Tag: Interdisciplinary Teaching

IGCS is hiring Research Associate in the field of sustainability and circular economy

The Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Solid Waste Management (ISAH), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, invites applications for the position of a

Research Associate (PostDoc, m/f/d) in the field of sustainability and circular economy

(Salary Scale 13 TV-L, 100 %)

to be filled as soon as possible. The position is limited until December 31st, 2024. The scope of the position corresponds to 100 % of the collectively agreed working hours.


In 2010, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) and several German universities jointly established the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS), located on the IITM campus in Chennai, as a platform for international academic exchange and interdisciplinary research collaboration on major sustainable development issues. In Germany, the IGCS activities are supported by the ‘TU9’ group of Technical Universities (led by RWTH Aachen University) and Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel. Focus areas of sustainability education and research related to water (Kiel Univ.), waste (TU Hannover), land use and rural/ urban development (RWTH Aachen Univ.), as well as energy (TU Berlin).

The IGCS is part of the initiative “A New Passage to India” by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). It receives funding from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) via DAAD and the Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India. Since its inception, the IGCS has offered short-term Winter/ Summer Schools on various sustainability topics, workshop participation, and short- and long-term research stays to students and researchers from India and Germany at IGCS Chennai or the German partner universities. German and IITM academic staff closely collaborate both in teaching and research.

In the research field of Waste Management and Circular Economy at ISAH, research and networking activities between India and Germany on the topic of recycling management and resource conservation are to be further developed. This includes a stay of several months each year at IIT Madras. Thereby, under consideration of already existing research fields, the following priorities should be set:

  • Greenhouse gas reduction through pyrolytic processing of organic municipal waste
  • Development and implementation of cross-sectoral circular economy measures in the water-food-energy-waste nexus
  • Sustainable recovery and recycling processes of post-consumer plastics

Furthermore, a key task is networking with partner institutions, which includes state agencies, industries and civil society organisations in India and Germany, as well as consolidating existing networks within the IGCS and promoting research and teaching cooperation. This includes my own teaching activities at the IIT Madras and LUH. Additionally, the objective is to form a close interaction with the other IGCS core areas.

Working field

You should conduct research projects and teaching together with IGCS colleagues in different formats as well as individually (e.g. lectures at IITM and your home university in Germany, create content for workshops, teach and supervise Summer and Winter School students). With the support of the Indian and German project coordinators, you will actively contribute to organizing events. Furthermore, you will be a point of contact for exchange students and scientists, who are planning their stay in Chennai or in Germany. The majority of your work time you are required to spend at the IGCS office at IITM in Chennai, at least six of twelve months. You will be able to solicit research grants in Germany (e.g. DFG, industry) and collaborate with IGCS’ area coordinators in Indian research projects, engage in IGCS activities and support in teaching.


  • Completed university degree (M.Sc.; M.Tech.) in civil and environmental engineering, process engineering, or cf.
  • Experience in teaching
  • Knowledge of German and English (both fluent)
  • The ability to obtain a work visa in India or Germany


  • Completed doctoral degree and successful publications in one of the above-mentioned sustainable research fields (pyrolysis of organic waste, plastics recycling, circular economy measures)
  • Work-abroad experience and knowledge of the region

You are expected to engage in interdisciplinary research and design your own project ideas and focus areas in India.

The university aims to promote equality between women and men. For this purpose, the university strives to reduce under-representation in areas where a certain gender is under-represented. Women are under-represented in the salary scale of the advertised position. Therefore, qualified women are encouraged to apply. Moreover, we welcome applications from qualified men. Preference will be given to equally-qualified applicants with disabilities.

Please send your application with the usual documents in German by January 2nd, 2023, in the electronic form to

Email: weichgrebe@isah.uni-hannover.de

Or alternatively by post to:
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
Institute for Urban Water Management and Waste Engineering
PD Dr.-Ing. habil. Dirk Weichgrebe
Welfengarten 1, 30167 Hannover

For reasons of cost, application documents will not be returned. Please submit copies only. Information on the collection of personal data according to article 13 GDPR can be found at https://www.uni-hannover.de/en/datenschutzhinweis-bewerbungen/.

Katchupedu Nook Celebrates First Achievements

On the outskirts of Chennai, the IGCS’s land-use area project, Katchipedu Nook, celebrated its first show of achievements by the young learners of a deprived community on Sunday, 27th November. The kids moderated the program and were supported by the two Nook Managers, Sona and Venkateshan, demonstrating documentary shooting and editing, dressing table carpentry, and piano play, among other things. Sustainable practices were also showcased through recycling, reuse and upcycling in coconut-shell jewellery, crochet bag making, and a drum set made entirely from plastic waste. The produce was sold with their brandmark stickers, “Katchipedu Nook”, demonstrating the kids’ entrepreneurial spirit!

The Nook is a self-learning and skill development centre where individuals can redefine and design education for themselves. The space provides a conducive environment to foster curiosity, innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking. To interact and promote self-learning, learners embark on projects where they set goals and do tangible projects to be showcased at the end of the goal cycle.

Congratulations to the team, and many thanks for a great and fun-filled show!

IGCS participates in K-Show in Düsseldorf

This week the IGCS Project coordinators visited the K-Show in Düsseldorf, Germany. The K-Show is the World’s biggest trade fair for plastics and rubber. Focus topics were Circular Economy, Digitalisation and Climate Protection.

IGCS emphasises the importance of collaborations with industries to address sustainability through joint initiatives. It was beautiful to engage with companies from India and Germany on a mission towards #Sustainability & #circulareconomy.

Lisa Van Aalst, IGCS Project Coordinator, Visits Chennai India

The IGCS team in Germany had the opportunity to visit IIT Madras in Chennai last month, where they were engaged in research and exchange teaching programs. Lisa Van Aalst, IGCS Project Coordinator at RWTH Aachen University, shares their experience in Chennai:

IGCS Team in Chennai
IGCS Team in Chennai

After more than two years of working remotely, I finally had the chance to visit the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras campus, on a project management visit with the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS).

Together with the IGCS Postdocs Christoph WoiwodeDaniel Rosado, and Khulud Alsouleman, we have had fruitful meetings strategizing on joint research projects addressing the Urban Water-Food-Energy-Waste Nexus in the Perumbakkam resettlement area as well as introducing hybrid teaching modules at IIT Madras in the field of sustainability.

Besides finally meeting face-to-face with our IGCS colleagues, we have also had the chance to interact with new faces and met our wonderful colleagues from DAAD India to discuss scholarship opportunities for Indian students and researchers.

In New Delhi, I had the chance to meet with RWTH Head India Office Benjamin Pfrang. Together with the Goethe Institut Indien and the German Embassy in New Delhi, we attended the inauguration of the Mayoor Public School Noida as a PASCH school. This initiative connects more than 2,000 schools worldwide where the German language is particularly important.

Do you want to conduct your research with IGCS and our focus areas? We offer research grants to students interested in the field of sustainability. Visit our Grants page for more information.

Dr. Khulud Alsouleman, IGCS Post-doc, Visits Chennai India

The IGCS team in Germany had the opportunity to visit IIT Madras in Chennai last month, where they were engaged in research and exchange teaching programs. Dr. Khulud Alsouleman, IGCS post-doc in the area of Sustainable Use and Management of Energy and from the Technical University Berlin, shares the premise of their work in Chennai:


“It was an enriching experience to be close to the students in IITM, to deliver and discuss some important topics In Biomass conversion technologies. During my stay at IITM, I conducted some laboratory analysis in the chemical engineering department related to an initial project idea with Prof. Vinu (waste management Indian coordinator), to enhance the research cooperation not only between the Indian and German partners, but also between the IGCS areas.”

Do you want to conduct your research with IGCS and our focus areas? We offer research grants to students interested in the field of sustainability. Visit our Grants page for more information.

Dr. Daniel Rosado, IGCS Post-doc, Visits Chennai India

The IGCS team in Germany had the opportunity to visit IIT Madras in Chennai last month where they were engaged in research and exchange teaching programs. Dr. Daniel Rosado, IGCS post-doc in the area of Sustainable Water Management and from Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel shares the premise of his work in Chennai:

“Unplanned urbanization can have negative effects on the environment. At the IGCS we investigate how the lakes of Chennai, India, are affected by this uncontrolled urbanization and we look for ways to improve this situation.”

Do you want to conduct your research with IGCS and our focus areas? We offer research grants to students interested in the field of sustainability. Visit our Grants page for more information.

Alumni Vlog Post on IGCS Summer School 2022

IGCS is exhilarated to share our recent vlog post from our Alumni about their experiences during our recent Summer School at RWTH Aachen University. You can view the video below:

Video: Jaffar. This Summer with RWTH Aachen | The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS)

You can follow our creative participants in their socials-
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaff4r/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Jaff4r

Announcement IGCS-motan Workshop 2022

#sustainabilitychallenge – Rethinking the Future of Plastics

Your ideas are too good to be forgotten!

IGCS and motan are carrying out a two-day virtual workshop.

Have you always had ideas on how to revolutionize the way we work and live with plastics in a sustainable way?

Then take part in our #sustainabilitychallenge: ‘Reduce | Re-Use | Recycle | Recover – Strategies Towards a Sustainable Plastics Industry: Rethinking the Future of Plastics’ and make a difference – shape the future with your innovative and sustainable ideas. 

Our collaborative efforts are dedicated to helping students from Indian and German academic institutions to develop and foster sustainable ideas. This workshop is a continuation of our joint vision: incorporate innovative and sustainable ideas generation in interdisciplinary research, teaching, training, and exchange in the area of sustainable development. Together motan and IGCS would like to motivate and support students to conduct research in the area of plastics and the circular economy.

Thus, IGCS and motan jointly extend an invitation to be a part of our event. We are always looking for motivated students to carry out a research project or an industry internship supported by motan and the IGCS.

Applications are now open. Please find the link here.

Deadline: 31. October 2021

Workshop Details:

Date: 6 – 7 December 2022

Program: Impulse lectures by domain experts, work in small groups on related topics and presentations

Target group: Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate (Bachelors), post-graduate (Masters), or doctoral program in Indian or German academic institutions

Award: The winner will get the opportunity to work out a research project with the support of motan and the IGCS


● Letter of Motivation

● CV

● Certification of enrolment (in current university)

About motan

Sustainability is a core value within the motan culture. This means not only the products, solutions, and behavior but also the training of young people and the development of global networks. In addition to social aid and cultural projects, the foundation’s focus is on introducing social responsibility into business activities. For more information on motan and their activities, please visit the link.

IGCS conducts Summer School 2022 in Aachen

IGCS Summer School 2022: Sustainable Waste Management in The Nexus of Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy

This edition of the IGCS Summer School, in the IGCS focus area of Sustainable Waste Management, specialized in designing a set of interdisciplinary lectures and an integrated approach that covers advances in research and technological implementations in Waste Prevention, reuse, and recycling approach, management, and regulatory aspects, as well as the socio-economic and environmental considerations. It connected concepts of sustainable waste management with clean energy, energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions, bio-based economy, and restoration of the ecosystem and its services.

The Summer School brought together students from Indian and German academic institutions with nationalities from across the world, comprising a pool of diverse specialization backgrounds, who jointly and interactively develop their skills with the following learning outcomes:

1. Identifying measures and opportunities in the circular economy to contribute to climate protection
2. Developing a fundamental and holistic understanding of different waste management systems and technologies
3. Proposing innovative solutions to strengthen the circular economy

Participants were engaged in interdisciplinary on-site and hybrid (online + on-site) lectures on the state-of-the-art practices and emerging waste management strategies in Germany and India, such as composting of biodegradable wastes, handling of construction debris, incineration of residual waste, and plastics upcycling methods, liquefaction of unsegregated municipal solid wastes and recycling of industrial wastes. They were also encouraged to learn from their peers and colleagues through working groups on specialization topics, intercultural workshops, student panel discussions, and entrepreneurship workshops.

Alena ̶ IGCS Winter School 2022 Student Mini-Lecture Presenter Testimony

The IGCS Winter and Summer schools have open platforms for our participants to engage in peer learning. During our Student Mini-Lecture series, selected participants present their research project, area of expertise and recent findings.

Alena Spies (RWTH Aachen University) proves a testimonial from their presentation during the Student Mini-Lecture series:

In order to transform our current linear economic system into a circular economy, material flows that were previously declared as waste must be recognized and made usable as raw materials. The project EnEWA (saving energy in paper production by opening up the value chains of waste paper from lightweight packaging, residual waste, and commercial waste) addresses this issue precisely. Paper from mixed waste streams is currently mainly used for energy recovery.

The main reason why the paper is not used for material recovery is its contamination. The Chair of Anthropogenic Material Cycles (ANTS) at RWTH Aachen University is researching a solution. Project partners are the Chair of International Production Engineering and Management (IPEM) at the University of Siegen and the industrial partners Tomra Sorting GmbH, STADLER Anlagenbau GmbH and PROPAKMA GmbH as well as the paper producer LEIPA Group GmbH. The project EnEWA is dealing with the collection and the recovery of paper from mixed waste streams as well as the processes for recycling the paper fibers. Following an analysis of the recovered paper grades and paper composites, the necessary sorting technology will be developed and adapted. Subsequently, a process for the hygenization and preparation of the paper fibers will be designed. The application-oriented research helps to optimize the recycling of paper and gives an essential contribution to closing the loops in terms of a circular economy. The material characterization is essential for the development of all further process steps and therefore the necessary first step. The first results of the characterization of paper from lightweight packaging waste show that more than 45 % of the wastepaper could have disposed of in a separate paper collection system.