Students to develop innovative climate solutions for the ‘Holmene’ land reclamation project


34 students from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the UK will be working to develop innovative climate solutions for 'Holmene’, one of the largest urban development projects in northern Europe; COWI Try is a summer job programme aiming to find young talents, giving them the opportunity toexplore the potential for new and creative solutions together with the municipality of Hvidovre.

"How can the energy produced at Green Tech Island, an ultramodern wastewater facility to be located on Holmene (group of small islands), supply more than 150,000 households in and around Hvidovre with green energy?" "How should the coast around the small islands be developed to protect the industrial area against future flooding and to support biodiversity in the area?"

These are just two of the challenges the students are to address during their six-week programme at COWI.

As well as having the opportunity to prove themselves alongside experienced engineers and other COWI professionals from Scandinavia and the UK on the current projects, they will also collaborate on proposed solutions for specific sustainable measures on the large-scale ‘Holmene’ urban development project.

Potential for practical solutions

COWI’s global HR director, Thomas Hall, does not hide the fact that the summer job programme is a chance for the company to spot talented young people:

“COWI has a reputation amongst engineers as a good place to work, and last year we recruited over 1,000 new staff to our global offices. But like everyone else in the industry, we face an intense battle for talent both in Denmark and abroad. This is why we have invested heavily in a number of internal and external programmes in recent years, which are intended both to attract talented young people and develop our own staff,” he says.

“COWI Try has proved to be a great success, as the students get lots of on-the-job training while flexing their creative muscles on complex innovation projects. They bring the latest theoretical knowledge from universities across Scandinavia and the UK, and they don’t recognise the same constraints on practical problem-solving as their more experienced colleagues. Plus, we know they are keen to make a difference in the world. Altogether, this offers a thrilling potential for innovation – which could also inspire practical solutions after the end of the programme.”

Need for innovation from all sides

It is this potential for alternative ways of looking at solutions that attracted the municipality of Hvidovre, which is responsible for the Holmene project, to be involved in this year's COWI Try programme.

“We have a lot of engineers, architects and others involved in the development of Holmene, but we find it immensely interesting to discover how theoretically knowledgeable but practically inexperienced students with no preconceived opinions think we can realise our vision for Holmene as northern Europe’s largest, most innovative and greenest industrial area,” says Gert Nelth, Hvidovre’s director for Culture, Environment and Growth:

“We are convinced that innovation happens at a professional as well as personal level, particularly when it comes to developing innovative climate solutions. Our society needs brainpower and creativity from all sides.”

COWI Try 2019 was launched at COWI's Headquarters in Lyngby, Copenhagen, on 3 July.

Facts about COWI Try

  • COWI Try is COWI’s summer job programme for students in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom
  • The programme has been in place since 2012
  • The participants spend 70% of their time on tasks within COWI’s business and 30% on the COWI Try innovation project
  • This year’s innovation project is concerned with ‘Holmene’: the expansion of Avedøre Holme with nine artificial islands

Facts about Holmene:

  • Avedøre Holme, Denmark’s largest industrial area, is being expanded with nine artificial islands
  • First sod-turning in 2022, development through to 2040
  • Holmene will be developed in stages, and the first island is expected to be finished in 2028
  • The land will be reclaimed using 26 million cubic metres of surplus soil from construction projects in Greater Copenhagen, including the new Metro lines
  • Holmene will provide space for up to 380 new businesses and 12,000 new jobs
  • The area is projected to contribute up to EUR 7.2 million in growth
  • Holmene’s ‘Green Tech Island’ will produce energy (electricity and heat) for 150,000 households in the Copenhagen area, covering 10% of the capital’s energy needs
  • Holmene will add 700,000 m² of green space, including 17 km of new coastline, and will provide the capital with a new recreational area

Get in contact

COWI employee Søren Kragh Pedersen

Søren Kragh Pedersen
Head of Group PA & PR
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 2025 7018