The Question!

Sustainability - How do you get involved?

Whether in teaching, research or on campus - sustainability is lived and practiced by students at TU Ilmenau. They not only deal consciously with resources in everyday life, but also get involved in the university's task group sustainability, drive the expansion of photovoltaic systems or organize Thuringia's first sustainable music festival. We asked five students how they are committed to sustainability.

Eleonora Hamburg

Sofia Mikhailova, 24 years old, Voronezh, Russia

Media Economics, 3rd semester Master

I am involved in the association Initiative Solidarische Welt (ISWI). At ISWI e.V., the issue of sustainability is very close to our hearts. For example, we have set up free shelves in the cafeteria and in House A. The idea is that people give things that are in good condition and that they no longer need to others for free. This helps to reduce waste and avoid unnecessary purchases. Our Umsonstfest, which we hope to hold again at the beginning of next winter semester, is based on the same concept. In addition to exchanging things for free during the festival, we also organize upcycling, sustainability and repair workshops there. In the club, we try to be as sustainable as possible with resources. For example, we do without paper cups and use hard plastic instead. We are also happy to lend this tableware to other associations such as the ILSC for events in order to produce less waste.

Eleonora Hamburg

Aneke Hansen, 23, Wyk auf Föhr

Applied Media and Communication Studies, 5th semester Bachelor

I am currently involved in ILMPULS e.V. on a voluntary basis. I have been a member since the middle of last year and have been on the board and treasurer of the association since November 2022. Together with my colleagues on the board and the entire ILMPULS team, I plan and organize Thuringia's first sustainable festival, which takes place every summer and combines the fun of a festival with environmental protection, sustainability and regionality. The goal is to show visitors how easy it can be to protect nature and the environment and still not have to do without anything. From small things like pocket ashtrays, to re- and upcycling, to plastic- and disposable-free food and drinks, it's all here. Of course, we are always looking for new ideas to develop the festival sustainably and are always happy to receive new input and new members.
I am also a student assistant with the Sustainability Task Group in the Department of Empirical Media Research and Political Communication. Here, together with two other students, I help to collect ideas and plan actions to make the university and everything that goes with it more sustainable. With our action, a clothes swap party, we want to show that it is not always necessary to buy new clothes immediately and that everyone can easily save large amounts of CO2 by buying locally and second hand.

Eleonora Hamburg

Florian Feix, 20, Wiesbaden

Applied Media and Communication Studies, 3rd semester Bachelor

I try to integrate sustainability into all aspects of my life. For example, I buy my clothes second-hand or take the bike for my way to university and daily errands. I do without the car completely and use the train. Therefore, I am very happy to be involved in the Task Group Sustainability as a student assistant at the Department of Empirical Media Research and Political Communication. In the task group, my input as a student is taken seriously, which I think is great! Also, I take all suggestions and proposals from university members sent to and forward them to our task group. My big wish is to motivate my fellow students and fellow students to live more sustainably as well. With the clothing swap party in the cafeteria, which I initiated together with two fellow students, I want to show that we don't always have to buy new clothes and thus give an impulse for sustainable consumption.

Eleonora Hamburg

Jasmin Calmbach, 27, Göppingen

Doctoral student at the Group of Engineering Thermodynamics

I studied Renewable Energy Technology at the TU Ilmenau and would like to use my knowledge of energy generation, storage and grids to drive forward the energy transition. I place a special focus on solar power, because it is cheap and, in addition, photovoltaic systems are long-lasting and comparatively easy to recycle. Together with a team, including current and former members of the university, I am involved in the nationwide competition "Wattbewerb" for the expansion of photovoltaic systems in Ilmenau. We want to motivate companies and private individuals to install more photovoltaic systems in order to reduce the city'sCO2 emissions and contribute to increased local self-generation. To this end, we organize information events as well as talks with the municipal utilities, housing associations and companies from the region.

Eleonora Hamburg

Christina Schiml, 28 years old, Ingolstadt

Industrial Engineering and Management, 4th semester Master

As a student assistant at the Group for Sustainable Production and Logistics Management I deal with production-theoretical basics that are oriented towards real problems. Among other things, I help prepare lectures on production, logistics and sustainability management. This includes topics such as global supply and value chains, fair trade, and business ethics. The group also deals with issues related to the circular economy. As a solution to resource scarcity and climate change, the life cycle of products should be made more sustainable and not end with disposal. It is therefore important to consider recycling options as early as the development stage, so that materials can be used again in manufacturing processes after reprocessing. For me as a budding engineer, this is the future. Later in my professional life, I would like to help optimize the use of finite resources. In my master's thesis, I will investigate the method of life cycle assessment in connection with circular economy aspects. In my private life, sustainability is also very important to me: I cover the vast majority of my journeys by bike or train, avoid air travel, use appliances until the end of their lives and buy some second-hand clothing.