ED networking event on the topic of "Sustainability"

Research |

On January 25, 2023, the series of ED research networking events continued. At the invitation of Vice Dean Prof. Dr. Birgit Vogel-Heuser and Prof. Dr. Stefan Winter, Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering, around 25 researchers met in the Venture Lab Built Environment and remote to exchange ideas on the topic of "Sustainability".

Lecturer gives a course
Researchers gathered at the Venture Lab Built Environment for ED's series of research networking events on sustainability. Image: TUM ED

In einem Impulsvortrag stellte Prof. Winter zunächst die Ergebnisse einer Umfrage vor, in der Aktivitäten an der ED im Bereich „Nachhaltigkeit“ erfasst worden waren. Interessanterweise waren die meisten Rückmeldungen dazu aus den Departments Architecture und Civil and Environmental Engineering gekommen – vermutlich, weil es im Bereich „Bauen“ schon seit Langem Normen und Regulierungen gibt (z.B. 1976 zur Energieeffizienz). Als Herausforderungen wurden insbesondere der Übertrag der Forschungsergebnisse in die Praxis genannt, der geringe Digitalisierungsgrad oder fehlende Daten.

In his keynote speech, Prof. Winter presented the results of a survey about activities in the area of "sustainability" at ED. Remarkably, most of the feedback came from the Departments of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering - presumably because standards and regulations have existed in the building sector for a long time (e.g. since 1976 on energy efficiency). In particular, the transfer of research results into practice, the low degree of digitization or missing data were mentioned as challenges.

Four researchers presented their projects in the field of sustainability in elevator pitches. The architect Doris Bechtel from the Chair of Energy Efficient and Sustainable Design and Building explained the chair's commitment to reaching the goal of a positive ecological footprint in the building industry. Prof. Dr. Peter Mayr presented his initiative "TUM.Idea - Innovation for Development Alliance", founded in 2019. He and his team offer a platform for bottom-up cooperation projects that aim to contribute to a sustainable development worldwide. For example, the development and manufacture of a low-cost leg prosthesis from recycled materials using additive manufacturing has already been successful. The prosthesis can be used in developing countries. Doctoral student Benedikt Schweiger explained the activities of the Chair of Energy Systems for a sustainable transformation of energy systems. He also addressed the potential for optimization at TUM and pointed out that a lot of energy could be saved with very simple measures (e.g. switching off advertising screens beyond peak hours). Finally, Prof. Dr. Zäh impressively illustrated that it is time to act. In 2022 alone several events have shown that climate change and scarcity of resources are not future risks, but already a concrete threat. He showed the interdisciplinary approaches and innovative methods his Chair for Machine Tools and Manufacturing Technology is pursuing in order to enable sustainable production.

The participants agreed that there is a great need for further networking. In addition, they want to further increase the visibility of the existing activities, make them more transparent and, if possible, link them with one another. The idea of sustainability shall be more strongly incorporated into teaching. Among other things, cooperation on project work or other interdisciplinary lectures about the theoretical foundations and methodology of sustainability are planned.

In the discussion, "climate neutrality" emerged as an important additional topic for a subsequent event. The next networking event is scheduled for the end of April 2023.