Prof. Frank Ebinger

Title: Digitalization for Sustainable Development – Technologies, approaches and challenges


Frank Ebinger holds a Professorship of Sustainability-oriented Innovation and Transformation Management at the Nuremberg Campus of Technology (NCT) of the Nuremberg Tech (TH Nürnberg). He does research in different fields of Sustainability-oriented Transformation, Sustainable Supply Chain Management and Transparency for Sustainability.

Prof. Ebinger is an executive board member of the German EMAS Advisory Board (UGA) at German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and a member of the working group of the National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines (NCP) at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy.

In the years between 2014 and 2017 he has been a Professor of Business Administration and Environmental Management at the Faculty of Business Administration, Technische Hochschule Nuremberg and Associate Professor at Addis Abeba Institute of Technology (AAIoT), Ethiopia. Between the years 2012 and 2014, Prof Ebinger was a Program Director of the bilateral international development program ´Promotion of Sustainable Economic Development, Kyrgyzstan, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation. Between 2008 and 2012 he was the advisor to the Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology in the field of the bilateral international development program ´National Quality Infrastructure Component´, in GIZ Engineering Capacity Building Program, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation.

Prof. Ebinger has more than 25 years’ experience as lecturer, consultant and advisor in the field of Sustainable Management and Innovation. In addition, he worked more than 15 years in the context of international research and international development cooperation within Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and as external consultant.


Companies are increasingly held accountable for sustainability issues that lie within the scope of responsibility for the environmental, social, and human rights impacts associated with their activities. Meeting demands of transparency, traceability, and compliance with sustainability standards, the speech aims to address the concept of Sustainability oriented Transparency (SoT) using digital technologies and approaches. Consequently, data-driven digital technologies and approaches are identified and discussed in the light of their potentials for SoT. This initial analysis of existing digital approaches already shows, that the market is developing dynamically, but is driven more by individual initiatives. In many cases, the approaches used so far are still in the trial phase or offer only limited solutions.

Keywords: Sustainability oriented Transparency; Data-driven Technologies; Blockchain Technology; Artificial Intelligence; Cloud-computing

Prof. Sossina M. Haile

Title: Electrochemistry for Sustainable Energy Technologies

Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA


Sossina M. Haile is the Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, a position she assumed in 2015 after serving 18 years on the faculty at the California Institute of Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and spent two years, 1991-1993, at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, first as a Fulbright Fellow then as a Humboldt Fellow. Prof. Sossina’s research broadly encompasses materials, especially oxides, for sustainable electrochemical energy technologies. Her work in fuel cell science and technology has pushed the field to new insights and record performance metrics. In parallel, she has created new avenues for harnessing sunlight to meet rising energy demands. Amongst her many awards, in 2008 Prof. Sossina received an American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellowship from the U.S. National Science Foundation in recognition of “her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels.” In 2010 she was the recipient of the Chemical Pioneer Award (American Institute of Chemists), in 2012 the International Ceramics Prize (World Academy of Ceramics), and in 2020 the Turnbull Lectureship (Materials Research Society). She is a fellow of the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramics Society, the African Academy of Sciences, and the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, and serves on the editorial boards of Annual Review of Materials Research, MRS Energy and Sustainability, and Joule. Her professional service includes past membership on the board of the Materials Research Society and current membership on the board of Ethiopia Education Initiatives.


Over the past decade, the costs of solar and wind electricity have fallen by about 90%. The challenge modern society thus faces is not in generating carbon-free electricity, but in storing the electricity for use on demand. Electrolysis of water, or using electricity to split the H2O molecule into hydrogen and oxygen, has garnered renewed interest due to the suitability of hydrogen for long term energy storage. Subsequent use of the hydrogen in fuel cells generates electricity without carbon emissions. Here we describe recent advances in electrochemical cells, based on proton conducting ceramic electrolytes, that can operate reversibly to both generate hydrogen from electricity and generate electricity from hydrogen, effectively functioning like rechargeable batteries. Beyond local interconversion between hydrogen and electricity, the use of hydrogen in automotive and other applications has been hindered by the lack of a hydrogen delivery infrastructure. One solution that is gaining momentum is the use of ammonia as a carbon-free, easily liquified carrier of hydrogen. Success in this approach relies on local conversion of the ammonia into nitrogen and ultra-high purity hydrogen that can be supplied to fuel cells. We describe recent progress in the use of the super protonic conductor CsH2PO4 as the electrolyte in ammonia electrochemical conversion. The overview of these technologies will focus on the fundamental materials limitations and the steps undertaken to overcome them and achieve devices with compelling performance metrics.

Asregedew Kassa Woldesenbet, PhD, PE

Title: Construction Industry Practice: Current Efforts, Challenges & Way-Forward

Associate Professor & Chair Holder of Construction Management at Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development , Addis Ababa University and Adjunct Faculty at Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University 


Asregedew is an Associate Professor & Chair Holder of Construction Management at Ethiopian Institute of Architecture Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa University (AAU)  and Adjunct Faculty at Bahir Dar Institute of Technology (BIT), Bahir Dar University (BDU). Prior to joining AAU & BDU, Asregedew was an Assistant Professor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in the USA. Asregedew received his PhD degree from Iowa State University in 2014, MSc from Oklahoma State University in 2010 & BSc from Bahir Dar University in 2005. His research areas and interests include Asset Management, Construction Project Engineering & Management, Data-driven Decision Making Processes & Models, Construction Data analytics, and Engineering & Construction Management Education. Asregedew has published more than 30 articles on peer-reviewed & reputable journals and as conference proceedings.  Asregedew has served as journal reviewer, associate editor, proposal reviewer & panel expert for various agencies & associations such as Transportation Research Board (TRB): National Corporate Research Highway Program (NCHRP), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Ethiopian Association of Civil Engineers (EACE).