MSc in Energy – Engineering track

MSc in Energy - Engineering track

Why to study MSc in Energy – Engineering track

Semestre 1:

African Energy Resources and Scenarios

This course provides an overview of Africa’s energy poverty situation, its abundant resource availability, both non-renewable and renewable, and how these can be utilised to deal with challenges such as energy access, energy insecurity and reliance on conventional energy. To ensure sustainable use of these resources in Africa, the course also describes how to undertake and interpret energy policy formulation.

Key continental energy programmes and initiatives are introduced, such as Africa Power Vision based on the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) promoted by the African Union, the New Deal on Energy for Africa and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) promoted by the African Development Bank. These initiatives support the African Union’s Agenda 2063 which commits to harnessing Africa’s energy resources to ensure modern, efficient, reliable, cost effective, renewable and environmentally friendly energy supplies for all people in Africa.

The course also discusses the linkage between energy production, energy consumption and climate change. Special attention is given to the role of energy use with respect to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The course aims to impart knowledge and understanding of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Students are introduced to the development of scenarios that identify the main megatrends that influence the future of energy, strategic directions and climate-responsive development in Africa, as well as innovative financial mechanisms for low carbon development in the energy sector in Africa.

Number of Credits 6

Energy Technologies

The course is designed to expose students to different energy technologies. The emphasis is on how these technologies work, how they are evaluated in terms of economic cost and environmental impact and what their infrastructure requirements are.  Both current and proposed new energy technologies will be discussed and evaluated (non-renewable and renewable). Emphasis is on understanding and evaluating how these technologies work, what their economic and environmental costs are and their conversion efficiencies.

Number of Credits 4

Advances in Energy Efficiency

This course explores the scope and methods for improving energy efficiency across a range of sectors including transport, manufacturing, commercial and domestic sectors, and to provide students with in-depth knowledge on energy utilisation and energy efficiency. Operating principles of co-generation, waste heat recovery, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and thermal design in building systems are taught in class. Advanced energy efficient systems and technologies are described. Collection of information by auditing and the use of this information for planning, demand management and impact assessment are investigated. The subject complements other subjects offered in the PAUWES energy programmes such as EP1: Energy for Sustainable Development and EP11: Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management.

Number of Credits 2

Thermal Science Engineering and Application

This course covers the underlying principles and applied aspects of thermodynamics and heat transfer associated with energy conversion. The focus is on real life applications, allowable versus actually realisable performance, drivers of irreversibility and their containment measures. First, the course reviews basic concepts of thermodynamics, the first and the second law of thermodynamics and the notion of irreversibility. Then the course studies the fundamentals of chemical reactions and combustion processes. Topics on real gas behaviour as well as on steam production and thermodynamic properties of steam are covered. State-of the-art technologies in thermodynamic gas and vapour power cycles (Carnot, Otto, Diesel, Stirling Brayton and Rankine and the respective cycle modifications for improving the performance) pertinent to thermal prime movers are presented from an interdisciplinary perspective. The linkage between finite time thermodynamics and heat transfer is described. The course investigates the governing principles of conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer from the perspective of maximisation, minimisation and quantification of the actual amount of heat transferred in different processes occurring in energy systems.

Number of Credits 2

Experimental Design and Data Analysis

This course offers practical training in methodologies relevant to the field of engineering. The course begins with an exploration of issues of general relevance to empirical investigation in sciences, research design, research ethics and an overview of research methods. The second part of the course offers students the opportunity to focus on qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Number of Credits 4

African History

This course aims to provide students with a solid foundation on Africa’s historical experiences and realities. It surveys how African social and political institutions have developed over Africa’s greatly varied geography in the light of economic and environmental change over the last few millennia. Furthermore, it covers issues related to colonialism, nationalism, African states and the African identity. Finally, it equips students with a generic base of skills for the general study of history.

Number of Credits 4

Practical Laboratories


Number of Credits 5

Communication Management and Marketing Communications


Number of Credits 1

Entre- and Intrapreneurship

Entrepreneurship is often regarded purely as business management, resulting in entrepreneurship education content that primarily focuses on developing business management skills. This approach limits the development of entrepreneurial potential in other sectors such as government and civil society and effectively excludes other disciplines from acquiring much needed 21st century skills. This course regards entrepreneurship as a transversal process and covers content that encourages students to be entrepreneurial – a combination of skills and mindset that unlock particular attitudes and behaviours. These include having a growth mindset (versus a fixed mindset), having a hunger for lifelong learning and applying critical thinking skills to problem solving. The course equips students with the knowledge of how to spot opportunities and generate ideas, learning in part from African cases.


The unprecedented rate of change and complexity in society requires entrepreneurial thinkers that are constantly learning, therefore, instilling a habit of lifelong learning is crucial. Critical thinking, one of the essential 21st century skills according to the World Economic Forum, promotes understanding and more effective discussions; it provides students with the ability to identify problems and equips them with the concepts and vocabulary to explain errors or poor logic. Critical thinking is therefore key to problem solving and one of the sources for effective idea generation. Business management generally relies heavily on information to make informed decisions, but in the quest to be intra- or entrepreneurial, information alone is not sufficient. The ability to spot opportunities and generate ideas from information to fulfil a need, is what makes entrepreneurial students more valuable. This course therefore aims to prepare students with problem solving skills (finding solutions to urgent challenges), critical thinking skills (thinking clearly, rationally and systematically), opportunity spotting skills (seeing the unseen and generating value from that) and idea generation skills.


All of the above requires practice and time to develop and so this course aims to ignite interest and perhaps unlock a hunger for becoming entrepreneurial. It also aims to start equipping students to be habitual critical thinkers, problem solvers, opportunity spotters and idea generators by teaching basic tools and techniques to achieve these objectives.

Number of Credits 2

Semestre 2:

The Policy and Engineering Nexus in Energy

Part 1: Introduction

    1. Reflections on the function of the course
    2. Case study work: A "failure example" of a misunderstanding between engineers and policy practitioners with learning objectives (e.g., one of the many World Bank dam projects that failed to take the social and political consequences and context into account, such as the Inga 3 hydroelectric project in the DRC)
  1. What are the risks of misunderstanding?
  2. How do the different perspectives work?

Part 2: Two worlds meet

    1. The engineering perspective of the world
    2. The policy perspective of the world: Political decision making and political systems, power distribution analysis, social context analysis (a short version of a policy analysis course)

Part 3: Bringing it together

    1. Group work on 4-5 projects focusing on (political and social) context analysis, engineering project design, the decision-making process (advocacy) and project implementation
    2. Extensive de-briefing on project work including a meta-reflection on the "other" perspective as well as the social dynamic between the two "sides"

Part 4: Conclusion

    1. Drawing "mind maps" of the respective "other side" and self-define "take home values" and "lessons learned"

Number of Credits 6

Energy Economics

The course mostly teaches economic theories and models related to the energy sector. It focuses on the factors that drive energy demand, assesses methods to ensure efficiency in energy supply and examines some of the impact of energy efficiency on overall energy consumption. The course also looks into the energy situation in Africa and the opportunities and challenges, employing both class discussion and case studies.

Number of Credits 4

Advances in Energy Storage

This course explains the engineering concepts of different relevant energy storage technologies in a coherent manner, assessing underlying numerical material to evaluate energy, power, volume, weight and cost of new and existing energy storage systems. A unified treatment with a logical approach is followed targeting performance assessment of the wide spectrum of energy storage technologies, their current status of development, emerging advances and evolving trends. Design aspects, safe working modes and potential applicability are covered for different energy storage options. These include the storage of energy as heat, in phase transitions and reversible chemical reactions, in organic fuels and hydrogen, as well as in mechanical, electrostatic and magnetic systems. Updated coverage of electrochemical storage systems considers exciting developments in materials and methods for applications such as rapid short-term storage in hybrid and intermittent energy generation systems, and battery optimisation for increasingly prevalent EV and stop-start automotive technologies.

Number of Credits 4

Advanced Materials for Energy

The course covers the field of materials for energy applications. The course discusses a range of issues related to the role of materials in developing new energy technologies and more efficient utilisation of existing energy resources. Topics include materials for biofuels, energy storage, wind power, hydrogen production, storage and use, nuclear energy needs, photovoltaic materials for solar energy conversion and thermoelectric materials.

Number of Credits 4

Applied Computation in Energy Engineering

Sustainable energy addresses one of the largest challenges facing the world. Although energy topics span many disciplines ranging from material sciences to public policy, it is becoming apparent that computational techniques such as simulation, prediction, optimisation and control have the potential to drastically impact virtually all of these areas. This course provides an introduction to recent advances in computational methods applied to sustainable energy domains. The objective is to provide students with a broad background in state-of-the-art computational methods that repeatedly arise in these domains, such as machine learning, optimisation and control, and to provide hands-on experience applying these methods to real-world domains.

In particular, much of the class uses real data from local electrical grids as a running example and addresses issues regarding the prediction, modelling, and control of electricity from existing and renewable energy sources.

Number of Credits 4

Practical Laboratories


Number of Credits 5

Project Design and Management

This course cultivates skills and expertise in designing, planning and controlling projects. It examines the project management life cycle, defining project parameters, management challenges, project management tools and techniques, and emphasizes the project manager’s role.


The course will guide students through the fundamental tools of project management and skills necessary to devise, launch, lead, and implement successful projects in profit and non-profit organizations. Successful project managers possess the skills necessary to manage their teams, schedules, risks, and resources to produce desired outcomes. Students explore project management with a practical and pragmatic approach through project implementation, case studies and class exercises.

Number of Credits 2

Academic Writing and Presentation

This course provides learners with principles, techniques, guidelines and suggestions to improve their skills in academic written communication. Consequently, it is designed to cover techniques that can be applied to different types of academic writing including essays, dissertations, reviews, grant proposals, research papers as well as thesis writing. The course provides tools to students to create in-text references and corresponding citations. The course also teaches appropriate language and common usage of tenses for different types of academic writing.

Number of Credits 1

Semestre 3:

Solar Thermal Systems
  1. Solar radiation geometry
    1. Solar radiation: Properties of sunlight, spectral distribution of sunlight, components of solar radiation, earth’s tilted axis and the seasons, local solar time, summer and winter solstice, sun path diagram, solar geometric angles
    2. Measurement of solar radiation: Sunshine recorder and other instruments, pyranometer, pyrheliometer, albedometer
    3. Analysis of solar radiation data: Models for radiation analysis and beam radiation calculations, radiation on tilted surfaces (numerical problems)
  1. Introduction to solar thermal technologies
    1. Overview and components of solar thermal systems
    2. Types of solar thermal technologies
    3. Solar energy conversion (cooling, heating and power generation), heat transfer in solar thermal technologies
    4. Energy mix of solar thermal technologies: Benefits and challenges
    5. Material selection for solar thermal technologies: Properties, heat transfer considerations, radiation characteristics of opaque materials, radiation in cover absorber systems, selective coatings
    6. Solar thermal fluids: Types, fluid selection by application, pumping power considerations
  2. Solar thermal collectors and systems
    1. Overview and types of solar thermal collectors: Concentrating and non-concentrating, thermo-dynamical description of solar collectors, optical properties of solar collectors, technologies for fabrication of solar collectors, standards for solar thermal collectors
    2. Compound parabolic, linear Fresnel, flat plate and evacuated tube collectors
    3. Solar parabolic trough: Design considerations, tracking and control systems, thermal design of receivers, solar tower concepts including tower design, heliostat design, receiver types, tracking and control systems, solar parabolic dish considerations including design considerations, Sterling engine, Brayton cycle, tracking and control systems
  3. Solar thermal system design
    1. Solar thermal power plants for electricity generation, design methods for different applications, system installation, operation and maintenance, economic evaluation, environmental aspects
    2. Software and tools for solar thermal system design
  4. Applications of solar thermal technologies
    1. Solar drying, solar cooking, solar green houses, solar furnaces, solar incinerators, solar water purification, solar space cooling (absorption cycles, desiccant cycles, solar hybrid air conditioning), solar thermal refrigeration for food storage, building and district heating (active and passive), material processing and chemistry applications

Number of Credits 4

Wind Energy Systems
  1. Wind energy basics
    1. Status, advantages and disadvantages
    2. Types of wind energy converters, components of wind turbines and wind characteristics
    1. Local effects on wind, site selection, roughness length, wind shear, wind speed variability and obstacles to wind flow
    2. Wind resources assessment, wind distribution, wind predication and forecasting
  1. Physics of wind power
    1. One-dimensional momentum theory and the Betz limit, wind turbine with wake rotation, airfoil section and blade design for modern wind turbines
    2. Momentum theory and blade element theory
    3. Generalised rotor design procedure and the effect of drag and blade number on optimum performance
  2. Wind power generation
    1. Basic concepts of electrical power, power converters, synchronous or asynchronous generators
    2. Grid requirements, grid integration, power curve and the capacity factor, and the control and governing of wind turbines
    3. Integration of wind power in the electricity supply system and turbine selection
    4. Hybrid systems with wind: Wind-solar, wind-diesel
  3. Evaluation of wind projects
    1. Economic assessment of wind energy systems, capital costs of wind energy systems, and operation and maintenance costs
    2. Economic analysis methods, tariff schemes, power quality issues with grid integration and use of energy storage
  4. Environmental impacts of wind power
  1. Turbines and the issue of noise and how to control it

Number of Credits 4

Hydro and Maritime (Oceanic) Energy Systems

The course covers concepts of hydro and maritime energy systems in power production. Major emphasis is on hydro power, where the course gives an overview on hydrological analysis, turbine selection, hydraulic structures and water passage systems, component design, and considerations of economic, financial and environmental aspects. Other energy systems for exploiting and harnessing renewable energy from the ocean are dealt with in terms of their potential, status of development towards commercialisation, challenges to be addressed and recent developments related to configurations and prototypes for tidal, wave and off shore wind energy conversion. In addition to power and fresh water production, the course considers the diversified product mix obtainable from ocean thermal energy conversion. It also analyses potential opportunities for marine cogeneration.

Number of Credits 4

Geothermal Energy Systems

This course provides an introduction to geothermal energy, which covers both direct (including heat pump-type application) and indirect (electricity generation) usages, including enhanced geothermal systems for non-volcanic areas. The course studies the main types of geothermal systems, how energy is harnessed using current technology and the potential geothermal resources that may provide useful energy with emerging technology. It concentrates on how geology impacts the character, size, and design utilisation of geothermal energy resources.

Number of Credits 4

Solar PV Systems
  1. Basics of solar cells and panels
    1. Working of solar cells: Fundamentals of solar cells, elementary P-N junction theory, different semiconductor materials for solar cells, absorption of light, recombination process, sources of losses and prevention, efficiency limits, issues and challenges of solar cells, strategies to

enhance the efficiency of commercial solar cells and panels, state-of-the-art commercial solar panel structures

    1. Solar cell fabrication: Wafer based solar cell fabrication, the CZ and FZ crystal growth processes, multicrystalline silicon fabrication, PN junction formation, metal contacts, encapsulations, solar panel assembly lines in India, introductory thin film PV device fabrication
    2. Standards for performance testing: International certification of solar panels, e.g., IEC 61215, 61646 and other applicable standards
  1. Types of solar photovoltaic systems
    1. PV system installation, operation and maintenance, balance of PV system (BOS), centralised and decentralised PV systems, stand alone, hybrid and grid connected system designs and optimisations, rooftop PV systems, BIPV systems, shadow effects and bypass diodes, hot spot problem
  2. Design of PV power plants
    1. Planning with software, estimating power and energy demand
    2. Preparing a detailed project report (DPR), site selection, land requirements, choice of modules, economic comparison, balance of systems, array design, design of standalone, hybrid and grid interactive plants, commissioning of solar PV plants
  3. Operation and maintenance of PV power plants
    1. PV system design and optimisation, maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms, solar-inverter types and characteristics, power conditioning systems, working algorithms, performance analysis
    2. Issues and challenges of PV system operation and maintenance
    3. Factors affecting the PV system performance, performance measurements and characterisation of PV power plants
    4. Financial analyses
  4. Grid integration of PV systems
    1. Net metering and feed-in tariff mechanisms
    2. Energy generation analysis, power control and management systems for grid integration
    3. Issues and challenges of grid integrated PV system
    4. PV system simulation tools

Number of Credits 6


The course focuses on bioenergy and applications of bioenergy technologies for energy exploitation and utilisation. It reviews thermochemical energy processes (combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, reforming), mechanical and chemical processes (oil extraction and trans-esterification), and biochemical processes (fermentation and anaerobic digestion). Emphasis is given to thermochemical and biochemical processes. The course also provides knowledge of bioenergy engineering tools that can be applied to the analysis of energy conversion processes involving biomass.

Number of Credits 4

Hybrid Systems

Small-size hybrid wind-hydro-diesel-solar power generation systems are an attractive solution for power supply in rural areas where no grid connection is available. This course introduces students to hybrid energy systems including the physical and mathematical models of hybrid renewable energy system components, realisation of the components and system models with appropriate computer simulation tools.

Number of Credits 4

Practical Laboratories


Number of Credits 5

Water-Energy Nexus & Climate Change

The course equips students with knowledge of the interactions, synergies and trade-offs between the water-energy nexus and climate change. The course sets a foundation by explaining the water-energy nexus and how it relates to climate change. A brief exploration of the underlying mechanisms of the water-energy nexus and physical science basis of climate change is followed by a step-by-step and detailed description of how climate change is projected to affect water resources and energy systems and the potential consequences for the water-energy nexus, food and energy security and, in turn, sustainable development.

Additionally, the course teaches the technological, socio-economic and policy responses to overcome the challenges within the water-energy nexus in the context of a changing climate. The students apply their knowledge and skills to analyse the impact of climate change on the water-energy nexus in a specific case study.

Number of Credits 4

Human Rights and Gender

The course aims to provide students with knowledge of the relationship between gender and human rights both within the African and international systems. It explores origins, development and challenges of integrating gender into human rights law discourse and practice. Focusing on international protection of women’s human rights as an example, the course introduces students to relevant international bodies and instruments.

Number of Credits 2

Ethics, Leadership and Accountability

The course considers ethics, leadership, leadership dilemmas and accountability issues that can arise when an individual’s values conflict with those of an organisation, or when a situation requires decisions with competing or conflicting values. The focus is on ethical issues that leaders have to deal with including ethical dilemmas in decision making. Effective leadership in Africa, and the subsequent emergence of Africa, depends on ethical leadership and accountability. Many African countries face challenges arising from accountability problems that have led to bad governance. The course examines leadership principles, theories and styles. Within this course, students use case studies, their own experiences and current events to examine actions leaders have taken and consequences they have faced. Students work on real-life issues of transparency and accountability, examine underlying reasoning of the problems, identify and analyse ethical dilemmas, and develop action plans for solving and preventing similar problems at the organisational and societal levels.

Number of Credits 1

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Internships are an integral part of the degree, students will obtain at PAUWES.

PAUWES internship program is an important vehicle to advance students skills and professionalism towards achieving their desired future career.

It consists of two internships :

Summer (also called career) Internship

Students do it during their summer break (at the end of the first-year master), during the Summer Internship students can test and apply the skills they acquired during their studies in a real-life situation and tailor these to the specific field they have chosen. This experience will help them to narrow down their job preferences and define their professional profile. We strongly encourage students to reach companies and do their summer internship

Research Internship (also called data collection Internship)

Students do it at the beginning of their Master Thesis (MT) in the fourth semester. The Research Internship will allow students to collect data on-site for their MT (find case studies, conduct interviews, take measurements or perform experiments, etc.). It provides students with the opportunity to get to know their research subject personally or allows them to work directly with their supervisor at his/her workplace. PAUWES internship program provides various channels for support.

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Career Prospects of PAUWES Graduates


PAUWES curricula aims to equip future graduates with knowledge, skills and attitudes that allow them to be competitive in both the employment market and in academia if they choose to pursue doctoral studies. Owing to their methodical approach and their governments’ clear vision and policy, developed countries have a strong demand for graduates with profiles similar to the ones produced by PAUWES. The job market for such profiles has long been limited in Africa. However, there is an increasing number of employment opportunities as a consequence of the boom in start-up companies and foreign direct investments witnessed in the past decade across Africa.

Some examples of positions that can be filled by PAUWES graduates in energy, water and policy.


Energy Engineering:

  • Energy Systems Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Green Building Designer
  • Green Building Project Manager
  • Account Executive / Manager
  • Energy Analyst
  • Energy Efficiency Analyst
  • Power Engineer
  • Research Engineer

Water Engineering:

  • Hydraulics Engineer
  • Water / Wastewater Engineer
  • Water Resources Engineer
  • Project Manager
  • Water Treatment Engineer
  • Research Engineer

Energy Policy & Water Policy:

  • Energy/Water Policy Analyst
  • Energy/Water Consultant
  • Project Coordinator
  • Technical Writer
  • Research Analyst

Contact Info

Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences - PAUWES

c/o Tlemcen University, B.P. 119 | Pôle Chetouane, Tlemcen 13000



M: +213 43 41 04 35

F: +213 43 41 04 99

Social media links

African Union Agenda 2063

A strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years. It builds on, and seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development. These include STISA 2024, the Lagos Plan of Action