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PhD courses in Sustainable Development

Deadline for application

Interested PhD students should apply for admission to one of the courses as soon as possible. December 10 is a soft deadline. Then it will be decided if the courses will be given based on the number of applicants. Send your application to 




  Research subject (forskarutbildningsämne)

  Year of admission to PhD-studies

PhD-courses in Sustainable Development for engineers and designers

In English. (developed for PhD-students at faculties of engineering)

With support from international and national experts IDV is giving a course in Sustainable Development.

Why should you take the course? Click here.

Designers/Engineers and Sustainable Development, 7,5 hp IDE035F

The course includes two parts. Part 1 (5 hp), the theory part, includes eight modules and is scheduled for the spring semester 2017. Part 2 (2,5 hp) is a project part consisting of a literature review and a project.

See approved curriculum

The structure of the next course will be similar to the structure of the course given 2016 – see  ”Designers/engineers and sustainable development, version 2016” below.

The courses will be given if it attracts a sufficient number of applicants. The first meeting will be around February 1. Before that meeting, the PhD students should do their homework for the first module, Global Change and Sustainability. Information on tasks will be presented on LUVIT (but for this module also directly with email in case LUVIT is not working for all) late December. Then the pace will be about one module/3 weeks so the theory part is finished in June 2017. The modules will be similar to those 2016 – see below.

Part 2 is scheduled for the fall semester.

What happens if you get a conference or an intense period with for example experiments so you can’t get ready with a module?

Tell the course leader and go on with the next module. Much of the course is on-demand and we will give you alternatives, if you miss a lecture, workshop, etc. 

Designers/Engineers and Sustainable Development, version 2016

Part 1 Theory (spring semester 2016) consists of the following eight modules:

       M1 Global Change and Sustainability: Challenges for design and engineering (Lecture on video by Professor Will Steffen, The Australian National University, Canberra) and tasks based on written material and shorter videos

       M2 Sustainable Science and Technological Lock-ins (Lecture by Lennart Olsson, Professor of Geography at Lund University and the founding Director of LUCSUS – Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies) and tasks based on written material. Video evening: Limits to growths.

       M3 Social sustainability (Video introduction by Johanna Alkan-Olsson, Lecturer in Environment l Science, Centre for Environmental and Climate Research) and tasks based on written material

       M4 Climate change. Health Impact & Prevention (Video introduction by Tord Kjellström, visiting professor at the UNU International Institute for Global Health, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; guest researcher at the Pufendorf Institute, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; visiting fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; and honorary professor at the Institute for Global Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom [2014]) and tasks based on written material and videos

       M5 LCA, economy and Supply Chain Management (Introductory video lecture by Fredrik Nilsson Professor in Packaging Logistics, Faculty of engineering, Lund University, and a workshop with Katrin Molina-Besch, PhD-student at the same division) and tasks based on written material

       M6 Sustainable cities (video introduction by Erik Johansson, Assoc Professor at division of Housing Development & Management, Faculty of engineering, Lund University) and tasks based on written material and shorter videos

       M7 Challenges for action (Lecture by Per Becker, Assoc Professor at the Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Faculty of engineering, Lund University) and reading tasks

       M8 a. Sustainability Challenges for Product Development (Lecture by Stefan Anderberg, professor in Industrial Ecology, Linköping University) and reading tasks
b. Gap filling.

Part 2  includes

a)       a literature review of ongoing research in sustainability in relation to the student’s own discipline and

b)      a project.

The project should include social aspects and at least some words/thoughts about economy (realism). The results could be reported as for instance a report, a seminar with a short written summary, a research proposal, visualization (poster, scale model, ..).

Why should you take the course?

1.       You may want to take responsibility for a sustainable world? Designers and engineers have unique possibilities to discover threats against and opportunities for a sustainable future. Therefore they have a responsibility. Most designers and engineers will get in positions where critical decisions for sustainability will be taken. Thus all designers and engineers should have a base in sustainable development.

2.       Our total environment is complicated, even complex. The optimal choice in areas where your basic expertise plays a role may depend heavily on environmental, social and economic factors often not fully considered within an engineering or a design paradigm. With a better understanding of environmental, social and economic factors designers and engineers could help in making our way to sustainability possible and less painful.

3.       Maybe you are teaching and want to include sustainability in your teaching?

4.       Sustainability may be a very strong factor for competitiveness for your country, your company and yourself.

5.       Maybe you want to include aspects of sustainability in your thesis and in your future projects? Part 2 in the main course could prepare for that.

Mail to PhD students and more 2015-10-27

 Important PhD-course

For the world and for you as a PhD-student and your future work

Designers/engineers and sustainable development, 7,5 hp

Starting January 2016. (5 hp during spring semester, 2,5 hp during autumn semester)

What we do today and in the near future is of outmost concern for a sustainable future and an acceptable transition to a sustainable world. It is about what we do on a macro, meso and micro scale for environmental, social and economic sustainability.

Designers and engineers have key roles to play in society and hold competencies needed for steering towards sustainability. The course will give a good understanding of different aspects of sustainability and complexity and highlights the need for multi-disciplinarity.

We have developed a course for designers and engineers on sustainable development involving experts from different faculties at Lund University that has contributed with their expertise.

For flexibility, some parts of the course are on demand, i.e., some modules are based on online videos that can be viewed at your convenience.

For more information, see

Roland Akselsson              Olof Kolte             Karin Lundgren-Kownacki

For The Long View
The working group for sustainable development
at the
Department of Design Sciences
Faculty of Engineering
Lund University