A new tradition at the university: started with a unique presentation at the BME Climate Summit


9 September 2022 – In the spirit of sustainability, the BME Zero Carbon Center organized an event with a spectacular presentation. In the first half of the event, which was created with the aim of creating a tradition, students could get acquainted with the main elements of the university's climate strategy, the research carried out by BME in the field of electromobility and the activities of FIEK, which is responsible for the cooperation of industry and the university. After that, the Solar Butterfly, the first electric caravan towed, a caravan powered by 100% renewable energy, also rolled into the Technical University quay.

BME recognized that in addition to its teaching and research activities, it can also set an example to follow in the fight against climate change through its own operations. Péter Kaderják, head of the Zero Carbon Center , which was established to help achieve the Hungarian climate goals, highlighted in his opening speech:

A comprehensive reflection has begun at the university aimed at turning BME into a 'green energy living lab'. Within this framework, the university creates opportunities to develop, test, educate and demonstrate solutions and innovations that respond to the green transition and energy crisis on campus.

In order to promote sustainable operation, BME prepares its own university climate strategy, which focuses on reducing energy consumption in buildings, waste management and reducing transport-related emissions.  János Levendovszky, Vice-Rector for Science and Innovation, said:

The goal is a sustainable green university that is now linked to the existential question: finance overhead to operate. This is a knowledge-intensive challenge and optimization task that requires scientific competence. It is important that BME, with its knowledge assets as researchers and teachers, is able to contribute to the solution of these problems and that the utilization of knowledge assets is reflected not only at the university level, but also at the social and individual level through education.

Dr. Levendovszky János

The university has a long tradition in the field of research related to electromobility, the importance of which has been amplified by the events of recent years. Csaba Csiszár, associate professor at the Faculty of Transport Engineering and Vehicle Engineering, highlighted in his presentation: On a global scale, the transport sector is responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. The development of electromobility is simultaneously shaped by the change of the vehicle market and the needs and transformation of the energy system. Therefore, the research of the Electromobility Research Group of BME covers the optimization of charging infrastructure installation, the mapping of electric vehicle user expectations, the optimization of the operation of electric buses, the examination of car rental and ownership decisions. They also support users' decision-making with simple tools, creating an e-car cost calculator available on the university website. Csaba Csiszár emphasized that a kind of knowledge formation is needed, and the engineers who come out are the best subjects of this formation.

The kind of innovation activity that takes place at the university is unique in the country. The aim is for BME to promote the best possible use of this knowledge and, like the renowned Western universities, to be able to operate its innovation activities in a self-sustaining manner. For this purpose, FIEK operates an industrial property office, a Z10 incubation space, a Research Competence Map, a Horizon Europe office, and an infrastructure providing comprehensive tender management. Finally, prioritising the decarbonisation theme, he also set up a separate knowledge centre, the Zero Carbon Centre.

Dr. Joó Attila László

Following the professional program, Louis Palmer, the half-Hungarian-born inventor, presented his new project, Solar Butterfly, in front of building K, which was launched by the environmental adventurer with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of the emission reduction targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement and to focus on the solution potential of renewable energies, presenting concrete innovation solutions. The first electric caravan towed, equipped with solar panels and powered by 100% renewable energy, will bypass our planet in 3.5 years, visiting 90 countries, driving 200,000 km, to arrive back in Paris in December 2025, on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement.