4th International Network Meeting of EUSMAT – 2024/25

With the support of the DAAD the activities will include a one-week meeting in presence (June 2025) as well as a virtual lecture series (October-November 2024).

Virtual lecture series (Webinars)

A virtual lecture series is planned in Octover / November 2024 to create a space for discussion. Knowledge and experiences related to the implementation of sustainability practices in different countries will be shared to promote innovative and entrepreneurial activities that could have a positive impact locally or globally.

The main interest is to compare practices and regulations of sustainability practices implemented in developed countries (e.g. EU countries) and in less economically developed countries (e.g. Latin American countries).

Please, register to participate on each webinar in order to receive the zoom-link.

Webinar 1: Implementation of a Circular Economy System: Policies, Challenges, and Opportunities.

Thursday, October 17th, 2024

From 15:00 – 17:00 hs (CET)

A Circular Economy (CE) system prioritizes sustainability and environmental stewardship, representing a transformative approach to economic development. In a CE system, resources are used for as long as possible, with the objective of recovering and regenerating products and materials at the end of their service life. This regenerative system is designed to benefit businesses, society, and the environment by reducing waste, lowering resource consumption, and minimizing ecological impact.

The effective implementation of the circular economy requires the establishment of comprehensive and well-designed political and regulatory frameworks that facilitate the implementation of sustainable practices in the domain of production, consumption and waste management. In conclusion, the transition to a circular economy represents a multifaceted challenge that requires the coordinated efforts across policy, science, and society. By implementing robust policies and leveraging scientific advancements, we can move towards a sustainable future where economic growth is decoupled from environmental degradation, ensuring the well-being of both current and future generations.


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Adrian Thome

Material Engineering Center Saarland – MECS; Saarbrücken, Germany

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Josefina Cura

EIG Engineering Consulting; Mar del Plata, Argentina / Miami, USA

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Melanie Kuhn

Guidehouse, Boston, USA

Registration Webinar 1 – International Network Meeting

Webinar 2: Energy Transition: Challenges towards the implementation of renewable energies for industrial decarbonization

Tuesday, November 5th, 2024

From 14:00 – 16:00 hs (CET)

The global energy transition marks a pivotal shift from fossil fuel dependency to renewable and sustainable energy sources. This transition is driven by the urgent need to combat climate change, accelerate decarbonization, and achieve energy security. The implementation and production of electricity from solar, wind and hydrogen (H2) sources come with unique challenges that need to be addressed to ensure a smooth and effective transition.

While solar energy is abundant, its production is intermittent and requires large amounts of land. The development of advanced storage technologies can reduce intermittency and increase the reliability of solar power. Similar to solar, wind energy faces challenges related to supply chain and material constraints. Wind turbine manufacturing relies on materials such as steel, copper and rare earth elements, which can pose risks to scaling up. Ensuring a sustainable and resilient supply chain is critical to the continued growth of both the solar and wind energy sectors. Another link in the chain is the production and transport of green H2, not only as a means of storing and transporting energy, but also for industrial use, such as in the steel industry.

Strategies for ensuring circularity, i.e., reuse and recycling of components and materials from solar panels and wind turbines, should play a vital role in order to minimise environmental impact and ensure the sustainability of renewable energy systems.


Deployment of solar energy in Argentina / Recycling Traditional Photovoltaic Modules / Perovskite photovoltaics and circular economy
Kurt Taretto

Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Neuquén, Argentina

Kurt R. Taretto was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1974. He obtained Electrical Engineer degree from the University of Comahue in 1998 and went on to specialize in solar cells at the Institut für Physikalische Elektronik, University Stuttgart (Germany), where he earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2003. After completing his studies, Dr. Taretto worked as a post-doc scientist at SONY Materials Science Lab in Stuttgart, focusing on dye-sensitized solar cell modeling. Dr. Taretto then embarked on an academic career in Argentina, where he achieved the position of full tenure professor in 2011. He established the Photovoltaics Characterization Laboratory at Comahue University, with a specific focus on modeling and characterization of thin film solar cells. His research interests encompass various areas, including the impact of grain boundaries on solar cell output, fundamental efficiency limits, analytical physical models for thin-film solar cells (including graded bandgap and tandem devices), and imaging techniques applied to transient characterization of perovskite solar cells. Throughout his career, Dr. Taretto has authored over 37 journal articles, as well as two books and book chapters. He maintains close collaboration activities, involving continuous scientific exchange activities with groups from Dresden, Jülich, and Freiburg in Germany.

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Alejandro Gesino

Enertrag SE, Gut Dauerthal, Germany

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Nils Harste

Stahl Holding Saar, Dillingen/Saar, Germany

Registration Webinar 2 – International Network Meeting

Webinar 3: Embracing Circularity: Sustainable Design, Circular Materials, and Recycling Innovations

Thrusaday, November 28th, 2024

From 15:00 – 17:00 hs (CET)

The circular economy model emphasises the efficient use of resources, waste minimisation and sustainability. It forms a regenerative system in which products and materials are continuously reused, repaired and recycled to minimise environmental impact.
Integrating these principles into the design process is known as circular design. This approach considers the entire life cycle of a product or material. The aim is to create durable, easily repairable and fully recyclable products that are not only functional and aesthetically pleasing, but also environmentally friendly and resource efficient. By prioritising circular design principles, manufacturers reduce the demand for virgin resources, cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste generation, thereby promoting a more sustainable and resilient economy.
Although circular design encompasses a variety of factors, material recycling plays a key role within the circular economy framework. It facilitates the recovery and reuse of materials from end-of-life products. The effectiveness of recycling systems depends on the implementation of effective collection, sorting and processing procedures for recyclable materials. These procedures must ensure that the materials in question are reintroduced into the production cycle and not sent to landfill.


Unlocking the potential of aluminium recycling for circularity; an industrial R&D perspective
Alicia Vallejo Olivares

Norsk Hydro, Sunndalsøra, Norway

Alicia Vallejo Olivares works as a Research Scientist for the aluminium producer Norsk Hydro. She has a passion for the sustainable production and recycling of materials, which led her to pursue a PhD in aluminium recycling at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2020-2023). During this period, she lectured on Materials and Sustainable Materials and researched within the project Alpakka: Aluminium packaging circularity in Norway.

In 2019, she developed educational resources and provided technical support for the users of Granta Edupack, a software for materials selection and sustainability, for Granta Design/ANSYS, UK.

She graduated from the EUSMAT-coordinated AMASE (Advanced Materials Science and Engineering) Erasmus Mundus master program in 2018, obtaining a double degree from Luleå Technical University (Sweden) and University of Lorraine (France). She also participated in the Summer Program for Capstone Design at KoreaTech University (South Korea), supported by an EUSMAT-scholarship.

Alicia comes originally from Madrid, where she took a bachelor’s on Materials Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) and carried out internship and bachelor projects at the Research Institute of Glass and Ceramics (ICV, CSIC).

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Rachid Hakkou

Université Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech, Morocco

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Alexandre Nomine

Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France

Registration Webinar 3 – International Network Meeting

Meeting in presence in Saarbrücken

The International Network and Alumni Meeting in presence will take place:

📅 From Monday June 23rd – Friday, June 27th, 2025

📍 At Saarland University, Germany

There will be different activities including presentations and meetings, workshops, and excursions. EUSMAT Alumni from all over the world are invited to come to Saarbrücken.

The Alumni Meetings are an important building block of EUSMAT’s lifelong learning strategy and contributes to the ongoing dialogue with former students and researchers. Additionally, we want to contribute to their professional and interdisciplinary qualification. Thus selected workshops conducted by recognized experts were offered.

Online registration for Meeting in Saarbrücken

The online registration for the presence meeting in Saarbrücken (Germany) during June 2025 will open in a few months!


The event is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Commission (EMJMD AMASE), the Interreg Großregion 2021-2027 (Project UniGR-CIRKLA) and the German French University (DFH), providing full funding for Alumni.