Waste dump. Photo by Colourbox.

Sustainable development through chemical engineering education in Sri Lanka

Tuesday 29 Jun 21
by Lonnie Moldt Jørgensen


Seyed Soheil Mansouri
Associate Professor
DTU Chemical Engineering
+45 45 25 29 07

About the project

TESS is co-funded by the European Commission and is an Erasmus+ Capacity Building for Higher Education Project and is estimated to run until 2023.


The project is a collaboration between nine universities, four across Europe in Denmark, Norway, Portugal & UK and 5 in Sri Lanka.


The University of South-Eastern Norway, University of Essex, University of Nova de Lisboa and DTU, Technical University of Denmark represent the programme countries from Europe, whereas the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Moratuwa, University of Ruhuna, University of Jaffna, University of Vocational Technology and Janathakshan (GTE) Ltd are the beneficiaries from the partner country. In addition, Janathakshan (GTE) Ltd in Sri Lanka is also a partner of the project.


Read more about the TESS project.


An international collaboration between nine universities across Europe and in Sri Lanka seeks to contribute to waste management education in Sri Lanka.

According to the World Bank, the World generates 2 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, and at least 33 per cent of that is not managed in an environmentally safe manner. By 2050, global waste is expected to reach more than 3 billion tonnes, and in low-income countries, the total quantities of waste are expected to triple.

A collaboration between four European universities and five Sri Lankan universities, seeks to enhance waste management, sorting, plastic waste and municipal waste across Sri Lanka. The collaboration involves the transfer of knowledge between Europe and Sri Lanka on waste management that is a critical problem in Sri Lanka. The purpose of the project TESS (Techno-Economic-Societal Sustainable Development Training in Sri Lanka) is to deliver education and tools for societal wide reduction and utilization of waste.

“TESS will be a game changer on national level on showing how technology, economics and education together can enhance the quality of life on a nation-wide scale,” says Associate Professor Seyed Mansouri, DTU Chemical Engineering and one of the coordinators in TESS.

Digital tool education

The hallmark of the project is an agile MSc and BSc programme that will fit in with a developing economy context as well as tools for its realization.

“We will contribute to develop an MSc education in Sri Lankan universities by developing courses, workshop and familiarizing local stakeholders with Danish approaches towards sustainability - such as the ways we sort our waste in urban areas, waste to energy approaches and the central role sustainability and SDGs play in educating our engineers and also in a wider societal perspective to boost these technologies through appropriate civic behaviour,” Seyed explains and continues:

“In Denmark, waste is not something to throw away - it is a resource that has to be utilized, not only to push sustainability forward but also generates revenue for the society in terms of products and services.”

Another output will be the development of an app for nation-wide use based on some of the computer-aided methods and tools from research on resource recovery and sustainability at DTU Chemical Engineering. Specifically, the app will have the principles of waste management built into it for an easy communication and educating people on how to sort their wastes and how they can benefit economically and environmentally from this behaviour through a game-based learning approach.

“The app is intended to educate the population in Sri Lanka on how to sort their waste and move towards a more sustainable society. It will hopefully go viral within different communities in Sri Lanka and promote responsible waste management among the public, “Seyed concludes.

News and filters

Get updated on news that match your filter.