Main Theme

Applied Geosciences

in a Modern Society

– Acting responsibly for a sustainable future –



What is the IGSC 2020?

The IGSC is the International Student Geosciences Conference, organised and led by students. It is  organised for students from various fields within Geosciences and related fields. The IGSC will take place in Aachen from July 6 – 10, 2020 and will be the 9th edition of this conference. Since its beginnings in 2010 in Bucharest, the IGSC has been organised in various countries and by several students of different nationalities. After Berlin in 2013, the honor comes back to Germany to the city of Aachen, a wonderful opportunity in a perfect Central European location. Uppsala, Sweden, the home for 2019’s event, is where the journey of the IGSC 2020 began. Our mission, to keep delivering science and knowledge to our fellow colleagues, the students, is the central point of this event.

What is the aim of the IGSC 2020?

The aim of the IGSC 2020 is to provide a platform for students at all levels to present their current research and thesis work to other students from around the world, scientists from different universities, research institutes, industry representatives, and sponsors. This will be achieved by the students through oral and poster presentations for the present audience. With this opportunity, students will have an impact on the Geoscience community, can exchange ideas, enhance their knowledge and expand their professional network.

Keynote speeches will be organized around the themes of the IGSC 2020 to provide students with a broader insight of these fields and to critically judge current developments in science. In addition, technical and soft skills workshops will be led by leaders from the industry and academia to provide students with the opportunity of gaining practical skills and hands-on experience in current trending Geoscience topics. Students will strengthen and expand their speaking and presenting skills which are essentially in today´s world.

Aachen and its Surroundings

The city of Aachen is located in western Germany, right at the border to the Netherlands and Belgium. It is Germany’s westernmost city and is located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, about 60 km west of the city of Cologne. Founded by the order of Charlemagne, a total of 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned. The central position of the city within Europe facilitates the arrival of potential visitors seeking for modes of transportation; from several air terminals around the area, to trains and buses, Aachen is reachable in several ways.

The city is located within the Rhineland, one of the current coal mining areas of Germany, as well as it sits next to a well known Zn-Pb ore mineralization. The city also boarders the Eifel Mountains, a former and still active volcanic area. Additionally, the area is known for one of the best varieties of wine in the hole European Union.

Main Themes of the Conference


  • Energy is existent in various forms. Let it be chemical energy from burning fuels to create electrical energy, mechanical energy or heat energy. Or let it be radiant energy of the sun or the kinetic energy of the wind to produce electrical energy. Or let it be thermal energy from below the surface for direct use or to convert it into electrical energy. 
  • Energy is omnipresent and for our ever growing society and ever growing energy demand, an energy transition is necessary to reduce the amount of energy produced from fossil fuels to an increase in the amount of energy produced from renewables. But one question remains: during the time of the transition, can we optimize the extraction of fossil fuels and reduce the emissions when producing and consuming them?


  • Numerous debates about our environment are currently ongoing. But what can we actually do? How can reduce the impact humans have on the environment and single ecosystems by polluting the atmosphere, the oceans and our soils? How can we sustainably extract resources from earth, reduce our footprint (i.e. sustainable mining), and ensure water for future generations?
  • To mitigate the consequences from human action, we need innovative ideas by bright minds that can be transferred into the real world to make a change. Even simple approaches can be the solution to complex problems, and it all starts from how can everyone do something.


  • Science solves the mysteries of our world but how can we apply them? Engineering is a necessary area of expertise that brings solution to many problems in our modern day society, especially when we need more efficient and more economically viable technologies. How can we pair science and engineering in favour of our living needs? How can we keep developing avant-garde technology without the aid of engineering? For accessible energy and resources engineering is a pillar of what will be geosciences now and in the years to come. Join us in the discovery of what new trends, ideas and projects are on the move to make our lives easier.


  • Do you use a car? Do you use a smartphone? Then, you should be aware of the tons of natural resources that this final products require. But, how will we cope with the increasing demands of new and modern needs, for example electric cars? What types of resources do we have, for example Rare Earth Elements, and where can we explore and produce them? What is the current exploration front including deep sea mining? Raw materials become more important as strategic resources as you read this, so how can we start planning and learning to be prepared for reduced findings and reserves? Come with us during this day to keep up to date of new key ideas developing from universities.   
  • And renewable resources? Our society is not only about consumption but of recycling, and there are many projects revolving on how to exploit resources that we already have used. We have to start making common language the reuse of materials already at our hand. Lets, therefore, also embark in the knowledge of what alternatives we have today, and what we could have tomorrow.

RWTH Aachen University

The University

With more than 45,000 students, RWTH Aachen University is the biggest technical university in Germany. The university was established in 1870 is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2020.

More than 150 different courses of studies are being taught at RWTH Aachen University of which most of them have a technical focus. Around 10,000 international students are enrolled in different degree programmes. As of December 31st, 2018, the RWTH had 564 professors and 5,500 people employed as academic staff.

The RWTH consists of 9 faculties, 260 institutes, 1 Graduate School, 2 Clusters of Excellence. RWTH Aachen University has received top ranking positions in various university rankings over the last couple years and is considered to be one of Germany’s best technical university.

150 Years of RWTH in 2020

RWTH Aachen University was founded in the  year 1870, it will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2020 according to the theme “Lernen. Forschen. Machen.” (roughly translates as “Learn it. Research it. Do it.”). Join us for the IGSC to celebrate this occasion!

View of RWTH Aachen University

The Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering is split up in three different divisions:​

The faculty is unique in combining expertise from geosciences and geography, raw materials management and recycling as well as materials engineering. As a result, many of the research programs are multidisciplinary and are especially well-placed to deliver integrated courses in engineering, geosciences and environmental subjects at the interface of these disciplines.

It offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs as well as a number of PhD degrees. The faculty has a strong research record in a number of areas including materials technology and material and energy flow analysis and has received international attention. Cutting edge research underpins the content of all undergraduate and graduate programs and providing opportunities for postgraduate research in a wide range of specialties.

View of the Bergbau Building at RWTH Aachen University

Useful Information Before and During the IGSC 2020

Transportation & Connections

​As Aachen is right in the heart of Europe, there are several ways of getting here. Aachen Central Station is well-connected to the European train networks with several high-speed services and overnight trains to cities throughout the European continent. Additionally, long-distance coaches connect Aachen to various European cities.


By Train

The City of Aachen is connected to the regional and high-speed train network in Germany. There are several cross-border services to the Netherlands and Belgium (with easy connections in Brussels and Amsterdam to the Eurostar trains and the UK). Thalys trains connect Aachen to Paris in less than 3 hours and ÖBB runs an overnight train to Vienna with several easy connections to eastern Europe. DB’s train network connects Aachen with all German cities and a Flixtrain service connects Aachen with Berlin.

Getting to the IGSC by train has never been so easy before! With an Interrail ticket or standard train ticket, you not only get to see a lot of the beautiful European continent and landscape, but also travel to the IGSC 2020 in a sustainable way. See more:

For connections and offers please check:


By Coach

The City of Aachen can be reached via long distance coaches from almost 100 destinations in Europe via a direct connection. The connections span from Paris and London in the west to Vienna, Bucharest and Budapest in the East. Ticket prices vary depending on the distance but start as low as a few Euro.

By Air

In the Aachen surroundings, there are several airports offering connections to cities across the globe. Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn Airport are the closest ones. Both still require an additional roughly two-hour ride by train or coach to reach Aachen. Other airports close by are Maastricht/Aachen, Eindhoven, Liege, Brussels, and Frankfurt.

Following the main theme of the IGSC 2020, the conference organisers highly suggest not to travel to the IGSC by air. Instead, go with more sustainable options such as train or coach if it is available to you.


Transport within Aachen

As Aachen is a historical city, distances within the city center are not too big and almost everything can be reached by foot. For faster commuting through the city or to/from the central station, buses of the ASEAG can be used. A one week ticket is around 25 Euro and all buses within Aachen can be used. A single ride is 2.80 Euro.

As an additional means of transport, you can rent e-bikes or e-scooters across town.


Train passing trough a mountain village
A man riding on a bike

WiFi/WLAN access at RWTH University

There will be access to the eduroam network at the conference venue. More information for non-students to follow soon!


If you want to stay connected outside the conference or continue traveling after the conference in Germany, it may be recommended to purchase a SIM-Card if your national plan does not cover mobile internet connections in Germany/Europe. The easiest way is to purchase a prepaid SIM card at a grocery store. These offer SIM-Cards for 10-15 Euros and include for instance 10 Euros that you can spend for a package of your choice. Please be aware that since July 1st, 2017, the identity has to be verified before activation of the SIM-Card is happening. This has to be enforced according to § 111 TKG (Telecommunication Law). I case you need assistance with that, do not hesitate to contact us before or during the conference. SIM-Cards are offered in most grocery stores in Germany.

A woman making a phone call

Accommodation & Food 


A&O Hostels

Hackländerstraße 5 (close to Central Station), 52064 Aachen

Dorm Room: from 10 Euro/per night*

Single/Double Room: from 17 Euro/night*

(20-25 min by foot to venue)


Backpacker Hostel

Mauerstraße 116 (close to train station Aachen Schanz), 52064 Aachen

Dorm Room: from 25 Euro/night*

Single/Double Room: from 43 Euro/night*

(15-20 min by foot to venue)


Youth Hostel Aachen (EU-Regional Guesthouse)

Maria-Theresia-Allee 260, 52074 Aachen (outside of Aachen)

Dorm Room: from 25 Euro/night*

Single/Double Room: from 40 Euro/night*

(45 min by foot to venue)


*all prices as advertised on hostel websites, no guarantee for prices.


Around one dozen Airbnbs are located around the city center of Aachen. Most of the accommodations can fit 3 to 4 persons with a per person and per night price of about 10 to 15 Euros. The conference venue can then be reached either by bus or by foot.


Food & Bars

Grocery Stores in Aachen

There is a large variety of grocery stores in Aachen. For more details, see map.


The Pontstraße in Aachen (5 minutes from the main campus of the RWTH) is the food and bar street in Aachen with a variety of different flavors. This is the street where the night life in Aachen takes place and where you can enjoy a beer or two after a long conference day.

During the conference

Snacks will be served in coffee breaks during the conference and lunch will be provided for the participants during the conference days and the field trips.

View of a bedroom
A breakfast table
People at a concert