Joint International Master in Smart Systems Integrated Solutions

Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge
Støttet av lånekassen

Joint International Master in Smart Systems Integrated Solutions

USN, together with Aalto University in Finland and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, offers a joint master’s degree in microsystems and microelectronics.

Why study Smart Systems Integrated Solutions?

Our world is today witnessing a digital revolution that is having a profound impact on the way we live and on how we work. The key enablers that lie at the heart of this transformation are Smart Systems, which provide not only technology solutions to today’s societal, environmental and economic challenges, but also open new business opportunities and fields of application to our European industry.

Systems become smaller and smarter and are connected to the internet whilst sensing the physical world around us. The increasing amount of data that these devices are generating need to be interfaced to many non-technical users. Hence, decision making capabilities related to operation would be required, as well as a safe protocol for information delivery, system stability, correct data transmission, as well as the use of encryption protocols securing their privacy of use. These and more to follow are all aspects that students with a degree in Smart Systems Integration Solutions (SSIs) would need to master.

Find out more about SSis (external website)

Where can I work?

You can work as an engineer within the diversity of smart systems, both in industry, in academia and in research institutions.

In businesses that develop and produce smart systems, you can work within product development, manufacturing technology, production management, quality management and project management. In companies employing smart systems, you can work within business development, marketing and sales, project management, research and development and technical consulting.

Working with the local business community

The programme includes the most current industrial clusters as associated partners at Norwegian and European level: European Platform on Smart Systems (EPoSS) and Norwegian Centre of Expertise, Micro- and Nanotechnologies (NCE-MNT). This enables visits to relevant industries, guest speakers from the business community, as well as opportunities to take the master project in an industrial company in Norway or elsewhere in Europe.

What you will learn

Smart systems are an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. Our mobile phones are full of different functions that needs to work together. A car can brake to avoid collision even if the driver is inattentive, and it has integrated systems for safety, engine performance, efficiency, navigation, comfort and entertainment. We are also not far away from mass production of driverless cars.

Within medicine, smart systems integration provides faster, safer and cheaper diagnosis of diseases, and implantable devices can increase the life quality for many patients. Within aerospace, it gives us safer and more environmentally friendly flights, satellite communications and research results from other planets. Such innovations will continue in most areas of society. All this is possible through knowledge in how smart systems are built, primarily through the integration of microsystems and microelectronics to complete systems.

The Master's in Smart Systems Integration (SSI) provides precisely this knowledge. It is a two-year engineering programme in cooperation between the three institutions, each with their own specialty.


 Transversal Skills{{ icon }}

Readiness for entrepreneurship and conceptual design, as well as understanding European Society. Those skills represent 17% of the ECTS credits. In the SSI Design Laboratory I (semester 1), the students are taught the process of converting basic research into innovative products and technologies. As a result, the students will deliver the concept of a novel electronic system using smart systems integrated solutions.   The topics of entrepreneurship will also be covered, including the topics of Intellectual Property, writing up of a Business Plan, the eco-system of investments from Angel Investors and VC, understanding Technology Readiness levels and How to create a start-up company. Scientific writing will be introduced in the first semester (through training in report writing in the course “Materials and Microsystem Integration”), which in semester 2 will be in the format of scientific publications. Scientific writing will also be emphasised in the project reports during the third semester. This should prepare you for the quality of writing expected when your master thesis is due to be written up in the fourth semester. You will also present the master project orally, thus expanding your presentation skills. Courses are also given to introduce you to the language, culture and society of the three host countries.   Cultural aspects, including national cuisine, will be integrated in the Prep-Camp (Finland, semester 1), Winter School (Norway, semester 2) and Summer School (Hungary, semester 3). The Prep-Camp is the first meeting of the multi-national class and hence defines the beginning of the intercultural learning that will continue throughout the next two years of study. The Prep-Camp will also be an early introduction to Finnish culture and life. The Winter School will introduce the students to traditional Norwegian, rustic mountain cabin life, including the chance of skiing. The Summer School will be in the touristic area of Lake Balaton, including visit to a vineyard introducing rural Hungarian life. The mandatory national language and culture courses will also introduce the Norwegian/ Nordic model (an economic and political system that has allowed the combination of social inclusion with good economic performance, typical of the Nordic countries), as well as Hungarian folk dance and exploration of the exceptionally multicultural city of Budapest. 

Fundamentals of integrated smart systems{{ icon }}

The topics are taught in the first semester and partly in the second, and represents 19% of the total ECTS credits. The students will gain knowledge on resource management, electronics manufacturing and their environmental impact (sustainability). They will become familiar with the logistics of reuse and recycling considering the responsibilities of the manufacturer (including the process of life cycle assessment).   A major emphasis will be given towards the factors that governs reliability of novel electronic products, and how to design highly reliable systems. The students will learn about materials and their compatibility issues in manufacturing of electronic systems, by the innovative approach of reverse engineering of modern consumer electronics. Reverse engineering provides additional novel information on system/product level integration, miniaturisation and advanced packaging that may not be otherwise available from standard scientific sources like books, conference presentations and journal publications. The important topic of measurements and characterisation will be covered, with student laboratories on research-level measurement tools. This course is supplemented by the validation, testing and virtual instrumentation course held in the third semester, taking a step towards the automatised manufacturing and testing of smart devices. 

Design and technology{{ icon }}

These skills represent 25% of the total ECTS credits. The course “Design and Analysis of MEMS” is taught in the first semester, covering sensing and actuation principles and design of industrially relevant smart devices. The course is given in close interaction with industry, with guest lecturers from several industrial partners, like Murata Finland on Inertial MEMS, VTT and Vaisala on optical MEMS and Okmetic on advanced SOI and cavity- SOI substrates.   The second semester (SSI Design Lab II) will be integrated with training in silicon processing, using the cleanroom research laboratory of USN. The third semester is dedicated improvement in Design Skills, taking place at the European renowned design laboratories of BME. The topics have been formulated to offer a breadth of coverage in all aspects of smart systems design as well as the design of digital, analogue and mixed signal integrated circuits tailored smart sensors. The theoretical knowledge imparted in the classroom is supplemented by hands on laboratory design work using the state-of-the-art CAD tools currently available. This provides a systematic approach of building smart systems by integrating the sensing or actuating functionality with its associated signal processing electronics. 

Application specific Smart Systems Design{{ icon }}

This subject represents 15% of the ECTS credits. Based on your professional interest, you may choose between two elective areas of Smart Systems Application: Cyberphysical Systems (e.g. autonomous vehicles, smart sensors) or Smart Biomedical Systems (Lab-on-a-Chip devices, health monitors). The chosen area of Cyberphysical Systems study track implies choosing the subject of Multiphysics Modelling in the second semester. This will teach you numerical modelling combining equations from mechanical, thermal and electrical physics in complex geometries, essential to design Sensors and Actuators, in particular MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) devices.   The subject of Micro and Nano Biological Systems, being the other elective subject, is one of the speciality research fields of USN, particularly through bio-MEMS and applications of smart systems for biological and biomedical systems. In the third semester, an emphasis is given to the individual design activities, which are chosen by the students based on the previously selected study tracks. In the third semester, the Smart Systems Design Laboratory reaches its final part. Based on the conceptual breadboard level demonstrator and detailed technology design carried out in the first two semesters, the design is refined based on the support of external innovation, technology and business experts. The last part of the project is devoted to system level modelling, detailed electronics and software design, completed by prototype manufacturing.  ;

The Winter and Summer School{{ icon }}

The Winter School (early second semester in Norway) and The Summer School (prior to the third semester in Hungary) permits you to present your design project status to industrial and academic experts who will provide feedback for further work. Presentations of “state of the art” by academic and industrial experts in Smart Systems Integration will be given, in addition to workshops with industry (incl. EPoSS and NCE-MNT, as well as other industrial partners).   The schools will give cultural induction to the host countries and serve to boost social interaction between students and staff across the three partner institutions, with their academic and administrative staff present. The Summer School, being the longer one (five days professional programme) at a time where the previous cohort has just graduated, is an exceptional opportunity for current and graduated (Alumni) students to meet and getting to know each other’s work and also to provide feedback for the programme. The students also present their design ideas to business innovators who will help them improve their project. Second-year students will present their newly finished master projects. This will allow an early exposure to students of possible topics for master projects.   The second semester ends with an Industrial Placement where your knowledge, skills and competences can be utilised in an industrial setting and provide a good basis for the Master Thesis project, which represent the final 25% of the total ECTS credits.  


Gain international experience

The first semester is carried out at Aalto in Helsinki, Finland. The second semester takes place at USN in Vestfold, Norway. The third semester is with BME in Budapest, Hungary. These three semesters have taught subjects, taking advantage of the complementary expertise at the three institutions. The fourth semester is the master project, where you will be equally divided between the consortium partners, or with industrial or academic partners, thus taking advantage of a broad range of possibilities for specialisation.

Further studies

A master's degree in SSIs is a good starting point for further doctoral studies. At USN, the PhD programme in Applied micro- and nanosystems particularly relevant, as well as the PhD programme in Process, energy and automation technology. Aalto offers a Doctoral Programme in Electrical Engineering and other relevant PhD programmes.  A wide variety of universities throughout the Europe and the world offer PhD programmes where a master's degree in SSIs is competitive. BME offers 38 degree programs to Stipendium Hungaricum students.

Participation costs

You will be charged participation costs for joining the SSIsprogramme: 8,500 Euros for programme country students and 17,000 Euros for partner country students, for the two-year duration of the programme.

  • Partner Countries: non-EU countries with the exception of Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland*
  • Programme Countries: 28 EU member states + Turkey, Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Liechtenstein and Iceland*

*May be changes

Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Coverage and Benefits

  • Free participation

  • Health insurance

  • 1 000 EUR per month for the entire duration of the EMJMD study programme (24 months maximum)

Travel and installation costs

  • 1 000 EUR per year per scholarship holder resident in a Programme Country for travel costs
  • 2 000 EUR per year for travel costs + 1.000 EUR for installation costs for a scholarship holder, resident in a Partner Country less than 4000 KM from the University of south Eastern Norway
  • 3000 EUR per year for travel costs + 1.000 EUR for installation costs for a scholarship holder, resident in a Partner Country 4000 KM or more from the University of south Eastern Norway

A minimum of 75% of EMJMD scholarships will be earmarked for candidates from Partner Countries

*May be changes

* Everyone who applies within 10 January deadline will be considered for a scholarship. There is a limited number of scholarships.

Kontaktinformasjon til Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

Hasbergsvei 36
3616 Kongsberg

Tlf: 31 00 80 00


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