Free University of Brussels – Belgium

Chair holder : Prof. Dr. Luc Hens
Chair title : Human Ecology
Date created : 1990

Address: Human Ecology Department - Free University of Brussels Laarbeeklaan 103, B - 1090 Brussels - BELGIUM
Telephone: +(32-2) 477 42 81
Fax: +(32-2) 477 49 64
Web site:

The Free University of Brussels established the first Ecotechnie chair in 1993. The European Postgraduate Ecotechnie Program was developed the same year by the Chair in collaboration with several other European universities. In 1998, the Ecotechnie Program became a part of the Free University of Brussels’ Master’s in Human Ecology. The curriculum of the Master’s Program is designed to reflect current thinking on Human Ecology and Sustainable Development. It provides an integrated framework for studies on the interaction between mankind and the environment, with emphasis on the study of individuals, societies, populations and institutions. The program also aims at stimulating students to think about the role of man in nature: his impact, responsibilities and the means by which societies around the world can manage resources in a sustainable manner.

By the year 2001, more than 200 students from about 50 countries graduated with the Master’s degree in Human Ecology. Research activities promoted by the Ecotechnie Chair within the Human Ecology Department focus on sustainable development, using a strong interdisciplinary approach. Over the years, the Department has built up expertise on environmental management instruments, such as Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Care Systems and Life-Cycle Assessments. Courses given in the Master’s Program include Socio-Geographic Analysis, Environmetrics, Environmental Ethics, International Environmental Policy and Law, Environment and Development, Toxicology, Human Ecology, Ecology and Industry, Epidemiology, Environmental Decision-Making.

The Chair, as President for the Tempus Program in the Ecotechnie Network, collaborates with a number of institutions:
Universidad Mayor de San Simón (Bolivia), University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Friedrich Schiller University (Germany) University Attila Joszef (Hungary), University Eotvos Lorand (Hungary), University of Firenze (Italy), University of Bucharest (Romania), Universidad Autónoma and the Universidad Complutense (Spain).