Project graphic GDI © GDI

Our understanding of science is based on a holistic understanding of the interdependencies of technology development and society. Technology does not take place in isolation from humans. Rather, it is the result of our creativity, our work, and the expression of our needs and the purposes that are reflected in it. Therefore, it must always be considered in its social and political context. 

What role do technical innovations play in social development and how does it work the other way around? What are the consequences for different social groups? How can socially and environmentally compatible innovations be promoted through appropriate political instruments and institutional frameworks? How can the development and design of technology do justice to the diversity of its users? Conversely, how can the potentials brought about by increasing social diversity be promoted and released?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the core of the 2030 Agenda. As interdisciplinary fields of action for sustainability, the goals map the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable global development. The GDI incorporates the context of the SDGs into its teaching and research activities. The framework of our (research) projects is therefore primarily the sustainability goals framed in orange, which are addressed by addresses our current (research) projects. Past projects can be found in our archive section Completed Projects.


Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Hub

Laptop © Peter Winandy

The aim of the RRI Hub is to become a nucleus for a sustainable and socially responsible orientation of teaching and research. The hub provides a platform and creates momentum for existing and future initiatives and projects while also enhancing the involvement of civil society and politics. The RWTH aims to establish an extensive cooperation between science and civil society, which not only contributes to more mutual transparency and acceptance, but also offers socially responsible solutions for complex problems.


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Cluster of Excellence "Internet of Production"

Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries © Cluster of Excellence

The GDI is represented in two sub-projects within the Cluster of Excellence. Within the sub-project "Equal Opportunities", the GDI is researching the implementation of a diversity management approach in complex organisational structures. The sub-project D1 "Integrated Usage" places human users and workers, who are a crucial component of social-technical production systems, in the centre of attention.


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SFB sub-project Equal Opportunities

Within the context of the Collaborative Research Center/Transregio 188 "Damage-controlled forming processes", the GDI is investigating the implementation of diversity management in engineering research networks. In particular, the application and sustainability of the anti-bias approach is being investigated and further developed in a target group-adaptive manner.

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ENHANCE-MOOC "Responsible Innovators of Tomorrow"


Promoting responsible societal transformation is one goal of the European network "ENHANCE". The RRI Hub will develop the Massive Open Online Course "Responsible Innovators of Tomorrow" as part of ENHANCE.

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Graduate College ACCESS!

Bicycle icons on asphalt

What mobility will we be able to afford in the future? Within the framework of this research question, questions of mobility and related challenges in rural as well as urban areas are investigated.


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Cycling Study – Bicycle Commuting and Air Pollution

Route of the study

The study investigates the measured and subjectively perceived air pollution levels of cyclists along an Aachen commuter route from Aachen Central Station to the university’s campus centre. For this purpose, methods and results from natural and social sciences are combined in a trans- and interdisciplinary approach.

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BIOS – Cooperative Course in Civil Engineering with Orientation Semester

Flyer for the course of study

BIOS is the result of the successful project experiences with the "Good start of studies in engineering". The eight-semester bachelor's course is aimed at students who want to get their bearings in the field of civil engineering between the two universities. There is a clear focus on the topic of socially responsible technology design.



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