Topic outline

  • Welcome to the fascinating world of water and environmental engineering!

    This WAT-E1100 course forms the only common course of our Master's Programme in Water & Environmental Engineering (WAT) and is therefore also called simply "The WAT Course".

    Participating this 15 ECTS WAT Course course means a full schedule and full-time studying, and we expect you to be able to participate in teaching and group work activities from Monday morning till Friday afternoon during the entire Period I (4.9-22.10). Kindly note that the timetables available in Sisu and MyCourses calendar are indicative only: correct timetables will be available in Weekly Sub-pages. Also note that the morning sessions start at 9.00 sharp (or earlier, if indicated)!

    Kindly note the WAT Orientation Days that are organised on Tuesday 29.8 and Wednesday 30.8 i.e. one week before the actual course. For more information, see Starting your studies sub-page (click here) in our Master's Programme pages as well as the separate sub-page on this MyCourses site. 

    The WAT Course will introduce you to our research group as well as to our field, including its key themes and methods. The course is organised so that each week has a specific theme and related method: for more see the course structure sub-page. The aim is also to get to know your fellow students, and majority of learning thus takes place in groups. 

    WAT-E1100 also includes a Personal Learning Portfolio process that runs through your entire Master's studies and corresponds around 2 credits i.e. 54 hours of work. For more information on the portfolio process, see the WAT Personal Learning Portfolio page in MyCourses (click here). 

    PS. Are you Aalto Bachelor student, whose studies are almost ready and you plan to start in WAT Master's Programme bit later during this academic year? If so, we strongly recommend you to join WAT course, as it is our only common course and provides you an introduction to our programme and its advanced courses. For more information, contact Marko.  

  • The WAT-E1100 Course is organised live at Aalto University's Campus and we expect you to be able to present in the campus on all week days. 

    The course also uses selected online platforms to support your learning. The main platforms are this MyCourses webpage and a separate Teams channel.

    MyCourses: information about course timetable and different assignments as well as all key material

    Teams: possible session recordings, communication on selected assignments. To join the Teams channel, use the code below (only visible for course students). 

    Course structure

    The WAT-E1100 course provides a general introduction to water and environmental engineering and related teaching at our WAT Master's Programme. In this way the course also helps the WAT Master's students to select their advanced courses. 

    The course is organised through six weekly themes and related methods as well as synthesis week.0 In addition, some of the weeks also include sessions on broader contexts relevant for WAT, including group work, entrepreneurship, governance and legislation as well as science.

    The table below shows the weekly themes and methods as well as contexts, while the general schedule for the each week can be found below as .pdf. Kindly check the weekly sub-pages for more details, including final schedule.

    WAT-course: weekly themes and methods

  • On this sub-page you'll find information on how to get our WAT studies started, including information on the WAT Orientation Days on Tuesday 29.8. and Wednesday 30.8 in our Water Building (Tietotie 1E at Aalto University Campus in Otaniemi, Espoo: instructions here) as well as on the WAT Course's introductory first session on Monday morning 4.9. 

    Do note that some of the information below is visible only for those course participants who have logged in to MyCourses. 

  • This week will give you a brief overview of global water issue, sustainability and development in general. You'll also get an introduction to using statistics. Note the week starts with a context session on group work; see previous page for more information.

    The week consists of the following submitted tasks:

      • Thematic task: SWOT analysis, group work (DL Wed 6.9. at 11:00)
      • Weekly exercise: Statistical analysis (DL Fri 15.9. at 23:59)

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure below, while the detailed schedule can be found below the figure.


  • Starting on Monday 11 Sep at 9.00 at Water building (room 286, Tietotie 1 E), the second week provides a view on hydrology and water resources management.

    Monday morning reviews the hydrological cycle and runoff generation with the aim to facilitate discussion in the class. Selected aspects of water resources management are viewed.

    Monday afternoon starts with research highlight presentations. The afternoon ends with a hydrological measurement demonstration and data analysis session.

    Tuesday's Thematic Task focuses on the application of a hydrological model through an exercise. The day is organised in a computer class (Y338), where students can run the model and perform computations. The Thematic Task of hydrological modelling exercise itself is a group work. Each group will be given data and hydrological model for different catchments. The group will get familiar with their site, data, and the model and make an assessment of hydrological processes in the catchment. The application part of the exercise is to extract transient climate scenarios extending from the current conditions to future, run the hydrological model with the scenarios, and assess how the climate change is seen in the studied catchments.

    Wednesday is the day to get familiar the Weekly Exercise, simulation modeling and related tools and procedures, such as model calibration, validation, and sensitivity analysis. Wednesday teaching will be organized in computer class Y338.

    Thursday is devoted to individual work on the Weekly Exercise. Extra help is available for completing the exercise in the afternoon in class U257.

    Friday is the day to finished the computations of each groups and prepare a presentation about their thematic task results in computer class Y338. A mini seminar in Water Building room 286 is held in the afternoon to wrap up the results.

    The week consists of the following submitted tasks:

      • Thematic task: HBV Modelling (DL for group presentation slides: Friday 15 September at 14:00)
      • Weekly exercise: Simulation Modelling (DL Friday 22 September at 23:59)

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure below, while the detailed schedule can be found below the figure.

  • Water supply and sanitation week combines the weekly theme and method with the help of entrepreneurship and innovation thinking (which is one of our key contexts), done in cooperation with Aalto Ventures Programme AVP. 

    The week consists of the following submitted tasks:

      • Thematic task: User research and pitch (DL Friday 22.9. at 16:30)
      • Weekly exercise: Spatial analysis (DL Friday 29.9. at 23:59)

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure below, while the detailed schedule can be found below the figure.

  • Landscape

    On week 4 of the WAT course we'll dive into water and environmental quality.

    The week consists of the following submitted tasks:

      • Thematic task: Home exam on Water and Environmental Quality (DL Friday 6.10. at 23:00)
      • Weekly exercise: Laboratory analysis (DL for presentation Friday 29.9. at 13:00, DL for report Wednesday 4.10. at 23:00)

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure below, while the detailed schedule can be found soon below the figure.

    Overall schedule of the week

  • Week 5 of WAT course deals with environmental hydraulics and environmentally sound hydraulic engineering. They form a rapidly developing research domain with an objective to protect and restore quality of the environment when using water resources. We seek to improve our understanding of the dynamics and processes of water, sediment, vegetation, nutrients, and harmful substances in the hydro-environment. The proper understanding of the associated physical, chemical and biological attributes and processes is the basis for the development of reliable modelling tools for river hydraulics, and sediment and pollutant transport. At the Aalto University, environmental hydraulics is a transdisciplinary field combining technological, environmental, economical, and societal interests in a wide context. Our studies cover both natural and built environments, in particular rivers, agricultural channels, and urban water features.

    This week focuses on experimental research methods using the Environmental Hydraulics Flow Channel and hydraulic modelling approaches. You will learn how laboratory, field-scale experiments and numerical models can be used to develop potential engineering solutions to transdisciplinary problems, with a view on river hydraulics and fluvial geomorphology. The broader context is treated with help of lectures on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We'll also wrap up on Friday discussing both general concepts and detailed analyses results.

    Two exercises are organized in this week: 

      • 1) Thematic task: Flume assignment with a view on experimental methods and data analyses including measurement uncertainty (group work; DL on Tuesday, grading pass/fail) 
      • 2) Weekly exercise: Hydraulic modelling (individual work; DL on Friday at 13:00 [as the correct answers are revealed 13-15, thus we requested you to return in time. Significant 50 % grade reduction if late return by max one week]). 

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure, followed by the detailed daily schedule below.

  • This thematic week introduces you to environmental management and sustainability, including key aspects related to sustainability awareness, values and worldviews, and viewpoints to life cycle analysis LCA. The emphasis is on individual and joint reflection around these topics.

    The week consists of the following submitted tasks:

      • Thematic task: Board game -related A) pre-assignment, DL: Thu 12.10 at 12.00 AND B) follow-up assignment, DL: Fri 13.10. at 18.00.
      • Weekly exercise: Rebound effect (recommended DL Wed 11.10. at 9:00 - final DL Mon 16.10. at 13.00)

    General schedule for the week is shown in the figure below, while the detailed schedule can be found below the figure.

  • Course Assessment

    The different assignments in WAT-E1100 course are done both individually and in groups. 

    The grade for this WAT Course comes as follows:

    • 50% from the average of Weekly exercises (by teachers)
    • 40% from the assessment of your Thematic Tasks and other activities (by teachers)
    • 10% from Peer and Self Assessment (by students)


    Peer and Self Assessment provides you a possibility to reflect your own and your group members (peers) activity and input for your group work process as well as to give constructive feedback to your peers. Peer and Self Assessment will be done at the end of the course through a Webropol questionnaire, and it is complemented by self-facilitated ‘I like, I wish’ exercise that we will do in groups during the last week. 

    Course Feedback 

    Your feedback is very valuable for the fluent course implementation, so please be active and provide your feedback both during and after the course! We have used the feedback from the previous courses to develop this course further, and giving feedback also helps you to reflect your learning (see this figure for more).  

    Feedback during the course

    The most efficient way to give feedback is to provide it during the course directly to the teachers. 

    You can also send use the anonymous feedback box below. 

    Feedback at the end of the course

    There are two main ways to give feedback after the course: 

    • Aalto's electronic feedback survey through Webropol
    • Through the Reflection & Feedback Session on our last day
    You are naturally also very welcome to provide feedback to all course teachers also after the course.