Review of INSPIRED 2021

Video of the summer course “Extraterrestrial Greenhouse”


The International Project Week for Interdisciplinary Research-Oriented Digital Learning, INSPIRED by Unite! took place virtually this summer. A video provides insights into the project.

Coordinated by the departments of Mechanical Engineering, Materials Sciences and Biology at TU Darmstadt, the exclusively virtual INSPIRED 2021 summer event brought together space exploration enthusiasts from all over the globe to design a sustainable and efficient greenhouse facility on Mars.

Fifty students took on the challenge and participated in the Virtual Team Project, 43 of them from the Unite! partner universities, TU Darmstadt, Aalto University, Grenoble INP – UGA, Politecnico di Torino, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Universidade de Lisboa. Additionally, the bespoke virtual environment of INSPIRED hosted seven overseas participants (representing the USA, Brazil and Singapore), thus facilitating synchronous and asynchronous teamwork across multiple time zones and continents. A total of 20 different disciplines were represented and the students competed in six interdisciplinary teams.

The jury, consisting of professors from TU Darmstadt, Universidade de Lisboa and the seventh Unite! partner, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, were very impressed by all proposed “Extraterrestrial Greenhouse” concepts. After much deliberation, they chose Team 1 “Amaltheia” as the winning team:

Arda Karaşahin, Politecnico di Torino, Engineering & Management

Daniela Cuffs, University of Lisbon, Biochemistry

Jan Scherff, TUDa, Mechanical and Process Engineering

Louis Ebermann, TUDa, Mechanical and Process Engineering

Marie Neumann, TUDa, Materials Science

Marwan Kaufmann, TUDa, Biomolecular Engineering

Pia Lenhardt, TUDa, Mechanical and Process Engineering

Prerthan Munireternam, National University of Singapore, Computer Science & Physics

(Team mentor: Leslie Hirsch)


Video INSPIRED 2021 Extraterrestrial Greenhouse


For questions about INSPIRED, feel free to contact the coordinators:

Agata Staniek, Ph.D.,

Maik Mendler, M.Sc.,

About Unite!

Alongside TU Darmstadt as the coordinator,Unite! (University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering) also includes Aalto University (Finland), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Grenoble Institute of Technology (France), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain) and Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal).

The seven partner universities aim to use the European University to create a trans-European campus for students and researchers with the involvement of regions and companies. The partners have a total of 167,000 students, already cooperate closely in more than 80 EU projects and have exchanged more than 2,000 students in the past five years. The alliance has set itself the goal of combining courses for the benefit of students, breaking down existing technical and administrative hurdles, and thus significantly increasing student mobility. Research will also benefit from the conditions created for larger and easier cooperation, which will strengthen the competitiveness of the European Higher Education Area overall.