Students of the University of Mannheim Receive the City of Mannheim’s Sustainability Award

For the second time, the City of Mannheim has honored students for their final theses on sustainability. At the University of Mannheim, Jan Schweers, a master’s student, and Jennifer Hahn, an alumna, have received this year’s Sustainability Award.

For the City of Mannheim, it was important that the students’ final thesis contributes to the promotion of sustainability, for example by referring to at least one of the 17 sustainability development goals of the United Nations. Ideally, the thesis should also promote sustainability in the City of Mannheim. At the University of Mannheim, the work of Jan Schweers and Jennifer Hahn were selected.

Schweers, a 24-year-old student, wrote his final thesis on “The Impact of Consumer Heterogeneity on Building Retrofit Decisions” in the field of Economics. In his thesis, he dealt with the energy efficiency of buildings and the question of which factors influence energy-efficient renovation decisions. The work is based on the fact that increasing the energy efficiency of buildings in private households is a key element in achieving the national and global climate and sustainability goals. In his work, Schweers determines which socio-economic and individual factors positively influence or inhibit the decision to renovate a building to achieve energy-efficiency.

Hahn, a 29-year-old alumna, wrote her master's thesis on “Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning Applied to Traffic Signal Optimization for Emission Reduction" in the field of Data Science. In her thesis, she analyzed the optimization of traffic signal control in Mannheim’s city center. The application of multi-agent reinforcement learning as part of machine learning makes it possible to improve traffic flow and reduce emissions by dynamically adapting to traffic conditions. Hahn's work shows that artificial intelligence can significantly contribute to solving urban challenges.