Sustainable Design Opportunities & Events

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  • workshops

    Workshops at Illinois Makerslab

    Current workshops at the Makerlab. Join us at the Makerlab to turn ideas into objects. Besides our open hours,  you can sign up for a variety of workshops below. If these workshops or the times don’t work for you, you can even request a private event.  Don't forget to sign up for our Newsletter to stay up to date!  

  • iSee Waste Reduction Challenge

    Sustainability Week Oct. 18-22

    Click for a roundup of October events hosted or co-hosted by iSEE and highlights from the Student Sustainability Summit, hosted by the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) and the Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) and co-hosted by other student organizations:

  • quad

    Rescheduled Green Quad Day

    Join us on the Quad to meet a host of student- and community-led sustainability groups, from Red Bison and Illini Urban Farmers to the Prairie Rivers Network and Karma Trade! You can also check out past projects that the Student Sustainability Committee has funded through the Illinois Green Fund! This event is part of the Student Sustainability Summit.10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Oct. 12 | U of I Quad

  • iSee

    'TED Talk: Eco-Edition' - A Sustainable Economy

    6 p.m. | Tuesday, Oct. 19 | Register. Explore what goes into a sustainable, beneficial economy. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk by Kate Raworth, “A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow.” SWATeam Clerk Alexa Smith, senior in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, will then lead a guided discussion! 


  • iSee

    2021 RFP: iSEE Offers Seed Funding for Interdisciplinary Research Teams

    The Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) is announcing a call for proposals to support interdisciplinary research projects on topics related to sustainability, energy, and environment. The iSEE seed funds are available to promote research collaborations among faculty and scientists across campus that will improve their potential for attracting external support.The goal of the funding is to enable interdisciplinary research teams working in any of the five thematic areas of interest to iSEE to collect preliminary data or other information and to develop a strong proposal that can be submitted for external funding through the Institute in 2022-23.The proposal must involve applicants from at least two different disciplines and two different departments and is limited to a maximum of $30,000 for a year. The key factors that will be considered in the selection process include:Scholarly merit, innovation, and substantive interdisciplinarity of the proposed research;Need for collaboration and how well the team is suited to tackle the problem at hand;Potential impact of the proposed research initiative on the field;Potential to develop a large-scale (>$1M), externally funded research program;Productivity of the applicants and quality of their scholarship;Comprehensive plan to pursue external funding with identified opportunities which the applicants will pursue; andThe fit to at least one of iSEE’s five research themes and interest in a longer-term engagement with iSEE to develop research programs in this area.Successful applicants will be expected to submit external funding proposals related to this seed funding through iSEE in 2022-23. iSEE will provide personnel support for proposal development and post-award management for projects that receive external grants to a competitive external funding source over the course of the following year. Recipients will also work with iSEE to communicate the findings of their research, publications, and other outcomes through the Institute website on an ongoing basis. Support will be provided in the form of a research assistantship for graduate students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, postdoc time, data purchase, and/or travel.iSEE will provide administrative support for development of large proposals. Successful external funding proposals submitted through iSEE will not affect indirect cost recovery to the home department of the PI.

  • Madhu Classroom

    Environmental Leadership Program

    The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a cutting-edge program launched by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The program is designed to prepare Illinois undergraduates for leadership roles in the sustainability field.

    The ELP focuses on developing the students’ communications skills around environmental problems, mobilizing social resources, and implementing plans for sustainable change. The program also provides students with networking opportunities with leaders in various fields in the environmental domain. This will prepare students for careers in both the public and private sectors. The introduction of the ELP is one of the key educational objectives in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) 2020.

    After piloting two successful workshops in Spring 2021 focused on environmental policy and corporate sustainability, iSEE is launching the first version of the program in Spring 2022! Participants will learn about the policy-building process at the local and state levels, develop real-world environmental policies linked to the current legislative session, engage with local and state government officials, and present their policy proposals to an audience of legislative staff and decision-makers in Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.


  • Daser Experiments

    Thursday, Sept. 23: Art, Empathy, and Climate Change Online Discussion

    What role can empathy play in combating climate change? Join Cultural Programs of the NAS on Thursday, Sept. 23, at noon EDT for a conversation on Zoom with a group of scientists, artists, and filmmakers as they discuss why empathy is important for motivating individuals to take action as well as for forming effective interdisciplinary collaborations to address complex issues related to climate change. They will share approaches and tools they use that help create empathy. Featuring photographer James Balog, American University (AU) Museum at the Katzen Arts Center current exhibiting artist Diane Burko, AU professor and environmental scientist Kiho Kim, and AU professor and filmmaker Maggie Stogner. For more information and to register, click here.

  • Illinois Solar Tour

    Solar House Tour!

    10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Saturday, Sept. 25. The Illinois Energy Association's annual Solar House Tour will feature several Champaign County homeowners, including iSEE affiliate. The event includes in-person tours, outside viewings, and Zoom recordings.

  • iSee Ted Talk

    Sustainable Decision-Making, Ted-Talk Eco-Edition

    6 p.m. | Wednesday, Sept. 29 Participants will watch a prerecorded TED Talk by Catherine Mohr, "The Tradeoffs of Building Green," then join in a thought-provoking discussion led by Ann-Perry Witmer, research scientist.

  • Climate Strike

    Join the Climate Strike!

    Noon | Friday, Sept. 24 | U of I Quad . Students for Environmental Concerns (SECS) is leading a climate strike on Friday to demand action on climate change! Participants will meet at the Alma Mater statue, march around the Quad and down Green Street, then reconvene for speeches at the Alma Mater. The event ties in with a Global Climate Strike organized by the youth-led group Fridays for Future to demand intersectional climate justice.

  • Upcycled Fashion Design Project Fellow

    Apps due Oct 1. Project Phoenix is an Illinois student initiative to give high school students a platform to highlight their fashion design interests and create their own upcycled clothing brands! The group offers one- to two-hour weekend workshops to teach Champaign-Urbana high school students applicable fashion and graphic design skills and provide opportunities in business and entrepreneurship. U of I students can sign up now to be a Project Fellow! 

  • Roy Scranton

    "Climate Change and the Virtues of Pessimism" | Symptoms of Crisis Series

    September 23, 7:30 PM • Levis Faculty Center | Room 108. HRI's “Symptoms of Crisis” event series launches Sept. 23 with a talk by Roy Scranton, author of "Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization." Scranton is an English professor and director of Notre Dame’s Environmental Humanities initiative. Attend in person at Levis Faculty Center or view live on YouTube at

  • Rainworks Challenge

    U.S. EPA Campus Rainworks Challenge

    Green Stormwater Infrastructure design competition for colleges and universities; Multi-disciplinary team lead from UIUC won this national competition in 2017; Cash prize to top two teams in each category. Dr. Art Schmidt  ( is willing to help serve as faculty mentor and can coordinate among interested students & faculty.

  • Origin Ventures Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership

    Fall 2021 Applications are Open for the Illinois Impact Incubator

    Apply by Sept 20. The Illinois Impact Incubator is a co-curricular incubation program for students (all majors, levels) who have a passion to develop an idea or early-stage venture focused on social or environmental impact. All types of ventures are welcome (e.g., nonprofits, social enterprises, social businesses). Includes a structured Impact Bootcamp startup curriculum with workshops, curated  resources, peer feedback, access to mentors and expert advisors. Members are eligible for seed funding and micro-grants to support stakeholder discovery, prototyping, and pilot projects. Individuals or small teams may apply. 

  • Green Town Rockford

    Green Town Rockford: Free webinar on Building Equitable & Sustainable Communities

    Thursday, September 30, 10-11:30am. The climate crisis is upon us. GreenTown Rockford will address how climate solutions and equity go hand-in-hand to create a healthy, sustainable Rockford Region for all. Topics Include: Building locally equitable and sustainable food systems; Affordable housing and net-zero developments; Energy assistance programs. Speakers: Lindy Wordlaw, Elevate, Chicago, IL ; David Pope, Oak Park Residence Corporation, Oak Park, IL ; Reverend Marvin Hightower, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Rockford, IL ; Bryant Jones, Twin Cities Relief Initiative, Minneapolis, MN

  • Environmental Leadership Program

    Environmental Leadership Program

    Interested in an environmental career? The ELP designed to prepare Illinois undergraduates for leadership roles in the sustainability field, the ELP focuses on developing students’ communications skills around environmental problems, mobilizing social resources, and implementing plans for sustainable change. In the SP 22 program, participants will learn about the policy-building process at the local and state levels, develop real-world environmental policies linked to the current legislative session, engage with local and state government officials, and present policy proposals to legislative staff and decision-makers in Springfield and Urbana-Champaign. Applications open Monday, Oct. 4. Participation is free, including travel expenses for the trip to Springfield during spring break.

  • Illinois PIRG

    Student PIRG Internships

    The University of Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Campus Action club is offering in-person and virtual internship and volunteer opportunities for students who want to learn organizing skills and make a difference in the community. The student activist group, part of a nationwide network on more than 100 campuses, works on issues like environmental protection, college affordability, and non-partisan voter registration. Recently PIRG students helped pass bans on single-use plastics in more than 17 states. Interns spend 10-15 hours a week training, recruiting volunteers, and working on projects and campaigns. Apply today!

  • Billy Almon

    Art + Design Speaker: Billy Almon, "The Process of Creating Empathetic, Restorative Futures with Biology"

    Sep 23, 2021 5:30 pm on Zoom at (register beforehand).  Billy will expose students to the concept of biomimicry and facilitate their exploration of what restorative futures look like in a world where human-led design has resulted in inequitable spaces and systems. Now more than ever, the world needs solutions that are not only sustainable, but are empathetic to the needs and circumstances of the people. Billy will share the process for creating "restorative futures" and detail an ideation process for design that is dynamic and empathetic. After the discussion, A+D students will see how biology-inspired solutions (also known as "biomimicry") can be used as a tool for creating spaces and systems that are inherently efficient and equitable for all human beings. Billy is an Astrobiofuturist who explores biology-inspired solutions to improve the human condition. View his website here

  • Campus Bike Center

    Campus Bike Center Grand Re-Opening!

    Sept 16, 4-7pm at 51 E. Gregory Dr. Enjoy activities, games, and a chance to win a free bike! UIPD will be doing an escorted ride around the block at 5 p.m. for riders who would like to join. You will also get a chance to make a basket and be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a refurbished bicycle (adult bike and a children's bike.

  • 8 to Create

    8. to CREATE

    Applications due Sept 13 for this nonprofit organization that brings all arts to the CU community by hosting art shows and receptions. We are looking for new members to join our team, allowing you to gain professional development and skills through event planning and practical art/design experience. No previous experience necessary! Apply today!

  • CU Bike Day

    Bike to School/Work Day

    Champaign County Bike to Work Day returns this semester. There will be 17 welcoming stations open between 7 and 10 a.m., with nine on the Urbana campus. Grab a snack and get some free Bike at Illinois merchandise, including a T-shirt! To get the free T-shirt, you must register and bring your bicycle! 

  • Bike light

    Light the Night

    A free bike light giveaway, will be held Sept 14 from 4-7pm at three locations: Alma Mater Plaza; Hallene Gateway; Campus Bike Center (51. E. Gregory Drive). Participants must bring their bicycles to receive the free light sets; lights will only be installed on bicycles without lights. Volunteers are needed in the afternoon and evening for three shifts. Fill out the volunteer sign-up form to assist.

  • URAP

    Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP @ UI) Applications

    The URAP@UI program offers undergraduate students with little or no research experience the opportunity to assist grad students & post-docs with their research projects. Apply by Oct 11 to join our Spring 2022 cohort.

  • the illinois club

    Illinois Club Scholarships

    Due Oct 16 at 5pm. You must be an undergraduate at UIUC, have earned at least 60 credit hours by the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester, and graduate no earlier than December 2022. A minimum GPA of 3.0 at both the time of application and winning of award is also required.

  • School of Art and Design

    Hiring Lab Assistants

    The School of Art + Design is hiring. Apply now!

  • IEJP

    Illinois Economic Justice Program (IEJP)

    App due Sept 30. IEJP is an inclusive entrepreneurship outreach initiative to support local enterprises created by women, BIPOC, veterans, and other underserved entrepreneurs. It creates opportunities for transformational learning, economic inclusion, and social impact. We anticipate a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students, including social media, web development, graphic design, multimedia, and software development.

  • CTG

    Conference Travel Grant (CTG)

    Due September 30, 2021. This grant provides undergraduate students with awards of up to $350 to subsidize costs associated with presenting their research posters, papers, or creative works at in-person and virtual professional conferences.

  • isee congress

    Fall iSee Conference: Circular Food Systems

    Oct. 26-27 | The eighth iSEE Congress will return to the topic of feeding the world: providing a safe, secure supply of food and fuel to an ever-increasing human population using agricultural practices that are ecologically sustainable and adaptable to climate change. Influential speakers and panelists will offer cutting-edge thinking about advancing the sustainability of our agriculture and food systems. Register now>>>

  • umacs

    Healthy Planet, Healthy People: 2021 UMACS Conference

    Live virtual event Sept. 23-24; registration closes Sept. 21.The Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) provides cutting-edge research and data from regional colleges and universities on policy and practice. The 2021 conference, "Healthy Planet, Healthy People: Advancing Justice in Challenging Times," focuses on recent health, social justice, and environmental challenges, including COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and climate change.

  • RSG

    Research Grant Support (RGS)

    Due October 15, 2021. This grant provides students from all disciplines with the funds necessary to conduct research or creative projects during the academic year both on and off campus (including summer terms). Awards will be up to $2,000 and are meant to cover research travel costs, living expenses incurred during academic breaks, and materials or other ancillary costs.

  • We CU Community Engaged Scholars

    Join a community of students interested in making a positive impact in the world! Whether you are already involved in service or you are interested in getting involved, We CU offers training, support, service opportunities with community partners, a chance to connect with like-minded peers and university recognition for your service. Learn more at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8. 

  • Design Illinois

    Join The New Illinois Design Newsletter

    A collaboration between FAA and the Siebel Center for Design, this newsletter features courses, opportunities, and design professionals each week. See the first week here and sign up for future newsletters here!

  • Kohler

    Kohler Hiring Sustainability and Social Impact Interns

    Kohler (located in Wisconsin, but work is hybrid) specifically reached out to our program to see if we could ask SD majors to apply!

    Sustainability Intern:  

    and Social Impact Intern: Apply now!

  • FAA Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office

    Application Open For FAA Ambassadors!

    Are you interested in helping the College of FAA recruit the next class and engage with alumni at events?  FAA Ambassadors are able expected to participate in at least 4 activities during a school year as their schedule permits. Apply by September 8 at


  • Bridge Logo

    Better Responsibility Initiative - Design for Good Earth

    The Better Responsibility Initiative - Design for Good Earth (BRIDGE) is an initiative started by Zhejiang University (ZJU), China. The 2021 initiative covers 5 design themes: Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Sustainable Consumption and Productions. Sign up here ASAP to join!

  • Campus Rainworks Challenge

    USEPA Campus Rainworks Challenge

    A design competition seeking UIUC students: EPA is pleased to launch its 10th annual green infrastructure design competition for American universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Stormwater pollution is a problem that impacts public health and water quality in communities across the country. Check out the official 2021 Campus RainWorks Challenge Competition Brief. The brief contains details on the challenge's design categories, submission requirements, and rules for participation. Registration goes until October 1, 2021.

  • Illinois Impact Incubator

    Applications Open for the Illinois Impact Incubator

    The Illinois Impact Incubator is a co-curricular incubation program for students (all majors, levels) to develop an idea or early-stage venture focused on social or environmental impact. Includes a startup curriculum with workshops, curated resources, peer feedback, access to mentors and expert advisors. Members are eligible for micro grants and seed funding. Individuals or small teams may apply. Due September 10.

  • virtual Dieline Conference (sustainable package design industry)

    Sept 14 - 15, virtual. $299 cost. Impressive lineup of speakers and a great networking opportunity for those interested in sustainable packaging, regenerative design, and learning about various sustainable agencies. 

  • Sustainable Design Welcome Event, Fri 8/20

    Fri, August 20th, 3:00 – 5:00PM. Outdoor Courtyard, north of Architecture Building

    Introductions, Design Activity, and tour the Red Oak Rain Garden. This event will take place outdoors. See your email for program details.

  • Lecture: Chemical and biological approaches for plastics upcycling

    Oct 14, 2021   12:00 - 1:00 pm  The accumulation of plastics waste in landfills and in the natural environment is creating a global pollution crisis. Moreover, current mechanical recycling approaches do not typically incentivize the reclamation of many waste plastics, and mechanical recycling is not universally applicable to all synthetic polymers. This talk will cover development efforts for selective approaches that use biological and chemical catalysis for plastics deconstruction and upcycling. Discussion and examples of techno-economic analysis and life-cycle assessment applied to chemical recycling scenarios will also be highlighted, both of which are essential tools to enable realistic solutions to this global pollution challenge.

  • Fresh Press Sustainable Papermaking Apprenticeship

    This academic year, Fresh Press, a UIUC sustainable papermaking lab run by Graphic Design Associate Prof. Eric Benson is looking to train a new crop of papermakers to help out in paid commissions and an interdisciplinary research project with the Univ. of IL. Library Conservation Lab. No experience in papermaking is necessary, but an interest in climate action and sustainability in the arts is a must! Over the past 8 years, Fresh Press has trained some amazing folks. You can see a few here! Megan Diddie, Clair Reynes, Sophia Pipathsouk, Chloe Torri,Veronica Pham. If you'd like to set up a meeting to learn more about this opportunity, please reach out to Eric Benson at

  • Renewable Energy Markets™ (REM™) Conference 2021

    The first 100 students to register are free to attend. Learn the key industry issues, players, and products that make up the green power market, clean energy space, and retail renewable market. Online Sept 27-30.

  • Alley Cropping Field Day at Memorial 4H camp demonstration farm

    Sat, August 21, 2021, 9:00 AM – 1:00. This 35 acre site features a unique partnership that illustrates annual row crop productions between paddocks of native and timber trees, as well as an innovative groundcover experiment utilizing native grasses and forbs. Come prepared to walk the site and learn the many possibilities for agroforestry and alley cropping for soil health, water quality, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, and profit diversification! Lunch included.

  • Climify — Climate Designers Podcast w/Prof. Eric Benson

    A podcast connecting climate scientists and design educators together so that we can bring climate-related projects into our classrooms.

  • iSEE Ted Talk: Energy Conservation July 27, 5:30pm

    Get Energized With iSEE’s July ‘TED Talk: Eco-Edition.’ 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Tuesday, July 27 | Register Energy conservation will be the focus for the next installment of this popular online series! Participants will watch a prerecorded TED Talk together, then take part in a guided discussion hosted by Paul Foote, Energy Specialist at University of Illinois Facilities and Services. The series is designed to unite campus and community members for a passionate, respectful, and thought-provoking dialogue about sustainability topics. 

  • UIUC Student Tour Guide job

    Undergraduate Admissions is currently seeking to hire new student representatives to serve as I STARs, our campus tour guides. The link to the application is posted on the Illinois Job Board can be found online here: The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 21st.

  • New UIUC competition: Reimagine Our Sustainable Future Challenge

    A new campuswide Sustainable Development Goal Competition invites Illinois undergraduates to submit proposals. Participants will develop a plan promoting one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to help achieve a more sustainable society. The solution could be a concept, product, business plan, event, social media platform, app, game, or organization! The deadline to register is Sept. 30, with final presentations in December. The top prize is $2,000!

  • Joint BSSD/Master of Urban Planning 4 +1 program approved

    Effective Fall 2021, BSSD students will be eligible for an accelerated 1-year MUP in Urban Planning graduate program. Catalog requirements are here and future website will be here. In fall of students' junior year, an invitation will be offered to qualified students. Contact Prof. Schneider at to discuss further!

  • Now Hiring: Student Employee in FAA College Office

    Job posting on UIUC virtual job board. $11/hour for general office help. Interested students should email their resume and cover letter to Estela Matthews at by Friday, July 9.    

  • What are you doing this summer? Let us know!

    We'd love to hear what organizations, companies, and areas you are working in or volunteering with this summer! Let us know here!

    Also, did you know FAA 398 Sustainable Design Internship is a new 0-hour course (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading)? While it doesn't earn you credit hours, it is an opportunity to notate SD-related internships on your academic experience. Check it out here.