The Master in Energy for Smart Cities program addresses internationally-oriented and entrepreneurial engineering students who wish to implement modern energy technologies for end-users of the electrical value chain. The program is a collaboration between the KU Leuven and technical universities from Eindhoven, Stockholm, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Grenoble.

What is the ‘EIT-KIC Master of Energy’ all about?


The Master's program consists of 120 credits, organized in two stages of 60 credits. The first stage consists of compulsory courses that cover a broad base of electrical, thermo-mechanical, and techno-economic subjects. In the second year, students continue working towards writing a Master's thesis and attend elective courses: general, broadening and option-specific.

The first year of this program combines electrical and mechanical engineering courses with energy-related socio-economic subjects. An integrated project is also included. After the first year exams, the program organizes a one-week summer school to sharpen participants' innovation and entrepreneurial skills in the energy sector. This summer school includes soft skills such as teambuilding, networking, leadership, entrepreneurship and intercultural communication, all fueled by interesting conversations with professionals from the energy industry, consultancy firms and municipalities.

In the second year, a Smart Cities Week course is organized during the annual ATHENS week each November. These students discover a myriad of leading innovations and technologies in the smart cities sector outside of the traditional curriculum.

The Master's thesis is a second-year research project on electrical or thermo-mechanical energy, or on one of energy's technical-economic aspects. A wide range of topics is available every year at KU Leuven and the other second-year universities. Here students learn to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their previous year. Topics are linked to on-going KIC InnoEnergy research and innovation activities. Project findings will be investigated with a view to optimizing their value and application in both current and future energy contexts.

During the program, all students have the opportunity to visit at least one international smart cities event, two energy companies, and one energy research institute. In addition, all students get to meet at least one venture in the KIC InnoEnergy Highway active in the Smart and Efficient Buildings and Cities technology field. In this way, the program aims at maintaining a multidisciplinary approach to energy technology, while allowing students ample freedom in shaping their personal profile (e.g. with emphasis on in-depth knowledge or a broader profile).

After successfully completing the program, alumni receive a double degree, one from each university they attended during the two years, as well as a KIC-EIT certificate that recognizes the extra activities accomplished.

A strong mobility concept by KIC InnoEnergy and the EIT means that students spend their first year at one university, their second year at another, and have the possibility to complete an internship at a third.


  1. Top merits (according to participants in Survey 2013-2014): mobility and international exposure, Innovation and close relation with industry in joint activities and project-based course, Master's thesis with industry/research centre, Innovative education and Entrepreneurship skills, Nice topic, attendance to top international events related to the topic, Double-degree Scholarship, Active organisation, Effective communication.
  2. Energy engineers are much wanted by industry and society. Most students have an industry contract before they officially get their degree.
  3. Unique program in Belgium and a pioneering role in Europe.
  4. Graduates of the program have gained an active knowledge of the basic aspects and methods of energy conversion and rational use of energy in the three domains: 'electrical energy', 'thermo-mechanical energy', and 'techno-economic energy knowledge'. According to the relevant stakeholders, these different subjects are well balanced.
  5. The strong multidisciplinary program is valued highly by students, alumni, and industry.
  6. Clear, well-structured and balanced program with a good mix of the core program and elective program, allowing students to adjust program according to own interests.
  7. A Strong core team of professors with large research expertise (all top researchers in their field), and with professional educational training.
  8. A diverse group of part-time guest professors from industry with specific knowledge on energy topics.
  9. The teaching of exercises, labs, and coaching of Master's thesis by research-oriented staff (Ph.D. students).
  10. A versatile preparatory program that can be well fitted to the background of inflow.
  11. Every year, a one-week Germany trip is organized (optional), during which students visit German energy companies (ABB, 50Hz, Siemens, RWE, etc). Most students participate.
  12. Good gender diversity in teaching staff.
  13. Gound counseling service provided by Ph.D. researchers that have followed the Master's program themselves.
  14. The continuous process of quality control, guaranteed by a structural approach. Next to the classic processes, common for KU Leuven and the Faculty of Engineering Science, the core teaching staff meets twice a year in a one-day meeting to discuss on the program. The extended teaching staff, including guest lecturers from industry, meets on a yearly to two-yearly basis, discussing longer-term vision and strategy. Finally, the Industrial Advisory Board meets on a two-yearly basis.

Application deadline for 2018-2019

  • 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
  • 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via Students with a Flemish degree can consult

Tuition Fee

The current tuition fee is €4,000 (EEA students) or €8,000 (non-EEA students). The tuition fee for the 2018-2019 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2018. Please consult the website for the most recent information:

This is an initial Master's program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Is this the right program for me?

The Master in Energy for Smart Cities program addresses internationally-oriented and entrepreneurial engineering students who wish to implement modern energy technologies for end-users of the electrical value chain: citizens, companies, and cities. Graduates of this custom-developed program will be truly multi-disciplinary smart city experts: well qualified to work in industry or research or to take on policy-making roles in energy issues related to secure, sustainable urban living and working.

The Master in Energy for Smart Cities program balances exciting technological opportunities in energy with environmental and socio-economic aspects of smart cities, such as energy efficiency in buildings, electric transportation, energy economics, smart lighting and other city services. Students receive a broad education in electrical and mechanical energy systems, allowing them to participate fully in the design and operation of advanced energy solutions. They will also learn how to construct and employ contemporary energy conversion technologies and secure energy supply in general while taking into account overriding technical limitations, environmental consequences and economic considerations. The program is ideal for students who are fascinated by energy technology and interested in environmental and socio-economic factors, as well as the electrical and thermo-mechanical aspects of the urban environment.

Career Paths

As a graduate, you will possess a genuinely multidisciplinary skill set and be qualified to work in a research, policy-based or industrial environment.

1. Competent in one or more scientific disciplines

  • The graduate has an active, advanced knowledge of and insight in energy conversion and rational use of energy in each of the following three areas:
    • Electrical energy (e.g. the generation from different primary sources of energy, transmission, and distribution, control and regulation, efficient use).
    • Thermo-mechanical energy (e.g. the use of primary sources, conversion to other vectors, combustion, engines, and turbines).
    • Economic and regulatory aspects of energy (e.g. markets, regulations, an organisation in the European context).
  • The graduate actively looks for structure, coherence between and integration of the relevant fields in these three domains.
  • Based on this knowledge and its integration, the graduate can participate in the state-of-the-art design, management and production activities of energy converters and systems in their economic, regulatory and environmental context.
  • The graduate possesses the skills and the attitude to independently and efficiently apply, expand and formalize this knowledge in the context of more advanced ideas or applications in at least one of the three aforementioned domains.

2. Competent in conducting research

  • The graduate is capable of structuring realistic problems (of a more complex nature) as a research question, designing a research plan, developing innovative solutions and synthesizing. He/she thereby considers the limits of the system.
  • The graduate is able to choose the appropriate level of abstraction on a component, device and system level, given the process stage of the research problem.
  • The graduate is capable of and has the attitude to integrate related energy systems and other disciplines where needed in his/her own research.

3. Competent in designing

  • The graduate is able to design energy components and systems with an eye for the dynamic interaction between individual components in a global system.
  • The graduate is able to deal with changeability of the designing process due to external circumstances, such as social tendencies or political decisions, or advancing insight. He/she can adjust this process based on these circumstances, and effectively manage risks. He can deal with limited resources and is able to work purposefully, with a pragmatic approach.

4. Scientific approach

  • The graduate is able to critically regard existing theories, models or interpretations in the field of energy.
  • The graduate is able to use, develop and validate models and experimental techniques and is able to make an informed choice between modelling and measuring methods. In this context, he is able to critically reflect on his/her own thoughts, decisions and actions.
  • The graduate possesses the skills and knows the techniques to become more proficient in his/her technical field throughout his/her entire life. He/she knows the sources of information, recognizes their value and knows how to apply them in new circumstances. He/she also possesses the skills to continue to develop his/her skills with respect to non-technical elements of the field of energy, such as economic, environmental and regulatory aspects.

5. Basic intellectual skills

  • The graduate is able to ask pertinent questions regarding an argument in the field of energy and take a reasoned position. He/she hereby considers the social context.
  • The graduate is able to apply methods of reasoning to the discipline (e.g. interactions between components of the electricity system as a basis for stability, energy and pinch analysis in thermodynamics, market forces and integration of renewable sources of energy) and is able to recognize and refute fallacies.

6. Competent in collaboration and communication

  • The graduate is able to effectively report on research and project results to experts, peers and stakeholders, in Dutch and/or in English, both orally and in writing.

7. Taking the temporal and social context into account

  • The graduate considers the (changing) social context, such as societal support, policy decisions, the socio-economic context, geopolitics, energy markets and climate change when analyzing and solving complex energy problems.
  • The graduate considers the existing and future challenges of the power supply and can contribute to the transition of the energy system in a globalized society, from a technical and socio-economic perspective.

Further Studies

When allowed:

  • Master of Welding Engineering (Sint-Katelijne-Waver)
Program taught in:
  • English

See 16 more programmes offered by KU Leuven: Faculty of Engineering Science »

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