Aija Baumane from Latvia
Why did you choose the Master’s programme in EEEBD at Lund University?
“After graduating as a construction architect in Denmark, I looked for a Master’s degree programme that would incorporate environmental protection. Programmes about sustainable buildings seemed a natural choice, but there were not that many to choose from. I had heard about the EEEBD programme at Lund University from an acquaintance, and after I had started to work in the engineering field in Copenhagen I decided that the EEEBD programme was a perfect choice for me.”
How did you like your programme?
“I loved the programme as a whole! My diverse academic background as an architecture, engineering and project management student provided a perfect basis to work in group-based project development, which is a well-developed Scandinavian teaching style in my opinion.
The programme gives a well-balanced architectural and engineering understanding of subjects around design of environmental buildings. The courses focus on energy efficiency and environmental aspects. Looking back, some subjects where more demanding than others, such as the solar and ventilation course, but they were crucial to grasp what energy efficiency in building construction is.”
Did you have any favourite courses?
“One of my favourite courses was Building Integrated Solar Energy Systems, as I see the big potential of solar energy when it comes to fighting climate change. I also very much liked Life Cycle Perspectives and Environmental Impact of Buildings – LCA is relatively new, but very crucial to understand how to manage and control the limited amount of recourses we have on our planet. Daylighting and Lighting of Buildings was a new and interesting subject as well.”
When and how did you decide what you wanted to work with?
“As I was approaching graduation I knew I wanted to work as an environmental engineer. I wanted to be a consultant in all the different aspects of energy efficient buildings. Research was interesting to me as well, but I felt too eager to get out in the ‘real world’, so I ruled out the PhD option.”
How did you get your first job after graduation?
“I contacted several companies in Sweden, including FOJAB Arkitekter. The Swedish job market seemed familiar with the concept of environmental engineer, even if it still was a relatively new profession.”
What do you work with right now and how do you like it?
“FOJAB Arkitekter assigns me a lot of different tasks within environmental engineering in building construction. I mostly work on daylighting projects as well as energy and thermal comfort. I also work with environmental certification systems, environmental materials and 3D Building Information Modelling. FOJAB is a relatively big company with about 160 employees, and three environmental engineers are working there. There are always different projects to work on and that makes the job exciting. The learning curve is skyrocketing for a ‘rookie’ like me.”
To what extent did your programme prepare you for your current position?
“I believe I got this job mainly because of my Master’s degree, as it is directly related to my current working tasks. There are of course other aspects of my background that were taken into consideration, but this Master’s played a crucial role.”
Do you have any tip for current or future students of the programme?
“If you have a vision, fight for it! If you believe in something, don’t give up, and keep fighting – everything is possible in the global age we live in
If you have chosen this programme, chances are that for one reason or another you want to develop environmental construction, and I can congratulate you on that! We need young, ambitious people in the industry, so keep pushing through those late-night study sessions and hunt for your dream job – or create one.”