Writing your Thesis at SusTec

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Information for Students

If you are a student interested in writing a sustainability-related thesis at SusTec, we are happy to receive your application including a brief motivation letter, your CV and your transcript of records. As one important requirement for ETH students, you should have attended the SusTec lecture Corporate Sustainability & Technology' or 'The Energy Challenge'.

In case you are interested in one of our current research proposals, please refer to the contact persons indicated in the files below:

Internal Master Theses

  • "Diffusion of district heating, zero-energy buildings and smart grids: Lessons for business and policy makers”
    Further details can be found here (PDF, 69 KB).
  • “Mapping the Smart Grid Ecosystem”
    Further details can be found here (PDF, 248 KB).
  • "The Role of Individuals for Organizational Change within Incumbent Electric Utility Companies"
    Further details can be found here (PDF, 250 KB).
  • "The Impact of Renewable Energy Policies on the Performance of Electric Utility Companies"
    Further details can be found here (PDF, 60 KB).
  • "The role of energy cooperatives in the diffusion of district-level multi-energy systems"
    Further details can be found here (PDF, 183 KB).

Contact us!

If you are interested to hear about your possibilities of writing your thesis at SusTec or if you have already developed your own first ideas on what you would like to work on, contact one of the person below according to your field of study


MTEC MSc students
Contact: Joern Hoppmann


MTEC MAS students
Contact: Jochen Markard


Energy Science and engineering students
Contact: Annegret Stephan


Environmental Science / Engineering students
Contact: Bastien Girod

Bachelor's and Semester Theses

If you are a student interested in writing a Semester or Bachelor's thesis we encourage you to write a sustainability−related paper in the SusTec research group. SusTec offers the possibility to write Semester and Bachelor theses that relate to our current research projects. Please refer directly to the contact person above if you are interested in a specific topic.

Master's Theses Examples

Here are some examples of previous Master's theses written at SusTec:

Sveinbjoern Finnsson (2015):
The Effect of Policy Instruments on the Profitability of Distributed Energy Storage

In this thesis, Sveinbjoern Finnsson examines how the economics of solar+storage play out in California. To do so, he elaborates on a sample of three distinct energy storage technologies, which are selected according to their particular technological characteristics. Based on a techno-economic simulation of a residential building, Sveinbjoern finds that currently it is not yet profitable to add energy storage to solar PV for the purpose of increasing the household’s self-consumption level. In a sensitivity analysis, he reveals that policies both represent major drivers and a strong barriers to the adoption of distributed energy storage systems. Based on his results, he provides implications for policymakers seeking to develop policy mixes for solar+storage and other distributed energy resources.

Leonhardt Jancso (2013):
Filling the gap: Public Pressure as the missing link between corporate social performance and the cost of corporate debt

Does corporate social performance (CSP) translate into corporate financial performance (CFP)? In his thesis, Leonhardt Jancso analyzes the effect of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors as indicators of CSP on 963 corporate bond spreads. Finding no direct effect between CSP and CFP, Leonhardt extends the model by introducing public pressure regarding ESG factors as an intermediate variable between CSP and CFP. While his extended model shows an effect of public pressure on corporate bond spreads there is regional heterogeneity; public pressure appears to be present only in the US.

Allister Loder (2015):
Liquidity in Green Power Markets

As demand for green power increases around the world, the markets for green power develop. Some market participants report that there is a lack of market liquidity, frictions in the trading of an asset. Market liquidity is related to aspects like price, time, immediacy, market information, costs of participants and risks, and in his thesis Allister Loder explores and enhances the understanding of liquidity in green power markets. Allister finds that most green power markets are broker style markets in which liquidity is captured by the churn-rate or by the estimation of the bid-ask spread. He concludes that there exist liquid green power markets in which market participants experience low frictions in the finding of a trade partner and trading at the market price.

Information for Companies

If you are a company interested in hosting a diploma thesis we would be glad to match your offer with interested and qualified students. Please contact Prof. Volker Hoffmann to discuss further details.

Page URL: http://www.sustec.ethz.ch/teaching/master-theses.html
Thu Apr 27 00:14:02 CEST 2017
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