Master Thesis: Integrated water-waste and energy management systems for community housing in Latin American countries

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Karlsruhe, , DE

Job description

Urbanization is one of the core challenges for many cities in Latin America, fueled mainly by rural immigrants. It is coupled with an increasing demand for limited resources such as water, energy, and food. In addition, a sustainable treatment of solid waste and wastewater is also required, at aiming to minimize impacts on health and environment. Current systems fails to satisfy these demands.

To overcome the obstacles of the current water, energy and waste systems, an integrated management of the different resources seems to be a promising solution for the sustainable metabolism of the city. Such a system could help to implement a circular economy on a community level. However, the shape of such a system is influenced by a set of different factors, like climate conditions, socio-economic conditions or legal frame.

The aim of the master thesis is three-fold: 1) to analyze the current system water, energy and waste system regarding material and energy flows, involved stakeholders within a neighborhood; 2) to develop an integrated water-energy-waste system for that neighborhood, taking into account the climate conditions, socio-economic and legal conditions; 3) to analyze the proposition regarding selected indicators.

The precise neighborhood to be investigated still to be fixed; presumably, it will be situated either in Chile or Mexico.      

Your task includes:

  • Identification of existing urban infrastructure to define crucial local problems (e.g., water scarcity, energy backup, improvement of waste management systems) that new settlements can face in the chosen city.
  • Design of a detailed material flow management models for decision-making in order to prioritize selected technologies for a minimal sizing and maximal sizing of an efficient integrated water-waste and energy management.
Personal qualification
  • Students of geo-environmental sciences, urban/spatial planning, renewable energy, energy technologies, environmental engineering, or similar subjects.
  • Good command of English, as the official language of the thesis. Spanish knowledge is a valuable asset but not a requisite.
  • Basic technical and economic understanding of the related system mentioned, as well as for material flow analysis.
  • Good knowledge of MS Office.
  • Independent and result-oriented way of working.
  • Interdisciplinary approach to handle multi-perspective issues.
  • Critical reflection on issues encountered.
Organizational unit

Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Starting date

as soon as possible

Contract Duration

6- months according to study regulations

Contact person in line-management

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Patricia Oviedo, phone: +49-721-608-22707, [email protected]

Please send your application electronically with a cover letter and the usual attachments (CV and copies of certificates) to Patricia Oviedo at [email protected]


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number ITAS 06-20.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Schaber
phone: +49 721 608-25184,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

Recognized severely disabled persons will be preferred if they are equally qualified.