Zoltán Illés

Associate Professor

Contact information

Budapest, Nador u. 13 | 109

Languages spoken


Dr. Zoltan Illes is an accomplished Associate Professor with a distinguished career spanning various facets of environmental protection, sustainability, Circular Economy and Policy development. With a wealth of experience in academia and government service, he brings a unique perspective to environmental science and management. Dr. Illes has held several key environmental governance positions, including as Hungary's State Minister of Environmental Protection, Nature Conservation, and Water Management. He also represented the Hungarian Parliament for three terms, during which he chaired the Committee on Sustainability and Environment, shaping critical legislative initiatives.

His expertise extends beyond Hungary's borders, as he has served as an expert consultant to the European Economic and Social Committee, providing valuable insights on numerous environmental issues. Zoltan Illes is particularly interested in the intersection of digitalization and Artificial Intelligence's impact on the environment, further establishing his forward-thinking approach to sustainability.

In the academic sphere, Dr. Illes has contributed significantly as an Adjunct Professor at Gödöllõ University of Agricultural Sciences in Hungary. He also expanded his intellectual horizons as a Post-Doctoral Associate at Yale University, broadening his knowledge base and research acumen. During his career, he has made noteworthy contributions as a former Research Scientist at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. As an Advisor on Central European environmental issues at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., Zoltan Illes also served as a Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of the Hungarian Institute for Environmental Management, solidifying his commitment to environmental stewardship.

He also contributed by writing a chapter "Classification systemsin the book Chemical Risk Goverance. Moreover, his contributions include published articles and researches centered towards the topic of sustainability and circular economy.

His international engagement is exemplified by his role as a Senior Advisor to the Ambassador of the European Union in Hungary on environmental protection from 1991 to 1994. Moreover, he has directed the Hungarian Environmental Management Training Centre, providing guidance and leadership in environmental education and management. Zoltan Illes's academic portfolio is equally impressive, having lectured on Environmental Management and Policy at the University of Horticulture and Food Industry in Budapest. He has been honored as a Fulbright Scholar and a Humphrey Fellow, fostering global collaboration and knowledge exchange. His passion for teaching and sharing insights have taken him to institutions such as Duke University in Durham, N.C., and the University of North Carolina, where he served as a lecturer, leaving a lasting impact on the next generation of environmental leaders.

Zoltan Illes's multifaceted career demonstrates his dedication to environmental sustainability, academic contributions, and commitment to shaping policy for a greener and more sustainable future. His unique blend of experience and expertise makes him a valuable asset to any academic institution and environmental organization.

Office Hours: By appointment 

Vienna office: D008


PhD. Analytical Chemistry
MSc. Chemical Engineering

Courses taught by Zoltán Illés

Projects with involvement of Zoltán Illés