Kategorie: Archive

Take a glimpse into waste management projects of IGCS fellows!

Graduate student Daniela and PhD student Katleen conducted research projects on the topic of waste management in India with support of IGCS. Of special interest were studies on the amount and composition of waste, as well as its recycling potential in Chennai and on Neil Island. Sadly, both of them had to end their exchange early due to the Corona virus. Nevertheless, they have achieved a lot during this time and let us take part in their journey, research interest and the implications the virus has on their projects!

Katleen, Berlin School of Economics and Law

Project: Baseline study on solid waste management generation and characterisation on Shaheed Dweep

At the IGCS Winter School in Chennai about Sustainable Waste Management in February 2019, I got inspired to continue research on waste issues as an IGCS research scholar. I was back at IIT Madras in October 2019 to start my research project under the guidance of Prof. Ligy Philip from the Civil Engineering Department at IIT Madras. Two months later I started my field work on the Andaman islands.

Driving forces for my research were

  1. acquiring knowledge on the amount of waste being produced by whom and what on the islands and
  2. identifying recycling potential to lessen the burden of the waste’s impact on the islands.

Neil Island, now called Shaheed Dweep, in the South Andamans was research area. The island is dominated by the tourism industry now. The relation about waste generation from local vs. tourist activities is an important indicator about the impact of tourism on small islands.

I chose to conduct a baseline study on Shaheed Dweep for my research project. Realizing that there are no actual figures about waste generation on the island, data collection on the island’s waste generation and the characterization of waste became an important target of my research project. Streamlining the island’s waste becomes a necessity in order to identify recyclable materials which can be transported out of the island. A resource recovery process could take place in Port Blair or on mainland India. The big advantage would be to reducing the burden on the open dumping yard on the Shaheed Dweep, which is currently the prevailing method of waste disposal.

Having said this, the restrictions following the COVID-19 crisis hit me during my second sampling week in March which I conducted with many volunteers to measure and sort the waste from the local market. Tourists were restrained from traveling to the Andamans, water sport activities like diving had to stop and suddenly the petrol station closed overnight. The waste collector changed their collection plans or even stopped collecting. End of story: I was escorted from the Andamans on the following Monday and my second sampling week unfinished. I was leaving the islands in confusion and a state of shock.

What happened next? I stayed in Chennai to continue analyzing my data. My sampling of household data was completed successfully. The waste rate per capita per day has been calculated for the sampling group of merely 0,18 kg/per person/day. Now extrapolating it to the total island inhabitants counting 3.040 people (Gram Panchayat Shaheed Dweep, 2019), the daily waste generation of all registered islanders would be at approximately 550 kg/day. This is a very small share (29%), given the estimation of about 1,9 metric tons per day of mixed waste by the Andaman Public Work Department in 2015. When looking at the composition of waste it reflects the Indian high standard of wet waste or compostable share (65%), while the remaining waste is coming as plastics (11,2%), glass (6,8%), paper (6,6,%), textiles (5,2%), metal (2,1%), hazardous waste (1,7%), other/rubber (1%) and e-waste (0,3%). My goal is now to close the data gap and get the respective figures for the market, the hotels and beach areas, which are the remaining major sources of waste streams on Shaheed Dweep.

Besides that, I enjoyed my time on the island with a diverse range of activities related to a sustainable waste management approach and data collection. Together with local and visiting volunteers, we removed 3,8 tons of waste from the beaches and one private property within three months. Out of this, 36% could be sent to Port Blair to recycle glass and plastic bottles. Furthermore, I conducted a workshops with school children about waste categorization, a waste management stall for the local island festival, a waste mural piece from plastic caps and many beach clean ups.

Heading off to the Andamans with the ferry was not only a dream come true but also an adventure in itself. I wish to return later this year to continue what I had to leave suddenly overnight on Shaheed Dweep.

Source: Katleen Schneider

Daniela Strittmatter, University of Stuttgart

Research Project: Plastic waste management in coastal areas

Plastic is known as a material with a huge range of applications in nowadays life. Our economy wouldn’t be the same without this reliable and cheap material. But what happens with the increasing amount of plastic material after its life spam…?

That was the question that came to my mind many times within the last years and during my master studies. So I decided to deal with this fascinating topic in my master’s thesis. The main aim of my thesis was to examine, how to improve the plastic waste management system in beach areas of Chennai. I conducted my research together with Professor Dr. Ligy Philip from the Civil Engineering Department at IIT Madras in Chennai and Professor Dr. Martin Kranert from the University of Stuttgart.

The research area of my research project is Chennai, a city with around 8,7 million inhabitants in India’s southeast. Similar to many other cities, Chennai is facing increasing amounts of waste, generated by society and companies. Due to an insufficient waste management infrastructure and lacking numbers of waste treatment plants, around 94% of the waste mixture is either deposited on open dumpsites without proper treatment or thrown away illegally. Uncollected waste that reaches coastal areas is likely to enter the sea, leading to negative long-term effects on a sensitive ecosystem. This is especially of increasing concern as the amount of plastic debris in underwater environments continues to accumulate with expected long-term effects on animal and human well-being.

As there is a lack of literature about the current waste composition at beaches in Chennai, I started my research with a status-quo waste analysis at different beach areas. This was an important step in order to gain a first impression. The waste analysis included both the amount and composition of waste, with a focus on plastic. Especially the questions “What is the amount of plastic waste that can be recycled?” and “Which areas are prone for plastic accumulation and why?” were of high interest for me. Luckily, many helpful hands at IIT Madras helped me with my sampling collection as I found many kilograms of waste per sampling site.

One main challenge was the hot and humid weather in Chennai, especially during noon at the sampling sites. With the sun burning down on my helpers and me, it was often quite exhausting to collect and transport the samples at the beach for hours. Nevertheless, I enjoyed being outside and was proud seeing the clean beach areas in the evening. Unfortunately and with a heavy heart, I flew back to Germany with a heavy heart due to the unpredictable Corona-crisis. I wasn’t able to collect further samples anymore due to the lock-down in whole of India. Nevertheless, I am glad to have finished my basis data which I’ll continue to use in an adopted way for my project now that I am back in Germany.

Besides writing my master’s thesis one exciting experience was my participation at the Winter School about “Sustainability in the Peri-scene” at IIT Madras in February 2020, organized by IGCS. The main content of the Winter School was to give the participates a well-rounded understanding of the peri-urban development in Chennai by having lectures, panel discussions, exercises and project work. Apart from the gained content knowledge the Winter School gave great opportunities to build a network with people of the same interest background and I am happy to still be in contact with many of them. Another highlight of my stay was during a beach clean-up I did on my own. Suddenly, a local person appeared, showed interest in my project work and offered to help me without any requirements. It was great to see that people are aware of the waste problem and the negative environmental effects and are willing to do something against it if they get the chance.

All in all I really enjoyed my stay in India. It’s a diverse, colourful and lively country and there are many things to discover. During my travels I enjoyed beautiful landscapes with rice paddies, white sand beaches and tea plantations. I fell in love with the tasty exotic fruits and delicious spicy dishes. Luckily friends taught me how to prepare Indian food. Especially the friendliness and curiosity of Indians made it very easy to get integrated into the Indian way of living and to feel home in Chennai soon. In order to get an impression of all facets of India, it is important to be open-minded and be ready for new experiences because India is also a country of contrasts. In some areas the effects of poverty and luxury can be seen next to each other and this can be challenging to cope with sometimes. Although it is visible that there is effort to improve the waste management situation in the cities, there is still a long way to go and solutions to be found. In order to enhance sustainable systems and thinking, international cooperation bonds like IGCS are a great way to exchange relevant knowledge and experiences between India and Germany and to bring research further for both sides. 

Hence, I am very thankful for the experiences I made during my 3,5 months stay in Chennai and would highly recommend the exchange program to interested students. I will definitely come back to visit my friends and to discover the beautiful western and northern parts of India.

IGCS @ International Solid Waste Association World Congress

Euskalduna Palace
October 7-10, 2019 in Bilbao

The Chair of Waste Management and Emissions at the Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management (ISWA), University of Stuttgart, and IGCS were present at the International Solid Waste Association World Congress that took place from the 7th to 10th October, 2019 in Bilbao, Spain.

In a session with the connecting theme Empowering Women in Recycling and the Circular Economy, Dr. Gabriela Garcés presented encouraging ideas and gender perspectives for sustainable waste management for resilient cities. The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability and its core objectives was presented to an audience from the academia, industry and international organizations.

During a 2-hour-dialogue, IGCS-Postdoc Dr. Garcés exposed on approaches to include social and gender aspects in planning for waste management projects and practices in the frame of circular economy strategies. Focus was on the relevance of integrating environmental, social, and gender issues in governance frameworks, technological solutions and capacity building to empower equitable participation and promote opportunities of collaboration.

Contact: garces@igcs-chennai.org

IGCS Summer School 2019 review

Growing through diversity

The IGCS Summer School on Smart Grids – Electricity Networks as the Backbone of a Carbon Neutral Society was conducted on the campus of the Technische Universität Dresden which is located in the beautifully reconstructed old town of Dresden, Germany. There were students from all backgrounds of academia, be it electrical or mechanical engineering or architecture or economics or environmental science, and I, Muskaan Kochar, consider myself privileged to be a part of them. In total, we were 30 students who were brought together for a span of twelve days and I’m certain we will remain connected always.

From Energy Policy to Green Energy Technology Startups

The summer school was broadly divided into two parts, the lectures, and the project work. Every morning after lectures we would either head out for technical excursions or split into groups to work on our projects. I was awestruck by the facilities at Highvolt, Innovation power plant, and 50 Hertz. The visit to the Volkswagen manufacture was candy for the mechanical engineers. The 13 lectures covered a broad spectrum of topics like concepts of electrical energy networks,stakeholder interaction, rural electrification, sector coupling, grid components, and power grids under the aspects of economy, ecology, and regulation. Not only did they provide us with technical knowledge but also about making the technology sustainable and urged us to think from an economic perspective and understand the steps involved in distributing and transmitting the generated energy. The lectures along with the excursions facilitated our projects and enhanced our knowledge. 

Personally, I liked the lectures by Professor Praktiknjo and Mr. Manjunath Ramesh the most. The former taught us about three goals of energy policy and also conducted a practical simulation game to give us hands-on experience. The latter shared with us the concept of his startup, Nuventura GmbH, and his plans for the future. These lectures taught us how to think beyond building technology. They provoked us to think about their implementation and how to make it practical. 

Tinkering

For the projects, we were given broad project headings which provided us with the flexibility to work creatively in our desired direction and also incorporate the skills of the technically diverse team members. The ideas of all the teams were unconventional and exercised one’s grey matter. The professors guided us when we were in doubt, reviewed our work at multiple stages and left us with intriguing questions about our model. This made the process extremely wholesome. My team worked on the topic of e-mobility where we viewed an electric vehicle (EV) as a consumer or prosumer. To begin with, we challenged the given topic by comparing the carbon emissions of EVs and conventional vehicles. On becoming certain about the advantages associated with using EVs we studied the market scenarios in developed, like Germany, and developing, like India, countries and built a model that would incentivise individuals to invest in EVs. The main challenge faced was the availability of charging platforms. This could be overcome by a transaction platform for peer to peer trading or feed-in tariff. This would meet the goal of our topic as well. To strengthen it further we carried out a cost-benefit analysis and were amazed by the results for an EV. There is a lot of scope for development in this field. There are teams who wish to continue building their models even after the school is over.

Discovering Saxony

I firmly believe that the summer school was a huge success. This was possible only because of the emphasis put on the interaction between people of varied backgrounds, not only academically but also culturally and not only amongst the students but also with the hosts, the professors, and industrialists. On our very first evening in Dresden, we gathered for the opening dinner post which the hosts encouraged us to enjoy the city carnival. The students from German universities took this as an opportunity to showcase their culture and familiarise the Indian students with their history. The next day, there was a hike to the Saxon Switzerland national park. The air; so pure and the sight; so wonderful. It brought everyone together. After this, the next ten days just flew by. On the next Saturday, we visited the small city of Wittenberg and Ferropolis, also called the city of iron. On Sunday, a spontaneous city tour was organised and it added on to the fond memories we all had made. And finally, for our closing dinner, we were all invited to a brewery. A visit to Germany is incomplete if doesn’t visit one, right? Our hearts filled with gratitude for everyone who made the IGCS summer school possible as we all parted ways, to see the beautiful country and to implement what we’ve learnt.

What I will take home

The summer school had more to offer than visible to the eye. All the social and cultural activities molded us as a person. The team building activities, taking responsibility and shouldering them well, working in constrained time and most importantly communicating added on to the academic learning. I also learned how to view a problem from different perspectives. Now I always ask myself, how would an economist view it? How will an environmentalist view it? How can I communicate my findings better and make it more accessible and understandable by everyone? I would strongly encourage applying for a Winter- or Summer School of IGCS. Another option to join IGCS is by applying for a research stay and an associated scholarship. 

Reporter: Muskaan Kochar, IGCS student assistant and participant at the IGCS Summer School 2019

IGCS @ Urban Resilience 2

Urban Resilience 2: Coastal and River Management, Vulnerability and Sustainability
October 20-23, 2019 at IIT Madras in Chennai

Continuing discussions from 2017 on the influence of climate change on flooding at rivers and coastal areas Indian and German researchers met for the round table Urban Resilience 2. 15 German scientists from Geoverbund ABC/J, under lead of RWTH Aachen University, met a again delegation of Indian researchers at IIT Madras to continue discussions on the influence of climate change on flooding at rivers and coastal areas. Many Indian scientists from different parts of the country were invited, e.g. from IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur in Golgata; Anna University in Chennai, NIOT & NCCR in Chennai, and Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu.

The presentations covered many highly relevant topics, such as the establishment of the coastal flood forecasting system for Chennai ‘CFLOWS’ after the devastating floods of 2015 and coastal vulnerability and socio-economic effects in large cities after extreme events. This was also discussed in light of distribution patterns and toxicity of various pollutants, e.g. pesticides from agricultural areas in river catchments and coastal areas after flooding events. Other presentations covered the following topics

  • Urban and Coastal Resilience
  • Climate Change and Coastal/Riverine Flood Hazards
  • Bio- and Ecohazards
  • Social and Environmental Impacts, Adaption and Governance and its Dynamics

In October 2017, IGCS started a discussion on Urban Resilience on coastal and river floods or extreme events affecting megacities and settlements in coastal low lands. More than 1.5 billion people are currently living within 100 km of the coastal zones of the Earth, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. And the number is still growing, due to economic and social attractiveness as large-scale urbanization and mega-city development within the coastal zone is expected to be more rapid than in other areas in the near future.

Almost all future scenarios of climate change and sea level rise point to a higher frequency of extreme weather and climate events in near future, and that this will reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of coastal cities to the current climate variability. Climate change also affects monsoonal patterns, which seem to cause an intensification of the seasonal rainfall that fortifies inundation/floodings/droughts in India regularly during the last years (e.g. 2015 Chennai, 2018 Kochi).

Besides the Indian coast is prone to tsunamis, as the Makran subduction zone may cause earthquakes and tsunamis affecting the Indian west coast, as e.g. in 1945. In 2004, the east coast has been affected by the Sumatra tsunami inducing landfall in the Tamil Nadu coast. Besides the primary destructive effects, the widespread contamination of coastal areas due to the pulsed transport of immense pollutant loads during the floodings may seriously affect the coastal ecosystems. This clearly affects increasing population and urbanization in particular along coastlines and urban or even critical infrastructure, as a consequence adaptation, decision analysis and governance of manifold administrational levels.

At the roundtable, many new collaborations for prospective research projects between Indian and German researchers evolved.

Venue

IIT Madras, Chennai, India

Date

October 20 – 22 2019 (until October 25 incl. excursion to Pichavaran )

Exchange semester in India: Prepatory workshop for DAAD fellows

Exchange semester in India: Prepatory workshop for DAAD fellows

Cologne, June 28-30 2019, organized by DAAD IndiAlumni e.V.

The alumni association IndiAlumni e.V. invites DAAD fellows from Germany who plan an exchange to India to participate in the prepatory workshop. Interested candidates contact kontakt@indialumni.de to reveive more information.

Please find below their invitation (German only):

Liebe Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten,
 
herzlichen Glückwunsch zu Eurem bevorstehenden Indienaufenthalt!
 
Hiermit möchten wir Euch auf unseren DAAD IndiAlumni Netzwerk e.V. und insbesondere auch auf das für Euch konzipierte Vorbereitungsseminar aufmerksam machen.
 
Das Alumni- Netzwerk wurde am 12.04.2014 von ehemaligen Stipendiaten, mit dem Ziel den interkulturellen Austausch zwischen Indien und Deutschland zu fördern, gegründet.
 
Heute engagieren sich über 115 Vereinsmitglieder in unterschiedlichen Aktivitäten, wie z.B. das Jahrestreffen, Workshops zu wechselnden Themen,
Stammtischen in einigen Großstädten und kulturelle Veranstaltungen.
 
Unsere Mitglieder kommen aus diversen Fachrichtungen, Regionen und sind durch unser Interesse an Indien vereint. Wir schätzen und leben Interdisziplinarität. Unser Verein bietet somit Raum für fächerübergreifenden Erfahrungsaustausch und gegenseitiges Lernen  –- und das auch in Bezug auf: Was mache ich mit all meinen Indienerfahrungen zurück in Deutschland? Wie kann ich diese gekonnt für meinen akademischen oder beruflichen Weg nutzen?
 
Für uns ist Indien ein faszinierendes Land, insbesondere aufgrund der vielen Unterschiede und Gegensätze. Aber gerade diese Unterschiede und Gegensätze machen das Land für den einen oder anderen zu einer Herausforderung. Um Euch gut auf Euren Indienaufenthalt vorzubereiten, möchten wir Euch die Möglichkeit bieten, Euch mit ehemaligen DAAD Stipendiaten auszutauschen –- kurzum –- wir bieten ein Speeddating an. Das Vorbereitungsseminar findet vom 28.06.2019 – 30.06.2019 in Köln statt.
 
Bei Interesse meldet euch gerne unter kontakt@indialumni.de, wir melden uns dann bei Euch mit weiteren Informationen.
 
Achtung: Die Teilnehmerzahl ist limitiert, schnell sein lohnt sich!
 
 
Weitere Informationen zu uns IndiAlumnis findet ihr auf

www.IndiAlumni.de, Facebook und Instagram.

IGCS Winter School 2019 review

Broadening horizons at the 2019 IGCS Winter School

Hannah was one of the 30 students who was selected to participate in the IGCS Winter School 2019 in Chennai. With this report she gives an insight into the school’s topics and activities as well as a few personal impressions:

I had the great opportunity to participate in the IGCS Winter School Sustainable Waste Management: Municipal Solid Waste and E-waste. The Winter School took place on the IIT Madras campus, a fantastic green space in the heart of Chennai, where we lived and worked for two weeks. Half of the participants were Indian students and the other half was from German Universities. We had various educational backgrounds: besides students from environmental sciences, there were also social and economic sciences, mechanical as well as electrical engineers and other fields represented. This excellent constellation allowed us participants the chance to an intercultural exchange and professional development.

High degree of interaction during lectures and group work

IGCS Winter School gave me an extraordinary possibility to explore new aspects of the waste management system and to overthink a lot our treatment with resources. The classes were divided into two parts: there were a total of 17 lectures which covered various aspects of solid waste management and e-waste in Chennai, India, Germany and from a global point of view. I find waste management systems so relevant that I am thinking about doing my master thesis in that area and within IGCS.

I personally enjoyed the discussions about social aspects of waste management the most. The topic of the lecture was Sociology and Waste Management by Dr. S. Chella Rajan. For me, it is one of the most relevant parts, when we speak about sustainability and – in our case – waste treatment and circular economy. We learned a lot with and from each other in the discussions after lectures and even during lunch breaks. We all felt the high relevance of the topic and the necessity to speak about the different topics and aspects of solid waste management such as social, technological aspects as well as organisation of the waste management system from the governmental side. Some of the lectures were especially enlightening and facilitating a lively discussion way past the lectures. Another very interesting class was given by Prof. K. Kuchta about Recycling of E-waste.

The second part was project work. We expressed our research interests and were divided into six groups accordingly. I personally enjoyed a lot to have several days reserved for our project work. We were able to dive deep into the topic, understand it, work on it and try to identify problems as well as recommendations. Our three supervisors from IIT Madras supervised us and helped us grow together as one team.

I was in a group to analyse the Coastal Solid Waste Management system and to make suggestions for improvement. With support from our supervisors, we went into the city and conducted a survey in different zones of the city, like commercial and residential areas sorting the results after income groups. Furthermore, we compared the type of waste that is collected in the municipal waste bins and waste that we found along the beach. By doing the segregation we found out that the waste from middle compared to high income households is very different, e.g. regarding to the relative amount of e-waste that people produce. By comparing the completely different looking pie charts of the waste from the beach and the waste from the residential area we assumed that waste at the beach must have another origin. To give an example, the beach waste contained a high amount of footwear which we did not find in other types of waste.

The surveys as well as the waste segregation were great team events. While doing the research we had many opportunities to learn about each other’s cultural backgrounds and intercultural collaboration. I enjoyed a lot working with in this intercultural and interdisciplinarygroup and it enriched our group a lot that we had various professional backgrounds. One of the main problems of Chennai’s waste management system is the segregation. The majority of the interviewed people told us, that they are willing to segregate the waste, if there would be a proper municipal segregation system.

Beyond the classroom

All the organizers, supervisor and lectures showed a huge interest to make us see and understand the place and the country where they are living, their culture and the topic they are working on. Apart from teaching a roundtrip in Chennai and a two-day trip to Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry was organized. Both were great possibilities for the whole group to get to know each other and to get to know the beautiful south-eastern Indian countryside, cities, historical and cultural sights. Another rather unintentional cultural highlight was the traffic in Chennai and the surrounding area. During our field trips we were often stuck in traffic. It made me aware how enormous not only Chennai but also many other Indian cities are.

One evening, one of the participants organised a badminton tournament which was a lot of fun for all of us. Apart of that, we spend a lot of time in the Campus juice bar, walking around on the campus and tasting India’s culinary diversity which was one of my cultural highlights. The food was usually vegetarian which seems to be common standard in India or at least on the campus in Chennai. Relating to a topic about waste management it was very interesting to notice that difference in the type of food people consume between Germany and India.

Many of the participants from German universities used the opportunity of the Winter School to explore India after the program. India is a great place to learn how to surf at Tamil Nadus coast, to do hiking in the Himalaya, to do island-hopping on the Andaman-islands, to go further south to Sri Lanka, to see Taj Mahal, Kerala and/or Goa, to relax at one of India’s beautiful beaches and I am quite sure there are missing various things to do and to see on my list.

What I take home from IGCS

Because of the interdisciplinary group at the IGCS Winter School we considered the topic of solid waste management from different angles. As an engineer I realized once again, that technology is only one vehicle to implement a well-working system for solid waste management. There are also aspects to be considered such as living standards or the historical growth of a city. If we want to achieve change, we must bear these aspects in mind, too.

Culturally speaking, I enjoyed it very much to get to know the various personalities and cultural backgrounds of the participantse, to find out about the differences of people from different countries, to sing, to dance and to laugh during our field trips. In my opinion there were many brilliant people amongst the participants regarding their knowledge on waste management but also regarding their skill to help people coming out of their shell.

In conclusion, I would strongly recommend applying for a Winter- or Summer School of IGCS. Another option to join IGCS is by applying for a research stay and an associated scholarship. The Winter School helped me to focus on sustainable aspects for two weeks and learn new aspects. During the school I started to write down many inspiring thoughts on post-it notes. These notes I took back to Germany to contemplate them further at home. I have started this process and look forward to the results

I had the great opportunity to participate in the IGCS Winter School Sustainable Waste Management: Municipal Solid Waste and E-waste in Chennai India in February and March 2019. The Winter School took place on the IIT Madras campus, a fantastic green space in the heart of Chennai, where we lived and worked for two weeks. Half of the participants were Indian students and the other half was from German Universities. We had various educational backgrounds: besides students from environmental sciences, there were also social and economic sciences, mechanical as well as electrical engineers and other fields represented. This excellent constellation allowed us participants the chance to an intercultural exchange and professional development.

IGCS Summer School 2018 review

IGCS students Soumita Banerjee and Sujay Bandyopadhyay published a short summary of this year’s summer school on coastal and river hazards & management strategies which took place in the second half of July 2018. It is an easy read, contains many keynotes on the topic and provides some insights into IGCS activities.  The article was published December 17 2018 on EOS, Earth & Space Science News. Follow this link to read the full article.

Source: Malin Praktiknjo, 2018; Frank-Andreas Weber, 2018; Jorien Van der Wal, 2018.

Enjoy and feel free to share!

IGCS Alumni Meeting and Indo-German Dialogue 2018

Alumni Meeting | November 6 and 7, 2018 | Heidelberg

For the very first time, an Alumni meeting of the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) at the IIT Madras, Chennai, will be hosted at the Heidelberg University of Education on Nov. 6th and 7th 2018. For this purpose, the following call is meant for anybody who can consider himself or herself to be an alumnus of the IGCS, because he or she participated in an IGCS summer or winter school or stayed at the IIT Madras, Chennai, or a German University due to an IGCS research stay funding. The objective of the meeting is the initiation of a debate among the alumni on ways of sustaining their IGCS research experience by networking, combining research efforts, sharing experiences and field work know-how etc.

Program outline

In the course of the workshop, inputs will be provided on selected current issues and methodology of sustainability research, with a specific focus on transdisciplinary approaches and living labs. A guided design thinking workshop will support the participants in structuring ideas, options and approaches for establishing a longer term alumni network and alumni projects.

Indo-German Dialogue on Green Urban Practices | November 8-10, 2018 | Freiburg

The Indo-German Dialogue is conceived as a continuous series of an annual interaction of academics, civil society activists, government officials, and social business/ entrepreneurs. Its key objective is to provide a platform of sharing and exchange of experiences of social urban innovative change in Europe/Germany and India in order to leverage action towards new transdisciplinary research and practice projects.

Based on the experience and activities of participants/initiatives present at the first dialogue and supplemented by a further review of activities carried out across academia and practice we identified “Education, Learning, Training and Awareness” as a crucial area.

These activities connect to global policy frameworks and campaigns such as the UNESCO’s decade 2005-2014 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Global Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Social transformations towards sustainable lifestyles will only succeed in practice when people reflect on and learn about the implications of their daily life activities, combined with widely communicating and spreading successful practices, skills, knowledge, values and behaviours. While the local conditions and context are essential dimensions that influence teaching and learning on the ground, transnational exchange is inevitable to generate global awareness and action. This importance is evident in Target 4.7 of SDG 4 on education that addresses ESD and related approaches such as Global Citizenship Education.

Objectives of this dialogue
  • good practices: role of learning, awareness, trainings for changing patterns towards sustainable living and consumption especially in urban contexts
  • knowledge sharing about methods of and approaches to ESD (education for sustainable development)
  • potentially, experiences of knowledge transfer implemented in projects
  • explore opportunities for collaborative projects in ESD
  • explore and document potential funding sources
Target groups and participants

The symposium seeks to bring together people from academia, grassroots activists and policy makers from Germany and India for a dialogue about the role and potentials that socially innovative individuals and citizens initiatives have in the sustainability transition of cities on the cross-cutting themes of education, learning, training and awareness.

Programme

The first two days will provide opportunities for participants to share and discuss their work and experiences including generating projects. Field visits in Freiburg on the third day will allow exposure to practical applications.

IGCS Summer School 2018 Public Lecture

Deltas, Floodplains, and Harbours as Geo-Bio-Archives: Human-Environment Interactions in Western Anatolia

July 16, 2018 | RWTH Aachen University

As part of the IGCS Summer School 2018 “Coastal and River Hazards & Management strategies”, we invite you to a public lecture by Prof Dr Helmut Brückner on July 16, 2018, at 18:00 hrs. The lecture will take place in the Generali-Saal of the SuperC (6th floor, Templargraben 57, Aachen) at RWTH Aachen University.

In Western Anatolia, the human footprint on the ecosystems, especially in Greek and Roman times, resulted in massive landscape changes. This holds particularly true for the ancient harbour cities of Ephesus, Miletus and Elaia. It will be demonstrated how the rise and fall of these settlements were closely connected with the life cycle of their harbours, which in turn was strongly dependent on the delta growth of the rivers Kaystros, Maiandros and Kaikos respectively.

Prof Brückner holds the Chair in Geomorphology at the University of Cologne. He studied Geography and Mathematics at the University of Düsseldorf. After his PhD and habilitation he lectured as a professor in Passau and Marburg; in 2010 he followed the call to Cologne. His research is focussed on aspects of coastal geomorphology, geoarchaeology and geochronology; regional foci are the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, Chile, South and Southeast Asia. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Inauguration of IGCS-premises at IIT Madras

November 1, 2017 at IIT Madras in Chennai

On 1st November 2017 the director of IIT Madras, Bhaskar Ramamurthi, and rector of RWTH Aachen University, Ernst Schmachtenberg, celebrated the inauguration of the new IGCS premises in the Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences. HE Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Achim Fabig, and Dr Akilesh Gupta, Head/Senior Scientist-G, DST, GoI, were chief guests at the function that was followed by a one-day symposium at IC&SR building, Hall 3, IIT Madras. The IGCS team, the Indian and German researchers and students will have an entire floor dedicated to it. The IGCS will now have access to large spaces, new equipment and new furniture that they can use to work with. The aim of the new premise is to have the entire IGCS team under one roof, enabling them to collaborate together to achieve their mutual goals of sustainability.

An important step in further joint research was taken by signing a document on a new project within the framework of the IGCS Research Program on Sustainable Power Engineering financed by Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen.

At the one day symposium on Sustainability: Issues and Challenges Indian and German professors held lectures and discussed the issues at length with the student participants. Prof. Rangan Banerjee, Dept. of Energy Studies, IIT Bombay and Prof. HN Chanakya, Centre for Sustainability, IISc Bangalore started the first technical session. The IGCS was able to invite IGCS alumni such as long term visiting professors Prof Dr Ch. Woiwode, Prof Dr P. Fiener and Dr K. Steger to complement the Indo-German program.

The felicitations that followed the Symposium to Prof R. Azzam were conducted by Prof S. Chella Rajan. Both directors/rectors, all Indian and German Coordinators and Alumni Professors wished Prof Azzam a prosperous time after his retirement.

For further information on the IGCS inauguration please contact:

Prof. Dr. BS Murty | IGCS Centre Coordinator, IIT Madras

Prof. Dr. R. Azzam | IGCS Centre Coordinator, RWTH Aachen University