Appointment as Rectorate Representative for Sustainability: Prof. Kathrin Greiff of ANTS

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The Rectorate of RWTH commissions professors of RWTH Aachen University to take on individual tasks of strategic importance for the university and representative functions in specific areas or regions.

Prof. Greiff, together with her colleagues Prof. Aaron Praktiknjo from the Chair for Energy System Economics and Prof. Niklas von der Aßen from the Chair of Technical Thermodynamics, was appointed Rectorate Representative for Sustainability.

The topics of sustainable development and climate change are becoming increasingly important in the face of growing problems. Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, droughts and floods are already having an impact on all regions of the world. The demand for the earth's resources is increasing like never before, despite the fact that most of them are only available in limited quantities. Sustainability means managing resources in the interests of future generations and affects all areas of our lives and economies, making it a task for society as a whole. Accordingly, RWTH Aachen University, as a major technical university, is also committed to sustainable development in the sense of the German sustainability strategy.

Prof. Kathrin Greiff took over the Institute for Anthropogenic Material Cycles (ANTS) in September of last year. Since then, her ambition has been to strengthen a circular way of thinking and the internalization of sustainability at RWTH Aachen University in research and teaching. To this end, she says, "Everyone is talking about the concept of a circular economy, but it needs to be filled with more life and, above all, practical approaches."

The institute's focus on anthropogenic material cycles is predestined for this; they represent a cross-cutting topic and connect various actors in value chains, but also research fields. To this end, Prof. Greiff is further developing the existing institute with three main research areas: processing & sorting, modeling & evaluation and circular raw material management. It is important to her that not only the material flows at the end of the value chain are considered and optimized, but that the view is directed at entire product systems.

In her opinion, "it is not enough to live with what comes out at the end; this can only be as good as what we put in at the beginning. End-of-life must be considered, no matter what stage of the value chain. For the ultimate goal of using fewer resources globally and thus reducing environmental impacts, such as climate-changing gas emissions or biodiversity loss, we need to develop practical technologies and look at their effectiveness throughout the system."

We are delighted about Prof. Greiff's appointment as Rectorate Representative for Sustainability and offer our warmest congratulations!