Engineering a Craft Brewery: Belgium

Engineering students- Have you always wanted to understand the craft brew process while enjoying one of the most charming countries in Europe?  This program is for you! 

If you are an engineering student and plan to spend the full spring semester taking the Engineering a Craft Brewery course (ENGR 1933), or you took the class in a prior year, then you can apply for the travel add-on course (ENGR 1920) to gain an additional credit.    During the travel portion in Belgium, students will describe, analyze, and characterize the entire brewing process in a European context!  

The travel program will take place May 7-15, 2022 in Belgium.   The program will travel to various location to explore the craft brew process; the proposed itinerary includes Brussells, Ghent, Brugge and Leuven.  

To learn more about the experience, check out this video: 


What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • Evaluation of brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations
  • A way to relate brewing process variables to style characteristics
  • Ways to justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering and economic considerations

Belgium is known for its many types of beer and longstanding practice of beer-making. While abroad in Belgium the group will tentatively travel to the following cities: Brussels, Leuven, Bruges, Poperinge and Ghent. The itinerary tentatively includes a visit to a Hops farm, a maltery, and visit various different types of large and small breweries.


Where You'll Live: 

Students will be staying in hotels for the duration of the program abroad. 

You can expect the following at the hotels:

  • Double rooms with a shared bathroom
  • Heat and Air conditioning
  • Sheets, blankets, towels, and washcloths
  • Breakfast included each day
  • Wifi
What You'll Study: 

ENGR 1933 is the course that can count for specific requirements for your degree program.

ENGR 1920 is the study abroad add-on portion of the program; it is a 1 credit addition.

Student MUST have completed/or be taking ENGR 1933 in order to apply to ENGR 1920. Students must be 21 years of age to participate in this program. 

You will be able to evaluate brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations, relate brewing process variables to style characteristics, and justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering and economic considerations.


Engineering students can view how these courses will fulfill degree requirements here:


Other students: please check with your academic advisor for fulfillment of degree requirements.

Engineering a Craft Brew- Europe (ENGR1920)

This is a 1 credit class that offers the opportunity to exam craft brewing in Europe. At the end of this course, students should be able to

  • use engineering principles to describe, analyze, characterize, and design the brewing process.
  • relate brewing process variables to style characteristics.
  • evaluate brewing options and equipment for commercially relevant operations.
  • justify brewing choices based upon brewing science, engineering, and economic considera-
  • tions.

We have worked with a provide to create the program in-country.  While in Belgium, you will be accompanied by the faculty and staff from the University of Pittsburgh who will be your leaders and additional staff from our provider. 

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Dr. Robert Parker

Dr. Robert Parker- is the Robert v.d. Luft Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.  In his more than seventeen years of beer brewing, he has developed an appreciation for hops of all types, Belgian yeasts, and anything that is served from a nitrogen tap.  When he's not pursuing his teaching passion in the area of his hobby, Bob uses systems tools to address challenging problems at the engineering/medicine interface.


Mr. Robert Toplak

Mr. Toplak is the Assistant Chairman in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.   He is an active home brewer and provides classroom support for ENGR 1933, Engineering a Craft Brewery, by co-designing and brewing beer of various styles for classroom sensory sessions and helping to instruct students during on-campus brewing demonstrations.  Rob appreciates all beer styles but has an affinity for true Belgian or Belgian-style beers, particularly farmhouse ales.

Alicia JF Olalde, M.A.

Konnichiwa! After working for the JET program in Japan for just over two years, I decided to pursue a career in international education. I returned to the US via a few months of travel -slowing making my way west with many stops in stunning locations and with amazing people. Whenever possible, I continue to love exploring new countries and cultures! I have been fortunate to work both as an administrator and as a classroom educator in higher education; my areas of interest are international, adult and comparative education.  I enjoy assisting engineering students seize international opportunities! Reach out to me at!

Schedule an appointment

SSOE students: schedule an appointment with me using Pathways via this link!

non-SSOE students-- send me an email and we'll set up a time to meet!


Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Program Fee  (see  "What's included" section) $2,650  $2,850 
study abroad fee $300 $300
Total Billed by Pitt $2,950 $3,150

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Meals and personal expenses $500
If you are not a U.S. citizen there may be a cost associated with applying for a visa and/or traveling to a embassy or consulate varies
 roundtrip airfare $1500


What's Included: 

As a part of the program costs, the following are included in the program:

  • 1 credit course
  • All ground transportation
  • All Accommodations
  • Health insurance
  • All breakfasts, some lunch/dinners
  • Admission and participation to all events and excursions

Students are responsible for their own flight to/from the program and associated costs. 

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.

**Note that Pitt Global Experience Office courses/programs such as this one, operate outside of normal tuition and fee schedules and cannot be combined nor included in full-term tuition pricing. 


 Questions about Funding study abroad? 

Visit our budgeting page for more information. 

For global scholarship opportunities, check out:

  • the Pitt GEO scholarship page for links to national, provider and private scholarship samples
  • PittFund$Me  for Pitt sponsored funding including Pitt wide global scholarships, Nationality Rooms, VIH, etc.
  • PittFund$Me  for the SSOE Global Experience Scholarships!


What Else You Need to Know: 

Application requirements: 

  • Undergraduate and graduate students who are 21 years of age or older
  • Must have applied for a passport or already hold a passport by the application deadline. Need to apply? See instructions here.
  • Must be enrolled in Engineering a Craft Brewery course (ENGR 1933) for SP 2022, or have taken the course in the past. 
  • 2.75 GPA​