IGCS Winter School 2022

February 21 – March 04. 2022

IIT Madras, Chennai

Sustainable Waste Management for a Circular Economy

IGCS Winter School 2022 Information Flyer

Growing economies with the current linear production and consumption systems are creating an imbalance in the environment and in the flow of materials and resources. Huge amounts of waste are generated as a result of anthropogenic activities, and the management capacities of these waste streams are already over the limit. With the climate challenges and the current increase in demand and shortage of resources, the handling of wastes requires circular approaches that permit the recovery of resources for a more sustainable economy. The conventional thinking about wastes “out of sight – out of mind” should be replaced by “waste-to-wealth” for a sustainable society. Efficient waste management systems are necessary to reduce pollution of water, air and soil, and for the protection of the natural resources and our ecosystems. Sustainable waste management is an important element towards a circular economy and the reduction of emissions. Moreover, it can enable a more just and healthy society.

Addressing sustainable waste and resource management requires an interdisciplinary and integrated approach that considers advances in research, technological implementations, reuse and recycling approaches, management and regulatory aspects, as well as the socio-economic and environmental considerations.

This edition of the IGCS winter school is focused on municipal solid waste management, plastic waste management, industrial waste management and responsible reuse of wastewater, wherein experts from India and Germany would share their experiences and best practices for a sustainable society.

It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills with the following learning outcomes:

  1. Develop a fundamental and holistic understanding of the different waste-to-value processes.
  2. Evaluate different technologies for resource, materials and energy recovery from wastes from a sustainability and environment viewpoint.
  3. Propose innovative and circular solutions to practical waste management problems.

IGCS Summer School 2021

July 12 – 23. 2021

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Sustainable Water Management at the Saltwater-Freshwater Interface

Summer School
IGCS Summer School 2021 Information Flyer

Water is vital for the development of human beings and any form of life. However, water is under severe pressure due to population growth, rapid urbanization, consumption, pollution, and climate change, among others. This is a major concern in highly developed countries, like Germany, but even more for highly populated developing countries like India. In this context, the United Nations World Water Development Report 2020 considers that water security will be one of the most critical crises of the world during the next several decades.

To raise awareness and tackle this issue, the United Nations also included ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation as one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. Worldwide at the national, regional, and local levels, a remarkable number of stakeholders make an effort to find solutions for the sustainable management of water. Addressing sustainable management of water requires the application of an interdisciplinary and integrative approach that includes all kinds of stakeholders.

Coastal zones, the narrow transition areas that connect terrestrial and marine environments, are home to 60% of the major cities of the world and 40% of the world’s population live within 100 km of a coastal zone. Coastal zones are also the most productive and valued ecosystems of our planet, having the saltwater-freshwater interface area a special interest because of their singularity. They represent a unique example of the relationships between humans and ecosystems and a priority area for the sustainability concept’s implementation.

This Summer School attempts at elucidating the challenges and potential solutions for sustainable management of saltwater-freshwater interfaces as well as spreading successful current examples of management in India and Germany. It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills to the following themes:

  1. Identifying challenges for sustainable management of saltwater-freshwater interfaces.
  2. Understanding the disruptive role of climate change.
  3. The future of saltwater-freshwater interfaces today: new ideas on sustainable management.

IGCS Winter School 2021

February 22 – March 07. 2021

RWTH-Aachen University

Sustainable Inland Water Transportation for Blue Economy

IGCS Winter School 2021 Information Flyer

Inland waterways play a vital role in the Blue economy globally. Blue economy describes all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts. Blue economy covers a wide range of interlinked established and emerging sectors. Historically, inland waterways have been used for transportation purposes. In many countries, it is one of the major components of the transportation system. Many major cities in the world are inseparably linked to the rivers, on the banks of which they were founded. Inland Waterway Transport (IWT) and the exchange of goods associated with it have been continuing which play an extremely important role for the economic development of many communities and regions. Many goods and raw materials make their way along inland waterways, which have not yet reached their full capacity by any stretch of the imagination. The excellent environmental credentials, the high safety standards for shipments and the large carrying capacity of the vessels are just some of the outstanding features of this long-standing mode of transport. At present, several development projects and initiatives aimed at improving IWT infrastructure and operations are under way throughout the world. These projects offer both economic and environmental advantages. IWT is arguably the most energy-efficient of the transport modes, play significant role in logistics supply chain and increase in job opportunities both directly and indirectly.  

This Winter School attempts to look into the developmental initiatives, issues and challenges, improving IWT infrastructure and operations that can strengthen further the IWT sector. It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills with respect, for instance, to the following themes:

  1. Understanding the systemic nature of IWT activities
  2. Identify the challenges and issues in IWT – special reference to channel maintenance and navigation
  3. Recognizing sustainability issues associated with IWT transport – Strengthening public-private partnership
  4. Understanding the systemic nature of urban transport activities
  5. Developing ideas on ‘smart technology’ solutions

IGCS Summer School 2020

October 5 – 16. 2020

RWTH Aachen University

Smart Sustainable Cities: Focus on Urban Mobility

Urban areas stand out as places where high population densities and agglomerating economic activities cause various environmental problems. This holds for larger cities in highly developed countries, such as Germany, but even more for megacities in less developed countries like India. Especially the transport and mobility sector counts for large shares of urban air pollution and particulate matter (PM) emissions, due to job commuting from suburban areas, the inflow of goods for urban consumers, and the material logistics associated with manufacturing.

To tackle the environmental issues triggered by these activities, actors of urban development and planning eagerly search for ways to systematically use novel information technologies (IT) and digital innovations for urban sustainability transition. Visions of the smart, intelligent, IT controlled, and knowledge-driven city have recently started guiding various public initiatives towards achieving more sustainability, flanked also by private agency and social innovations. Against this backdrop, a growing range of ‘smart mobility’ options come up that use novel IT solutions for reducing the CO2 footprint of urban traffic.

This Summer School attempts at elucidating crucial urban sustainability problems and solutions relating to mobility and transport. It brings together Indian and German students who will jointly and interactively develop their skills with respect, for instance, to the following themes:

  1. Recognizing sustainability issues associated with urban transport
  2. Understanding the systemic nature of urban transport activities
  3. Developing ideas on ‘smart mobility’ solutions

IGCS Winter School 2020

February 15 – 29, 2020

IIT Madras, Chennai

Sustainability in the Peri-cene: Human settlements, food, ecology and governance

It is nearly 33 years since the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (known in short as the Brundtland Commission) famously defined sustainable development as a process of change in which the “exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development; and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.” During the past 3 decades, global land use changes seem to discredit that expectation by moving in the reverse direction.

Seen from space, the Earth’s land surface is increasingly a mottled landscape made up largely of the built environment, comprising roads, buildings and industrial farming systems, with only a few islands of non-engineered natural systems. Cities, which used to be self-contained units surrounded by the vast countryside, now appear to be simply more dense settlements than those that can be seen elsewhere. It therefore seems imperative to blur the distinctions across cities, small towns and rural areas and to examine the new forms of ‘periurbanisation’ of the so-called hinterland, whose sustainability challenges are vast and growing.

This Winter School is an attempt to pick up the pieces around sustainability and land to try to formulate a more integrated view. It will cover the following themes:

  1. Sustainable development and land
  2. Urbanisation and the land-water-food-ecosystems nexus
  3. Sustainable governance beyond cities

IGCS Summer School 2019

June 15 – 26, 2019

Technical University Dresden, Germany

Smart Grids – Electricity Networks as the Backbone of a Carbon Neutral Society

Converting our actual energy systems into carbon neutral structures imply the replacement of fossil fuel powered generation to renewable generation. This revolution can be seen by Germany exiting nuclear power generation until 2022 and exiting coal based power generation until 2038. In India the share of renewable energy resources in the energy mix has reached 33% in 2018 and will develop further. To anticipate the social development, India will install additional 100 GW of solar power generation, whereas 40 GW is dedicated to rooftop solar in rural areas and city districts where social development is needed. In terms of the power grids it can be stated, that these developments forcing the grids towards a major transition. The need of integrating renewables, spread of power electronics in all types of applications, climate change, communication technologies, use of electric vehicles requires new concepts and technologies to enable a reliable and resilient power grid. Power grids are poised to become smarter in order to be able handle all these new requirements. The 2019 IGCS Summer School will look at various aspects of smart grids:

  1. Concepts of Electrical Energy Networks
  2. Stakeholder Interaction: Transmission Systems, Distribution Systems, Rural Electrification
  3. Sector Coupling: Energy Conversion, Storage, Utilization
  4. Grid Components
  5. Power Grids under the Aspects of Economy, Ecology and Regulation

IGCS Winter School 2019

February 23 – March 9, 2019

IIT Madras, Chennai

Sustainable Waste Management – Municipal Solid Waste and e-Waste: How can waste be reduced and recycled in rapidly growing cities?

With rapid urbanization and increasing population around the world, solid waste generation is bound to increase multiple times in near future. It is essential to reduce and to manage this huge generation of waste effectively in future, sustainable, and SMART cities, whatever the case may be. Electronic waste, commonly known as e-waste is another upcoming challenge which has to be dealt as TECHNOLOGY and DIGITISATION (SMART Technologies and Internet of Things) will be an integral part of cities at a much larger scale in future. Though most of the e-waste is recyclable, very little is actually and scientifically recycled at present. In this winter school, we focus on how to deal with these challenges sustainably. Knowledge transfer from experts in the field to the participants of the school will be through a combination of lectures, focused team project works and field visits. This knowledge can be further used and developed by the participants in their respective areas.


IGCS Summer School 2018

July 14 – 25, 2018

RWTH Aachen University

Coastal and River Hazards & Management Strategies

In times of a globally changing climate, significant variabilities are especially felt at coasts and in fluvial environments. The 2018 IGCS summer school offers the opportunity to learn about both the scientific background of these coastal and fluvial hazards, as well as the evaluation and (sustainable) management strategies which might be applied to deal with them. In collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) in India, as well as the Research Institutes for Water and Waste Management (FiW) and Neotectonics and Natural Hazards (NUG) at RWTH Aachen University (Germany), we offer a programme of lectures and workshops by representative scientists and experts from India and Germany complemented with topic-related field trips in the region of Aachen. To create a challenging atmosphere in which we can initiate an interdisciplinary Indo-German dialogue, we welcome interested students of different backgrounds to apply.


IGCS Winter School 2018

February 24 – March 7, 2018

IIT Madras, Chennai

Smart Grids – Sustainable Integration of Renewables for Tomorrow’s Power Grids

Power grids across the world are in a transition phase. The need to integrate renewables, spread of power electronics in all types of applications, climate change, communication technologies, use of electric vehicles, and drive to make the system robust with power available to all are major drivers. Power grids therefore are poised to become smarter in order to be able handle all these. This winter school will look at these various aspects of smart grids. With the range of topics that will be discussed including social impact, the Winter School is aimed to provide a truly holistic view about the future growth of power grids.


IGCS Summer School 2017

July 15th – 28th 2017

RWTH Aachen University

Sustainable Urban Water and Wastewater Management: India – Germany

The IGCS Summer School 2017 offers an interesting opportunity for students from India and Germany in the field of water management and engineering. With a focus on sustainable urban water and wastewater management, the Summer School intents to initiate an Indo-German dialogue on sustainable challenges and future solutions. In collaboration with the Research Institute for Water and Waste Management at RWTH Aachen University (FiW) and other partners, we offer a program of lectures and case studies by representative scientists and experts from India and Germany complemented with topic-related field trips to water authorities, water boards and drinking water utilities in the region of Aachen. Participating students are given an insight into technological concepts and management approaches during own project group work. In order to create an interdisciplinary atmosphere, we welcome interested students with different backgrounds to apply.


IGCS Winter School 2017

February 20 – March 4, 2017

IIT Madras, Chennai

Sanitation-Water-Health Nexus for Sustainable Development

Rapid growth in urbanization in India and elsewhere in the world has been leading to over exploitation of water sources. At the same time, ever increasing population is leading to significant generation of solid and liquid waste. Unfortunately, development of waste management infrastructure is lagging behind the increasing demand, especially in developing countries, leading to fast deterioration of water quality. Also, there appears to be a lack of coordination among the different agencies involved in providing drinking water and primary health facilities, and managing sanitation and municipal solid waste.  The aim of this winter school is to learn about the nexus between sanitation – water quality – hygiene, and how this affects the sustainable development. The winter school will comprise of lectures, excursions and student projects. The lectures will cover topics related to appropriate on site and decentralized waste management facilities, practices to protect water sources, the social and behavioral changes needed, and other challenges and the way forward.


IGCS Summer School 2016

July 9 -18, 2016

Technical University Berlin

Biomass and Coal – Two Carbon Fuels of Different Ages: German and Indian Perspectives

The nine-day program addresses a variety of aspects related to the sustainable and clean use of biomass and coal. Lectures by German and Indian representatives from academia, industry, and politics will introduce into technical, environmental, economic, and political aspects of the supply and use of these two solid fuels. These lectures will be designed to foster a lively discussion between the participants. Furthermore, the participants will carry out projects related to the topics of the lectures. Here, the participants are expected to team up with their fellow students with different academic backgrounds to achieve fruitful results based on interdisciplinary teamwork. The program is complemented by topic-related excursions.


IGCS Winter School 2016

February 22 – March 5, 2016

IIT Madras in collaboration with OWI Oel-Waerme-Institut GmbH

Sustainable Application of  Liquid Biofuels

Sustainability is fast becoming the keyword in all development domains, especially in the area of energy. The public awareness of global energy issues and the growing concerns on depletion of fossil fuels and their adverse environmental implications has generally prompted search of alternative renewable sources of energy. Biofuels are emerging as alternatives fossil fuels used in combustion systems such as burners, engines etc.

The Winter School will focus on technologies in the energy domain with emphasis on liquid biofuels as sustainable fuel for future use. The coverage will be introductory but comprehensive. This IGCS Winter School will focus on production, characterization and the utilization of liquid biofuels covering related fundamentals, technological implications and policy issues. Along with class room lectures, the schedule of this Winter School will include laboratory activities, short focused team projects, brainstorming sessions and visits to biofuel facilities around Chennai.


IGCS Summer School 2015

May 27 – June 10, 2015

Kiel University (CAU Kiel)

Sustainable Water Management in Rural Landscapes

Rural regions are essential for hydrology. The inhabitants act both as consumers and as stakeholders for a sustainable management of catchments. The aim of this summer school is to learn how to manage these regions with an interdisciplinary and holistic approach. After basic lectures and introductions we will use hydrological models to calculate management scenarios for water resources. In addition we will estimate the economic and ecological consequences and integrate them in the final decisions. We will also work out and use environmental indicators as a valuable tool for an integrated and sustainable management of the water resources in rural regions. The theoretical exercises will be supplemented by excursions and discussions with local stakeholders in Schleswig-Holstein.


IGCS Winter School 2015

March 2 – 15, 2015

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Sustainable Water Management in Urban Areas

There has been a significant growth in urbanization all over the world in recent years. For instance, number of cities and towns in India has increased from 5161 in the year 2001 to 7935 in the year 2011. This is putting a lot of stress on the sources of water for the urban areas, both from the point of view of quality and quantity. The aim of this winter school is to learn how to sustainably develop and manage the water resources infrastructure in the urban areas. The winter school comprising of lectures, excursions and student projects, will cover all the aspects of urban water management including water treatment, water distribution, wastewater management, source protection, adaptation to climate change, the role of public private partnership and equitability in water supply. The effect of expanding urban areas on water resources will also be dwelt upon.


IGCS Summer School 2014

June 16 – 28, 2014

University of Stuttgart

Sustainable Management of Resources – Closing the Loop: Solid Waste and Waste Water Management

The shortage of resources and global warming are big challenges on global and local level. Sustainable solid waste and water management play an important role in resource efficiency and to substitute fossile fuels by closing the loop of materials and water systems and by energy recovery of organic residues. Sustainability also means to reduce pollutants in waste and waste water (e.g. anthropogenic trace compounds). How will we meet the challenge? Technical, social and also economical aspects have to be addressed. We want to develop sustainable systems in solid waste and water management in lectures, workshops with projects and excursions, working together in interdisciplinary groups.


IGCS Winter School 2014

March 3 – 16, 2014

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Sustainability in Theory and Practice – Exploring sustainable development


IGCS Summer School 2013

July 2 – 15, 2013

RWTH Aachen University

Sustainable Development of Future Urban Environments – Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Waste and Water Management


IGCS Winter School 2013

February 24 – March 10, 2013

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Growth and Sustainability in a Highly Dynamic City – Exploring the Urban Development in South Chennai


IGCS Summer School 2012

July 7 -18, 2012

TU Berlin

Meeting the Challenges of Advanced Energy Systems of the Future


IGCS Winter School 2012

February 20 – March 4, 2012

Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Meeting the Challenges of Sustainability in a Socio-Economically Dynamic Region of South-East India