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Water management as a solution to a question of human destiny

Experts agree that the growing world population’s need for high-quality water is constantly increasing, and that the challenges posed by climate change to international water management are also becoming visibly more complex. There is no doubt about it: the permanent availability of water in the most diverse places in the world is one of the major issues facing humanity in the future. Starting in the winter semester of 2021/22, Hof University of Applied Sciences will be offering a new master’s degree program in sustainable water management that uniquely combines management and technical skills while also integrating the topics of sustainability and digitalization. Students will thus have many international opportunities in a growth area.

The new Sustainable Water Management and Engineering master’s program works in a highly interdisciplinary way; image: istockphoto – metamorworks;

“Sustainable Water Management and Engineering”, the full name of the new degree program, is specifically aimed at people who already have an academic education, but at the same time are still looking for a field of activity with social relevance and sustainable meaning:

Sustainable solutions to climate change

We want to train a whole new generation of engineers and managers. Systemic thinking with multi- and interdisciplinary skills is the basis for shaping a sustainable and future-proof water industry – an industry, in other words, that will be characterized by complex challenges in the coming decades, especially in view of climate change.”

Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, Director of Studies

And further: “To be able to cope with these and to find innovative and ecological solutions in the process is the goal of our teaching,” says Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, head of the study program, which is offered in English. According to her, the current core task in the field of water is to adapt existing systems, concepts and technologies in public and private water management as well as in industry to the ongoing changes or even to develop new ones.

Linking with digital solutions as a unique selling point

What makes the new course at Hof University of Applied Sciences very special is a strong focus on the area of digitalization. There are already a number of national and international interdisciplinary courses on water management, for example in the USA, Canada, Spain and Sweden. Nevertheless, the course project now launched in Hof is unique: “Without appreciating the aspect of digitalization, sustainable water management will be difficult to implement in the future. For this reason, we are placing a strong focus on the question of how the challenges ahead can be met through digital technology,” said university president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann and Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer in unison.

Head of study program Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer; photo: private;

Interdisciplinary teaching as a basis

The teaching offered is based overall on a multi- and interdisciplinary concept: It combines sustainability and risk management with the management of existing resources. In addition, precise knowledge of treatment technologies, water cycle management and specific structures of water management, such as canal systems, are taught. It also incorporates knowledge of digitization technologies and societal concerns. In this way, students acquire a wide range of analytical skills, methodological knowledge, and solution and evaluation competencies.

Cooperation with relevant stakeholders

The course can be taken on the basis of an engineering or economics bachelor’s degree with an environmental and water focus. “Relevant professional experience in water management is also naturally enriching and advantageous. However, close cooperation with innovative companies, authorities and research institutions also takes place during the course of study in any case,” says Prof. Dr. Wimmer. What’s more, the new degree program can also be completed on a dual basis, i.e. in parallel with practical assignments in companies.

Social and ecological components

Group projects, for example in companies, are intended to dovetail theory and practice. “In research projects and case studies, and of course in the master’s thesis, we always want to combine the decisive factors for the future: These are economic performance, attention to social concerns and, of course, ecological compatibility,” says course director Prof. Dr. Wimmer.

Growing job prospects

The opportunities on the job market are already very good for the upcoming graduates: “The job profile of a sustainability manager with a focus on water or a water engineer with a focus on sustainability and digitalization is already in high demand today – just think of the many innovative companies, research institutions, planning offices or government agencies that come into question as employers here. Our students can also work as project engineers, experts or consultants. One thing is clear: With increasing challenges in water management, the demand for multi- and interdisciplinarily trained people will foreseeably become greater and greater,” is the assessment of Prof. Dr. Manuela Wimmer, who herself is active and committed as an expert in many water management networks.

Apply now!

The study program “Sustainable Watermanagement and Engineering” will start in the winter semester 2021/22 at Hof University of Applied Sciences. You can apply for this starting in May 2021. For more information, visit: www.hof-university.de/studienangebot

Rainer Krauß

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