Smart and sustainable maritime business

This module is organised by University of Turku, Åbo Akademi and Aalto University.

This minor offers a unique, cross-disciplinary set of courses targeted to educate future problem-solvers in and around maritime business. It offers fundamental skills in naval architecture and shipping economics, complemented with an understanding of environmental and regulatory issues in maritime operations, as well as on more specific technologies needed in the maritime industry.

The module offers insights in areas where Finnish companies have leading positions, such as arctic and passenger vessels, autonomous ship systems, and maritime clean tech. The overall focus on the minor is on how to foster an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable business in the maritime area.

Upon successful completion of the module, the student will be able to:

  • argue for the importance of shipping for global economy and sustainability.
  • explain basic socio-technical phenomena in the context of smart and sustainable maritime business.
  • relate sustainable development needs to maritime business.
  • match technological needs and developments with commercial opportunities in shipping.
  • point out and analyse basic operational problems in shipping over time.

The minor gives students complementary skills needed in a wide variety of expert and managerial positions in connection to the maritime sector, such as various jobs in ship design and consulting, at ship owners and logistics companies.

The primary target group for the minor are master-level students (primarily with a background (B.Sc.) in engineering or business) or professionals already working in industry, who wish a system-wide understanding of how the maritime industry works and what the industry’s technological, economic, environmental and regulatory premises and opportunities are. The minor is also recommended for students in, for example, biology, geology and social sciences, who foresee a career in environmental protection, public administration, policy and governance related to the sea. The admission criteria is a bachelor’s degree.

The minor is offered in cooperation between Aalto University School of Engineering, Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, and Åbo Akademi University.

Courses included in the programme:

Choose at least four courses!

Obligatory courses: Principles of Naval Architecture, Principles of Shipping Economics, and Smart and Sustainable Maritime Business.

= Contact learning
= Online learning
= Blended learning (online & contact learning)
Aalto University: Principles of naval architecture, 5 ECTS. 13.9.–13.12.2019.

Application period has ended.

Course code: MEC-E1004

Language: English

The course will start with an introductory phase identifying a generic framework for ship design using the classical design spiral. Ship mission, main dimension and powering requirements are defined using statistical methods. Hull form definition is based on the hydrostatics, hydrodynamics and ship general arrangement. Definition of ship structure, equipment and machinery at conceptual level using reference techniques. Weight estimation is carried out using statistical methods and initial ship geometry.

After completing the course, the student:

  • understands the different disciplines of naval architecture and different phases of the product development cycle.
  • can identify the different design methods and tools for different disciplines and can select the design tools based on the design stage.
  • remembers the basic terminology and notations of the naval architecture and search field specific literature for different design tasks.

Work load:

  • Lectures 12 x 2 hours
  • Exams 2 x 3 hours
  • Assignments 12 x 7 hours
  • Self study 12 x 2 hours

Responsible teachers: Jani Romanoff (jani.romanoff(at), Spyridon Cheirdaris (spyridon.cheirdaris(at)

More info in Aalto University’s WebOodi.

University of Turku: Principles of shipping economics, 6 ECTS. 28.10.–8.12.2019.

Apply before Oct 13, 2019

Course code: LG213009

Language: English, Finnish

The aim of the course is to provide the student an overview of maritime and shipping industries and to develop student’s understanding on shipping markets, economics of shipping and the shipping industry.

After completing the course, the student will understand

  • the role and significance of maritime transport as part of the international economy
  • the interaction of different stakeholders in the shipping industry
  • the logic of key shipping markets such as liner shipping and tramp shipping
  • the principles of revenue models in shipping and how they are utilised in decision making of different stakeholders.

The course provides a good overview of worldwide shipping markets and the basic maritime economics principles that underpin trade logistics. The course introduces to the key terminology used in shipping and port and links these to international logistics. The main shipping markets by major cargo and vessel types and the market fluctuations are important elements in the contents. The shipping-seaport interface is also discussed in the course and its core materials.

Working methods: Introductions and lectures, group discussions and assignments, cases, home exams.

Responsible teacher: Tomi Solakivi (tomi.solakivi(at)

More info in University of Turku’s Study guide.

Åbo Akademi: Smart and sustainable maritime business, 5 ECTS. Three seminars in 2019/2020.

Apply before Nov 15, 2019

Course code: IE00CA73

Language: English

M1 – Seminar (Dec 2019, Jan 2020)

  • Assessing the business model for operating the case ship from a system point of view. How does it change the way things are (logitics efficiency, competition etc)?
  • Assessing the business ecosystem where the case ship will operate. How should it change to become more effective?

M2 – Seminar (May/June 2020)

  • Assessing the social and environmental impact of the new ship.
  • Assessing the impact of autonomous systems on the new ship (or cyber resilience).

M3 – Seminar (Nov/Dec 2020)

  • Designing a new business model and/or ecosystem required in response to a change in the market, technology or regulations.

Work method

  • Prereadings for each seminar
  • Seminar: guest lectures, group work, discussions.
  • Postassignment after each seminar
Aalto University: Winter navigation, 5 ECTS. 7.1.–21.2.2020.

Apply before Dec 15, 2019

Course code: MEC-E4001

Language: English

Prerequisites: MEC-E1004 Principles of naval architecture

The aim is to introduce the student to winter navigation system in the Baltic Sea and basic principles for ship power requirements and hull ice-strengthening. After the course, students understand the definition of various ice conditions and their effects on the ship design, hull shape, power requirements, navigation in ice and safety of ships.

Power requirements need a comprehensive knowledge of the various methods to calculate the ship resistance in varying ice conditions such as level ice, ridged ice and ice channels. For the hull design, most important is to know how to calculate the ice induced loads on the hull. In addition the principles of model scale testing in ice are introduced.

The assessment will consist of weekly exercises, the group work and the exam.

Work load:

  • Lectures: 2 hours/week, 12 hours in total
  • Exercises: 4 hours/week, 24 hours in total
  • Group work: 24 hours
  • Studying materials: 50 hours
  • Preparing for the exam: 20 hours

More info in Aalto University’s WebOodi.

Åbo Akademi: Safety-critical and autonomous systems, 5 ECTS. Spring 2020.

Language: English

More information TBA.

Åbo Akademi: Multi-level governance (370186.0), 5 ECTS. Spring 2020.

Course code: 370186.0

Language: English

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  1. understand the content of the theoretical concepts governance and multi-level governance (multi-level governance)
  2. identify the central regional actors within the multi-level structures and central instruments used in the governance processes
  3. understand governance mechanisms of the EU in the region och the role of different actors in these
  4. critically analyse the multi-level governance-structures within the region

More information:

Åbo Akademi: Marine business and the environment, 5 ECTS. Spring/autumn 2020.

Language: English

More information TBA.

Aalto University: Passenger ships (MEC-E2003), 5 ECTS. Autumn 2020.

Course code: MEC-E2003

Language: English

The course introduces you the passenger ship design and specifics of that. The course utilises guided problem-based distance-learning concept. The content is cross-disciplinary and is suitable for students of different backgrounds (design, economics, engineering).

Lectures introduce topics which are then considered with respect to the projects. Work is performed in cross-disciplinary groups. Some topics are complemented by visiting lecturers from industry to give perspective to current trends. Progress of the project is checked on weekly basis. The final project is presented in the end of the course to experts from industry and academia.

After the course, the student:

  • Understands the current trends, business developments and future markets for passenger ships
  • Can define radically new architectural design of a passenger ship
  • Can apply the user-centric design in passenger ship context
  • Can define general arrangement of a passenger ship based on broad set of design requirements, specific for passenger ships
  • Knows the passenger ship safety requirements and current regulatory requirements, how to attain them or how to go beyond them, if necessary.

More info on Aalto’s MyCourses and WebOodi pages.

Further information:

Professor in charge: Kim Wikström, Åbo Akademi (

Contact person in practical matters: Ass. prof. Magnus Hellström, Åbo Akademi (

Other teachers: Prof. Pentti Kujala (, Prof. Jani Romanoff, (, Prof. Spyros Hirdaris (, Dr. Tomi Solakivi (, Ass. prof. Nina Tynkkynen (, Ass. prof. Anna Törnroos-Remes (

Type of study unit



5–41 ECTS

Teaching semester


Host university

Åbo Akademi

Open for degree student


Open for non-student



University of Turku and Aalto University

Level of studies


General prerequisites

Bachelor's degree

Teaching methods

Online and blended learning

Place of contact learning

Espoo & Turku

Programme suitable for

Master's level students in engineering, business or for example in biology, geology and social sciences. Professionals already working in industry.


English & Swedish

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