Single-Course English 2.5 ECTS

Introduction to good science in environmental engineering

Overall Course Objectives

The aim of the course is to introduce PhD-students at DTU Sustain to the research field of environmental and resource engineering and to provide an understanding of the concepts and tools of research and innovation in this field. The link from basic research to society’s need for process and technology development and sound environmental management are key issues. The course provides an understanding of research integrity and philosophy of science in environmental engineering. The course is intended to broaden the students’ vision of their role in a larger picture and to create common platform for PhD-students at DTU Sustain.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss different approaches to research in environmental and rescource engineering
  • Understand the role of applied research in relation to other types of research
  • Explain the knowledge value chain and the concepts of “triple helix” in innovation
  • Describe the peer review system and key issues in scientific ranking systems
  • Discuss ethical issues related to publications and co-authorships
  • Understand the role of networking in research and career planning
  • Identify and construct a clear aim for a research project based on a testable scientific hypothesis
  • Apply a scientific hypothesis in planning a scientific experiment and ensure a proper documentation and scientific quality
  • Explain the basic concepts of philosophy in environmental engineering
  • Formulate the topic of their study in a societal context
  • Make a personal plan for dissemination and networking activities
  • Present on well-being and discuss how to improve well-being among PhD students

Course Content

Concepts of research in environmental and resource engineering: basic, applied, strategic research, relevance, problem identification, interaction with society. Innovation: triple helix, concept and examples. Publications: journals, review process, Web of Science (WoS) system, impact factors, ranking, H-index, ethics in publication, co-authorships. Dissemination: conference, abstracts, proceeding papers, posters, presentations. Networking: Scientific community and professionals, impact in society. Identifying clear aims for the research: problem based aim, the scientific hypothesis, relation to Poppers falsification theory, if… then hypothesis, the bridge from information to knowledge. Danish Code of Conduct for Research Integrity. Scientific approaches and quality: Practical planning, Gantt-chart, pilot-study, documentation (lab-book / lab-journal / photos / file structure), controls, statistical considerations, backup. Scientific mini-conference on well-being: communicate your own analysis of elements of well-being in a short, concise and persuasive manner. Philosophy of science and engineering: models and uncertainty, scientific paradigms and societal context, the role of the specialist and ethical dilemmas.

Teaching Method

The course runs in an intensive manner over one week. The introductory session will outline the detailed course plan and expectations to student preparations. The teaching modules including exercises and interactive lectures will be given by senior scientific staff members, and the PhD students will interact at a scientific mini-conference. Final assignments will be handed in after the course.



The course is for Ph.D. students at DTU Sustain

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 12911
Course type PhD
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19

10.600,00 DKK