Successful defense

The 23rd of October 2019, the successful disputation of the dissertation of Yves Hertig, former Research Assistant at the iimt, took place at the University of Fribourg.

His dissertation with the title „Participation in Energy Transition - The Potential and the Coordination of Energy Communities“ was examined and supervised by Prof. Dr. Stephanie Teufel as a first expert and Prof. Dr. Lorenz Hilty as a second supervisor.

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dirk Morschett approximately 30 persons participated in the disputation, which started with a presentation of Yves’s dissertation and was followed by critical questions from the Jury and the participants.

Yves made the next step in order to obtain his doctorate. The iimt congratulates him to this success and wishes him all the best for his next career steps.

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Welcome Virgile Pasquier

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Virgile Pasquier joined the iimt team in September 2019 as a research assistant and doctoral student.

Holder of a Master's degree in political science from the University of Lausanne, Virgile first worked in project management and environmental protection in Lausanne and Fribourg before joining the iimt. Favouring an interdisciplinary approach, he is particularly interested in the fields of energy transition, mobility and the management of new technologies.

In his spare time, Virgile enjoys mountain sports, especially climbing, and when the opportunity arises, he plays in the theatre with the amateur troupe of which he is a member.

The iimt staff is looking forward to working alongside Virgile and wishes him a good start.


Welcome Aline Fournier

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Aline Fournier is working as Relations and Product Manager since September 2019. She is taking over from Fanny Guenat.

Fribourg is no stranger to her, as she has studied at University Fribourg in the past. After completing her Master in Communication and Media research, she has worked several years as Communication manager and project assistant for an international organization and a swiss University of applied sciences and arts.

Aline is passionate about alpine mountains. She goes there hiking and has developed an interest in observing alpine fauna. When she does not wear her hiking boots, she reads novels, historical essays or classics. Sometimes, she might flight to Vietnam, a country she discovered on professional purpose and in which she now takes a strong interest.

Aline is looking forward to working with the iimt’s staff and large network.

We are sharing her enthusiasm. The iimt staff is looking forward to collaborating with Aline and wishes her a good start!


Welcome Julia Cunha

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Julia Cunha started as Junior Research Assistant in iimt in September 2019. She is currently on her last semester of Master studies in Business Communications - Information Technology at the University of Fribourg.

She has worked five years as a professional journalist in different medias in Brazil, where she has also completed her Bachelor studies. On her last position, Julia wrote for the country's most read newspaper about economics, specifically about the energy sector. Before coming to Switzerland, she studied TV and New Media for a short period in New York, where she also worked as a volunteer reporter for United Nations Radio.

Noways she lives in Bern and enjoys going for a run on her free time. On summer she has a favorite hobby: going for a swim in the Aare. She loves animals, especially dogs, and traveling.

She is extremely happy to integrate iimt's team this semester and to work with all her new colleagues in the Smart Living Lab. The iimt staff is looking forward to working alongside Julia and wishes him a good start.


iimt – field trip to Asia

This summer, the iimt strengthened its international relations within Asia in Seoul and Tokyo. Excited, we left our usual environment and came back with a bag full of new inputs, ideas and impressions. During the Academic Exchange in Seoul, we had the opportunity to evaluate and discuss innovation in the built environment with students, lecturers and experts from both continents through user-focused, human-centric design thinking. Subsequently, in Tokyo, we conducted an Introduction Seminar with Executives from leading Japanese companies. First, the iimt presented itself and all its activities, followed by an interactive innovation workshop. It was a unique opportunity to compare similarities of current developments in innovation, with particular focus on social, political and contextual differences between both countries. Read more about our field trip to Asia….

The 18th of August, the official opening of the ARC-HEST (Architecture for Human Environment with Smart Technologies), a Swiss-Korean Academic Exchange Programme took place in the heart of Seoul. More than 45 students, lecturers, professors and invited guests, gathered for a typical Korean barbeque (고기구이, gogi-gui, 'meat roast'). During the dinner, the participants had the opportunity to meet and learn more about each other's culture.

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After this icebreaker event, the first "official" day of the ARC-HEST programme started with a series of lectures at the ECC (EWHA Women's University) campus. In the morning, Prof. Sung-Taeg discussed the history of architecture and Prof. Hwang Yi provided more details on sustainable architecture. In the afternoon, the scope of the programme was broadened through a lecture and seminar by Prof. Dr Stephanie Teufel, Dr Anton Sentic and Ms Kirstin Stadelmann on human-centric design in built environment innovation.

The first day was finished off with a cherry on top by the official programme opening at the Swiss Embassy and an apero.

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On the second day, the ARC-HEST moved to a different location – the Energy Dream Centre (EDC), an innovative zero-energy building serving as a demonstrator and exhibit. Prof. Dr Thorsten Schütze, Prof. Dr Denis Lalanne, Prof. Dr Dolaana Khovalyg and Prof. Dr Raphael Compagnon provided students with more details on various aspects of the design and technologies. The students were provided with multiple tasks they were required to complete during the summer school.




After all the excitement and experiences in Seoul, it was time to say good-bye and go to Tokyo. On Wednesday evening, the iimt team arrived in Tokyo and was already excited for the day to come. Following morning, at 11:30, we met at the Japan Tobacco headquarters offices in Ginza, Tokyo where we held our Introduction Seminar.

Following the tour around the JT’s headquarters and lunch, the main focus of the afternoon agenda was "innovation in a digital world". Prof. Dr Stephanie Teufel und Dr Anton Sentic interactively presented the challenges and opportunities for innovations in a digital environment. In conclusion of the seminar, we developed an environment map, showing the similarities and differences between Japan and Switzerland. The iimt would like to thank everyone for their active participation in the seminar. It was a real pleasure to join you in Japan.

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Following the seminar iimt had a meeting and a wonderful dinner in a traditional Japanese restaurant with Satoru Ikewada, President and CEO, Akira Komatsu, Executive Officer, and Takahiro Matsumura, Executive Officer Sales Division all management members of Nihon Insight Technologies.


We would like to thank Yasuyuki Kashima, Senior Manager at Japan Tobacco Inc, for inviting us, and the warm reception in their Tokyo headquarters. We are looking forward to future cooperation and strengthening our relationship in terms of education and research.

The iimt is also excited for all future exchanges with Nihon Insight Technologies and would like to thank them for the excellent evening and the very warm welcome. Additionally, the iimt express its warmest thanks to Rebecca Woywod and Erhard Buchs, CEO's of ictfactory, for all the efforts and support during this fantastic journey. We are looking forward to seeing you again.