Nuclear Engineering & Facility Safety

Dr. Melanie Mbah

Research Coordinator for Transdisciplinary Studies

Special Expertise

Research and consulting on transdisciplinarity (especially formats of transdisciplinary research, such as real-world labs and evaluation of transdisciplinary projects), participation in decision-making processes (governance), acceptability, societal learning processes (including organizational learning), and knowledge integration and transfer, as well as expertise in qualitative and quantitative social research methods. Her research focuses on the topics of radioactive waste management and energy and heat transition.

Key Projects

  • tdAcademy: Research on innovative formats, development of offerings in the form of online seminars and continuing education courses
  • TRANSENS: Research on spatial effects and governance in relation to participation in the waste management system and the design of a repository site as well as conceptual and implementing cooperation in the interim evaluation and reflection of the project.
  • HErüber: Preparation of a case study on challenges and success factors of cross-border public participation in the Swiss sectoral plan procedure for deep geological repositories and preparation of two regional studies on requirements for cross-border public participation in the site selection procedure, firstly on France and secondly on Austria.
  • ENSURE II: transdisciplinary research on acceptability criteria and selection of regionally adapted participation formats using the example of the energy transition region of Steinburg County (Schleswig-Holstein)
  • EmPowerPlan: reflexive-evaluative project support and conceptual contribution to the development of a participation approach for the application of the StEmp tool in practice
  • GECKO: Preparation of a case study on communication and participation in the geothermal projects in Staufen (D) and St. Gallen (CH) in comparison as well as advisory and reflexive-evaluative support of the project

Professional Training and Career

  • Studies of geography with minor subjects political science and public law at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg (2002-2008)
  • Freelancer at the Agenda Office of the City of Heidelberg (project support and coordination as well as public relations in the One-World sector and education for sustainable development) (2007-2008)
  • Research assistant at the Institute of Geography at the University of Heidelberg (project coordinator Knowledge & Space) (2008-2009)
  • Research associate at the Institute of Geography and Geoecology II of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) (2009-2014) with PhD in Geography (2014)
  • Research associate at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) with focus on repository governance, participation, transdisciplinarity, and transformative sustainability research (2014-2018)
  • At Oeko-Institut e.V. since December 2018 as senior researcher.
  • Since 2022 Research Coordinator for Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research (short version: Transdisciplinarity Studies)

Language Skills

  • English (business fluent)
  • French (basic knowledge)


Dr. Melanie Mbah