Energy Systems in Transition: Present and Future Technologies & Policies


ETH Zurich, Switzerland


28th June – 18th July 2015


European Summer School

The world is presently facing huge and unprecedented challenges in replacing the current fossil fuel based energy systems with a sustainable, more secure and equitable supply. This global challenge has to be addressed by an interdisciplinary approach and global as well as local strategies. Comprehension of the interconnectivity between different fields such as energy production, energy consumption, society, policy and economy is crucial for a successful transformation of the energy systems. The summer school will enable students to share knowledge and learn from each other as well as from experts in the field. It provides a unique setting for students to work together and to build a network across Europe. Awareness for the challenge of our future energy supply will be raised, a better under-standing of the energy issues will be encouraged and global solutions to meet the challenges will be discussed. The small number of attendees offers ideal learning conditions. The ECE seminar will be taught by distinguished scientists in the field.

Course description:

The program will focus on the technical topics and will also include workshops on energy policies:

• Renewable energy technologies: wind energy and solar energy

• Hydrogen as an energy carrier

• Fossil fuels and nuclear energy

• Energy transport and storage

• Workshops: transitions to renewable energy (trends, motives and business ideas), energy policy and negotiations

In addition to the lectures and practical sessions, trips to a wind and hydro power plant and further energy facilities as well as to research institutes such as the PSI (Paul Scherer Institute, Villigen) and the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) are planned. The participants will not only be dealing with the technical challenges of the energy transition, but will also discuss social, economic, and industrial concerns with key note speakers on at least two evenings per week.

Main speakers include:

Prof. Aldo Steinfeld, Renewable Energy Carriers, ETH Zurich

Dr. Günther Scherer, Electrochemistry Laboratory, PSI, Villigen

Prof. Michael Ambühl, Chair of Negotiation and Conflict Management, ETH Zurich

Dr. Andreas Zuettel, Hydrogen & Energy, EMPA Material Sciences and Technology, Duebendorf

Further speakers will be announced

Course prerequisites and target group:

Students should

• demonstrate a high motivation and interest in gaining further knowledge on energy issues

• be enrolled in a bachelor (second or third year) or master program in natural or engineering sciences with basic knowledge of thermodynamics

• have a working proficiency in English

Participants will be selected based on academic merit.

Applications are accepted from students performing studies at European universities (Israel, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey included) or students studying outside Europe and holding European citizenship.

Participation quota:

30 students


Thanks to the generous funding provided by the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, stipends for all 30 participants can be provided. They cover travelling, boarding and lodging.


The online application period for this summer school will open on January 15, 2015 and close on
28th February 2015.

Please note: As many applicants are having difficulties in getting together all necessary documents in time, we have now extended our application period for our Zurich course. The new deadline will be 15 March 2015.

Please visit the website of our application system:

Please note: We have changed our application system to a new version on 14 January. If you have registered with the old version before this date, you may have to register again by choosing the button "Apply for an account". If in doubt: Only the correct version of the application portal lets you apply for the course in Zurich.

We are looking forward to receiving your application!

If you have any questions, please write to silvie.cuperus(at)

In case of technical questions about the application system, please write to nicole.strueber(at)


Swiss Study Foundation

Dr. Silvie Cuperus

This summer school is supported by the Stiftung Mercator Schweiz. It is an initiative in the framework of the European Campus of Excellence (ECE).