Engineering for Sustainability (Summer School)

Academic Study Board of the Faculty of Engineering

Teaching language: English
EKA: T910002102
Censorship: Second examiner: Internal
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Summer school (autumn), Summer school (spring)
Level: Bachelor

Course ID: T910002101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 21-01-2019

Duration: Intensive course

Version: Archive

Course ID


Course Title

Engineering for Sustainability (Summer School)

ECTS value


Internal Course Code


Responsible study board

Academic Study Board of the Faculty of Engineering

Date of Approval


Course Responsible

Name Email Department
Birgitte Lilholt Sørensen

Programme Secretary

Name Email Department City
Sussie Iuel-Brockdorff

Offered in




Offered in

Summer school (autumn), Summer school (spring)


Intensive course

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have completed at least two years of studies in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences or economics and have an interest in sustainability.

Learning objectives - Knowledge

The aim of this course is to provide knowledge about:
  • the history and development of global sustainability challenges (e.g., climate change, water shortage, food security, and energy supply) and policy frameworks/agendas (e.g., circular economy, green economy, bioeconomy, material and energy efficiency, urban sustainability, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals);
  • basic concepts, tools, and theories used in environmental system analysis and industrial ecology, especially material flow analysis and life cycle assessment;
  • environmental impacts related to societal production and consumption activities and sectors (e.g., electronic waste, buildings, and transportation sector);
  • the system perspective of sustainable development, especially the linkages of different sustainability challenges (including food-energy-water nexus and material-energy nexus).

Learning objectives - Skills

Be able to work with the following skills to:
  • choose appropriate environmental system analysis tools for addressing given societal sustainability challenges;
  • assess framework conditions for a specific industry or societal production and consumption activities;
  • describe/characterize specific material and energy flows for a given system/problem, identify their impacts on the environment, and explore drivers behind and mitigation strategies from a systems and engineering perspective.

Learning objectives - Competences

Have the competences to:
  • become aware of core sustainability challenges of modern societies and the potentials and limitations of engineering knowledge in addressing those challenges;
  • start using system thinking and system approaches for solving complex problems and communicate the results with stakeholders.


We believe that engineers can contribute to creating sustainable solutions for our future. This requires understanding of the interactions between technologies and systems with the world on a global scale. It requires a holistic approach, getting an insight in the consequences of our decisions: How can we create a solution that solves one problem without generating another problem somewhere else?

The course provides you with skills for understanding the challenges of sustainable development. You will get an introduction to Environmental System Analysis theory, methods and tools. You will learn when and how to apply such methods to the engineering tasks of assessing and designing sustainable solutions. We apply a systems approach throughout the course, and you will get insight in some of the societal frameworks and concepts to sustainability such as Industrial Ecology, Industrial Symbiosis, Circular Economy and Bio-Economy as well as the concept of Cleaner Technology/Best Available Technology and its role in EU environmental regulation. You will get an introduction to some of the core tools, e.g. Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment. Further, you will get a good insight in the advanced Danish initiatives of sustainable development of the societal infrastructure systems such as energy and waste management systems.

The course is run by researchers from SDU Life Cycle Engineering. The aim of our research is to optimize engineering solutions with concerns for their resource consumption, energy efficiency and impacts on climate and environment. We strive to develop the knowledge and methods for achieving this insight from an overall holistic perspective. We are engaged in exciting projects in various areas, and we will include relevant examples from our ongoing projects in the course to give you an impression of “what’s going on right now” in these fields.

URL for MySchedule

Teaching Method

Lectures plus group work.
Results of the group work are an integrated part of the teaching and will be presented and evaluated during the course. Students participate significantly in class and carry out project work in small teams. The work, analysis of the problems and reporting will be performed in teams of 3-4 persons.

Time of classes
2 weeks in August

Number of lessons

hours per week

Teaching language


Examination regulations

Exam regulations


Exam regulations

Examination is held

Examination is held: August








Attendance is compulsory (80%).

Group work based report handed in before/on the last day.

Form of examination

Compulsory assignment


Second examiner: Internal


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card - Exam number



ECTS value


Additional information

Enrollment is limited to 30 students. If more applicants than places, applicants who meet the mandatory requirements are prioritised according to the below selection criteria: 

  • International applicants (bachelor level, third year or higher)
    • Exchange students (partner universities)
    • Guest students
  • International applicants (master level)
    • Exchange students (partner universities)
    • Guest students
  • Applicants from other Danish educational institution (bachelor level)
  • Applicants from other Danish educational institution (master level)
  • International applicants (PhD level)
    • Exchange students (partner universities)
    • Guest students
  • Applicants not enrolled on an educational institution
  • Other students 

Note: Applicants from engineering or natural sciences will take priority. If remaining places, applicants with another academic background will be assessed according to the same selection criteria. 

Courses offered

Period Offer type Profile Programme Semester


Profile Programme Semester Period