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Applications are now open for our Sustainability Summer Programme!


Full scholarships are available for this programme, please see our Fees and Scholarships section to find out how to apply.

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What is Sustainability and How Can STEM Help?

19th July - 30th July 2021

The College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences are delighted to announce the Sustainability Summer Programme: What is Sustainability and How Can STEM Help?

The summer programme is delivered online over a period two weeks and provides undergraduate level students with the opportunity to engage with our world class academic colleagues to learn more about sustainability, ways in which STEM can interact with the concept and support it, and transferrable skills including language. The whole programme is split into two weeks and students can join either or both weeks, dependent on meeting entry requirements.

Week 1 - What is Sustainability and How Can STEM Help?

The concept of sustainability encompasses a huge range of topics including the study of climate change, sustainable extraction of Earth's raw materials, the development of renewable energy sources and even how our cities are designed. Because these topics fall under the full range of scientific disciplines, the best way to build a sustainable society is through a truly interdisciplinary approach. In this summer programme, students will have the opportunity to take part in an interdisciplinary study of sustainability through modules led by experts from a wide range of STEM disciplines led by experts in these fields from the University of Exeter.

The education delivery in this two-week summer programme is a combination of daily recorded content for students to view offline, live key-note lectures and workshops to solidify and expand understanding of taught topics, and daily group project work sessions. The departments of Mathematics, Physics, Engineering, Renewables, Computer Science, and Camborne School of Mines are brought together to deliver this exciting look into the exploration of sustainability and opportunities presented by it.

Week 2  - Exeter School on Urban Analytics

Recent years have witnessed an accelerated increase in urbanisation, with a growing need to better understand rapidly expanding cities and urban environments in order to achieve sustainable urbanisation. The Exeter School on Urban Analytics will introduce some of the modelling and computational tools required for quantative analyses of cities. The increasing availability of new forms of data derived from smart sensors and our interactions with large technological systems, such as the Web, social media platforms, and smartphones, requires Data Science and Artificial Intelligence techniques to properly understand urban environments and our behaviour within them. The school will present an overview of the methods used in urban analytics and provide practical examples of how they can be used.

The programme is centred around four basic modules with and group projects as a focus of  the work. In the keynote presentations, students will have the opportunity to interact with leading researchers in the area. The modules will cover essential aspects of urban analytics in order to provide attendees with a broad view of the field. Students will then be able to use the tools learned in the modules to develop a data-driven project to present at the conclusion of the programme.

The programme will cover a wide area of topics to give students a broad understanding of how STEM can support sustainability. Sample lectures and workshops include the following:

Week 1

  • Introduction to Renewable energy
  • Atomically thin materials (graphene and beyond)
  • Sustainable supply chain management
  • 'Where's my flying car? How to change the world with technology
  • Climate Neutrality, the circular economy and earth materials

Week 2

  • A practical introduction to machine learning with python
  • Network analysis and spatial networks
  • Human dynamics and city science
  • Social media mining

Each day will consist of a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activity to allow students to engage with the leading experts in the areas presented, interact with learners from all over the world to gain understanding of different perspectives, and manage the offline learning within their own schedules. Each time of each session will be announced in GMT and will provisionally take place in late morning and early afternoon times.


Week 1 Sample Daily Schedule

Offline Materials Up to 2 hours of material per day
Online Activity Plenary 1 - 30 minutes
  short break
  Live lecture/workshop - 50 minutes
  short break
  Plenary 2 - 30 minutes
  short break
  Project work - 50 minutes

Week 2 Sample Daily Schedule

Offline Materials Up to 2 hours of material per day
Online Activity Q & A from offline materials - 1 hour
  short break
  Keynote Speaker - 1 hour
  short break
  Project Work - 1 hour