FTE-80427 MSc Thesis Farm Technology


Credits 27.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. PWG Groot Koerkamp
dr. PPJ van der Tol
dr. M Derks
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. PWG Groot Koerkamp
prof. dr. ir. EJ van Henten

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

For the MSc thesis completion of two courses is mandatory:
- one course out of FTE-31306 Greenhouse Technology; FTE-32806 Automation for Bio-production; FTE-35306 Machine Learning; FTE-35806 Precision Farming; and
- one other relevant FTE MSc course, depending on the field of work (see Contents).


The MSc-thesis is a final proof of knowledge, skills and competences of the Master Biosystems Engineering. The student is assigned a problem of which s/he has to demonstrate that s/he can conduct an academic research or a research-based design project individually and independently. S/he writes and orally presents a project plan, does literature research, executes the project plan, writes a thesis report, and presents the work in an oral presentation as well as attends presentations of others. MSc-thesis projects fit into the mission of the Farm Technology Group. The mission of the Farm Technology group is to enhance, exploit and disseminate the potential of technology in bio-production processes to fulfil the needs of mankind and nature in a sustainable way. The Farm Technology group combines methods and tools from their technological domain with biological, environmental, agricultural and social sciences to find solutions for problems in the context of the complex (bio)systems.

Thesis topics match ongoing research of the group, in one of these fields:
- data analysis, supported by courses like MAT-15303 Statistics 1, MAT-15403 Statistics 2, FTE-25806 Research Methods FTE-26306 Data analysis Biosystems Engineering, FTE-35306 Machine learning;
- design, supported by courses like FTE-24806 Engineering Design, FTE-33806 Biosystems Design;
- modelling and Simulation, supported by courses like FTE-34806 Modelling of Biobased Production Systems, FTE-31306 Greenhouse technology, FTE-34306 Quantitative analysis of innovative biosystems, 
BCT-30806 Physical ModellingBCT-20306 Modelling dynamic systems, BCT-- 22803 Physical transport phenomena, FTE-25303 Building physics and climate engineering;
- operation and Control, supported by courses like FTE-32806 Automation for Bioproduction, FTE-35806 Precision farming, BCT-21306 Control Engineering;
- sensing, supported by courses like FTE-32806 Automation for Bioproduction, FTE-27306 Sensor Technology;
- experiment, supported by courses like FTE-25806 Research Methods;
- programming, supported by courses like INF-22306 Programming in Python, INF-32306 Software engineering.

The essence of the course is that the student proves that s/he masters the competences related to the MSc Biosystems Engineering.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of a MSc thesis at the Farm Technology Group, the student should be able to:
- manage a project, in terms of independence and initiative, time management, commitment and perseverance, communication, handling supervisors’ comments and self-reflection;
- mobilize and operationalize knowledge and skills from the domain of Biosystems Engineering, acquired during courses in the master (and bachelor phase) of the education programme BAT and MAB, and build on that prior knowledge for the sake of achieving the objectives of the thesis project.
- write a scientific report on the project;
- present, reflect upon and defend a project plan and project results during a start presentation and a final presentation respectively, conveying the essential aspects and messages of the project;
- defend the thesis project during a meeting with an independent examiner and the supervisor(s), demonstrating the ability to reflect upon objectives, approaches, results and conclusions of the project and place the research in the scientific, practical and societal context and demonstrate knowledge about the technical contents of the field of study.


Create and present a project proposal & planning, carry out the project, join in project meetings, write a project report and present results during the final colloquium.

The student is supervised by a member of the Chair Group FTE. The student visits at least one intake meeting to consult with the chair about the thesis subject. The student can start with the thesis any time of the year.

For a detailed overview of the process and instructions on the content of the report, please check out the course guide in blackboard FTE80400_2018 (self-enrol).


Individual assessment of the work on
- research competence (30%);
- thesis report (50%);
- colloquium (10%);
- examination (10%).
According to the Rubric for assessment of FTE MSc-thesis, available on blackboard.

A minimum grade of 5.5 for the criteria Research competence, Thesis report, Colloquium and Examination is required in order to get a passing grade.

A pass is required for attendance of colloquia of other students (10 minimum).