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Sustainable Systems

Sustainable Systems Engineering

Connecting technology with sustainability and educating engineers to change the world for the better

Smartphones, laptops, cars, bicycles and “smart” buildings as well as small and large, real-life and virtual infrastructure systems (such as storage power plants, transport systems, energy networks or the Internet) -  all things that enable us to live a modern and comfortable life and on which we are highly dependent.

The necessary components and systems are researched, developed and built by engineers. They would not exist without natural resources and the knowledge of how they are made and can be used individually or within certain contexts.

In the course Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE), you not only learn how to develop innovative components and systems for our modern world, but also how to make them sustainable and resilient in our society’s best interest.

Sustainable Systems Engineering: considering ecological, economic and societal questions

Compared to traditional systems sustainable systems

  • protect the environment (environmental sustainability) by replacing polluting substances with recyclable or bio-based substances or by recovering and storing energy from renewable sources rather than finite sources.
  • protect our long-term budget (economic sustainability) by considering the entire life cycle of products and plants and thus also taking the costs of dismantling and scrapping or recycling and upcycling into account.
  • contribute to social justice within and across generations (social sustainability, inter- and intragenerational justice) by considering the implications for today’s world and future generations responsibly.

Engineers of the future

The study program Sustainable Systems Engineering provides a new engineering discipline with excellent development opportunities: Elements of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, electrical engineering and material sciences create the foundation for a fundamental understanding of technical systems. Building on this, you will acquire the  competencies needed to develop and implement innovative systems that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN).

Your benefits as an SSE student:

  • Pioneering spirit: You can expect a highly motivated team of young newcomers, experienced professors and scientific staff at the newly founded Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH).
  • Application-oriented approach: The integration of the five Freiburg-based Fraunhofer Institutes into research and teaching creates an unique proximity to the field of application and potential employers.
  • Personal support: Through the planned fourteen professorships at INATECH and many lectures and seminars in small groups, you will be ideally supported during your studies.
  • Interdisciplinarity: You can expect a study program with a balanced mix of theory and practice as well as a wide selection of optional subjects or specialization options.


After high school graduation – Our Bachelor degree programs

And afterwards – Master degree program

Doctoral / PhD program and Postdoctoral / Habilitation program