Master’s Thesis as Part of Master’s Programme
In order to graduate from a Master’s Degree programme a final thesis project has to be completed. In University of Applied Sciences, a Master’s Thesis should be research-based practical development project that offers applicable solutions to the industry´s needs. Hence, the Master’s thesis projects are ordinarily completed in the context of companies and organizations.
With 10 years of running Master’s level programs, Metropolia students have benefited a multitude of organizations and companies. Still, it is always a joy to see a successful Master’s thesis getting its implementation at the home company of the student. One such example is the project by Joska Taipale, whose Master’s thesis in fire protection training took 1,5 years to find its way to the customers.
Joska Taipale’s Thesis: An example of Real-Life Project
I graduated in May 2016 and did my Master’s project on a real-life business issue at work. My project focused on developing training as a service for my company, Marioff. The company manufactures and delivers excellent firefighting equipment to ships, especially cruise ships, where safety is an ultimate priority. I used my opportunity as a Master’s student and developed a full service concept as my Master’s thesis. It took 1,5 years to turn my thesis into the actual service ‘productized’ for training the ship crews in the use of the firefighting equipment. I was in charge of the first pilot delivery in 2017 based on my Master’s thesis. My company supported me and allowed to publish the results.
Seafarers have always recognized the value of such training services, but its urgency and need for implementation was fully recognized after an accidental fire on one of the ships, which incurred multi-million dollar losses and could have been prevented easily. At the time of the fire, if only the crew had known how to act, the damages would have been much smaller, or that fire would not have happened at all. After that, the safety authorities, as well as the ship operators, recognized the benefits of the new practical, well-organized, hands-on training service.
At that time, my Master’s thesis was completed and the new service was ready for use. The core idea was to focus only on relevant trainings for each target group. The training module was super short, approximately 2-hour sessions for the bridge officers conducted right on the bridge, and for the engine officers inside the engine control room, etc. And, yes, the Galley (kitchen people) made the biggest group. In that environment, it is not a question if the deep fat fryers will catch fire, but rather when it will happen. The training was supported by easy visual materials similar to airplane safety cards – you get the idea immediately when you see it.
We launched the new service in Miami, in December 2017, and trained 300 people in 5 days during a cruise in the Caribbean. We received extremely positive feedback. Everything worked well – the schedule, the content and the outcomes. In addition, the high level of engagement of the ship crews marked the new service as special success. Now, this training is steadily becoming a certified requirement for every ship. In this sense, I am happy with the results and due to the fact that my thesis project found implementation.
Master’s Thesis – An Open Access Material
Thesis projects in Universities of Applied Sciences make a good example of contribution to both the industry and the well-being of society. Importantly, all UAS final thesis – both Master’s and Bachelor’s – are open to the public in a common online database. High quality thesis projects, such as Joska’s, also benefit the next generations of students who can learn and build on the existing foundation, and create even more excellent projects. Being in open access and offering practical solutions to industry needs, developed by industry professionals with experience and passion, such projects contribute to open innovation and create knowledge for the future.
Master of Engineering (2016) in Industrial Management, Metropolia,
Master’s process instructor