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Posted on November 23, 2022

Kick-off 4TU.Responsible Sustainability Challenge

The next seven months, the 4TU.Responsible Sustainability Challenge (4TU.RSC) is taking place, an initiative of three centres of the 4TU.Federation: 4TU.High-Tech Materials, 4TU.Energy and 4TU.Ethics & Technology. It is an Honours track intended for motivated and talented master students from the four Technical Universities. Using a Challenge Based Learning approach, they will work with industrial partners, researchers, and societal stakeholders on a case involving sustainability. The focus of these cases is on energy, materials, and ethics.

On Saturday 19 November the kick-off event of the 4TU.RSC hosted by the Honours Office of the UTwente took place on the campus of the University of Twente. Vinod Subramaniam, the chair of the 4TU.Federation and of the UTwente, welcomed the students and all partners from the universities and beyond to wish them good luck in this Master Honours track.

Subramaniam praises the students who are participating in this challenge. According to him, ”society urgently needs people like this” because they ”can bring together knowledge, skills and the right mindset to address the growing complexity of sustainability questions.”

Photo by Dóra Ildikó Csiszár

The Honours Track

A company or public organization introduces a case that a team of 5 to 8 students will work on over a period of seven months. The cases match the themes of the European Union’s Green Deal. The ownership of the challenge lies with the students, as they will formulate the challenge themselves and look for experts that can help them progress further. Academic experts monitor the quality, scope and feasibility of the challenge.

The students are challenged on all fronts during this track. Sylvie Wigmans, one of the participants says: “Not only will this challenge require both creative and analytical thinking, also complex teamwork will be a point of attention. I am looking forward to meeting students from Eindhoven and Twente to work together on our future!”


“With the increasing need to be more responsible for our footprint and impact on the world, our society needs this type of people. You, who can bring together knowledge, skills and the right mind-set to address the growing complexity of sustainability questions.”

Vinod Subramaniam
Chair 4TU.Federation

A core team of three lecturers represents the collaborating 4TU.Centres in this challenge. This creates a multidisciplinary approach that includes all aspects related to sustainability, from the choice of materials to laws and regulations and acceptance by society. Maja Rücker, one of the core team members says: “The collaboration between the different 4TU.Centres 4TU.Ethics, 4TU.High-Tech Materials and 4TU.Energy enables us to support our students to tackle the challenge with a broad range of perspectives. I am very curious to see the solutions they come up with. “

4TU.Responsible Sustainability Challenge

The 4TU.Responsible Sustainability Challenge is an initiative of the 4TU.Centres High-Tech Materials, Energy and Ethics & Technology. The challenge starts as a pilot in November 2022 and ends with a final presentation in Q4.

Core team


Dr. Shoshan Abrahami
Materials Science and Engineering, Coordinator 4TU.RSC, TU Delft

Dr. Maja Rücker
Energy Technology, Coordinator 4TU.RSC, TU Eindhoven

Dr. Mina Shahi
Energy Technology, Coordinator 4TU.RSC, UTwente

More information on the 4TU.Responsible Sustainability Challenge and on social media:

Twitter HTM and 4TU

LinkedIn (4TU)

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