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Power electronics: development of energy-efficient components

Materials science and materials engineering: sustainable materials and their process technology

Development of sustainable systems for the generation, storage and distribution of energy

Power ultrasound: technologies for circularity and longevity

Sustainable Systems Engineering

INATECH: Engineering for more sustainability

The Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) consists of a partnership between the University of Freiburg and the five local Fraunhofer institutes. The common goal is to establish sustainability as the guiding principle in the development of technical systems.

What are sustainable systems?

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 responsibly considering the implications for today’s world and future generations.


Where are sustainable systems used?

From smartphones, laptops, cars and bicycles to smart buildings to small and large, real and virtual infrastructure systems (e.g. storage power plants, transport systems, energy grids or the internet) – all these things enable us to live a modern and comfortable life and we are highly dependent on them.

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 produced and how they can be used individually or in combination.


Sustainable systems engineering: develop sustainable technologies for the future, today! 



Focus on the needs of today and future generations

Together with partners and interest groups from the private and public sectors, the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) is involved in interdisciplinary research projects to develop methods, models, materials, technologies, demonstrators, and technical systems that will meet the needs of today’s and future generations.

Engineering science for sustainability

The INATECH researches and develops engineering solutions as driven by current sustainability challenges.

Study Sustainable Systems Engineering

Combine technology with sustainability and thereby design technologies that contribute to sustainable development. Sustainable materials, energy systems and resilience take centre stage in the programme.

Main areas of research

The partnership with the five local Fraunhofer Institutes creates a high level of practical relevance and a unique proximity to the field of application of potential employers.

Our focus areas are:

Sustainable Materials
The research of materials, components, and systems with a focus on energy-efficient usage and resource-efficient production processes.

Energy Systems
Designing solutions to meet society’s demand for energy sources and storage technologies which are available, renewable, and dependable.

Developing engineering technologies for critical infrastructure to enhance resistance against short-term detrimental effects and increase adaptive capabilities to better cope with long-term changes. Such technologies address challenges associated with e.g. natural disasters or climate changel.
SSE Forschungsschwerpunkte englisch


Examples from research:


Nachhaltige Mobile Kommunikation


Sustainable Mobile Communication                                        Photovoltaic Technology                      
X-Ray Automotive Gebäudeenergietechnik
X-Ray Automotive Crash Monitoring Technical Energy Systems for Buildings
Monitoring von Großstrukturen Nachhaltige Energiesysteme
Monitoring of Large-Scale Structures Sustainable Energy Systems


You can find the whole range of current research here.

Find out more about our research areas by watching videos of our professors on  Youtube

Study Sustainable Systems Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering!

Studying with us at the Faculty of Engineering is worth it – Here are 10 good reasons why! 


What do our students say?


"I always wanted to study in Freiburg and then found the SSE degree programme. It convinced me because it combines sustainability with engineering.  The many options in the areas of "Renewable Energies", "Sustainable Materials" and "Resilience" allow you to personalise your studies according to your interests. The mentoring programme at the Faculty of Engineering made it easier for me to get started in my first semester. Today, I enjoy working with other mentors to support and network with new female students in their first semester.“

Rahel Giuliani, bachelor student


"Thanks to SSE, I had the unique opportunity to explore sustainability from a technical perspective through comprehensive courses covering energy systems, resilience engineering, and material science, while also enjoying interdisciplinary opportunities. Also, the chance to participate in research at the Fraunhofer Institute inspired me to pursue a career in this field."

Wonsun Song, master student

Yannik Kloos

„Before the SSE master's programme, I had started another master's programme, but it was not sufficiently focused on sustainability. It's completely different at SSE. Here, sustainability is not only dealt with in theory, but is also exemplified by the university and the city of Freiburg. In addition, the proximity to the Fraunhofer Institutes means that there is a lot of know-how and expertise available, particularly in the field of renewable energies, photovoltaics and energy systems. And it offers a good opportunity for students to get involved in research. I also particularly like the fact that you can choose your courses very freely, for example from other subject areas such as computer science and microsystems technology. The Master's programme is also very international and you get to know lots of people from all over the world.“

Yannick Kloos, master student


Is engineering the right choice for me?

Test yourself!

What skills should I have?

You need a sound knowledge of science and technology in order to be able to design and manufacture sustainable technical systems. For this reason, the main focus in the first two semesters is on physics, mathematics and chemistry, followed by electrical engineering and materials science.

In order to show why these basics are necessary, there are application-oriented courses right from the start, such as the System Design Project. Here, the first-year students work together in small groups to build robots that drive autonomously.


Is Sustainable Engineering right for me?

You should already have a some interest in our topics.
With our Online Study Choice Assistant OSA Engineering Sciences, you can check whether Sustainable Systems Engineering is for you. You can compare your expectations with the requirements of the degree programme and get information from professors and students:


Are you interested?

Get in touch with us!
Our student advisors are very much looking forward to getting in touch with you!


After high school graduation – Our bachelor degree programme

And afterwards – master degree programme

Doctoral / PhD program and postdoctoral / habilitation programme