Level I Master in "Planning and development of advanced energy systems to produce energy from biomass and from other renewable sources”

The Master’s programme is an essential element of the industrial research project “Project for a complete advanced energy system based on large-scale cultivation of microalgae in photobioreactors to competitively and sustainably produce renewable energy and other products”. Eighteen students were selected following announcement of the Master by the University of Calabria (UniCal) Dean’s Decree 1323 of 15 June 2012.

Goals and Objectives

The teaching objective was to train professionals able to work both within organizations and as independent professionals/experts in research and development, innovation, strategic change, etc., in order to make the relevant organizations more competitive in being able to research integrated solutions for conceiving, planning, engineering, implementing and finally managing and controlling advanced energy systems for producing energy (and other products) derived from biomass and other renewable sources. It should emerge from the Educational plan that the goal was to train qualified persons who would go beyond the limits of the professionals who already exist or who can be found in the regulations, who would value and emphasize above all a professionalism oriented toward research and development and problem solving in highly complex and critical conditions, who would fulfill potential in research, innovation, creativity and scientific and methodological expertise that is rarely to be found today on the market, among working professionals as well as in R&D, in the energy/environmental sector.

Learning Activities

The course was designed to be highly practical and aimed to turn students into professionals. The Master is a high level training course intended to train professionals as described above, required by various companies operating in the industry, regionally and nationally.

The syllabus calls for 1500 hours of learning activities, for which 60 credits were awarded, as follows:

  • 600 hours of lectures dedicated to acquiring professional techniques and a laboratory for applying the techniques with case studies, professional practice work simulations and group work (40 credits).
  • 450 hours of internships in companies and pairings with companies involved in R&D, research, innovation, strategic change, etc. (18 credits)
  • 420 hours of individual study.
  • 30 hours–final examination (2 credits).

The General Plan for learning activities guaranteed at least 240 hours of lectures by university professors and researchers.

Evaluation committee

The Evaluation committee consisted of one member from the University of Calabria (UniCal), one member from CNR and one from the University Consortium of Industrial and Managerial Economy (CUEIM). Marks for the classroom portion were given by the instructors following the exam for each teaching module; marks for internship and on-the-job training were agreed upon among the three panel members. The panel evauated the students’ internship and on-the-job training activities not only in the field of biomasses, the primary subject of the Master, but also on other types of renewable energy sources and techniques for increasing energy efficiency. All students had the opportunity to become familiar with the research project connected with the Master through trips to the site of the experiment. Some did on-the-job training onsite at Marina di Gioiosa during installation and thus actively contributed to the research connected with the project.

Assessment of student satisfaction

The students’ satisfaction with the instruction they received was measured using customer satisfaction tests. Specifically, customer satisfaction tests were administered to measure the students’ satisfaction with each teaching module. In addition, a test was administered to measure the level of enjoyment of the course during learning and two other tests to measure overall satisfaction level at the end of module A, “Specialist theoretical learning”, and module C, “Planning and strategic management knowledge”.