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Chairs at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology


The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology consists of six chairs that are significantly involved in teaching in the two study programs of Environmental Science and Technology. It is headed by Prof. Finkbeiner as Managing Director.

The following table lists the professors responsible for the chairs.

Chair of Sustainable Engineering



The Chair of Sustainable Engineering (FG SEE) develops scientific solutions for sustainability through technology.

Environmental protection and sustainable development are widely accepted as the foundation of government policies and entrepreneurial strategies. Currently the main challenge for many organizations is to put the concept of sustainability into practice.

But how can sustainability and environmental compatibility be meaningfully and comprehensively measured?

And how can they be applied to products or production processes?

The Chair of SEE addresses these questions by developing and applying methods with a systemic perspective on technology, environment and sustainability.

Our mission is to teach and develop life-cycle-based solutions for measuring sustainability in decision-making processes.

Our vision is to be one of the leading chairs in the field of sustainability assessment and contribute substantially to sustainable development.

Chair of Circular Economy and Recycling Technologies


Circular economy and recycling are essential components of a sustainable economic system. In consideration of precautionary environmental protection, questions of future technologies and of product and infrastructure development need to be discussed prospectively in the context of raw material supply and resource conservation. This is what the teaching and research at the Chair of Circular Economy and Recycling Technologies stands for.

The Chair of Circular Economy and Recycling Technologies identifies, quantifies, and product-centrically characterizes retention of solid resources and raw materials in society and the environment, as well as develops and optimizes circular technologies at the aggregate, plant and system level.

The department was founded in 1975 under the name "Waste Management" and has been part of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ever since. The chair was led by Prof Karl-Joachim Thomé-Kozmiensky until 2003, after whom Prof Vera Rotter took over as head of a junior professorship and from 2010 onwards as a full professorship. Since then, the subject area has grown steadily and currently employs 20 employees and 6 fellows and visiting scholars.

Chair of Environmental Microbiology

In the Chair of Environmental Microbiology, microorganisms in the entire water cycle, both in natural and technical systems are examined. Here the formation of biofilms, for example in drinking water pipes, in reactors for drinking water treatment or in wastewater treatment systems, is particularly of interest. In addition to aspects of microbial pollutant degradation, hygienic issues (such as legionella in domestic installations) are being addressed. Emphasis is put on bacteria in the water cycle, which are responsible for essential geomicrobiological processes, such as the reduction and oxidation of iron and manganese compounds. Since these bacteria show a high potential for degradation of pollutants, e.g. Pharmaceuticals, they play an important role in practical application in environmental technologies. Due to the deposition of iron oxides on the surface, certain iron bacteria are well protected against various unfavorable environmental influences such as dehydration and strong UV radiation. Therefore, some of these iron bacteria have been exposed in astrobiology research projects on the outside of the International Space Station to test their survival potential e.g. to test under Martian conditions.

In the context of education and teaching fundamental and current knowledge and methods of environmental microbiology are taught.

Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Air Pollution Control

The Chair of Environmental Chemistry and Air Pollution Control is engaged in research on chemical reactions, transport and distribution processes of substances in the environment with a focus on atmospheric research. We conduct basic and applied environmental research in field and laboratory experiments, develop analytical techniques and monitoring technologies and are involved in the education of bachelor and master students, in particular in the study program Environmental Science and Technology. We look at the origin, formation, transformation and decomposition of trace substances in the air, in soil, in water and in biological systems across all compartments. The focus is on airborne admixtures such as nitrogen oxides or particulate matter, which are of great importance for the Earth's climate system, for the transport of nutrients and pollutants in the environment, and not least for human health.
With our work we pursue the goal to understand environmental chemical processes in particular with regard to the formation, the transport and the chemical conversion of trace substances in the atmosphere more comprehensively and thus to the development suitable measures for clean air.

Chair of Water Conservation

The subject area of water conservation is one of the major subjects of the Bachelor and Master of Environmental Science and Technology and is therefore mainly oriented on teaching in this field of studies. In terms of content, it covers scientific, analytical and engineering tasks in securing and remediating water quality in the various compartments of the water cycle, in drinking water treatment, in groundwater, in surface waters and wastewater treatment. Organic trace substances, their appearance in the urban water balance, their degradation and the removal in natural and technical stages of the anthropogenic water cycle are a special focus. For many years, the chair has cooperated with Berliner Wasserbetriebe, the Berlin Water Competence Center, the Federal Environment Agency in Berlin and Dessau, the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin (joint graduate college Urban Water Interfaces), and other public and commercial partners. The graduates are very successfully accepted by the industry, water suppliers, wastewater treatment operators and in environmental administrations.

Chair of Environmental Process Engineering

Environmental Process Engineering is an engineering science with a cross-sectional character. The focus is on material conversion processes that are designed and operated so that the impact on the environment are minimal. In addition, processes are being developed, planned and operated to keep the environment clean.

The employees of the Chair of Environmental Process Engineering are concerned with industrial water recycling, the recovery of valuable substances from fluids, wastewater treatment, and the elimination of refractory substances. New fields of research in the field of wastewater treatment technologies and recycling have been established, the chair has been integrated into international scientific and application-oriented networks within TUB (Research Network Water in Metropolitan Regions) and outside (active membership in Aquanet Berlin-Brandenburg, German Water Partnership, Dechema, Frankfurt) as well as numerous third-party projects have been funded.

The aim of the activities in the field of Environmental Process Engineering is to contribute to a more efficient use of water. This includes integrated water management but also the treatment of industrial wastewater with membrane technologies.


B.Sc. Environmental process engineering, introduction to plant and process technology

M.Sc. Wastewater process technology I + II, membrane separation processes, project planning of environmental plants

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