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The 3rd “Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge” Summer School in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University
published date:2015-09-21

The 3rd “Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge” (BCUC) summer program, with a theme of “air quality” has started on July 20, 2015. Twenty-two students, with 11 students from the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE) at Peking University (PKU) and 11 students from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU), were selected for this summer program. Two two-week courses designed for learning and exchanging were held at CBS and PKU, respectively. All courses were offered in English.

The first two weeks in Denmark were taught by Prof. Harryson Sigvald, from Copenhagen Business School, and Profs. Bey Niki and Birkved Morten, from Technical University of Denmark. The first week of the course was based on the business concept of Know-who and Know-how. In order to better understand the concept, two case studies based on Tesla Motors and InnoVentum, a hybrid wind-solar power company in Sweden, were conducted, including site visits, research on both companies and detailed discussions. The second week of the course focused on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), from theoretical basis to application. Through teaching in class, group discussion and presentation, as well as reading significant amount of related literature, students have deepened the understanding of the course content, in a short term.


【Figure 1】Visit InnoVentum new energy company in Sweden

The second two-week course was held in Beijing. All related courses were carefully designed by Prof. Mei Zheng, from the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at Peking University. The content of the course included the Chinese environmental management, air pollution and control, the interaction between atmosphere and ocean, global climate change, environmental economics, and environmental protection industry practice. Professors from Peking University, Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, and business representatives of Hebei Sailhero Environmental Protection Hi-tech, Ltd. participated in teaching, who gave multi-perspective views on environmental problems and discussed major challenges faced by China. The course also focused on combining theoretical knowledge and field trips. Therefore, several site visits were planned which include the weather forecasting system in Huafeng Meteorological Media Group, China Meteorological Administration, Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry in Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, and Beijing SDL Technology Co., Ltd. Students were inspired and learned to form innovative ideas to solve environmental problems. 

【Figure 2】Visit weather forecasting system in Huafeng Meteorological Media Group, China Meteorological Administration

Besides, as a cooperation between two capital cities in China and Denmark, the BCUC project also received official support from the Chinese and Denmark Embassy. On July 21, 2015, Prof. Mei Zheng visited the Chinese Embassy in Denmark, and met with science counsellor Mr. Tong Wei, educational secretary Mr. Zhang Yun and technological secretary Mr. Chen Dechun. The officials of the embassy expressed their support for this project and provided a number of helpful suggestions, such as considering more site visits to the wind energy and waste treatment facilities in the future in Denmark so that students can be beneficial from the rich experience of Denmark in advanced technology. On August 12, 2015, Chinese-Danish students and teachers visited the Royal Danish Embassy in Beijing, who received enthusiastic reception by Economic and Cultural Affairs counsellor Mr. Yan Maishan and the senior economic officials Mr. Dong Yirong. Cooperation in the areas of economy, energy and environmental protection between China and Denmark were introduced to our team.

【Figure 3】Prof. Mei Zheng visited the Chinese Embassy in Denmark.

After useful interdisciplinary and cross cultural discussions, students were divided into groups and gave oral presentations based on their understanding of the market of environmental products and technology, and discussed constructive plans of how to open the China and Danish market for environmental friendly products. Furthermore, students showed their understanding of applications to LCA in product development, environmental impact assessment, new markets and green building, as well as other aspects of opportunities and challenges. Our students tried to provide unique insights about the main problems and solutions of air pollution in China. Besides learnings and scientific exchange, students from two countries forged a profound and unforgettable friendship.
【Figure 4】The 3rd “ Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge” Summer school

The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE), Peking University hosts the 3rd “Beijing-Copenhagen Urban Challenge” (BCUC) summer school in 2015, together with Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Technical University of Denmark (DTU). It was first launched in 2013 with an initial purpose of connecting three top universities both in Beijing and Copenhagen to create a network addressing various urban problems. The theme in 2015 is air quality. This project aims to help students broaden their knowledge, gain international experience and deepen their understanding of environmental problems. This course is offered in English, with the first two-week course held in Copenhagen and the second two-week course held in Beijing. Introduction about the program in Chinese can be found on the department website (, including the 2015 Student Manual ( Please feel welcome to download the Manual, which has the detailed information of lectures, instructors, and students.