UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE)

Event Date: July 18-30, 2019
Applications are accepted through May 30; interviews must be completed by June 15

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week “boot camp” for future decision makers eager to join the sustainability and energy revolution happening around the globe. Held annually since 2011, the program boasts over 400 alumni. During weekdays, SISE’ers participate in high-level talks, visit energy and sustainability sites, and network. During evenings and weekends, they work collaboratively on a research project and enjoy exploring Chicago.


This year’s theme, Implementation, moves beyond the “what” to the “how.” Building on the research of previous years, 2019 SISE Fellows will engage with Chicago communities and collaborators to develop critical strategies to help local neighborhoods realize their vision for their future. They will engage with theory and case studies, and then move to the streets and homes of our Chicago neighbors and communities where real change is made at the ground level.

Participants (SISE’ers) from around the country join SISE at the University of Illinois at Chicago. SISE’ers are chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants from across the country. Diversity is one of the strongest features of the program, with participants representing a broad range of backgrounds and expertise. They live together. They research together. They become a part of our extended and international “SISE family.”

Cost and Support

SISE Fellows can’t beat the price. There is no program fee, lodging is included, and transportation support is provided to/from Chicago for most out of town participants. The people that attend are truly inspiring, come from all over the world, and represent a really diverse community.

How to Apply

  • Senior-level undergraduates (as of the fall of 2018), graduate students, recent graduates, and professionals working in the fields of sustainability and energy are eligible to apply
  • The application process includes:
    1. An online application
    2. a resume/CV
    3. one letter of recommendation
    4. a short Skype/Google Hangouts interview
  • Applications are accepted through May 30; interviews must be completed by June 15

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the SISE Program Coordinator, Thomas Aláan (, and visit the SISE website at

We hope to see you in Chicago this summer!

UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE)

Event Date: Aug 9-22, 2018
Call for Application Deadline: June 15, 2018

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week “boot camp” for future decision makers eager to join the sustainability and energy revolution happening around the globe. It’s been held annually in August since 2011 and boasts 300 alumni.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, SISE Fellows (or SISE’ers) join us from around the country each August at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Diversity is a strength of the program, with SISE’ers representing a broad range of racial and ethnic identities, socio-economic backgrounds, academic professions and levels, sexual and gender identities, and institutional and national affiliations. They live together. They research together. They become a part of our extended “SISE family.”

During weekdays, SISE’ers spend about eight hours of their day in high-level talks, visiting sites, and networking. During evenings and weekends, they work collaboratively on a research project and find time to explore the city of Chicago!

Symposium on Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Conference Date: April 18, 2018
Call for Abstracts Deadline: April 8, 2018

Location:  University of Illinois at Chicago, Lecture Center A

Symposium to advance student research in energy and sustainability

Come and hear keynote speaker, Judy Li, talk about how to transform the industry! Register here. We invite you to present your work! For more information to apply click here.

Judy Li is a platform Associate at the Energy Foundry and the creator of the podcast “Money, Mission and Me – stories from Social Entrepreneurs”. She brings her experience in energy efficiency, sustainable urban development, environmental policy, ecosystem sciences, and community organizing to her work building Energy Foundry’s platform of resources and support for portfolio companies.

UIC Energy Initiative and BEEST (Behavior, Energy, Economics, Sustainability and Technology collaborative group) are proud to launch the inaugural 2018 Symposium on Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (SEES) to highlight the global challenges our generation faces for achieving a sustainable future. This symposium intends to be the first of many collaborative efforts that will emerge from the launching of the nascent consortium, CAUSE (Chicago Area Universities for Sustainability & Energy), which will continue to foster this growing network of student researchers.

The Sustainability, Environment and Energy Symposium (SEES) is an excellent opportunity for students to present their research, network, and engage in a dialogue about the need for action and integration of scientific, technological, environmental, social, economic and policy perspectives.

The symposium is free and open to the public.

A sustainable future depends on US, our work and our actions. It requires the inclusion of a diversity of research, people and perspectives. UIC BEEST wants YOU to join the CAUSE, where students can convene, converse, and flourish. All perspective will be afforded equal support to present, discuss, and critique.

Be a part of the CAUSE for a better future by joining us at SEES!

Abstract Submission Information
This symposium will develop your research and expand your network by presenting in front of an interdisciplinary academic professional audience as well as peers and subject matter experts. Abstracts are encouraged from diverse disciplines and both graduates and undergraduates.
To present submit your abstract for review here.

Participation Information
Interested in participating but not ready to present? No problem. To register for the symposium, fill out our form here.

Keynote: 5:00-5:30pm
Session 1: 5:40-6:40pm
Break/Networking: 6:40-7:00pm
Session 2: 7:00-8:00pm
Post-symposium networking session (off-campus) 8:30-10:00pm

This event is organized by the student organizations: CUPPS (College of Urban Planning & Policy PhD Student Organization) and BEEST (Behavior, Energy, Economics, Sustainability and Technology student group of the Energy Initiative).

Website link:; Registration link:; Abstract submission link:

Contact Email:

Symposium on Microgrids: Renewable Energy Microgrids for Sustainable Development

Conference Date: April 8, 2018

Location:  James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

Hear from technology, policy, economic, and development experts as they assess the barriers to installing renewable energy microgrids in developing economies and discuss opportunities for overcoming these barriers. The symposium will also explore the roles of knowledge sharing, technological innovation, and innovative financing in accelerating the deployment of renewable microgrids as a key enabler of sustainable development.

View the symposium schedule and learn more

Register online


International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE ’17)ICOSSE_17_CFA_2

Conference Date: October 2-4, 2017
Call for Abstracts Deadline: January 30, 2017

Location:  Barcelona, Spain

The urgent need for more sustainable products and processes is a huge opportunity for innovation. At the International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE ’17), we will consider the background trends that are driving this tendency, a wide range of new process technologies, and how to promote sustainable solutions.

Topics Include:
The transition to sustainable living
• The Food-Energy-Water nexus in cities and rural environments
• New business models: the circular economy, industrial ecology

Sustainable technologies in manufacturing and processing industries
• More sustainable use of natural resources
• Reduction of environmental impacts
• Innovative process technologies

Bringing sustainability to the mainstream
• Sustainability and life-long learning approaches
• Analysis, modelling and assessment of sustainability: tools and techniques
• Identifying and valuing eco-system services

Submit Your Abstract

Untrouble the Waters: Leading the Future in the Great Lakes

Date: May 10-11, 2017

Location: Student Center East Meeting Rooms, University of Illinois – Chicago

Event Description:
Untrouble the Waters: Leading the Future in the Great Lakes is an inaugural summit for a diverse group of Great Lakes mayors where they can collaborate around urban water priorities and build a closer alliance with the academic research community.

Governmental leaders of Great Lakes basin cities have few opportunities to build working alliances with the academic community that is focused on environmental and policy research. The most compelling example of this disconnect is the ongoing Flint water crisis. The evidence that spurred governmental action belatedly came from a professor and his team from Virginia Tech. Evidence from research physicians at the University of Michigan, Flint confirmed their evidence.

Motivated by the need for expansion and diversification of the voices that inform Great Lakes water policies. The Great Lakes Leadership Project intends to develop and support leaders whose voices will reflect more inclusively the population of the region.

Event Goal:
Provide a forum for Great Lakes mayors to articulate and discuss their water-related priorities in an interactive way that builds supportive relationships with leaders from academic institutions.

For more information, click here.

Environmental Economy PanelEnvironmentalEconomyPanel3

Date(s) – October 27th, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 pm

UIC Institute for the Humanities, Lower level of Stevenson Hall

Josh Ellis, Metropolitan Planning Council
Michael Thomas, Greenpreneur Show
Daniel Sloboda, Patagonia
Ian Hughes, Goose Island Brewery

ICOSSE 2016: 5th International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering

Date(s) – October 24-27, 2016

Jinji Lake Shilla Hotel, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China

The 5th International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering will be held in 2016 at the Jinji Lake Shilla Hotel in Suzhou, China.

The purpose of the Congress is to exchange emerging ideas about ways and means of protecting the environment and its resources so that humans can achieve sustainable development and societal benefits throughout generations. The Congress provides a common platform for researchers and practitioners of various physical and ecological sciences, engineering fields, economics, and social sciences.

For event information and registration instructions, please visit the ICOSSE 2016 website.

UIC Urban Forum Jobs and the Labor Force of Tomorrow: Migration, Training, Education

Date(s) – September 15, 2016
8:45 am

UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago

Dynamic metropolitan economies require a diverse, trained and available work force that adapts to the needs of commerce, industry, government and the service sector today as well as in the future. The rapidly changing economy demands that the workforce be adaptable and flexible by continuously increasing skill levels, providing training opportunities, and recognizing the quick pace of job shifting.

The 2016 Urban Forum will focus on human capital development to address the contemporary challenges that shape human capital in metropolitan regions by examining the role of migration and immigration, K-12 education preparedness, post-secondary workforce training and development efforts, and recruitment and professional development of Millennials.

$25 for general public (includes lunch). Admission is complimentary for all Chicago-area teachers, faculty and students but online registration is still required. Please bring a school ID for free admission. All attendees must register online prior to the Forum.

Julian Agyeman Lecture “Just Sustainabilities: Re-imagining e/quality, living within limits”

Date(s) – October 29, 2015
3 pm

Student Center East, Cardinal Room

Free lecture, refreshments provided

In his keynote, Julian will first outline the concept of ‘just sustainabilities’. He will argue that integrating social needs and welfare, offers us a more ‘just,’ rounded, and equity-focused definition of sustainability and sustainable development, while not negating the very real environmental threats we face. He will define it as ‘the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.’ He will then look at examples of just sustainabilities in practice in the real world focusing on ideas about ‘fair shares’ resource distribution globally; planning for intercultural cities; achieving wellbeing and happiness; the potential in the new sharing economy and finally the concept of ‘spatial justice’ and how it complements the more established concept of social justice.

iSEE Congress 2015, “Water Planet: Water Crisis? Meeting the World’s Water-Food-Energy Needs Sustainably”

Date(s) – 09/14/2015 – 09/16/2015
12:00 am

Alice Campbell Alumni Center on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus

iSEE Congress 2015, “Water Planet: Water Crisis? Meeting the World’s Water-Food-Energy Needs Sustainably,” will be a forum not only to discuss the challenges facing global water availability, but also to highlight an agenda for actionable research. We hope that by bringing local, national, and international experts — from academia, industry, governments and NGOs — together for these discussions, it will foster new research collaborations across disciplines and across continents to solve grand world challenges.

The conference is scheduled for Sept.14-16, 2015 at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 22 speakers from 14 organizations and universities will present their findings on the state of water resources and how they can be well managed for a sustainable future.

Visit this website for a complete agenda of events and list of presenters, as well as accommodations.

Registration Now Open – 4th International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering

Plan to attend the 2015 International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering (ICOSSE’15), co-organized by the University of Pannonia, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Sustainability Section of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE).

For event information and registration instructions, please visit the ICOSSE website.

April 23-24, 2015: Upcoming event announcement and call for participation: Water after Borders Summit at UIC

Water after Borders: Global Stakes, Local Politics

Dates: Thursday, April 23rd – Friday, April 24th, 2015

Location: University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC)

Fee: No fee. This event is free and open to the public.


Agenda: Click here

Registration: Click here

Description: Who should control water resources? What kinds of partnerships can foster democratic use of natural resources? How can local governments and citizen groups balance investment needs and resource protection? Many places across the globe currently face drought and water shortages, which makes the question of how to use and distribute fresh water particularly urgent. What plans do residents, experts, and government officials have for our water future? “Water after Borders: Global Stakes and Local Politics” brings humanities scholars into dialogue with local and international policy makers to explore the political, ethical, cultural, economic, and environmental dimensions of water management. The transboundary waters of the Middle East provide a comparative scenario. The Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli directors of Ecopeace Middle East will speak about water rights amidst situations of war and conflict and how resource sharing can provide the basis for peacemaking. Participants will have the opportunity to attend panels, engage in workshops, and network. Sponsorship: Water after Borders is generously supported by the Humanities Without Walls consortium, which is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Humanities Without Walls is based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, which is located at the the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. Water after Borders makes its home at the Institute for the Humanities, at the University of Illinois – Chicago, and is further supported by the University of Illinois – Chicago Institute for Environmental Science and Policy.

Contact: For inquiries about Water after Borders, please contact the summit coordinators:

  • Dr. Rachel Havrelock (, Assistant Professor of English at UIC
  • Nicole Krause (, graduate research assistant to Dr. Havrelock


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