Press Release

United Nations University Hub Inaugurated at Hamburg University of Technology

The new UNU Hub will foster international research cooperation on "engineering to face climate change".

On May 27th, 2024, a new United Nations University (UNU) Hub was inaugurated at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) with the strategic mission to advance "Engineering to face climate change". This UNU Hub, in close partnership with UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), will connect TUHH to the UNU's global research and educational efforts contributing to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), international relations and cooperation. The launch event was attended by distinguished guests including Mrs. Katharina Fegebank, Senator for Science, Research, Equalities and Districts and the Second Mayor of the City of Hamburg and TU Hamburg president Andreas Timm-Giel, as well as, Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, the Rector of UNU and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, Prof. Kaveh Madani, Director of the UNU-INWEH and Sabine Becker-Thierry, Secretary of the UNU Council.

About the United Nations University

As the academic arm of the United Nations with 13 institutes in 12 countries around the world, the United Nations University addresses a range of global development challenges through joint research and education with its Headquarters based in Tokyo, Japan. The formation of this Hub will enable active partnership between TUHH and UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. The UNU-INWEH is working on major sustainability issues, dealing with the most pressing water, environmental, and health problems around the world. Additionally, the formation of this Hub will facilitate active cooperations between TUHH and UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) and Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), based in Dresden and Bonn, Germany, respectively. TUHH’s “Engineering to face climate change" is the first UNU hub to be set up at a University in Europe.

Sustainable engineering solutions for climate-related challenges

This Hub signifies a collaborative effort to face climate challenges through innovative engineering solutions and fosters a stronger connection between TUHH and the global UNU network. Three pillars of activities are designed in this Hub contributing to Research & Innovation, Education & Capacity Building and Outreach, Advocacy & Impact. As a part of the cooperation, joint PhD and Master's degrees will be developed, new PhD positions for candidates from the Global South and further educational opportunities and internships for students will be offered. The TUHH’s academics will contribute to UNU reports and policy briefs which will serve as information sources for researchers, policymakers, international organizations, industry and the public.

Rector at Humburg Hub
TUHH president Andreas Timm-Giel (left) and United Nations University Rector Tshilidzi Marwala at the official signing ceremony for the UNU Hub in Hamburg, May 27th 2024.

Prof. Tshilidzi Marwala, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations & Rector of United Nations University: "This kind of innovative partnership is precisely what is needed for us to address the climate crisis and ensure that we do not miss our target of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. I thank the Hamburg, German and Canadian governments for supporting this partnership and to TUHH for its excellence in science and education."

Prof. Kaveh Madani, Director of UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH): "TUHH stood out amongst the potential partners for the creation of an UNU Hub focused on climate change solutions for its innovative programs such as the Climate-Informed Engineering research initiative and its success in developing scalable technological and circular economy solutions. We appreciate the TUHH's passion, vision, and commitment to engineering innovation in order to tackle the most challenging environmental problems facing humanity.  We will enthusiastically continue our collaborative efforts to make science and education accessible globally and to create training opportunities for the citizens of the Global South through our Hub at TUHH."

Katharina Fegebank, Senator of Science, Research, Equalities and Districts: "Knowledge to transform the world – this is the spirit that guides the United Nations University Hub ‘Engineering to face climate change‘ at TU Hamburg. The partnership we have signed today opens up a new chapter in the success story of TU Hamburg and is a milestone for Hamburg’s international reputation as a science hotspot. Here, researchers and students from all over the world will work on innovative and sustainable solutions for the global challenge of climate change. My congratulations to this tremendous success."

Prof. Andreas Timm-Giel, President of Hamburg University of Technology: "TUHH is tremendously proud to become the home to the first climate-focused UNU Hub in the world, which provides our scientists and students a unique opportunity for the truly international cooperation both in science and within joint study programs with UNU. It will significantly boost our strategical initiative "Engineering to face climate change" and promote the role of TUHH as a scientific driver for sustainable engineering solutions "made in Hamburg"."

Prof. Irina Smirnova, Vice President of Hamburg University of Technology, founding Director of the UNU Hub and Cluster Leader for Circular Technologies for Bio-based Materials: "Our cluster is dedicated to developing sustainable materials and processes that reduce waste and promote resource efficiency. Through the 'Engineering to Face Climate Change' Hub at TUHH, we aim especially to explore innovative solutions for circular economy contributing to a more resilient and eco-friendly future."

Prof. Nima Shokri, founding Director of the UNU Hub and Cluster Lead for Global Soil Health, Water and Climate at Hamburg University of Technology: "As the Cluster Lead for Global Soil Health, Water, and Climate, I am committed to advancing activities that address soil degradation, improve water management, and mitigate climate impacts. The 'Engineering to Face Climate Change' Hub at TUHH will be pivotal in developing innovative strategies to safeguard our planet's vital resources."


Media Contact 

Kyra Bowman
Head of Communications, UNU


Sogol Jafarzadeh
UN and Government Relations Coordinator, UNU-INWEH


TUHH - Public Relations Office
Kaja Weber