Course Identification

Energy and Sustainability workshop

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Prof. David Cahen

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
FGS room 1 , 15/3- 20/3, 09:15-17:00,

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Chemical Sciences: Workshop; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points
Chemical Sciences (Materials Science Track): Workshop; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points


March 15-20 , 09:15-17:00, FGS room 1
frontal lectures will be held only in the first 3 days, complemented by flipped classroom discussions.
There will be a pre-course assignment that should take some 2 hours.


For 2nd year M.Sc.students or more advanced ones

MINIMUM number of students :  6

Participation is limited to pre-registered students that commit to take the course; there is no option for free listeners. The course will take place only if the minimal number of students have pre-registered. Students that want to get more information to decide if they will take the course, can do so before the course registration deadline by sending their questions to me via email, and/ore by way of meeting in my office Perlman 620.  They can then inform the FGS.


Basic understanding of undergraduate physical chemistry (including simple thermodynamics), undergrad. physics,  biology/biochemistry is expected. Ability to search data bases, including the web critically is important.



Language of Instruction


Registration by


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)

see below

Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



The aim of this workshop is to familiarize the students with the science of Energy and Sustainability with emphasis on state-of-the-art and future perspectives for approaches to conventional and next-generation sustainable energy conversion and storage (including fuel) options and their dependence on other resources. Topics will touch also on the main resource uses/needs in modern societies, resource sustainability aspects and their relevance for climate change.

There will be frontal lectures during parts of the first days to bring the students to a level of knowledge and readiness to attack, each, or in pairs, a topic with defined question/problem to be decided on after discussions between all.  Those topics will then be explored and the results summarized for final presentation AND group discussion.

Learning Outcomes

Ability to

arrive at your own understanding of how to separate the chaff from the wheat in Energy and Sustainability(E&S) issues;

verify/ assess critically and independently, statements, based on science and engineering, made in daily life, concerning E&S, using quantitative estimates and logic, such as reduction ad absurdum :

Reading List

Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air  David JC McKay (available free on the web)

Fundamentals of Materials For energy and Environmental Sustainability, Ginley and Cahen  (pirated version free on the web)

Energy, Survival Guide,  Jo Hermans

The Simple Physics of Energy Use, Peter Rez

Sustainable Energy: Choosing Among Options , 2nd edn, Tester, Drake, Driscoll, Golay, Peters