NTNU a leader in sustainablity in engineering education

(25.09.2009) A new report recognizes the Norwegian University of Science and Technology as one of the top universities in Europe in incorporating sustainability issues in the education of all its engineers.


NTNU ranked second in a pan-European survey of more than 55 universities of technology (pdf) that educate engineers. The top ranked university was University of Strathclyde, in Scotland.

The ranking assesses universities based on five criteria:

  • the official university policy on sustainable development in engineering education for research, education and in-house activities;
  • the number of courses and specializations in sustainable development offered at the undergraduate level;
  • the post graduate educational offerings;
  • the degree to which sustainable development is included in different curricula;
  • in-house environmental management systems.

NTNU master's programme in Industrial Ecology
An important factor behind NTNU's high ranking is its Industrial Ecology Programme, which was created in the mid 1990s, and was the first programme of its kind in the world. Today it is a world leading academic programme in industrial ecology that attracts students from around the world. The focus is on state-of-the-art methods for environmental systems analysis and strategies for policy and management, as well as on the application of such strategies and methods to critical systems.

A number of other NTNU programmes, such as Product Design and Manufacturing, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Energy and Environment, incorporate environmental issues early on as part of their educational offerings. These courses of study, along with the HES programme in Industrial Economy , Product Design , and Technology Management and Physics, offer specializations that are related to sustainable development.

Consistent high marks
This is the second time that NTNU has received high marks from the EESD Observatory (Engineering Education for Sustainable Development), which produced the survey and report. In fact, NTNU was the top ranked university in 2006.

The report was commissioned and conducted in cooperation with the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS).The EESD is comprised of the Technical University of Catalonia, Delft University of Technology and Chalmers University of Technology. AGS is an international partnership composed of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the University of Tokyo and Chalmers.