Explore 
more news
Explore 
more events

Aveiro organizes graduation celebration for ECIU European Master programme on Sustainability

ECIU Network

University of Aveiro

October 13, 2018

The University of Aveiro presented 14 students from the Joint European Master in Environmental Studies: Cities and Sustainability with participation certificates on Saturday 13th of October. This masters programme is the result of collaboration between four European Universities that are members of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU): Aalborg University in Denmark, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal and Hamburg University of Technology in Germany.

This graduation celebration came about for a different reason, because it takes place as the JEMES-CiSu programme coordinator arrives from his adventure of circuiting the ECIU cities by bike, in an initiative he donned “MissionUnstoppable”.

Martin Lehmann, who started planning this adventure at the beginning of the year, wanted to make the ECIU consortium and the JEMES-CiSu Masters better known, “what we have achieved so far has been the basis for new agreements with various stakeholders and programme partners”, he explained, adding that he hopes to have contributed to “helping attract future candidates and promote the programme”.

The first cohort for this masters arrived back in 2007/2008, with the programme having been remodeled in 2012/2013 to focus on the sustainability of cities, thus creating the Joint European Master in Environmental Studies: Cities and Sustainability (http://www.jemes-cisu.eu/joomla3/).

At present, the students are trained both in environmental management and in environmental engineering. The mobility of students between the partner Universities is a key element in the programme, with possibilities also for the students to take part of their studies in associated countries like the US, Brazil, China, Australia and others.

The “MissionUnstoppable” experience told in person, by Martin Lehmann:

How did you get the idea to cycle around Europe for the ECIU universities?

I think the idea was first conceived right after New Year, when I started working more focused on JEMES CiSu matters in respect to reapplication and application for Erasmus+ funds. I realized that after so many years of collaboration it could be interesting to end or kick-start collaboration anew in a very different way. And personally say ‘thank you’ for the time working together so far, and then try to re-engage people – our graduates, colleagues in the JEMES consortium, but also other stakeholders who’d been a part, and making a statement along the way. ECIU came in later in the planning, and as the route was more or less a given at that time, only Universithy of Twente (in the Netherlands) could be fitted in (and then the ECIU Brussels office, of course).

Are you an experienced cyclist?

Yes, I’d say I do may fair share of cycling. All (95%) my commutes are by bike, and then I do road-bike training and semi-competitive social rides. I cycle around 2500 km for commutes per year and then another 7,000 to 9,000 training and competition (gran fondos and similar). This year, training has of course been much higher – I reached 9,500 km before MissionUnstoppable.

Are you using this tour to draw attention to environmental and sustainability issues?

Yes, that is one of the ideas with the tour. Focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals – not least #17 (Partnerships) and #11 (Cities). In this respect, especially mobility and the challenges of going EV, air quality, circularity/sharing, etc. That also means that underneath goals 17 and 11, we have goals 13 (climate action), 12 (sustainable consumption/production), 7 (energy), 9 (innovation), and perhaps a few others not linked to those in different ways.

What has been the high or low point of your ride so far?

Oh, that’s difficult to answer. But high points especially when people react to a call for a meeting and spending their time with me even on a very short notice. A couple of particular come to mind – one in Brussels, with a colleague from the City of Gent, who after speaking with me on the phone agreed to let me drive her home to Gent after her workshop in Brussels had ended – we’d never spoken before, but then spent 1½ hours on the drive. Trust and willingness to share!

Low: I’d rather not say at this time – need to rethink some things before I go out with the more negative aspects.

How is this activity going to help promote JEMES CiSu?

I have been able to share what CiSu is about and what we do, and on that bases realized a number of agreements with stakeholders and new partners for the programme (should we continue). This can benefit CiSu in the future. The second part is the more direct outcomes of the publicity, where I will not forget to bring forward how students and graduates have joined in to help, showing engagement and shared their stories about how JEMES CiSu has been a real life-changer and door-opener. These stories should help attract future candidates and can be used for better marketing the programme. Hopefully, they can also help concrete graduates in landing new opportunities.


Posted by

University of Aveiro

Created in 1973, the University of Aveiro quickly became one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in Portugal. Now a public foundation under private law, it continues to develop and implement its mission to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education, to generate research and promote cooperation with society.