Supporting EPFL students to develop sustainability mindsets


Event details

Date and time 23.11.2020 15:0016:00  
Speaker Prof. Corentin Fivet - Assistant Professor of Architecture and Structural Design, ENAC;
Prof. Philippe Thalmann
- Director, Laboratory for Environmental and Urban Economics, LEURE;
Carla Schmid
- President, Zero Emissions Group
Category Conferences - Seminars

As future engineers and scientists, EPFL students need to develop the knowledge, skills and mindsets to address the multitude of challenges related to sustainability.

Join the EPFL Teaching Sustainability Think Tank webinar for a discussion on how the EPFL teaching community can support students to develop sustainability mindsets.


  • Prof. Corentin Fivet (Assistant Professor of Architecture and Structural Design, ENAC) – Developing students’ critical mindset to navigate complexity and uncertainties in sustainability.
  • Prof. Philippe Thalmann (Director, Laboratory for Environmental and Urban Economics, LEURE) – Forming groups of students best suited to work together on a sustainability issue.
  • Carla Schmid (President, Zero Emissions Group) – Students accompanying professors to integrate sustainability in their course.

Followed by a discussion moderated by Dr. Silvia Hostettler (Co-Executive Director of the International Sustainable Campus Network).

Biographies of the speakers:

Prof. Corentin Fivet
Corentin is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Structural Design in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at EPFL, where he is heading the Structural Xploration Lab ( His research and education activities are driven by sustainability challenges and digital opportunities. Together with his team, he forges new ways of designing load-bearing systems for buildings that are less material-intensive and reusable over multiple use cycles, hence contributing to the adoption of an industrial circular economy by the construction sector. Among other topics, Corentin is teaching “AR-497 Building Design in the Circular Economy” to architects and civil engineers.

Prof. Philippe Thalmann 
Philippe Thalmann obtained a diploma in Economics from the University of Lausanne in 1984 and a PhD in Economics from Harvard University in 1990. Since 1994, he is professor of economics of the natural and built environment and heads the Laboratory for Environmental and Urban Economics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. He teaches and publishes on the economics of the housing, property and construction markets, and the economics of the environment, climate change and sustainable development. He chairs or is a member of several cantonal and national scientific and advisory bodies on climate change.

Carla Schmid
Carla Schmid is a 3rd year Bachelor student in microtechnology at EPFL and President of the Zero Emission Group association at EPFL. She is concerned about the challenges of the 21st century and therefore advertises climate action and a more equitable world through collaboration between different entities. In this sense, she has set up with Zero Emission Group, among other projects, a course in collaboration with Roland Tormey (EPFL CAPE), allowing Master students to accompany a course and the respective professor in order to suggest a way on how to approach the challenges of the 21st century.

Dr. Silvia Hostettler
Dr. Silvia Hostettler has a PhD in Environmental Science with 20 years of experience in global sustainability challenges. Currently she is the Co-Executive Director of the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) hosted by EPFL Sustainability, and a member of the Laboratory on Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS). Silvia represents the EPFL teaching community as a member of the EPFL Teachers Council Board (CCE) and a member of the EPFL Assembly (AE). She also leads two EPFL courses “HUM-355 Cooperation and Development” and “ENV-470 Development Engineering” and a MOOC on Disaster Risk Reduction.