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May 24, 2018

Exploring the impending water crisis in Iran!

From the 7th to 16th of March, the ITT and University of Bonn conducted a joint excursion to Iran with a team of 23 members, supervised by both institutes. The undertaking was  supported by the Centers for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD) and the International office of TH Köln. The Iran excursion ranged from the capital city Tehran to Yazd through Kashan.

The aim of the excursion was to investigate the impending water crisis and inspect the role of the agriculture sector in a country that has witnessed severe water crisis coupled with extreme weather events, and is currently attempting to plan and implement a strategy to solve it with the help of international organizations. In addition, the excursion was an ambitious exploration of a civilization and how events, people, institutions; ideology and religion, economy and society, cultural identity and heritage, are shaped throughout history.

The week was kicked off with a workshop at the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran. Here the students were presented with an overview of the current water and environmental situation in Iran. Furthermore, the workshop offered insights into Value Engineering and how to optimize process’s value in terms of cost, quality, and performance.

In the following days, the excursion team visited the Museum of Water as well as the Fin Garden in Kashan, where the team learned about the ingenious Persian water-delivery systems employed throughout Iran to support settlements and civilizations in desert areas with an arid climate. Subsequenty the expedition group visited the Art and Architecture School in Yazd, where they gained valuable input on historical adapation methods to the hot climate, as seen in the traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings, called windtower (wind catcher).

In order to check the main water consumption in the agriculture sector, the group headed to the biggest Pistachio farm area in Iran, where they examined the depleted aquifers and the solution implemented by the farmers to keep the running business albeit the natural limitation and the amplifying salinity.      

300 years old Pistachio farm business through generation

Model of Qanat system in Yazd City (Photo:Shahed)

A group photo in The Persian Garden

After the workshop at the Shahid Beheshti University

Workshop on Value Engineering at the Shahid Beheshti University

Qanat system for garden Irrigation (Photo: Karim)


April 30, 2018

Q&A chat: Application for MSc programs 2018/19

On May 9th, 3-5pm German time, we invite you to join our Adobe Connect Chat for a Questions & Answers session addressing potential applicants for the master programs Renewable Energy Management (REM), Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) or Natural Resources Management (NRM). 

Target group: German applicants, or foreign applicants with a german Bachelor degree, who wish to apply by 10.06.2018 to one of the three Master Programs in Cologne (REM, NRM or IWRM)

You will be able to enter the chat room via the following link:

When: May/09/2018  3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Time Zone: German time (GMT+02:00)

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection:
Get a quick overview:

April 26, 2018

We are excited to announce the ITT Alumni Seminar 2018!

We are happy to announce our Alumni Seminar 2018, centered around ITT’s 40th Anniversary on October 11th, 2018, in Cologne, Germany. A good reason to come back to Cologne in October 2018 to participate in the Alumni Seminar and see what has been going on at ITT.

The crucial goal of the seminar is to bring selected ITT Alumni together with experts, staff and students to “Develop Innovative Research Project Proposals” which could either result in fundable projects or benefit current ITT students in their education and future career. The seminar’s main focus is to work on research project proposals in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals’ achievement. Divided into “Online Preparation” phase, “Presence” phase in Cologne, and “Post-Presence Evaluation” phase, the seminar follows the concept of blended learning.

We believe “Life-long learning” is more than just a phrase: continued success in any field requires keeping up with the times by skill enhancement and knowledge update. Our fast-growing International Alumni Network would like to involve you, know how and where you are, what you are doing, hear your story or help you get in touch with members of the network, socialize with International experts and immense network of professional community of CNRD (Center for Natural Resources and Development) and ITT staff, and establish relevant contacts between former and present students through participation in the three-phase Alumni Seminar. With that, ITT aims to provide a platform to communicate, display and evaluate innovative project concepts and share best practices to leverage the full potential of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promotion at national, subnational and/or local scales.

The seminar is organized and hosted by the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) with funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

When:  October 8-12, 2018

Where: TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)
ITT – Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics
Betzdorfer Straße 2
50679 Köln (Deutz) Germany

Content and Target group
The seminar targets ITT Alumni from developing countries (DAC country nationals) who studied, carried out research or worked in Germany for at least three months and are presently living and working in their home countries or another DAC country.

ITT’s invites its Alumni Members who are professionally involved in the advancement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or contribute to achievement of 2030 Agenda in direct and/or indirect way, and those who are working for academic or educational institutions, development organizations, industries, NGO’s or private enterprises. Participants should be potential multipliers; i.e. in a position to spread the acquired knowledge and experience and/or take decisions on implementation. The Alumni Seminar 2018, aims to foster exchange among participants for innovative project ideas in the field of science, research and practice within the SDGs Conceptual Framework by facilitating cooperation and discuss sustainable development in the form of joint research project proposals concerning their international, national or local experience and knowledge. The Alumni Seminar will be hold in English and it is necessary for applicants to participate in all three phases of the Seminar:

1. Online Preparation Phase (starting from May 15th, 2018)

During this phase, applicants will take part in activities such as self-study, webinars, group-work, as well as in feedback and discussion rounds to develop research project proposals based on expertise and related SDGs. The Online phase is followed by an evaluation of project proposals and up to 25 candidates will be selected to participate in the Presence Phase.

2. Presence Phase (October 8th -12th, 2018)

Selected Alumni members will present and discuss the developed project proposals and best-practice examples in Cologne. Only nationals of DAC listed countries who currently live and work in DAC listed countries can receive funding for travel and accommodation.

3. Post-Presence Evaluation Phase (October & November 2018)

The result of the previous phases will be finalized, published and evaluated through reporting and collaboration.

How to apply?

The application must include the following documents in one PDF file:

  1. “One-page” motivation letter, stating a short description of your present duties/position and your personal, professional goals and intentions indicating your envisaged field of activities and duty level
  2. A short CV with passport size photograph: Please, use the “Europass” format and template, available on

Deadline: The deadline for application is May 6th, 2018. We will confirm your participation in the Online Preparation Phase until May 10th, 2018.

Please submit the application file via email to The PDF-document of the application has to be named: “Last Name_First Name_country.”

In case of questions, please contact Dr. Mahsa Motlagh via

We look forward to seeing you in the Online Preparation Phase and guide you through a fruitful seminar with the Alumni Network!

You can view and download the information as a PDF here

March 28, 2018

Projekt “Resources Efficient and Resilient City San Luis Potosí” (REC²SLP) gewinnt beim Mexikotag des BMBF

Nach der Preisverleihung mit der Urkunde des BMBF: das Kölner Team des REC²SLP-Projekts

Beim diesjährigen Mexikotag des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) erhielt das Projekt „Resources Efficient and Resilient City San Luis Potosí” (REC²SLP) der TH Köln die meisten Stimmen und damit eine Förderung von 15.000€ für die Durchführung eines einwöchigen Workshops in San Luis Potosí, Mexiko. Federführend entwickelt wurde REC²SLP am ITT durch Prof. Dr. Johannes Hamhaber; Teil des Konsortiums sind weiterhin das Cologne Institute of Architectural Design (CIAD) an der Fakultät für Architektur der TH Köln, vertreten durch Prof. Jochen Siegemund, die Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP) in Mexiko und das Wuppertal Institut mit dem Bereich Sustainable Production and Consumption.

Mit der UASLP unterhält die TH Köln bereits langjährige Kontakte; in diesem Jahr feiert der gemeinsame Studiengang des ITT und der UASLP „Environment and Resources Management“ (ENREM) sein 10-jähriges Bestehen. Weitere Lehrkooperationen, beispielsweise durch den gemeinsam entwickelten Studiengang „Interdisciplinary Master Program Resource Efficient Cities“ (IMaREC) sind geplant. An der Fakultät für Architektur besteht bereits seit 2005 eine Austauschkooperation mit der Universidad de Guadalajara in Mexiko. Mit dem Workshop für den Aufbau der „Stakeholder Allianz Resources Efficient and Resilient City San Luis Potosí”, zielen die beteiligten Institute nun auf den Ausbau der gemeinsamen Forschungsaktivitäten ab.

San Luis Potosí ist eines der wichtigsten industriellen Zentren Mexikos, insbesondere die deutsche Automobilindustrie und ihre Zulieferer sind vor Ort stark vertreten. Wirtschaftlich stärken sie die Stadt, jedoch tragen die bereits großflächigen und sich weiter ausbreitenden Industrieansiedlungen zu sozialen und umweltbedingten Überlastungserscheinungen, wie beispielsweise Wasserknappheit, Umweltverschmutzungen, Verkehrsproblemen und einem rapiden und unkontrollierten städtischen Wachstum bei. Zudem ist die Region historisch durch den Bergbau geprägt, wodurch eine Vielzahl kontaminierter Brachflächen besteht.

Vor diesem Hintergrund soll der Workshop dazu genutzt werden, eine Allianz aus Stakeholdern des öffentlichen und privaten Sektors, der Zivilgesellschaft und der Wissenschaft aufzubauen. Im geplanten Workshop werden Potentiale für eine langfristige, multilaterale Zusammenarbeit untersucht und ein gemeinsames systemisches Verständnis der Stadt als sozial-ökologisches System und der Problemlagen vor Ort erarbeitet. Die Teilnehmenden entwickeln Ideen für ein nachhaltiges San Luis Potosí und ermitteln Bedarfe im Bereich technologischer und sozialer Innovationen. Idealerweise bereitet der Workshop einer langfristigen Forschungskooperation den Boden – im Sinne eines gemeinschaftlich betriebenen ‚Urban Labs‘, das den lokalen Forschungsstandort in San Luis Potosí wie auch die Forschung an der TH Köln und am Wuppertal Institut stärken soll.

January 9, 2018

The Expert Track of the MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” goes live next Week!

The expert track of the MOOC on “Disasters and Ecosystems: Resilience in a Changing Climate” by the UN Environment program and the TH Köln is going live next week! 15.01.2018

Disaster has multifold impact e.g., losses of lives, devastating impact on infrastructure, damage ecosystem and undermine the development. On the top of this, Climate change is expected to aggravate existing disaster risks in many regions of the world. There is a need for increased awareness amongst practitioners, policymakers and researchers on the latest advances in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). The idea of this MOOC is to deepen the knowledge on ecosystem management, resilience and transformation, climate change adaptation to bring into practice for disaster risk reduction and for sustainable development.

This track is for professionals and students who seek more in-depth learning and skill development in applying ecosystem-based tools for disaster risk reduction and adaptation. The Expert Track consists of 15 units with video- presentations and accompanying self-study booklets, quizzes and a peer reviewed final assessment. The Expert Track runs over four weeks, with four hours per week.

Sign up now:

Click here to download the flyer

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