About us

The Australian-German Climate & Energy College is a international Graduate College by the University of Melbourne, which seeks and maintains strong partnerships with German universities. The College offers PhD candidates the opportunity to pursue research in climate change and energy transitions at a world-class level, complemented by a six-month exchange program to broaden their horizons and expertise at a partner institution overseas.

The College ensures originality of research at the frontline of science, with students studying across overlapping areas within these four research clusters:

  1. energy systems and the requirements for a national transition towards a dominant contribution of renewable energies
  2. emission pathways and mitigation strategies including trading systems, intergenerational equity, carbon budgets and mitigation costs
  3. all aspects of the climate system itself
  4. climatic impacts on the global supply network of goods and services with a special focus on energy infrastructure


Videos about us.

An introduction to the College with its supervisors.

A video about us and a view from students in their first year.

The four research clusters

Avoiding a climate crisis, while fulfilling a steadily growing demand of energy services, is one of the most intricate challenges that humanity is facing today. The international graduate college TraCE combines excellence in climate- and energy-system research towards a quantitative risk assessment and evaluation of future mitigation and adaptation solution strategies. To this end, the international research training group will offer PhD candidates the opportunity to pursue research at a world-class level, with a strong disciplinary training in economy, physics, energy system theory, political science, and network theory, complemented by a broad, transdisciplinary perspective. Rooted in the two major industrialized countries that have recently embarked on a transition of their energy systems (“Energiewenden”), the project will directly draw from and inform the ongoing economic process and policy debate.


Cluster 1 Energy Systems: One of four research clusters will investigate the physical- and economic dynamics of the national and global energy systems, investigating the opportunities, technological challenges, implementation barriers, market design and economics of a national transition towards dominant contribution of renewable energies, focussed, but not restricted to, the examples of Australia and Germany.

Cluster 2 Mitigation Strategies: A second cluster will examine global and regional emission pathways and mitigation strategies, investigating the linking of emission trading systems, intergenerational equity, carbon budgets, mitigation costs and opportunities of different mitigation options (e.g. short-lived climate forcers).

Cluster 3 Climate Systems: The third cluster will investigate, in a probabilistic and quantitative fashion, key aspects of the climate system¸ focussing on the anthropogenic perturbations, extreme events, tipping points and multi-model uncertainty projections.

Cluster 4: Climate Impacts: Following on, the loop back onto the energy system involves the novel and innovative investigation of climatic impacts onto the global supply network of goods and services with a special focus onto energy infrastructure.

Our Seminars

Public Events

The College coordinates public lectures, such as our IPCC WG3 outreach event. These events aim to provide insights regarding key national and international science and policy issues and encourage discussion between the general public and subject experts.

Climate Conversations Lecture Series

The Climate Conversation Lecture Series are jointly organised by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute. Once a month, eminent speakers are invited to share their insights on climate policy, climate change science, and decarbonisation pathways in a seminar style setting, open to the academic community on campus and the public.

Science & Pretzels Seminars

Our small and intensive in-house format of seminars is called "Science & Pretzels". Those seminars provide a small atmosphere, where the discussion time between students and the lecturer is maximised. We generally do not advertise those events, as we try to keep them small, but other supervisors and interested folks are invited. The discussion time is primarily reserved for College PhD students, though.


Please see our events calendar of upcoming and past events.

Our Annual Reports

Annual Report 2014

Our first annual report is out. Download here.

Table of Contents:  Message from the Director | Background | Who we Are | Vision and Mission |Our Approach | Current PhD Researchers | Research Environment | International Collaboration |College Impact | Science & Pretzels | Governance | College Champions | Financial Statement

Date: 31 May 2015; Pages: 19; Credits: Jen Drysdale; Design: Martin Wainstein.