What Stephanie says about the Master's in Energy-Efficient and Environmental Building Design
Stephanie from Indonesia
Why did you decide to apply for the Master’s Programme in Energy-Efficient and Environmental Building Design at Lund University?
I have been interested in and passionate about sustainable architecture since my Bachelor's studies in Indonesia. I took some courses in green architecture and building physics and they really challenged me into taking a Master’s degree in energy-efficient building design. I did some research and Lund University was one of the universities that offered this specific programme. Since it is one of the top 100 universities in the world, I believed that Lund University would provide me with the education I needed. I also thought that Sweden, one of the most sustainable countries in the world, was the perfect place to study sustainable architecture! Sustainability is applied in everyday life and you can learn a lot just by living in Sweden.
How did you like your programme and its course content?
As an architect coming from Indonesia, I was really shocked at first by all the technicalities, calculations and details needed in the building and construction system in Europe. But since it is a multidisciplinary programme, you are not supposed to know everything from the start. You have classmates from different backgrounds who will help you understand what you are not familiar with. All the courses in the master’s programme are really hands-on! They represent the work practice in Sweden and I think that this is truly important. The unique thing is that you can finally choose one specific topic that you want to work with. You have to learn everything, but in the end you either gain comprehensive knowledge of energy-efficient building design or you are specialised in one topic.
When did you decide what you wanted to work with?
My favourite course was daylighting. Daylighting was never my focus when I was in Indonesia, as there is always too much daylight there, but here in Sweden daylight is scarce! I discovered how important it is and how much it affects life. That is why I decided to work with daylight for my thesis. Marie-Claude Dubois, senior lecturer and architect at White Arkitekter AB in Malmö, was my thesis supervisor and during that time I got the chance to work part-time with daylight simulations at White Arkitekter AB.
What do you work with right now? How did the Master's prepare you for your career?
After I graduated, I was offered a full-time job at White Arkitekter AB as an environmental specialist. Basically, I applied all the things that I learned during the programme in my work life. The programme is really hands-on and has strong connections with the Swedish building industry. I work with microclimate and daylight simulations most of the days and give design recommendations from the energy-efficient building perspective. I also work as an editor for a research network at White Arkitekter AB, WRL Ljus (White Research Lab Light), where daylight specialists and light designers working at the office come together and collaborate on projects. I have the chance to work with all kind of projects, including hospitals, offices, apartments, museums, universities and row houses. This is very unique. I collaborate with architects and engineers on the projects, just like I used to do in the group works during the Master's. Having worked with people from mixed backgrounds during the programme certainly helps me in my working life. During my studies, I also learned many different software systems and technical skills that come in very handy for my work.
Do you have any tip for current and future students of the programme?
I would recommend new students of the programme to take the opportunity to learn as much as they can from the lectures, lecturers and from their classmates! Learn to master the software systems (Grasshopper, Ladybug, Honeybee, Energyplus, WUFI, etc.), as they will come in handy in your future career. Always be creative and open to new challenges! Collaborate with your classmates as much as you can and, most importantly, learn Swedish as early as you can! Even though everyone speaks English here, if you want to work in Sweden, speaking Swedish will open more doors for bigger opportunities in the country!