Minor: Becoming Fit for the Future

Many organisations, associate professorships and research groups are committed to a sustainable future. In the minor Becoming Fit for the Future, you and a team carry out a project focused on sustainability. You will make a project plan and during the project you will take all knowledge, insights and experiences with you to achieve the best end result. You will work together with students, teachers, researchers and professionals from the field.

The minor consists of eight projects, and you need to select one of them. There will be a central kick-off with all the projects together. You will find the project descriptions below.


The Biobased Building Research Group collects and shares knowledge on the application of bio based materials in construction and civil engineering. In the Biobased Building Research project, you conduct research into (new) bio based materials and into the health claims related to these innovations. In this way, you contribute to the expansion and improvement of existing bio based building materials. Depending on your assignment, you will, for example, test product ideas, develop new products or research new application possibilities.

With the Biobased Building Research project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 12:

  • Reduce waste and pollution by using bio-based materials.

Learning goals

In addition to the general learning objectives of the minor, you will learn the following in the Biobased Building Research project as follows:

  • You are familiar with biobased materials and their applications.
  • You will provide new insights and ideas for applications of bio-based materials in construction and/or civil engineering.

HZ premises outside keep getting greener. In the Circular Economy project, you choose how you want to contribute to this green policy. For example, you can make proposals for new planting, make the space suitable for studying, relaxing and meeting, or work in the food forest. You ensure that the required materials are circular and put forward ideas on how food and materials can be (re)used within HZ. Classes are in the form of workshops, excursions and guest lectures. You can also take courses that match your interests.

With the Circular Economy project, this is how you contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13:

  • Create green space that reduces heat stress and flooding, promotes biodiversity and serves as a meeting place.

Mitigating climate change requires a transition from conventional to renewable energy. Solutions are complex and those involved often have competing interests. In the Energy Transition project, you will learn about the financial, social, technical and creative aspects of energy transition in a practice-based research project. To tackle issues related to different areas of expertise and from different perspectives, you work in a multidisciplinary team of 3 or 4 students. The research questions focus on current regional problems and are usually focused on the built environment or industry.

When selecting the Energy Transition project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 7:

  • Develop and deploy energy conservation and renewable energy technologies to reduce energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels.

A green environment provides a cooling effect on hot days, reduces flooding during heavy rainfall and contributes to health, well-being and more biodiversity. In the Going Green project, you and a team of students from various study programmes will work on greening outdoor premises and making them multi-functional. For example, you can give the outdoor premises an educational purpose in addition to the recreational, sports and play function. You and your team will conduct research, collaborating with researchers and professionals.

With the Going Green project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 4 as follows:

  • Create and maintain green space that offers beauty and relaxation, and space for meeting, sports and games and education.

To conduct water quality research, the HZ has two self-steering sensor boats: HZenzor 1 and HZenzor 2. The two-metre-long boats are a platform full of measuring equipment. In the HZenzor project, you will improve navigation using waypoints. You will make and implement suggestions on mechatronics and programming. Together with a team of fellow students, you will extensively test the adjustments. In the future, the boats should be able to self-steer and take independent measurements of water quality.

With the HZenzor project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 6 and 9:

  • Improve water quality by enabling quality measurements.
  • Improve mobility and infrastructure, this implies that companies will also have to innovate and become more sustainable.

The Resilient Deltas research group conducts practice-oriented research on flood risk management and climate adaptation. Examples of research in this field include reducing heat islands in urban areas, and dealing with the rising sea levels. In the Climate Adaptation project, you and a team of peer students and researchers develop knowledge and products in the field of climate adaptation. To apply these in practice, you liaise with authorities, NGOs, companies and residents. You will learn about innovations in climate adaptation and gain more in-depth knowledge about scientific methods and literature.

With the Climate Adaptation project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13:

Reducing the impact of climate adaptation through delta climate-resilient habitat projects.

The Marine Biobased Chemistry research group uses chemical knowledge to investigate marine resources, for example to shape the food transition in Zeeland. In the Marine Biobased Chemistry project, we determine in consultation which subject you will work on. Together with your project group, you can work on the applications of seaweed, delve into protein transition, or develop food packaging. There are also chemistry projects, for instance to analyse flavour and odour compounds. You will learn how to tackle complex research, design experiments, analyse data and present research results.

With the Marine Biobased Chemistry project, this is how you contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 12:

  • Reduce food shortages by using seaweed as a high protein food source.
  • Realise a more efficient use of raw materials, reduced environmental impact and reduced dependence on fossil resources.

The Water Technology research group investigates how water can be used or reused as efficiently as possible. In the minor Water Technology, you contribute to developing techniques to achieve this. Current research projects include recycling surface water and process water for industries, agriculture and aquaculture, recovering valuable (food) substances from waste water, and managing and monitoring water purification plants. You will conduct your research in close collaboration with fellow students and researchers.

When you select the Water Technology project, you contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 6 as follows:

  • Contributing to clean water by reducing scarcity of drinking water and finding alternative sources of drinking water.

Learning objectives

In addition to the general learning objectives of the minor, you will learn the following in the Water Technology project:

  • You develop techniques to (re)use water in a freshwater and saline delta.
  • You recycle surface water and process water for industry, agriculture and aquaculture.
  • You know how to extract valuable (food) substances from wastewater.
  • You know how to manage and monitor water treatment plants.
  • You will learn to conduct research in a practice-based research project.

Structure of the minor Becoming Fit for the Future

With this minor, you will learn the following:

  • You work together on a project in a proactive, professional manner and find solutions together.
  • You view and understand the challenge from different perspectives.
  • You design, realise, monitor, interpret and/or validate the professional product (result) in a systematic way.
  • You advise on the desired follow-up and evaluate the professional product and its development process.
  • You record the results in a structured way, share them and, depending on your results, you may contribute to enriching existing knowledge.

All projects are full-time. You will be either at HZ Vlissingen, HZ Middelburg, or JRCZ depending on where your minor is taught for part of the week and you will also work independently on your project.

All projects are a combination of practical work and research through literature review. You do not need to purchase any literature yourself.

The following tests apply to all projects within this minor:

  • Portfolio (75%). You make a portfolio in which you show how you meet the learning objectives. You explain this in an Interview.
  • Practical experience and project goal (25%). In an interview, you explain what practical experience you have gained and what goals you have achieved in your project.

Practical information

This minor is open to students from all universities of applied sciences.

You need to have completed the propaedeutic phase and 30 credits in the main phase.

Training requirements per project

  • Biobased Building Research: for Civil Engineering, Architecture, Chemistry students.
  • Circular Economy: for students from all programmes.
  • Energy Transition: for economics and engineering students.
  • Going Green: for students of all programmes.
  • HZenzor: for students of Water Management, ICT, Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Finance & Control.
  • Climate Adaptation: for students of Water Management, Civil Engineering, Global Project & Change Management, and also of interest to students of Architecture, ICT, Economics, Tourism Management.
  • Marine Biobased Chemistry: for Chemistry, Water Management students.
  • Water Technology: for students from economics and engineering courses.

Minor meetings are in English. The language of the individual projects is Dutch, unless English-speaking students have registered for a project. In that case, the project is taught in English.

Semester 2

The minor runs from 5 February 2024 to 5 July 2024.

Apply from 15 September 2023 to 1 December 2023.

Semester 1

The minor runs from September 2024 to January/February 2025.

Sign up will be possible from March 2024.

Are you an HZ student? Then you can apply on this page. Do you study at another university of applied sciences? Then you can apply via Kies op Maat.

Carlien Nijdam

Lecturer minor Becoming Fit for the Future

Questions about this minor?

Do you have any questions? Or would you like to discuss whether this minor suits you? Feel free to contact Carlien Nijdam, lecturer minor Becoming Fit for the Future

Mail Carlien

Register for this minor

HZ student

Are you studying at HZ and would you like to register for this minor? You can do so by registering for both the minor and for the tests.

Student from another Dutch university of applied sciences or student from our international partner universities

Are you studying at another Dutch university of applied sciences and would you like to take this minor at HZ? Then register via Kies op Maat.

If you have been selected by your home university to study one or two semesters at the HZ, you may start your application by registering through our online application procedure.

Minor Day

A minor is something you don't choose lightly. After all, it is your chance to deepen or broaden your expertise within your study programme. The Minor Day offers you the opportunity to make a well-considered choice. On thursday 8 February 2024, you will be introduced to all HZ minors. Whether you study at HZ or at another university of applied sciences, you are more than welcome to attend. The registration procedure will follow.

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