Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development (mandatory module)

Standard workload: 6.0 ECTS

Learning Outcomes:

Technical and methodological competencies: The students learn methods and tools of technology assessment and social ecology and bring them in context to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). They know the structure and requirements of a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) to evaluate the ecological impacts of products or product systems along the entire life cycle. Students know critical raw materials that are essential for European industries and can actively discuss the topic of resource management and identify opportunities for efficient, ecological use within global boundaries.
Cognitive and practical competencies: Students can identify critical areas in terms of sustainable development for new products, materials or processes. They have basic knowledge of how to apply the methods and interpret the results.
Social competencies and self-competencies: Students learn to reflect on new developments as well as to design transdisciplinary projects and can also perceive possible effects of developments in the field of chemistry on society, the environment, and the economy. They are aware of their responsibility as chemists for social development.
Contents: In the courses of this module, methods and indications for evaluating the environmental impact and the potential contribution to an improvement in terms of sustainability goals are presented and discussed on the basis of case studies and an introduction to the methods of technology assessment and social ecology is given. Further contents are the presentation of the basic structure and calculation methods of a life cycle assessment and a material flow analysis, an introduction to aspects of socio-ecological indicators for sustainable innovations, and an explanation of the European directives on resource management and critical raw materials, circular economy, disposal, and recycling.

Expected prior knowledge:

Technical and methodological competencies: Fundamentals of general chemistry and
chemical technologies.
Cognitive and practical competencies: Setting up equations and balancing.
Social competencies and self-competencies: Interest in the interconnections of science, technology, business and society.
Mandatory requirements: None.
Teaching and learning methods used and appropriate performance assessment:
Teaching of the contents by lecture and by joint discussion in the context of current case studies. Independent solving of simple tasks. Performance is assessed by written and oral examinations (theoretical and practical questions).

Courses of the module:

The following courses are mandatory:

  • 4.0/3.0 VU Social Ecology and Technology Assessment (TUW together with BOKU)
  • 2.0/1.0 VO Extraction and Recovery of Critical Materials (Uni Wien)