features and what it has to offer to international students.

Eleni Heracleous is Associate Professor at the International Hellenic University and Director of the MSc in Energy Systems and the MSc in Energy Building Design. Her research interests lie in the area of renewable energy sources and more specifically in the development of processes for the conversion of biomass to high-added value green chemicals and fuels. She has been working on the environmental evaluation of such biomass conversion processes and other bioenergy systems via Life Cycle Analysis (LCA).

Dr Heracleous, please describe to us in a few words what the MSc in Energy Systems deals with.

The MSc in Energy Systems Master Program is an interdisciplinary program, focusing on graduates that wish to broaden their knowledge in a range of Energy related issues in a holistic approach, with an emphasis on the technical point of view of state-of-the-art technological advancements in the field, the sustainable use of Energy as well as the overall design, construction, and maintenance of Energy Production Systems. Energy and its sustainability will always be a key global issue for modern contemporary societies, especially in today’s volatile market. To really stand out, young professionals in the Energy sector need education that is interdisciplinary: technical as well as economics/management/law related.

Please tell us about this collaboration with Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH – Technische Universität Hamburg).

The School of Science and Technology had an educational collaboration funded by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), with Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH – Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg) in order to provide common courses in their respective Masters of Science in the field of Energy for a 3 year period. In the frame of this collaboration, students of the MSc in Energy Systems were given the opportunity to follow an elective course in TUHH, which was specifically developed and offered in the academic years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 to Master students at both universities. Similarly, master students of TUHH in the field of Energy were also able to follow a specifically developed elective course at IHU. Furthermore, students of IHU were given the opportunity to visit TUHH for 3 months and conduct their MSc thesis in Germany. The collaboration increased the international outlook of the courses and helped students understand the common issues affecting energy security and sustainability throughout Europe.

What will be the educational as well as the professional opportunities opened up to the students by this program?

The program has been developed to equip graduates of Engineering, Geotechnical and Natural Sciences departments with an in-depth understanding of the fundamental issues of energy in the industrial and commercial sectors. It provides up-to-date technical knowledge and skills required for achieving energy management, designing of energy-efficient systems and processes, utilization of renewable energy sources and the cost-effective reduction and control of pollution.

There is a considerable demand for environmentally aware energy specialists with in-depth technical, as well as economics knowledge and practical skills. Graduates of this program have been recruited by companies and organizations competing in the energy sector. Several of our MSc graduates follow further research studies leading to PhD degrees. The following indicative employment opportunities are available to our graduates after the completion of the MSc in Energy Systems:

  • Senior technical positions in energy engineering and energy efficiency
  • Managerial positions in the booming Energy as well as Utilities management
  • With Government policymaking

Given that the courses are offered in English, why should an international student choose this program among others?

The International Hellenic University offers a diverse international MSc in Energy Systems program that is open to candidates from different academic disciplines and countries and which has been in high demand since its first intake of students in 2010. As the course is provided in English, it utilizes leading academics from prestigious academic institutions from Greece and abroad, together with instructors from public authorities and key players from energy-related organizations, that have taught in this program in the past years. Taking into consideration the strategic position of Greece as a transitional energy hub in the region, utilizing and planning Renewable energy infrastructure, green hydrogen pipelines and the use of natural gas as a transition fuel to boost energy security, international students will have the opportunity to see and be taught firsthand the steps towards sustainable and carbon neutral energy systems.

Tell us some things about the International Hellenic University – its departments, its spirit and its pioneering research projects.

The International Hellenic University (IHU) was initially established in 2005 and was Greece’s first and only public university that offered post-graduate studies exclusively in English. The International Hellenic University was re-established in 2019, and now comprises nine (9) Schools and thirty-three (33) Departments and is located in Thessaloniki, Kavala, Serres, Drama, Katerini, Kilkis, Didymoteicho. The two Schools (School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics and the School of Science and Technology) of the IHU belong to the University Center of International Programs of Studies (UCIPS) of the International Hellenic University offering programs that are taught exclusively in English. The UCIPS, developed to facilitate modern learning methods and has state-of-the-art facilities, such as virtual classrooms, electronic library, IT labs, Digital Manufacturing and Materials Characterization Laboratory, Molecular Ecology/Molecular Biology Lab etc.

UCIPS is a pioneer in cutting-edge research. For example, at the School of Science and Technology, we are currently running a 3-year interdisciplinary research project funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I.) on the successful application of 3D printing for the preparation of catalytic materials that will be used for the production of renewable energy products. The results can potentially revolutionize the field, as bottom-up fabrication of catalysts allows better control of the fine structure in a simple, effective, flexible – and thus less costly – manner. This project is led by myself, in collaboration with the Digital Manufacturing and Materials Characterization Laboratory led by Associate Professor Dimitris Tzetzis and the Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas.

Application deadline: 30 September 2023 or until places are filled

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