The spring semester 2021 will certainly take place online until Easter. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2016

Science, Technology, and Policy Master Information
Case Studies
860-0016-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II Information Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.

W3 credits2UB. Wehrli, F. Brugger, C. A. Heinrich, N. Lefebvre, J. Mertens
AbstractStudents integrate their knowledge of mineral resources and technical skills to frame and investigate a commodity-specific challenge faced by countries involved in resource extraction. By own research they evaluate possible policy-relevant solutions, engaging in interdisciplinary teams coached by tutors and experts from natural social and engineering sciences.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Integrate, and extend by own research, their knowledge of mineral resources from course 860-0015-00, in a solution-oriented team with mixed expertise
- Apply their problem solving, and analytical skills to critically assess, and define a complex, real-world mineral resource problem, and propose possible solutions.
- Summarize and synthesize published literature and expert knowledge, evaluate decision-making tools, and policies applied to mineral resources.
- Document and communicate the findings in concise group presentations and a report.
Lecture notesURL:
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisite is 860-0015-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources I. Limited to 12 participants, and the lecturers will compose two teams of mixed background and expertise. First priority will be given to students enrolled in the Master of Science, Technology, and Policy Program. These students must confirm their participation by February 8th by registration through MyStudies. Other graduate students interested in enrolling will be placed onto a waiting list when registering through MyStudies. In addition, these students should please send an e-mail to Prof. Heinrich ( explaining their motivation in a few sentences.
860-0015-00LSupply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources IW3 credits2GC. A. Heinrich, L. Bretschger, F. Brugger, S. Hellweg, B. Wehrli
AbstractStudents critically assess the economic, social, political, and environmental implications of extracting and using energy resources, metals, and bulk materials along the mineral resource cycle for society. They explore various decision-making tools that support policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resources, and gain insight into different perspectives from government, industry, and NGOs.
ObjectiveStudents will be able to:
- Explain basic concepts applied in resource economics, economic geology, extraction, processing and recycling technologies, environmental and health impact assessments, resource governance, and secondary materials.
- Evaluate the policies and guidelines pertaining to mineral resource extraction.
- Examine decision-making tools for mineral resource related projects.
- Engage constructively with key actors from governmental organizations, mining and trading companies, and NGOs, dealing with issues along the mineral resource cycle.
Prerequisites / NoticeSeven week course offered from February 23rd to April 14th.
This course is prerequisite for the case study module course
860-0016-00 Supply and Responsible Use of Mineral Resources II.
Bachelor of Science or Engineering, and enrolled in a Master's or PhD program at ETH Zurich.
860-0012-00LCooperation and Conflict Over International Water Resources
Note: Replacement of 701-0462-01L "The Science and Politics of International Water Management".
Students who already attended 701-0462-01L, kann not be credited again for this course.
W3 credits2SB. Wehrli, T. Bernauer, J. Mertens
AbstractThis course focuses on the technical, economic, and political challenges of dealing with water allocation and pollution problems in large international river basins. It examines ways and means through which such challenges are addressed, and when and why international efforts in this respect succeed or fail.

This is a research seminar at the Master level. PhD students are also welcome.
ObjectiveThe students get an overview of (1) causes and consequences of water scarcity and water pollution problems in large international river basins; (2) they learn concepts to assess and mitigate such water challenges, and (3) they analyze when and why international efforts in this respect succeed or fail.
ContentBased on lectures and discussion of scientific papers students acquire basic knowledge on contentious issues in managing international water resources, on the determinants of cooperation and conflict over international water issues, and on ways and means of mitigating conflict and promoting cooperation. Students will then, in teams of two and coached by Profs. Bernauer and Wehrli, do research on a case of their choice (i.e. an international river basin where riparian countries are trying to find solutions to water allocation and/or water quality problems). They will write a brief paper and present their findings during a final meeting at the end of the semester.
The first 4 and the last 2 dates are reserved for lectures and seminars. The students work on their case study from 22.03. to 17.05.
Lecture notesslides and papers will be distributed electronically
LiteratureThe UN World Water Development Report 2015 provides a broad overview of the topic
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is open to Master and PhD students from any area of ETH.
051-0160-00LUrban Design IIW1 credit2VA. Brillembourg, H. Klumpner
AbstractThe lecture series will introduce tools for reading contemporary urban conditions, patterns and processes. Each lecture will introduce a city and three extracted operational tools, which we have deciphered. The tool format offers a structure for understanding of how urban landscape has taken shape as well as a basis for developing an own position by synthesizing information into future practice.
ObjectiveUrban Stories aims to amplify the students' repertoire of urban instruments and empowers to critically reflect on the urban environment. This lectures series will produce a toolbox containing operational urban tools that provide students with knowledge to navigate between theory and practice. The tools will be used as a basis for reading cities and recognizing in them current operational modes, models and phenomena.

Urban Stories promotes a critical and analytical, research-based approach on crosscutting scales and timelines by offering a methodology that respects the political, socio-economic and ecological components of urban design and planning. Through this lens, and with our toolbox, we aim to tell the fundamental story of contemporary cities. The course provides information, analysis and knowledge to help students to prepare for their own justifiable interventions in the future.
ContentHow did cities develop into the cities we live in now? Which urban plans, instruments, visions, political decisions, economic reasonings, cultural inputs and social organization have influenced urban settlements in specific moments of change? Which cities are exemplary in illustrating how these instruments have been implemented and how they have shaped urban environments? Can these instruments be translated into urban operational tools that we recognize within existing tested cases in contemporary cities across the globe? How can the tools and cities be compared and put into a system rather than a database? Can this system show unusual connections and foster the transfer of knowledge among cities? Urban form cannot be reduced to the physical space. Cities are the result of social construction under the influence of technologies, culture, the impact of experts and accidents. Unconcluded urban processes respond to political interests, economic pressure, cultural inclinations, along with the imagination of architects and planners and the informal powers at work in complex adaptive systems. Current urban phenomena are the result of an urban evolution. The facts stored in urban environments include contributions from its entire lifecycle. That is true for the physical environment, but also for non-physical aspects, the imaginary city that exists along with its potentials and problems and with the conflicts that have evolved over time. Knowledge and understanding along with a critical observation of the actions, processes and policies are necessary to perceive the diversity and instability present in the contemporary city.
Lecture notesThe Skript can be downloaded from the student-server:
LiteratureThe learning material can be downloaded from the student-server: afp://

Please check also the Chair website:
Prerequisites / NoticeEXERCISE
After each lecture, students are asked to produce an exercise based on the presented tools. The format of the Exercise is an A3 or an A4, according to the given template. Each student has one week to prepare each exercise, and it should be delivered in the next lecture. (Language: preferably English, German).
The exercise tasks are a valuable addition to understand the class contents and therefore it is highly recommendable to finalize all weekly exercise tasks as an individually conducted work.

"Semesterkurs" (semester course) students from other departments or students taking this lecture as GESS / Studium Generale course as well as exchange students must successfully hand in a Research Paper at the end of the semester, which will be subject to the performance assessment: "Bestanden" (pass) or "Nicht bestanden" (failed). The performance assessment type, for "Urban Design II" taken as a semester course, is categorized as "unbenotete Semesterleistung" (ungraded semester performance).
063-0816-16LACTION! On the Real City (Thesis Elective) Information Restricted registration - show details
Thesis Elective for Master class students.

Enrolment only possible upon agreement with the lecturer.
W6 credits11AA. Brillembourg, H. Klumpner
AbstractIn relation to the elective course "ACTION!" students will have the possibility to extend their research into the behaviours and components that make up the urban realm. A special focus on the processes and mechanisms of (in)formal urban forms and systems will characterise the research. Specific research goals tailored to individual interests will be discussed before proceeding.
ObjectiveThe course will help frame an understanding of the forces shaping (in)formal settlements and the critical behaviours, requirements and practices of its inhabitants. It will also encourage the development of an analytical and critical position on the potential role of the architect to mediate a design process within broader socio-economic, political and ecologic systems.
860-0018-00LInternet Architecture & Policy (with Case Study) Information Restricted registration - show details W6 credits4SS. Bechtold, T. Roscoe
AbstractThis course examines and critiques the design of the Internet, with a focus on the connection between the engineering features and principles of the network and the legal, economic, and political concerns which have followed its evolution.
ObjectiveThis course examines and critiques the design of the Internet (broadly defined), with a focus on the connection between the engineering features and principles of the network (packet switching, global addressing, the end-to-end argument, etc.) and the legal, economic, and political concerns which have followed its evolution (security properties, censorship and censorship resistance, "net neutrality", etc.). No prior knowledge of networking technologies is required; conversely the course will focus only on those features of the Internet design which have strong political and legal implications (and vice versa). The course consists of two parts: lectures and seminars in one part provide an introduction and discussion of the technical, legal, and political aspects of the Internet design. The other part consists of a specific case study of some aspect of the Internet by individual students.
227-0664-00LTechnology and Policy of Electrical Energy StorageW4 credits2GV. Wood, T. Schmidt
AbstractWith the global emphasis on decreasing CO2 emissions, achieving fossil fuel independence and growing the use of renewables, developing & implementing energy storage solutions for electric mobility & grid stabilization represent a key technology & policy challenge. This course primarily uses lithium ion batteries as a case study to understand the interplay between technology, economics & policy.
ObjectiveThe students will learn of the complexity involved in battery research, design, production, as well as in investment, economics and policy making around batteries. Students from technical disciplines will gain insights into policy, while students from social science backgrounds will gain insights into technology.
ContentWith the global emphasis on decreasing CO2 emissions, achieving fossil fuel independence, and integrating renewables on the electric grid, developing and implementing energy storage solutions for electric mobility and grid stabilization represent a key technology and policy challenge. The class will focus on lithium ion batteries since they are poised to enter a variety of markets where policy decisions will affect their production, adoption, and usage scenarios. The course considers the interplay between technology, economics, and policy.

* intro to energy storage for electric mobility and grid-stabilization
* basics of battery operation, manufacturing, and integration
* hands-on fabrication and testing of a cell
* intro to the role of policy for energy storage innovation & diffusion
* discussion of complexities involved in policy and politics of energy storage
Lecture notesMaterials will be made available on the website.
LiteratureMaterials will be made available on the website.
Prerequisites / NoticeStrong interest in energy and technology policy.
860-0014-00LPaper Project on Technology and Policy of Electric Energy Storage Restricted registration - show details
Requirement: Only students who have visited the course 227-0664-00L and passed the test at the end of the semester, may sign up for this course.
W2 credits1AT. Schmidt, V. Wood
AbstractPaper project on a topic related to main lecture Technology and Policy of Electric Energy Storage. Can only be taken when enrolled in the main lecture.
ObjectiveThe students will choose either a technology or a policy and elaborate on various aspects. The technology questions will include policy aspects; the policy questions will be closely related technological diffusion and innovation.
Lecture notesMaterials will be made available through polybox.
LiteratureMaterials will be made available through polybox.
Prerequisites / NoticeSuccessful completion of Technology and Policy of Electric Energy Storage lecture (227-0664-00L).
701-1562-00LCases in Environmental Policy and Decision Making Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 40.
W6 credits4PA. Patt, M. Morosini, D. Schröter, A. Scolobig
AbstractThe course will proceed through a series of case studies, modeled after those often used in business and policy teaching curricula. Students will engage in individual and group work to practice the art of effective decision-making, recommending a course of action for the individual and organization that is the subject of each case, gaining valuable insights into environmental policy-making.
Objective- Identify the facts, assumptions, theories, and social constructions guiding the decisions of different stakeholders to a range of environmental and natural resource policy problems.
- Recognize key institutional and interpersonal challenges in decision-making situations.
- Design communication and decision-making processes that can work effectively in the context of stakeholder worldviews and perspectives.
- Conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of value to decision-makers, and communicate that in a manner that is clear and effective.
- Consider broader policy issues applicable across the cases, such as the appropriate roles of public, non-profit, and private sector organizations, the decentralization of authority, and possible societal pathways towards sustainability.
ContentThe course will cover a range of environmental problem areas, include land conversion, water quality, air quality, climate change, and energy. Across these issues, cases will force students to confront particular decisions needing to be made by individuals and organizations, primarily in the public and non-profit sectors, but also in provate sector firms.
Prerequisites / NoticeIt would be desirable, but not essential, that students had already taken a course on policy analysis and modeling.
101-0588-02LGrounded Materials Restricted registration - show details
Maximal 4 Studenten pro Departement:
D-GESS (nur Science, Technology and Policy MSc)
W4 credits6GG. Habert
AbstractGrounded Materials will develop sustainable building materials by disrupting current teaching in two fundamental ways. First instead of studying each material separately we will combine them in creative and unexpected ways - we call this trans-material. Secondly, we will work with selected stakeholders to ground construction materials in a societal context - we call this trans-disciplinary.
Teaching of the block course "Grounded Materials" brings together the knowledge of the chair of Sustainable Construction (SC), the Transdisciplinarity Lab (TdLab) and Atelier Matières à Construire (Amàco) through trans-material and trans-disciplinary approaches. Students receive input, do experiments and workshops to develop skills in materials, creating materials, construction with materials and the relationship of materials to stakeholders and their role in the construction industry. The aim is to convey a holistic approach to materials teaching and their role for sustainable development.

"Grounded Materials" is built on two pillars:
Teaching Trans-Material
Instead of teaching wood, steel and concrete we teach the constituting matter of all materials like fibres, grains and binders across different materials. Materials thus can be differently reconstituted, e.g. through a locally specific or available assembly of matter.
Together with experts on material sciences, students will experiment with materials and their physical properties. Concrete is made of grains and a binder. However, the physical properties that allows to improve strength properties through packing optimisation in concrete can also be used to other contexts such as for instance desert sand, earth and all sort of urban waste. Similar attitudes considering fibres or binding agent allows a true trans-material approach.

Teaching Trans-Disciplinary
In addition to the environmental considerations, future engineers and architects have to consider increasingly complex societal context. "Grounded Materials" considers construction materials, and potential future materials in relation to their societal impact and in negotiation with selected stakeholders in this field (producers, users, developers, owners,...).
Together with experts, "Grounded Materials" will provide a forum for students to explore materials in dialog with stakeholders from the construction sector considering social and environmental constraints. Sustainable construction materials will be grounded in discussion between students, scientists, builders and producers to enable addressing emergent issues related to society and the environment.

In the first five days students will be exposed to basic trans-material and trans-disciplinary principles. This will allow them to frame the problem at stake and fix key parameters and constraints for the development of a new sustainable material.
The experimental lectures will showcase materials science through a series of innovative, and at times counterintuitive experiments. Here physical phenomena are presented through simple sensitive experiments. Creative sessions will allow students to freely explore various ideas for innovative materials design.
In terms of trans-disciplinary teaching, students will also be guided through three different activities during which they will engage with stakeholders, site visits, consultation and co-creation activities.
In addition to the trans-material, and trans-disciplinary teaching, students will receive a series of inputs, in the form of introductory lectures on the societal and environmental challenges facing the built environment.

In the second part of course, the students will work collaboratively on the challenge of developing a grounded material that responds to specific constraints and parameters. The students will receive guidance, through departmental tutors, material experts, and interactions with stakeholders during these work sessions.

Further Information:
- Chair of Sustainable Construction, Prof. Dr. Guillaume Habert (Host), Dr. Coralie Brumaud and Sasha Cisar,
- Atelier Matières à Construire (Amàco),

All inquiries can be directed to:
ContentThe following topics give an overview of the themes that are to be worked on during the lecture.

- Trans-Material: Experiments to understand physical properties of materials and how materials are created in order to achieve sustainable construction
- Trans-Disciplinary: Workshops and site-visits, stakeholder interaction and negotiating social dimension of sustainable construction
- Project: Application of learned knowledge in developing a material and building element, in negotiation with stakeholder and aligned with sustainable development
Lecture notesAll relevant information will be online available before the block course.
LiteratureA list of the basic literature will be offered on a specific online platform that could be used by all students attending the block course.
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