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This is the webpage for the Blue Engineering Summer University at the technical university of Berlin

Introduction to Blue Engineering

Blue Engineering Seminar 2015 1.jpg

The interdisciplinary Blue Engineering Course offers prospective engineers a look beyond their horizons and an (inter-)active approach to their social and ecological responsibility. This gives them the opportunity to become aware of their own values and reflect them with others. In addition, the teaching/learning process is essentially shifted to the students, so that they assume responsibility co-conducting own course and at the same time co-develop the whole course for the future semesters. All in all, the students complement their specialist knowledge from their regular study programs with orientation skills and competences that help them to know their role in terms of technology and society and to shape it together with others

The concept of building blocks

To raise awareness of and to facilitate discussion on the different aspects of social and ecological responsibility, the Blue Engineering-Group developed the idea of teaching units. These units - named building-blocks - are typically designed for one lesson of 60 or 90 minutes and address a complex issue, e.g. whistle-blowing, ethical codes, technology as problem-solver, social businesses and cooperatives. Through the use of a wide variety of teaching methods the learning outcome depends more on the students as individuals and as a group than on the teachers. Consequently, the people responsible for the course don't function as experts who lecture but rather as moderators of group- and learning-processes. In fact, students may even be included in teaching by letting them prepare and conduct a building-block for the rest of the class. In addition, building-blocks may easily be used by a group of engineers working together in a company for their own continued education.

A short description of two building-blocks may help to better grasp the whole idea:

In the first phase of the block "Greenwashing or Decision Aids - Labels, Certificates and the like", the participants get to know the "seven sins" of greenwashing. Based on this, they develop in small groups creative advertisement for a fictional product by excessively using methods of greenwashing. The advertisement is presented to the entire group and rounded up with a brief discussion. In the second phase of the block the small groups work through brochures of widely known labels and certificates and discuss if they are reliable.

The participants of the block "Technology as a Drama - Technology in Drama" read passages of "The Physicists" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and "Life of Galilee" by Bertolt Brecht. In small groups they rephrase the key messages in their own words and use them to improvise small scenes. The small groups present their best scenes to the whole group and lead a discussion on their interpretation.

In total there are over 150 building blocks published in German. A set of core building blocks is currently being translated into English - here are already some rather short building blocks to get a first grasp.


You will be assessed in the following ways (see yellow sessions in schedule, if applicable):

1. Creation, presentation and execution of a newly created building block, i.e. a self- contained study element.

2. Documentation of the newly created building block for further use in educational contexts.

3. Keeping of a learning journal across the whole course for self-reflection.

4. A short input on a specific technology from your own cultural background


Coming soon

Documentation of building blocks

Coming soon


The seminar is hosted by Simone Fischer (simone.fischer@n-zertifikat.de) and Theresa Jansen (theresa.jansen@blue-engineering.org)