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ABE Sustainability Week recap

As you may have seen on our other platforms (Facebook, Instagram), this week KTH has launched a new initiative: a week full of events and content concerning for each of the schools at KTH, starting with the School of Architecture and the Built Environment. For each week, students have created videos showcasing sustainability projects, may it be by students in the context of a class or through an extra-curricular activity or by professors through their research, as well as by the departments and the program coordinators.

This week, I had the chance to meet with student ambassador Evdoxia Tsafou and talk with her about her experience in the ABE school and how much sustainability is a part of her studies. Here is how our talk went.

Élise: Hey Evdoxia, thank you for taking the time to meet with me! You’ve been pretty busy this week with the sustainability campaign, since you are very much involved in sustainability projects at school. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Evdoxia: I am involved with student initiatives that are not exclusive to my school. I am a member of KTH Students for Sustainability, a large student association here at KTH that tries to make the campus more sustainable in various ways, and more specifically I am one of the KTH Sustainability Council coordinators. What we do […] is that we put on workshops, once a month, on a topic that is relevant for our campus, we try to come up with solutions and then we push for these sustainable solutions to happen. The next event coming up is on resource sharing, and we are trying to create a scheme so that students can share resources and reduce waste.

Élise: I actually participated in the first workshop of this fall and it was great, I’m looking forward to the next one. What about projects going on in your degree programme?

Evdoxia: For ABE school, I am involved in an exclusive initiative in the Sustainable Technology masters programme that is called Making Space. It is a student working group that put on five workshops a year that are focused on the social aspect of sustainability issues. Our first workshop was in October and we had a speaker explaining what White Monday is. It is a social media movement that combats over-consumerism by creating a day for circular businesses when they can have discounts, to contrast Black Friday.

Élise: And Making Space is a student run initiative?

Evdoxia: It was created in collaboration with our master’s programme coordinator so it’s funded by our department. It’s a student-run project but we get support form our department.

Élise: That sounds like a really nice concept! And in terms of research in your department, are there projects focused on sustainability?

Evdoxia: I have to say, in my master’s programme all research that we are involved with is sustainability research. For example, there are master’s thesis projects in the department related to sustainable transportation, smart cities, sustainable food production, etc. There are many research projects for students to do their thesis on. My program is called Sustainable Technology so it’s really rooted in sustainability.

Élise: Speaking of master’s thesis, do you have examples of past students, or friends that work on something cool?

Evdoxia: Yes, definitely, I have a friend who works for Scania, integrating life-cycle assessment into the design of the parts of the cars. I have another friend who is doing environmental accounting for the university and for IVL, an environmental institute here in Sweden.

Élise: That is so nice, I guess ABE school gives you the opportunity to do a wide-array of things concerning sustainability! Any last words for indecisive prospective students?

Eudoxia: I encourage people to apply to KTH, and ABE school gives you great opportunities to get involved in sustainability projects related to architecture and civil-engineering. Finally, I do have to say that KTH has shown me that research in sustainability is a worthwhile endeavor and it’s a realistic career-path, so it’s definitely been a good and encouraging experience for me.

I do have to say Evdoxia really inspired me. As a first year student, I am not yet aware of all the career possibilities that my degree might get me and it’s been really encouraging to hear her. She also participated in the ABE school Sustainability Webinar, so if you haven’t had the chance to participate, you can watch it again here. Make sure to follow the Facebook and Instagram accounts of KTH to see all the content for the upcoming weeks!