Corporate collaboration

AEP - Advanced Energy Project

In the Advanced Energy Project course, student groups will carry out projects for external companies, to solve an identified business problem through the development of services, business models, technical solutions or prototypes.
Advanced Energy Program final presentations

The course includes workshops for professional development and introduces an entrepreneurial mindset for problem solving. At the workshops the students advance in their project with the support of external and internal experts. The student groups will be assisted at all times by a designated instructors who will also attend some of the group meetings with the collaboration companies.

What can the company expect from taking part in this project?

The AEP course is most suitable for companies which are involved in energy related topics or which have a business problem related to energy. This can include utilities, equipment manufacturers, service providers, consultancies, etc. We have partnered with companies such as Ramboll, Fortum, Wärtsilä, Agco, AFRY, St1, Granlund, Parking Energy & Neste.

The benefits for the participating company include

  • Innovative problem solving: Student groups will work with topics defined by the company to identify challenges and provide innovative solutions
  • Visibility: The company will be advertised in course information, websites & posters
  • Finding great colleagues: The course will help companies in finding suitable MSc thesis workers, and future employees.
  • Outcome: An innovative solution with a presentation and report (and possible prototype)

What is required from the company?

  • Initial project theme (optional for company to be present at first teaching workshop to outline project theme)
  • Willingness to hold about 4 meetings with the student teams over the course
  • Availability to answer student questions by e-mail and review drafts (not too frequent, students would generally not be in touch more than every 2 weeks, and they are primarily guided by the instructor from Aalto)
  • Schedule as follows:
    1. June: Contract signed with Aalto on involvement in course (and NDA if necessary)
    2. End August: Company defines project theme in collaboration with the course staff
    3. Early September: First teaching workshop – companies can introduce their project there
    4. September: Project work starts, first student team meeting with company
    5. October-November: Interim meetings with student teams
    6. December: Project finalization
    7. Mid December: Event at Aalto where all teams present their projects to companies and wider Aalto community (these presentations only include “public” results of work where there are confidentiality considerations and/or an NDA has been signed)

What do the students receive?

The main learning goals of this project are

  • Teamwork
  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurial mindset for problem solving
  • Negotiation & Communication skills
  • Networking

The methods used to achieve these goals are

  • Pitching
  • Workshops
  • Meetings with company (at least 3-4)
  • Group project work (engineering or economic analysis, research, etc)
  • Interviews with experts

Participation was very beneficial to our company. The time commitment needed from us was very reasonable.

Ilona Liukkonen, Product Portfolio Manager, Biorefining Business Development & Production St1 Oy

Course details

  • Contact: Sam Cross, Manager, Aalto Energy Platform, [email protected], tel. +358 504096615
  • Project duration: 4 months (September- November)
  • Number of students per project: 4-5
  • Project fee for a company: 5 000 € + VAT
  • Application period for companies: 01.04.–18.06.2020
  • This course is run in collaboration with Aalto Energy Platform

Projects are generally private for companies, but this report from an AEP project for the Finnish Energy Industry Association (Energiateollisuus) carried out in the 2019 course was approved for public release.

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