Our international multi-disciplinary teams, consisting of three-six students/each team, are in Vaasa for a period of almost four months just to solve a single problem, your problem. They learn project management, teamwork and cultural awareness, and at the same time they work full-time to solve a real-world problem for a Finnish company, and they will spend approximately 2000 hours of work on the problem.
Make the most of this opportunity - New chances every spring and autumn!
How to apply, for companies
- Be in touch with one of the contact persons
- Tell us about the project you have in mind, and together we will tailor it to fit a student group, i.e add or remove tasks to make it suitable for about 2000 hours of work. Tell us what you hope to achieve, what our goals and deliverables should be
- From the basis of this discussion we will prepare an intro-package for the students
- If at all possible, come present the project to the students in person, to better explain the problems at hand
- The students will be allowed to choose which projects they prefer, and projects are assigned to them
- Company projects have priority, and are always assigned
- If there are too many competing company projects, the projects most preferred by the students will be assigned. But no worry, a new batch of students show up a few months later
The team will manage internal affairs, the team coach will steer the group in the right direction, and you will have to role of the customer – you will be further interviewed about your preferences, more details about the project, the background and necessary data. Being available to answer questions, especially in the beginning, often results in better, more useful results.
Out of your participation you will get a huge amount of work, for a very small stake – participation in the process and a reward if all goes well. Our earlier customers have all reported a high degree of satisfaction with the results of the EPS projects. A company project is a REAL project – and the students are motivated accordingly.
For the autumn semester (1.9 – 20.12), the deadline for a project proposal is 15.5.
For the spring semester (1.2 – 20.5), the deadline for a project proposal is 30.11.
About the EPS-program
The European Project Semester, EPS, is a program offered by eighteen European universities in thirteen countries throughout Europe, mainly to third year university/college students. The EPS is created for engineering students in all fields, from electrical to design. A preliminary list of the students' backgrounds is available about two months before the project starts.
The EPS-program is crafted to address the teamwork and design requirements of the engineering degrees and prepare engineering students with all the necessary skills to face the challenges of today's world economy. The international student teams work on interdisciplinary projects provided by commercial businesses and industries to develop their inter-cultural communication and teamwork skills.
They work for 3,5 months on a project, full-time (September-December or February-May) and receive training in simple project management, team-building techniques and language courses. But mainly they work on the project, about 30 hours per week, under the guidance of a team coach, a teacher with some knowledge about the project and its tech. The projects can vary greatly, from generally product development to research and process development, and are sourced from local companies and research projects. Some former project examples are presented below.
The language of EPS is English and the language of communication is English. Be prepared to state your problem in English and receive the produced work/reports in English.
If the company is pleased with the outcome of the project, we usually ask for the normal engineering-thesis "reward" for the team (about 2000 euro per team) to be used for material expenditure, excursions, and a celebratory dinner at the end of the project. More may be necessary if large material cost occur. If the company is less than pleased with the outcome at the end of the project, the cost is halved. Payment at the end of the project, Ab Yrkeshögskolan vid Åbo Akademi bills the company with the agreed-upon sum.
Product development, research, process development - anything that you might normally consider an engineering thesis worker for. Our students have, for instance, studied the energy efficiency of houses, improved supply chain economy, researched availability of regional bio fuels, developed business games, studied the suitability of software, researched agricultural robotics, designed mechanical solutions to technical problems and much more. So anything will count, unless it is too short, i.e. does not provide work for a few students for several months.
Former Projects and project reports:
- Algae Energy (2017) Calculating the energy balance of alage-biogas cultivation in local wastewater plants
- Renovation Platform (2017) Investigating best energy saving renovation practices from around Europe
- LNG Application (2017) Developing an LNG-motor system for the Science Laboratory
- Vaasa Campus Navigator (2016) Developing a map-app to show all classrooms of the universities in Vasa
- The ABB Board Game (2016) Creating a boardgame to teach student groups about ABB global activities
- Academill (2016) Researcing energy saving methods and options, calculating savings potential
- Biogas (2016) Testing the biogas potential of regional waste ingredients
- Fibiod (2015) Investigating the possibilities of using biodiesel in fishing crafts in the Gulf of Bothnia region
- Westenergy (2015) Investigating the business situation of competing waste-to-energy plants in Europe
- Smart Grid (2015) Defining a European Smart Grid Ready house, based on existing pilot projects and company developments all around Europe
- Drytec (2014) Investigation and development of software tools for illustrating water seepage and rot development
- Power Vision (2014) Developing a power saving motivation program
- Biofuel logistics (2013) Improvement of the logistics between forest and greenhouse for solid biofuel heating in Southern Ostrobothnia
Final report and final presentation
The output of the project will be whatever the company prefers – calculations, presentations, a software tool, graphical material, videos, etc. However, a final report is always produced and a final presentation is held towards the end of the semester. Similarly, a midterm report is produced and a midterm presentation is held at about the middle of the term, a chance to see how far things have progressed and, if necessary, correct the direction of the project. It is positive to have the company any representative present at these presentation events, to give the students a sense of the importance of their work, and also to evaluate their progress. The dates of these presentations are set at the beginning of the semester.
We are happy to tell you more about the possibilities and earlier projects!
Senior Lecturer, EPS-coordinator