The goal of the HTHT minors is to highlight the societal issues for which the UT is developing High Tech Human Touch solutions through state of the art research.

The HTHT minors are offered in English and are therefore accessible to UT Bachelor’s students as well as international exchange students. The specific accessibility criteria for each minor is displayed in the matrix of options (applicable to current UT students only). In most cases HTHT minors are offered in a package of 30 EC (2*15 EC). Some 15 EC minors will be offered on their own. Please note that it is almost always also possible to follow only one of the courses of a package as long as the remaining 15 EC are covered by an independent minor to come to a total of 30 EC. HTHT minors are, in principle, only offered in the first semester.

HTHT – minor packages (2*15 EC)

Aeronautical Engineering and Management

Practical information Aeronautical Engineering and Management

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consist of:
  • HTHT-minor Aerospace Management & Operations
  • HTHT-minor Aircraft Engineering

Description of the advantage by taking both minors

In the module ‘Aircraft Engineering’, students go much deeper into the technical details of aircraft design. In the module ‘Aerospace Management & Operations’ many technical aspects are taken as givens. For example: students should know that there is a relationship between wing profile, fuel consumption and required runway length, but they only need to understand this relationship in a global, qualitative way. But in “Aircraft Engineering’ they learn the aerodynamic principles behind this relationship (pressure distribution as a function of profile, laminar and turbulent flows etc.) and learn how to make calculations concerning this relationship. On the other hand, ‘Aircraft Engineering’ does not address the utilization of aircraft and the industrial management processes in the development, use and maintenance of aircraft. 

So, students that follow both modules gain knowledge and insight in both the inner workings of aircraft (Aircraft Engineering) and the way aircraft are used to achieve organizational goals (Aerospace Management & Operations). The link is in the relationship between the technical properties of an aircraft and the way these properties determine its user characteristics (its suitability for achieving organizational goals). This link is addressed in Aerospace Management & Operations by addressing the technical properties but taking them largely as givens, and linking them to user characteristics.


Minor 1: Short description of content ‘Aerospace Management & Operations’

In this module, you get acquainted with the development and operation of aircraft. The aerospace industry is a fine example of the interrelationships between technology, economics, and the social and human sciences. We explore how the needs of organizations like airlines define the aircraft that aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus develop, how technology is used to turn aircraft from ideas into reality, and what the role of humans is to operate them safely. We address questions like: which factors determine whether an aircraft is suited for the tasks demanded of it? What are the strategic choices airlines make that determine their success? Why are profit margins of airlines so razor-thin, despite air travel having been a growth market since World War 2? What role does maintenance play in the efficient utilization of aircraft? Why is an inherently dangerous activity like flying one of the safest forms of transport? Why are human factors consistently the main factor holding back safety? Why do governments attach so much value to having an aerospace industry, despite the massive investments that it requires?

We do not confine ourselves merely to theory. Students will experience what it is like to manage their own (virtual) airline. The result is that the disciplines of technology, economics, management and human-machine interface are merged in a natural way and students learn to use an interdisciplinary approach to problems and questions concerning the aerospace industry.

In this module we take the aircraft as the point of focus. We look at its technical and economic properties, its use, its users, the regulations and constraints under which it operates, the ways its performance is assessed. This focus integrates the various technical, economic and social (human) subjects covered in the module.

The civil aerospace industry is the main focus, but military aerospace will also be briefly addressed, if only because civil and military aerospace are so intertwined.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Minor 2: short description of content ‘Aircraft Engineering’

Within this module, the student gets acquainted with aspects that play a role in the design of an airplane. The focus is on the history and application of the high tech (mechanics, structures and aerodynamics) as well as the human touch aspects (decision making, business case).

The central theme in the module is the conceptual design of an aircraft. In this design all knowledge gained during the courses Aircraft Technology, Aircraft Structures and Aerodynamics is applied and integrated. The conceptual design will be done in groups of about 5 students. The design must be presented and defended for all other module students and the team of lecturers being the board of the company that delivered the assignment and (demanding)  requirements for the design.

The module starts with a brief account of the history of aviation, the evolution of aircraft configurations, the principles of flight. Subsequently the aerodynamics of aircraft wings (lift, drag, pitching moment, stall, critical Mach number, drag-divergence Mach number) is explained, with some emphasis on transonic transport aircraft. Further attention is paid to the most important structural parts of an aircraft. Their designation and their function in the structure are presented. Special attention will be paid to the new composite materials that are more and more used in aircraft industry.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Geographic Information System and Earth Observation

Practical information Geographic Information System and Earth Observation

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consist of:
  • HTHT-minor Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • HTHT-mino Earth Observation (EO)

Description of the advantage by taking both minors

Students who take both minors get the complete picture of acquiring, storing, analysing and visualizing geo-information. They can directly make the relation between how one can sense processes on earth and how that can be translated to information on a global, national or even individual level.

Essential difference between the minor GIS and the minor EO is that GIS is focusing on the storage, use and visualization of geo-information, whereas EO is focusing on how to acquire geo-information at various scales and for different purposes. In projects in the GIS minor students how to use existing data for a particular application. In EO the focus is on how to acquire and process data in order to fill the needs for local, regional or global issues.


Minor 1: Short description of content ‘Geographic Information System’

A Geographical Information System (GIS) is a collection of methods and tools associated with  answering geographical questions. GIS is a generic term for the use of computers to study and visualize geographical patterns and processes (natural and manmade) that occur on the surface of the Earth. There are many uses for GIS in different scientific and operational domains. Common application areas are urban planning, public administration, environmental monitoring, utilities, telecommunications, transport, hazard analysis, topographic mapping, and the management of agriculture, forest and water resources. In the past few decades, GIS has developed into a major area of application and research and into an important global business. Today, GIS is an active and rapidly expanding field, which generates considerable public and private interest.

The leading theme of this module is: how can GIS be used efficiently for global and actual problems. It consist of three stages: the first efficiently supplies basic knowledge to the corresponding theme (4 EC), the second applies the knowledge in relevant domains (5 EC), and the third integrates the acquired knowledge in a project framework (6 EC).  

Students will get lectures in combination with (un)supervised exercises. Lectures and exercises are designed such that the basics of storing, accessing and analysing geo information are covered. Students are encouraged to find creative solutions in the use, design and analysis of GIS functionalities. Treated are the concepts of multi-scale and geometric aspects of mapping in a GIS context, dissemination methods and environments, with emphasis on online and interactive methods.

The final part of this module consist of an inter- or multi-disciplinary project. Projects with an international flavour related to the various societal benefit areas (SBA’s) are proposed from which the students can choose. Focus is on how GIS can be used effectively by combining (geo-) information to provide possible solutions/plans and to allow an efficient communication with stakeholders

More information can be found in the brochure.

Minor 2: Short description of content ‘Earth Observation’

The minor on Earth Observation deals with sensors, platforms and data processing techniques that are used to derive information about physical, chemical and biological properties of the Earth’s surface without direct physical contact. Sensors can be mounted on Earth orbiting satellites, aircrafts, but can also be mounted on a car or even hand-held. Sensors measure electro-energetic emissions from objects and material on the earth’s surface. Data processing techniques subsequently transform raw data into meaningful information sources for a large variety of applications.

The leading theme of this module is: how are Earth Observation Data collected and how can they be optimally used. This module consist of three stages: the first efficiently supplies basic knowledge to the corresponding theme (4 EC), the second applies the knowledge in relevant domains (5 EC), and the third integrates the acquired knowledge in a project framework (6 EC).

The first phase handles the basics on Earth observation (EO) techniques, and gives an overview of several sensors capable of capturing characteristics of the earth. In the second phase of quartile 10 Earth Observation is used to let the student learn how raw data are processed into meaningful information by analysing and designing various applications, such as disaster mapping and monitoring, 3D city and landscape modelling and urbanization. In this phase students learn how to combine data, use multi-resolution data, assess aspects of spatial resolution, spectral information and thus make the most out of the available satellite information. We design an interesting schedule of lectures and exercises, starting from small scale in week 3, medium scale in week 4 and large scale applications in week 5. The final part of this module consist of an inter- or multi-disciplinary project. Students can choose from at least two options.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Business Development

Practical information Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Business Development

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consists of:
  • HTHT-minor Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • HTHT-minor New Technology Business Development

Description of the advantage by taking both minors

The relation between modules 9 and 10 of this package is that the first prepares for independent venturing, based on commercialization of a product/service idea into a plan that assesses feasibility of the idea. The second takes this knowledge into an inquiry that aims at exploiting an invention by identifying conditions and potential adopters and users of the technology for the decision either or not to appropriate it by the UT for future technology transfer purposes. The commonality is inquiry into opportunities for business development as independent venturing in module 9 and for technology transfer purposes in module 10.

The second module is not only directed towards creating a new company (independent venturing), but also to business development from a research technology organisation (such as universities and public as well as private institutes) or from a medium-sized to large company. The modules together prepare for a larger application area of knowledge and skills to be taken from this undergraduate education program. get an impression of this modules by watching a short movie



  • Website of the package:
  • Repsonsible faculty: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS)
  • Minorteam: Joost Brinkman (

Minor 1: Short description of content 'Innovation & Entrepreneurship'

This module starts with an introductory Acceleration Program that sensitizes students to the dynamics of the entrepreneurial business model development for 4 days. This is a quick way of making students aware of the knowledge they lack and need to master for operating in and communicating about business. It also introduces in developing a technology-based start-up into a successful company. In a playful manner, participants interact in multidisciplinary teams in the Acceleration program, the project as well as case work during the module. The business planning project synthesizes knowledge to be gained from the courses described below and will be based on a product and/or service concept developed in (a) prior module(s) by someone within the venture team. A lot of fieldwork is involved using the lean start-up approach, continually testing assumptions, claims and data retrieved from secondary sources in desk research to minimize market risk and improve the concept for real-life adoption to prove a business case.

For the necessary analysis and business design work to be done, students need additional knowledge that is offered in three introductory courses on entrepreneurship, innovation and financial management.

In these courses, a decision-centred approach is taken in case teaching where - again - students work on real-life problem situations companies have dealt with in order to prepare for a properly analysed and argued decision to be made for the case proponent.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship is about different forms and categories of entrepreneurship, the differences and commonalities between the entrepreneurial and the innovation process, as well as the jargon and conceptual basics of business disciplines like strategy, finance, marketing, and personnel and organisation.

The subject of innovation management introduces students to different forms and categories of innovation as process and as result. As a discipline, it is largely based on corporate as well as policy practice, and translated to technology-based start-up theory in order to help students understand the typical differences between large and small organizations in their strategies and resource management for commercializing new product and service ideas.

Finally, to avoid the Valley of Death pitfall, students are introduced to the basic instruments of financial management of innovative enterprises. Focus is on understanding and composing a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement as part of acquiring and managing resources to invest in and develop the technologies required to realize and market their product/service idea.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Minor 2: Short description of 'New Technology Business Development'

Over the last two decades the amount of business that has been generated on IPRs has increased dramatically, making them the fourth production factor in economies today. All technology-oriented curricula should transfer knowledge that explains for the proportionate increase of immaterial asset value in our corporate finance practices. The commercial effect of such corporate immaterialization is that markets for technology have grown to such an extent that they will become institutionalized in the near future and not only will large companies use them, but also technology research organizations an inventive SMEs as suppliers of new proprietary technologies.

This minor is the more advanced part of the minor that builds on the minor Innovation & Entrepreneurship in adding the subjects of intellectual property management (IPM) and marketing in a high-tech context (HTM). Specific for this more advanced marketing topic is the role of e.g. the new product development process and of patent licensing as a way of exploiting inventions and thereby gaining revenues without having to invest heavily in product development and manufacturing capabilities. The two course subjects are complemented with a business research project in which student teams study ways in which a UT invented technology can be exploited in order to support the decision whether or not to appropriate the idea and consequently make expenses for patenting as a university, or suggesting other ways of diffusing the idea to the innovators.

The subject of IPM focusses on patents for the role of technology in our university and therefore this innovative entrepreneurship package. The other intellectual property rights (IPRs; trademarks and copy right) will be dealt with shortly in both IPM and HTM. IPM deals with not only legal, but also organizational, informational, commercial and financial aspects of patents and patenting in order to build a coherent strategy on generating not only costs but also revenues on them.

HTM deals with such topics as the role of technology standards, new technology acceptance and adoption, innovation in networks, and the new product development process as part of the open innovation context in which such issues need to be dealt with.

Both these subjects are conventionally organised into courses that stage wise provide students with theoretical concepts and analytical models to apply in data gathering and use for interpretation purposes in the project work.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Philosophy and Governance of Science and Technology

Practical information Philosophy and Governance of Science and Technology

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consist of:
  • HTHT-minor Philosophy of Science and Technology
  • HTHT-minor Governance of Innovation and Socio-Technical Change

Description of the advantage by taking both minors

In this package consisting of two HTHT modules students will develop a basic understanding of how science and technology influence the human being and society, focusing on human behaviour, knowledge and values, and on evaluating and governing social change. They will do so using insights and perspectives from philosophy (this module), from science and technologies studies and governance studies (the ‘Governance of Innovation and Socio-Technical Change’ module), and by applying those to projects in which students will work on concrete examples of technologies in collaboration with the UT science and technology institutes (both modules).


Short description of content Philosophy of Science and Technology

This minor analyses and evaluates the influence of science and technology on humans and society. Students will be introduced in the main approaches and theories in the history of philosophy, which will enable them to reflect more systematically and critically on science and technology and their social roles. But rather than merely studying the philosophical tradition in itself, or aiming to understand technology in general, the focus will be on acquiring skills in order to philosophically analyse specific technologies and technological practices. How will, for example, wearable technologies like Google Glass and Hololens change and shape our social interactions? How will we be able to maintain traditional ideas about privacy in an age of exponential increase of information and communication technologies? And how will our society and culture incorporate and shape those technologies? Since these reciprocal influences are value-laden, the minor will investigate normative aspects of technologies: how have specific technologies affected our ethical and political views? The focus on practices will also shed a new light on the role of science: scientific knowledge will be approached as a tool for technological design. In a so-called Philosophy of Technology Lab students will work in teams on specific technologies on the basis of acquired perspectives and insights from philosophy.

The minor consists of 3 thematic components and a project. In the component ‘Philosophical Theories and Methods’ students are introduced to various approaches and methods within philosophy and lays a basis for the other components. The component ‘Cyborgs, Hybrids and Posthumans’ focuses on how technology influences and constitutes human nature and human existence and how emerging technologies seem to blur the boundaries between humans and machines. The component ‘Technology, Ethics and Society’ focuses on contemporary social and ethical problems and the role of technology in these problems. The component ‘Knowledge as epistemic tool’ aims at a better understanding of the role of scientific research in technological applications. In the Project ‘Philosophy of Technology Lab’ students analyse technologies developed by researchers at the University of Twente on the basis of insights they gain in philosophy of science, human-technology relations, and ethics. They will also investigate the impact of technologies on certain philosophical assumptions.
More information can be found in the brochure.

Short description of content 'Governance of Innovation and Socio-Technical Change'

In this module you will learn how society and technology influence each other, in particular how this plays out in innovation processes when new technologies are developed and embedded into society, and what are possibilities for purposefully shaping innovation processes.

We constantly witness how innovations affect various areas of society and social life, but identifying and working towards innovations which actually fulfil society’s needs and to embed them successfully into real world contexts is not an easy task. Given the central role that many technologies have for modern societies, be it in the form of enablers of key societal functions as energy, transport, public health etc., or as creating risks and unwanted effects, science and technology are also an important issue for governance, with policy and other societal actors trying to shape innovation and societal embedding. As part of this, prospecting possible technology dynamics and also their effects on society is a common activity for research, innovation and governance actors, but needs to be informed by a proper understanding of socio-technical dynamics.

Following this module will allow (technical) students to reflect and anticipate on the societal relevance of particular technologies and on the way the world ‘beyond the lab’ influences the work of researchers and designers. Students (from the social sciences) will enhance their understanding of technology and innovation as essential ingredients of modern social life, and the role policy and social science can play in the governance of science and technology in society.

The module consists of 3 thematic components and a project. The first component is dedicated to developing an understanding of the interrelations of innovation and social change and how these typically unfold. This includes the ‘journey’ a new technology may take from development to becoming embedded in user’s practices and getting to work in broader socio-technical environments, and the roles of different actor groups therein. For instance, new telecare or point-of-care devices have to find a place in patient’s daily life or medical routines, just as in the broader health system. Electric vehicles interact with user’s mobility patterns, and have to be integrated into the mobility and (smart) electricity system more widely. E-government may facilitate information flows, but also change roles and power relations of various actors. New sensors for measuring water quality have to fit with the way how quality monitoring is organized in water companies and fulfil regulatory requirements. Along such an ‘innovation journey’ more or less unexpected changes in user’s practices, broader systems and the innovations themselves may be the result. Both contemporary and historical examples will be used to explore this empirically.

The second component addresses how these insights can be used for anticipating on and partly assessing future developments of and around innovations, for instance in the form of scenarios, and how this can feed into innovation processes. Furthermore, you will learn about the (often) strategic role of expectations and promises in research and innovation, and their dynamics – e.g. hype-disappointment cycles, and what this means for innovation actors.

The third component delves into possibilities, approaches and limitations of governing innovation and socio-technical change, building on the insights of the former two components. Finally, we will inquire about the role of science, technology and scientific expertise in policy-making and governance more broadly.

In the project, groups of students work on a case of a particular technology or application, and apply insights from the thematic components, resulting in e.g. a strategy recommendation for an innovation actor, a policy recommendation, or a scenario development.
More information can be found in the brochure.

Science to Society

Practical information Science to Society

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consist of:
  • HTHT-minor part 1: Science to Society: From Idea to Prototype.
  • HTHT-minor part 2: Science to Society: From Prototype to Society.

Description of the advantage by taking both minors

This consecutive design minor focuses on real-world problem solving in multidisciplinary teams, around the societal challenges in divers fields like energy, health, learning and robotics. Creative design ideas and technological innovations in cooperation with different societal stakeholders are needed to tackle these challenges. In the first module, you will work on generating innovative ideas and design concepts, and transforming the initial concept into a prototype. Taking both modules means you will see the realization of your concept and will thoroughly deepen your understanding of the topic field and the state‐of‐the‐art in technological innovation.


  • Website of the package: Science2Society
  • Repsonsible faculty: Engineering Technology (CTW) - Industrial Design
  • Minorteamcoordinator: dr. ir. R.G.J. Damgrave (Roy)

Minor 1: short description of content 'Science to Society: From Idea to Prototype'

In this module in a small team of students from different backgrounds, you will research a selected problem and design a solution, integrating perspectives from the frontiers of science with the constraints of technology, business, government, and society. Private and public partners bring in the project cases, derived from on-going research. Solutions can range from, e.g. the design of a distributed system, persuasive technology for monitoring or coaching, or a serious gaming design. To structure iterative research and design process, you will learn and apply a project management methodology.

In the first part of this module, you will choose a project case (problem) and work on setting up the group project. Introductions to design thinking and project management are provided. You will be also introduced to the foundations of different scientific disciplines through guided peer-learning. You will will be able to choose and follow a number of short mini-courses to deepen the understanding and research skills in the field of the chosen project case, as well as develop the skill set necessary to design solutions.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Module 2: Short description of content 'Science to Society: From Prototype to Society'

In this module you and your fellow students form different background will focus on realizing a concept by making use of a prototype made in the first module by maybe other students. In the process the prototype will be enriched with a business model addressing its feasibility.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Innovations in Sustainable Chain Management

Practical information Innovations in Sustainable Chain Management

  • This is a HTHT-minor package
  • The package consists of:
  • HTHT-minor Innovations in Sustainable Chain Management; Analysis
  • HTHT-minor Innovations in Sustainable Chain Management; Design


  • Responsible faculty: TNW
  • Minorteam: Dr. F.H.J.M. Coenen and K.R.D. Lulofs

Description of the minor package

The central theme of this Minor is the sustainability  analysis and management of integral chains of resources, materials and societal processes.  These type of chains are known under phrases  like ‘from land to table’, ‘from cradle to grave’ or ‘from sand to chip’.  

Approaches to  sustainable integral chain analysis and management have different labels like sustainable supply management, sustainable value chain management, circular economy, etc. All these approaches share the same holistic approach to the sustainability of processes in society. Mapping material streams (input-output and metabolism) is needed, but does not provide a sufficient approach towards sustainability in these chains. It needs a multi-disciplinary analyses of these chains and for solutions from different (multiple-) disciplines to optimize the sustainability of these chains.  The need for knowledge on energy and resource efficiency, on process emissions, logistics,  law and governance, chain (network) management , transition management, etc.    to analyze and manage such chains from a sustainability perspective makes this theme  very suitable  for a High Tech Human Touch module.

In both modules we will work with a real life case from a societal goal perspective and with local and regional stakeholders. For instance how can a region use  more locally grown food and make the regional food production chains more sustainable?  How can a region reduce  the amount of waste in its regional production chains and reduce the emissions in the chain? Both the analysis and the design of solutions take a social, technological and integral perspective.

In the first module Analysis you learn to map and analyze the interaction between materials, technology, economy and society  in chains from different disciplinary perspectives. In the second module  Design you practice how to design sustainable solutions for the problems found in the analysis. In both module you will expand  knowledge in your own discipline, learn the basics from other disciplines and work in multidisciplinary teams in the analysis and the design in the real life case.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Independent HTHT-minors of 1*15 EC


Practical information BioRobotics

  • This is a HTHT-minor 


  • Website of the minor:
  • Repsonsible faculty: Science and Technology
  • Minorteam: Arvid Keemink (

Short description of content:

Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots, as well as computer systems for their control, sensory feedback, and information processing. These technologies deal with automated machines that can take the place of humans in dangerous environments or manufacturing processes, or resemble humans in appearance, behavior, or cognition. Worldwide scientific and industrial demand for skilled engineers with advanced systems and control knowledge of robotic systems that can apply this knowledge in biomedical or general high-tech systems is strongly increasing. The minor BioRobotics applies high-tech systems & control knowledge of robotic design and construction to the biomedical interaction with the human body.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Materials for the Design of the Future

Practical information Materials for the Design of the Future

  • This is a HTHT-minor 


  • Website of the minor:
  • Repsonsible faculty: Science and Technology 
  • Minorteam: Dr. W.K. Dierkes

Short description of content:

The rapid development of materials science and engineering has enabled the development of new devices that operate due to the combination of materials with different functionalities. Often different functionalities have been combined in one material as for example transparent and electrically conducting electrodes required for solar panels. Similar examples of the use of engineered materials with complex functionalities can be found in such diverse areas as IC, battery, imaging, and sensor technology, and in the application of biomaterials, elastomers, polymers etc. Successes in all these fields were the result of systematic research and development based on a thorough understanding of the relation between material properties on one hand and the structure and composition on the other hand. With this knowledge, the synthesis of the desired materials could be tuned. The 2014 Nobel prize in physics is a prime example of this methodology that resulted in the invention of the blue led.  

This HTHT-module  is a multidisciplinary profile course on one of the main research topics of this university and deals with the basics of different selected materials. In this module, students will study the methodology of materials research and apply this knowledge to solve problems the society is facing, or improving daily life of individuals. They learn how unique possibilities arise by the search for materials with interesting properties which enable the design of new functionalities for future applications. It comprises the development of technologies for future manufacturing processes and new products by a science based engineering approach focused on material ‐ and system behaviour and robust optimization. This module fuses several objectives for all material‐, process‐ and design related programmes within Mesa+, Mira  and the Mechanical Engineering department.   

In this module the students will learn 1) How properties of materials are related to structure and composition; 2) How synthesis can be tuned to accommodate a desired structure and composition; 3) To apply materials science in a competitive field. One example is the application of the knowledge in the field of sensor technology in an elastomeric matrix.

The module requires a basic understanding of materials as is part of the curriculum of Advanced Technology, Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. This HTHT module shares 1/3 of its courses with a second year AT module and also takes the material science triangle as its starting point. This knowledge is complimented by a dedicated class on composite materials on nano, micro and macro scale, including innovative material functionalities as e.g. sensor- and actuator technology. This HTHT module discerns itself from this standard module with the strong link to current industrial research through the input from invited speakers from industry and a strong integrating project.

More information can be found in the brochure.

Smart ways to get SMART cities SMARTER

Practical information Smart ways to get SMART cities SMARTER

  • This is a HTHT-minor


Short description of content  

Owners of urban space continuously attempt to improve urban life and enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of their cities. In the past few years, advancements in SMART technologies shaped potential for these agents to enhance the quality in urban space even more, creating smart cities of the future. However, this quest towards tomorrow’s smarter cities requires many authorities, public and private parties as well as technology developers to design and implement sustainable integrated solutions that closely fit within technology trajectories and emerging societal needs. Furthermore, the great potential and challenges lying ahead for smart cities demand adaptions in the urban built environment and its critical infrastructures. 

Students participating in this module are introduced to the field of civil engineering and management and society’s transition towards smart city urban environment & infrastructures. They learn how this domain confronts challenges related to urbanization, energy transitions and more accessible, reliable, safe and secure environments, and how urban life is supposed to be improved in smarter cities (e.g. through the use of smart energy grids, ubiquitous computing and location based services).  

However, before these technologies improve situations and create the future’s smarter cities, they require a change and reconstruction of the existing cityscape: public space and critical infrastructures need to be redesigned, temporarily closed, broken-up, excavated and often result in a significant disruption of ongoing processes in surrounding public space. In turn, traffic is redistributed through detours, employment locations, shops and homes are less accessible, and noise and vibrations make any presence around construction sites uncomfortable.  

Despite the discomfort for citizens, construction works are unavoidable given the need to transition toward smart cities. This module therefore puts attention on minimizing the public impact of civil engineering work. It focuses on how non-invasive technologies (for example: GPS & sensors to monitor and guide traffic flows; GPS  to guide secure and accurate excavating; GIS  to integrate design information; and robots to perform inspections safer and more accurate) can help to streamline construction activities. These ‘smart ways to get smart cities smarter’ eventually result in less costly and less disruptive urban space transitions. Central to this is the following challenge and question:


How can we transform our current cities, reshape and build the cities of the future without disturbing processes and activities in existing public space?


While elaborating on this question, students of this module will obtain basic knowledge about the functioning of these state-of-the-art technologies (ICT, sensors, intelligence etc.) that are soon to be deployed in the domain of the built environment and civil engineering. Then, students will be assigned to a real-life ‘non-invasive city engineering’ problem - where infrastructures, land-use and transport interact - and for which they are requested to find a (design) solution. During these projects, they obtain feedback from industry stakeholders to develop and mobilize their solutions and learn how their work contributes to smoother upgrading and renewal projects. 

In short, the module consists of three integrated parts and is structured as follows: In the first weeks, lectures focus on current developments toward smarter cities and their relation to institutional developments, urban mobility and civil engineering projects. Next, students will be clustered in groups and assigned to projects. These groups are offered a technology lecture series, describing the basics of geophysics, GIS, sensing, and robotics. In the third part, the groups solve a real-life ‘non-invasive city engineering’ design problem. A mini-symposium concludes the course.

More information can be found in the brochure.