What is a megaproject

Megaprojects at AAU

Megaprojects at AAU

Megaprojects consist of semester projects. Students from across the whole University contributes with expertise and knowledge from their own disciplinary field in an interdisciplinary collaboration. All megaprojects are based on global problems as formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What do a computer scientist, a business economist and a techno-anthropologist have in common? At AAU, the answer is: a great deal. We know that major problems are often best solved in interaction between different disciplines. We are therefore taking our well-integrated project-oriented and problem-based learning (PBL) to a new level with megaprojects.
 

VISION FOR THE MEGAPROJECTS

The megaprojects aim to provide interdisciplinary solutions to current sustainability and societal issues – in Denmark and the rest of the world. Megaprojects will contribute to solving challenges and problems jointly, at AAU, across campuses, as well as across universities and national borders. By participating in a megaproject, you will:

  • Address and work actively with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Contribute to solving major issues
  • Upgrade your own skills and knowledge through input from other disciplines
  • Build up competencies in interdisciplinarity, sustainability and collaboration
     

MEGAPROJECTS IN BRIEF

A megaproject is an ambitious umbrella project addressing one or more significant societal problems. A megaproject is part of a collaboration with at least one external partner. The megaprojects consists of a number of subprojects all of which contribute to solving the grand challenge set in the megaproject. The students involved are thus working in their own disciplines and as part of their curricular activities.
 

STRUCTURE OF A MEGAPROJECT

Each megaproject are organised in up to three focus areas that serve as overall themes. The focus areas are a breakdown into topics relevant to the megaproject; they are problem oriented with a focus on the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Each focus area contains up to two challenges. The challenges are made by supervisors, researchers or coordinators and are qualified by researchers from other disciplines. A challenge is typically made in collaboration with one or more external stakeholders, such as companies and institutions. Learn more about making challenges.

The interdisciplinary student collaborations on the megaproject challenges happens in clusters. The clusters consists of up to five groups pf students from different disciplines, that spar and knowledge shares over the course of the semester. 

The following illustration shows the structure of a megaproject:
 


 

HOW TO WORK ON A MEGAPROJECT?

The megaprojects serve as an overarching framework. Students work on their semester projects as usual, but participation in a megaproject also involves:

  • An online course on the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Preparation of four smaller deliverables and a concluding joint summary.
  • Participation in mid-term and end-term seminars where students working on the same challenge meet to share knowledge and experience.
  • Participation in the megaproject conference where the students present the semester’s result on the challenges.

The conference also serves as the start-up and basis for the next semester’s projects under the megaproject.

Read more about how you as a student can become part of a megaproject