University of Luxembourg
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University of Luxembourg: Tackling sustainability challenges through research and teaching

From our climate to our environment, from the tech we use to the state of our economies, things are changing fast — faster than our efforts to create a more sustainable future. 

The University of Luxembourg makes it its mission to be a role model for sustainable and responsible development. Its ambition is to tackle various global sustainability challenges in many areas, from social, economic and legal topics to engineering, science and environmental issues. 

University of Luxembourg

As part of its efforts to increase awareness on sustainability, almost all programmes at the University of Luxembourg offer courses or lectures relating to sustainability. Source: University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg’s faculties provide learning opportunities and research programmes that relate to sustainability. Its Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) offers the Certificate in Sustainable Development and Social Innovation — taught in English — for professionals and students from all levels and degree programmes. 

Here, students gain an understanding of the complex challenges that societies, organisations and individuals face in the limits of the biophysical carrying capacity of the planet. They become change agents that engage with complexity, contingency (situated knowledge), contradictions, uncertainty and ignorance. 

If you’re looking for a programme centred on science, head to the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM). It offers three programmes taught in English: Master of Science in Engineering – Sustainable Product Creation, Master of Science in Physics and Master of Science in Civil Engineering – Megastructure Engineering with Sustainable Resources

For those interested in geography or spatial planning relating to sustainability, FHSE offers two master’s programmes taught in English as well: Master in Architecture and Master in Geography and Spatial Planning

The Master of Science in Engineering provides students with a comprehensive understanding of all relevant aspects of the product creation process, including sustainable product creation. Meanwhile, students in the Master of Science in Physics programme will gain a broad advanced physics education, with lectures covering the limitations of energy consumption and renewable production. For the Master of Science in Civil Engineering, aspiring engineers will focus on two themes — megastructures and sustainability. They will learn to plan and construct megastructures with the use of sustainable resources. 

The University of Luxembourg’s Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) is just as innovative. It aims to increase students’ awareness on sustainability. Most of its bachelor’s and master’s programmes in economics and management offer introductory lectures on sustainable development and the economy, plus optional courses on ecological economics. 

That’s not all. Part of the university’s long-term plan is to weave sustainable finance into all course units to foster students’ knowledge, skills and competencies relating to sustainability. 

University of Luxembourg

Students are heavily involved in the university’s research and outreach on sustainability too. Source: University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg’s research in this area is just as prolific. Research units across all three faculties and three interdisciplinary centres are developing and conducting projects that focus on sustainability. Some of its major recent projects include launching signing a five-year agreement to create and finance the Paul Wurth Chair in Energy Process Engineering, collaborating with the city of Esch-Sur-Alzette to establish a new endowed Chair in urban regeneration, awarded FNR ATTRACT funding to conduct research on quantum physics, teaming up with institutes to accelerate the transition to a sustainable energy landscape, and joining Inspiring More Sustainability (the leading network of Luxembourg companies and organisations committed to corporate social responsibility).

Students play key roles in these projects and outreach initiatives. Neeraj Podichetty, a 2021 graduate of the Master in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, was recently awarded an FNR Aides à la Formation-Recherche (AFR) grant to calculate the reduction in carbon footprint offered by sustainable practices in maritime shipping. Podichetty, together with Prof. Anne Lange, are developing precise mathematical models to measure the level of carbon reduction attained when companies share resources such as ships, thereby increasing their load and lowering the amount of emissions per container.

“The faculty at the University of Luxembourg has been very supportive since the time I reached out to them regarding my plan and proposal to pursue a PhD,” says Podichetty. “My supervisor, Prof. Anne Lange, provided me with the right guidance on how to write the research proposal for AFR funding and how I could leverage my previous experience in the industry.”

These students and staff stand out — reflecting how future-forward the University of Luxembourg is. It is kicking off plans to mobilise its community and respond to urgent and essential sustainability needs. Greenhouse gas balance of the university’s activities will be calculated. Students and staff are looking into carpooling and bicycling more. Events are set to follow best practices to reduce their impact to the environment. University restaurants will transition to more local and organic food.

Such efforts illustrate how the University of Luxembourg is supporting a more effective transition to sustainability. More importantly, it shows how it empowers students to address diverse sustainability challenges. Find out how you can be part of the university’s global sustainability efforts here

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