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New organisation to strengthen engineering at Aarhus University

The dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences is proposing a new organisation, with four new departments, to consolidate and strengthen the engineering area at AU around core disciplines and to raise engineering to the highest international level. The consultation process for the new organisation will commence before the summer holidays.

2020.06.09 | Tine Fruelund

Dean at Tech, Eskild Holm Nielsen is proposing a new organisation, with four new departments, to consolidate and strengthen the engineering area at AU around core disciplines and to raise engineering to the highest international level (Foto: Melissa Yildirim, AU)

The Aarhus University engineering initiative, AU Engineering 2025, was launched in 2016, and it aims to position the university's technical environments at the highest international level, and to strengthen recruitment to Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes.

The current organisation of the engineering area has proved unable to support adequately the engineering initiative. The potential of Aarhus University School of Engineering and the Department of Engineering has not been fully exploited, and the parallel organisation structure means that the academic synergy between the two entities has not been fully realised. This has contributed to the fact that it has not been possible to establish a clear and strong profile externally. As a result, the Dean is proposing a new organisation for engineering at AU.

"We want to be known as the faculty in Denmark that provides the best engineers for an increasingly demanding labour market. And if we are to stand as the strongest in the competition for the most talented students and the best researchers, we need to establish a clearer profile that is recognizable and attractive for our partners, and this is what we wish to do with the new organisation," says Eskild Holm Nielsen, dean at Faculty of Technical Sciences.

The Dean points out that a new organisation is a prerequisite for forging a growth scenario in the engineering area, and for achieving the objectives in the engineering initiative.

“We need to grow within both Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes, and, together with the Dean's Office, I will do all I can to make sure that the best possible conditions are in place to secure this growth," says Eskild Holm Nielsen.

Four new engineering departments

Specifically, the Dean proposes setting up four new engineering departments to consolidate the academic environments and the existing research sections across the two current units, Aarhus University School of Engineering and the Department of Engineering, which will both be closed.

The proposed new organisation is expected to be implemented from 1 January 2021, and the four planned new departments will be organised so that each department has both Bachelor and Master’s degree programmes. The proposed four departments have the following working titles:

  • Institut for Bioteknologi og Kemiteknologi / Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering
  • Institut for Elektro- og Computerteknologi / Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Institut for Byggeri og Bygningsdesign / Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering
  • Institut for Mekanik / Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The degree programmes are proposed to be organised academically in accordance with the academic competences at the new departments. In other words, all departments will have both Bachelor of Engineering programmes and Master of Science in Engineering degree programmes.

"Today, we have some of the best Bachelor of Engineering programmes in Denmark, and this must continue. Our strong brand in our Bachelor of Engineering programmes is the basis for the proposed new organisation, which is also strengthened by our acclaimed research in the Master’s field. Together, we will form the foundation for becoming one of the best educational institutions for engineers in Denmark, with academic environments holding overlaps and synergies between research-based activities, profession-oriented activities, and development-based activities," says Eskild Holm Nielsen.

The Dean expects that the proposed new organisation will forge an even more cohesive engineering area that embraces and promotes the strong academic environments at Aarhus University School of Engineering, with its many years of experience in developing and operating successful Bachelor of Engineering programmes, and at the same time strengthen significantly the internationally recognised research environments at the Department of Engineering.

"A new organisation based on the academic communities will create a strong academic synergy between education, research and development. The two identities represented by the Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Science in Engineering programmes will remain the same, while the foundation for synergy and academic community will be strengthened considerably," explains Eskild Holm Nielsen, who believes that the proposed new organisation will benefit everyone in the long term, both internally and externally.

The consultation process will kick off before the summer holidays

The consultation process for the proposed new organisation for the engineering area will start in mid-June, when work will be clarified and consultation parties and employees will be able to contribute to creating a stronger engineering area. The proposal will be submitted for consultation to relevant consultation parties.

Follow the process for the proposed new organisation on the website Process for new organisation of engineering.

AU Engineering