MAQ-52306 InterUniversity Sustainability Challenge


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Distance group work3
E-learning material0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. MK van der Molen
Lecturer(s)dr. K.T. Rebel (UU)
dr. ir. MK van der Molen
prof. dr. F. Alkemade (TU/e)
Examiner(s)dr. ir. MK van der Molen
dr. K.T. Rebel (UU)
prof. dr. F. Alkemade (TU/e)

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Sustainability problems as defined in and awareness of the relationship with your study programme, your personal skills and expertise.

Continuation courses:

Courses MAQ, Courses ESA, Courses ELS.


In this course, BSc students from several study programmes at Utrecht University, Wageningen University and Eindhoven University will collaborate, each with their own expertise, to work towards out-of-the-box, scientifically sound solutions for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The course contains of a series of lectures offering views on the SDG’s from several science fields and on methodological approaches towards interdisciplinary work. Then the students will form groups to work on a topic related to at least 3 SDG’s. In the proposal phase, the project will be defined and the work distributed. The final result will be a prototype, which will be visually presented in the form of a physical or digital design and substantiated by a written report.

The students will meet the lecturers and fellow students using innovative synchronous online learning tools, like the Virtual Classroom. The purpose of the inter-university collaboration is to meet people outside of the students’ habitat and to benefit from the expertise and perspectives those other people offer. At the same time, this collaboration will help reveal to the students from which knowledge, expertise, skills, perspectives and cultural aspects they approach the project themselves.

The students take responsibility for the project themselves. This means they come up with ideas, and they have a positive attitude towards taking advantage from inter-disciplinary collaboration.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- describe the SDG’s from an inter-disciplinary perspective;

- use individual knowledge and expertise in an inter-disciplinary team to develop an innovative and scientifically sound solution for a topic related to 3 SDGs;

- present the results visually and discuss the rationale, the results, as well as strengths and weaknesses in a written report;

- describe the benefits from working in an inter-disciplinary team;

- individually explain how they can contribute with their own expertise and what the limitations are if the problem was approached mono-disciplinary.


- attending online lectures and discussions

- participating in group work
- masterminding individual contribution
- visualizing the final project result and presenting it
- defending the strong aspects of the solution while being able to discuss its weaknesses too


- 10% online exam questions;
- 45% individual exam;
- 45% group work result.


Literature provided via Brightspace.