Elective courses in Ghent

For the 3rd semester in Ghent we were given a choice of elective subjects we want to study. 2 courses from the list should be chosen, but the list may vary from year to year. Prior choosing, we were mostly relying on our own understanding of what the subject will be about, because no description is given. In this blog, some overview of the electives available for the 3rd semester in Ghent is presented. It may be helpful for some future students to make a decision on the courses they want to follow 🙂

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In the last blog post I have already described one of my electives – FSE based Fire Fighting. I can add that along with practical course, there were 5 lectures, one of which was a guest lecture on the Industrial fires. All the lectures were informative and totally not boring. The basics of the firefighting were discussed and as a part of the course, the fire fighting related paper should be done. The course finishes with a practical training and a closed book exam on the theory.

My second elective course was Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics. It covers such topics as numerical methods,  flow equations and modeling of turbulence. It is an intensive course which consists of 4 hours lectures and 3-4 hours of lab works every day within 1 week. The aim of this course is to make a project of the flow of an incompressible fluid in Ansys Workbench. Even though this subject is not directly related to the fire safety, the project load, requiring a lot of efforts, helps to understand the fluid flow. 

For this blog I also asked some of my peers to describe the elective courses they took. Kristi had a class in Entrepreneurship this semester. She agreed to share some thoughts:

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“Introduction to Entrepreneurship is an elective course which was held once in two weeks. The course is mainly theoretical compose by lectures which shows the steps on how to create your own venture and be creative in this competitive world and how to succeed. A very interesting and the lecture I enjoyed the most was the ‘Business Game’ where the class is divided in groups of 3 ppl and each group has a role as: entrepreneur, business angel or an investor. All the groups will be provided with a business plan which has lots of conceptual problems and economical estimations. Depending of the position and role that the groups have will try to evaluate and develop further the plan and in the next lecture session there is the negotiation day where entrepreneurs will try to gain capital by proposing their innovative plan to investitors and business angles. About the exam well was not that interesting, I guess like all the exams in general :)”

Bogdan had a course in Modeling of Turbulence and Combustion, and he also shares his positive experience:


14502848_1238575169496275_183210761677825226_n-1Modeling of Turbulence and Combustion is a 3 credits elective course that cannot be missed on third semester at Ghent University. It is structured on twelve lecture slides, with the first nine lessons on turbulence and the last four focused entirely on combustion. Although it may look difficult at the beginning, the way professor Bart Merci teaches this subject will make you forget about all the tough formulas and boost your interest towards the scientific background of the fire modeling. His interactive lectures with questions and answers from both sides will determine you to ask “why is this semester so short?”. Most of the slides are based on the description of the phenomenology of turbulence and combustion and a set of practical applications depicted from the real world. As it is purely theoretical course, it aims that all engineering students will understand the underlying mechanism of the numerical simulations of turbulent flows, with or without chemical reaction. There is an end-of-term evaluation during the examination period which starts with questions from a scientific journal that has to be previously read by the students and continues with detailed specific questions on turbulent combustion from the course content. It is an oral, open book examination with questions delivered on a paper and allows a 40 minutes preparation period before the final response.

The list of the courses may vary from year to year, and I asked our alumni, Kunsulu, to tell us about the course on Explosion and Industrial safety which was not available in my year:

By taking Explosion and Industrial safety course, we got an insight into the physcial processes that occur during explosion. Thus, the concepts such as deflagration and detonation, pressure and shock waves became familiar to us. During the class, by analyzing the past industrial accidents, we were introduced to the technical and organization measures to decrease the risk of fire and explosion. I think this course is complementary for education and training of fire safety engineers.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences! I hope this post will help some students with the decision on the elective courses in Ghent. 

And for now, good luck with the thesis writing, guys! I miss you all!

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