EU supports the joint degree program of four universities with more than 3 million euros within its Erasmus Mundus program
Addressing the challenges of electromobility requires well-trained specialists with advanced knowledge in research and application. In the Master's program "Electric Vehicle Propulsion and Control" (E-PiCo) students from all over the world can study electromobility in a multidisciplinary, applicable and international way. It is the first European study program to cover the entire range of electric propulsion systems for road and marine transport and is offered jointly by four partner universities. For the students who will spend their second Master’s semester at Kiel University (CAU) the courses start today (Monday, April 19). They began the E-PiCo program last winter semester at the École Centrale de Nantes in France, which coordinates the program. In the upcoming fall, they will continue their studies at one of the partner universities in France, Italy or Romania or at Kiel University. The high-level Master’s program is funded by the Erasmus Mundus program of the European Union with a total of 3 million euros for the next six years.
“Schleswig-Holstein is known as a national key-player in energy transition and one of Germany’s pioneer regions in the renewable energy production," said CAU’s program manager Professor Thomas Meurer in welcoming the students to their stay in Kiel. Here they will mainly focus on electric machines, renewable energy and storage systems, the design of power electronic converters, as well as control, optimization and integration of these systems for e-mobility applications. "For us, the EU funding and the fact that top students from all over the world apply to the European universities of our consortium is a sign of the high quality and topicality of our teaching and research," said Meurer, who heads the Chair of Automatic Control.
The 2-year Master’s program is offered jointly by a consortium of the partner universities Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France), Università degli Studi dell’Aquila (Italy), Universitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti (Romania) and CAU (Germany). It is aimed at Bachelor's graduates in electrical engineering or a similar field and wants to provide an interdisciplinary background across the main areas of e-mobility (automatic control, electrical systems, embedded systems, electric vehicle modeling, optimization and simulation). Various technological specializations from the partner universities and international industry partners in the fields of automotive, aerospace, logistics or transportation sectors complement the program. Last September, 21 students started their studies in Nantes, more than 300 applications had been received before. In the following semesters, the students choose between the different universities so that by the time they graduate with a Master's degree, everyone has studied in at least two countries. Thanks to EU funding, up to 60 scholarships can be awarded to cover tuition fees, living expenses and travel costs.
In Kiel, the program is integrated into a variety of research structures and practical projects at CAU and with regional partners. Connected to the research focus Kiel Nano Surface and Interface Science (KiNSIS) and to the Collaborative Research Center 1461 "Neuroelectronics: Biologically Inspired Information Processing", a tight network for interdisciplinary cooperation projects is available. E-PiCo students can contribute to interdisciplinary initiatives such as CAPT (Clean Autonomous Public Transport) to gain direct insights into lighthouse projects in the region, like the development of emission-free, autonomous passenger ferries on the Kiel Fjord. There are further interfaces with the international Master's program "Electrical Engineering and Information Technology" that is already incorporated at Kiel University. "The E-PiCo courses are very well embedded in the teaching at the Faculty of Engineering, so that the Erasmus Mundus participants are closely integrated into campus life," says Professor Marco Liserre, deputy head of the program and head of the Chair of Power Electronics. “On the other hand, guest lectures organized through E-PiCo are open to the entire faculty teaching and research program, for example."
Practical training is ensured by application-oriented teaching with examples from current industrial projects or the opportunity to complete internships or write one's thesis in one of the participating companies. "I'm particularly looking forward to visit regional companies or at least meet digitally with industry representatives," hopes Andres Pastene from Chile. He is one of the thirteen students who have decided to go to Kiel for their second semester. They come not only from Europe, but also from North and South America or South Asia. The weather of Kiel is one of the most striking first impressions for many of them. Others find the fjord and the numerous parks attractive - "and that everything is so easily accessible by bike." The students' reasons for choosing the E-PiCo course and Kiel as a university location are many. "I have worked in the field of Avionics and Control Systems, and I know that electromobility is the future of transportation", says Vinod Gilla from India. Higuatzi Moreno and Oscar Leal, both from Mexico, were particularly attracted by Kiel's focus on battery development and automation and control. Abdel Rahman Genidy from Egypt has long been interested in Germany's automotive industry. After completing their Master's degree some of them also want to work in the automotive industry, while others can imagine to advance electromobility with their own research - perhaps at one of the universities of the Consortium.
A fixed component of E-PiCo is the cultural program on site. Integrated language courses and joint excursions shall help students get to know the country and its people. “Despite the Corona restrictions, we hope to realise at least some plans, even if only digitally," says Dr. Kirstin Scholz, coordinator of the program. She and her colleague Felix Heute also supported the students in the preparation for their stay in the search for accommodation, with questions about the visa or with organizing accommodation for the obligatory Corona quarantine. "Here we work closely together with our International Office and exchange experiences with the other participating universities."
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Thomas Meurer
Program manager „Electric Vehicle Propulsion and Control“ (E-PiCo) at Kiel University
Chair of Automatic Control
+49 431 880-6275
Dr.-Ing. Kirstin Scholz
Coordinator of E-PiCo at Kiel University
Service Center for Students, Faculty of Engineering
+49 431 880-6055