Minor in Engineering for Sustainability

A minor open to all EPFL Master students

The minor in Engineering for sustainability aims to enable EPFL students to address the sustainability challenges they will face as future professionals and responsible citizens. It will do so by building competences in engineering, natural sciences, innovation & technology, and social sciences that are required to develop a holistic understanding of sustainability.

The minor has 3 main objectives:

  • Heighten the awareness of sustainability related challenges and their interrelation
  • Provide students with the necessary tools and competences to address these challenges
  • Develop a common understanding  and interdisciplinary perspective of sustainability across all EPFL Master programs

You should choose this minor if you want to:

  • be able to integrate sustainability concerns in your future professions and add a sustainability focus to your diploma
  • gain an interdisciplinary perspective on sustainability and follow courses outside of your section
  • enhance your ability to deal with complex sustainability challenges as engineers and scientists

The minor (30 ECTS) is composed of courses across EPFL’s sections, as well as a 10 ECTS mandatory project specifically designed for this minor.

The courses offered are presented in three groups:

  • Foundations, Tools & Methodologies: foundational courses in environmental, economic and social sciences, complemented with fundamental tools in engineering
  • Materials, Processes & Infrastructures: life cycle of different industrial segments, like energy, materials and chemical components
  • Environmental & Human Systems: environmental quality assessment, integrated resource management and impact of urbanization

The projects will gather students and teachers across different sections within the context of interdisciplinary initiatives such as MAKE, SKIL, Act for Change lab, EPFL Changemakers as well as EPFL interdisciplinary research centers such as as the joint UNIL-EPFL Center for Climate Impact and Action (CLIMACT) or the UNIL-EPFL-IMD Center Entreprise4Society.

Code Course Credits Semester
SIE-4nn Interdisciplinary project in sustainability * 10 A  
  Foundations, Tools and Methodologies      
MGT-409 D.Thinking: real problems, human-focused solutions 5 A  
ENV-470 Development engineering 4   S
ENG-410 Energy supply, economics and transition 2   S
ENV-47X Environmental Economics 4   S
ENG-474 Etudes d’impact 3 A  
ENV-501 Material and energy flow analysis 4 A  
MGT-XXX Science of Climate Change (new master MTE) 4 A  
ENV-469 Systèmes de management environnementaux 2 A  
MGT-408 Technology Policy and the Energy Transition 2 A  
  Materials, Processes and Infrastructures      
CH-421 Catalysis for energy storage 3 A  
ENV-510 Life cycle assessment in energy systems 3 A  
MSE-430 Life cycle engineering of polymers 2 A  
ME-516 Life cycle performance of product systems 3   S
ChE-408 Process intensification and green chemistry 3   S
MSE-463 Recycling of materials 2   S
  Environmental and Human Systems      
ENV-400 Air pollution and climate change 3   S
AR-496 Behind/beyond future cities 3   S
AR-497 Building Design in the circular economy 3 A  
ChE-304 Energy systems engineering 3   S
ME-409 Energy conversion and renewable energy 3 A  
ENV-402 Sanitary engineering in developing countries 3 A  
ENV-500 Solid waste engineering 4 A  
ENV-461 Sustainability assessment of urban systems 3   S
AR-458 Ville et mobilité 3   S

Legend :

  • A = autumn, S = spring
  • 1 semester =  14 weeks. Notes: AR courses are taught for 12 weeks.
  • *: the interdisciplinary project in sustainability is mandatory

To enroll for the minor, the student needs to

  1. Fill in the registration form and send it to email to [email protected] and in cc to the secretariat of his/her section
  2. Once the registration form has been validated, register on IS-Academia for the minor and corresponding classes.

Deadline to register: before the end of the first semester of each students’ Master studies

Coordinator: Melanie Studer

Heads of field of study : Pierre-Yves Gilliéron & Yves Leterrier