Structural Research

The Institute Civil and Environmental Engineering concists of the following structural research areas:

Solid structures and concrete engineering - Danièle Waldmann

The main focus is the analysis of structural elements, the sustainable and economical use of all kinds of resources and the establishment of a center of expertise for the technological requirements of industrial and public actors. In the field of structural engineering the group designs and builds complex structural elements on the basis of concrete satisfying defined criteria, predicted in safety or serviceability or performance. Furthermore, in the field of characterisation of construction materials, the structures and properties of materials by mechanical testing and thermal and acoustic analysis is analysed.

Danièle Waldmann

Steel and Composite Structures and the ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel and Façade Engineering - Christoph Odenbreit

The composite construction in steel and concrete in civil structural engineering combines steel elements and reinforced concrete in a hybrid manner. A typical example is the steel beam, which supports the concrete slab. Beam and slab are force-fit connected, so that both elements act together as one element, the “composite beam”. The same principle is valid for composite columns and composite slabs. Multistorey buildings, highrise buildings and bridges can be built in this composite construction method.
The target is the optimization of the building’s structure in a holistic way, with regard to a minimized building material consumption, an efficient building construction- and later disassembling process, reduced grey energy amount and enhanced sustainability.

The ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel and Façade Engineering (AMCFE) is a cooperation of ArcelorMittal and the University of Luxembourg for education, research and consultancy with focus on façade systems for steel-intensive solutions.

The current research topics at the “ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel and Façade Engineering” and the “Steel and Composite Research Group” are novel composite slab systems, enhanced composite connections for conventional and newly developed beam systems, anchorage systems for the transfer of high loads between steel and concrete and the enabling of composite structures for an easy dismantling process as well as for a circular economy.

Christoph Odenbreit


Structural Engineering and Composite Structures - Markus Schäfer

Efficient structural elements, such as hybrid and composite systems, are developed. The advantages of slim-constructions with large spans consist in the economy of this structures, the reduction in the demand for building materials, gain of floor space and the reduction of the building volume. Therefore, the cost reduction includes construction and maintenance costs. Research is about:

  • Analysis of mechanical behaviour and determination of design models
  • Development of construction details concerning requirements of structural design and building site execution
  • Interdisciplinary activities including building materials and building physics
  • Sustainability and re-use

The decision to realise a project with a certain type of construction (steel, concrete, composite, prefabrication etc.) is not only defined by architectural and statical requirements, it also depends on the construction methods. Quite often the execution method becomes a key-role in the decision-making process. Anyway, the execution on the building site is closely connected to the economy of construction. A reliable construction schedule is also essential for the successful operation of a building site. Therefore, the optimisation of planning procedures and the building site organisation are a main focus in our research.


Markus Schäfer

structural engineering

Foundation engineering and soil mechanics - Stefan Van Baars

The research program for the research into Foundation engineering & Soil mechanics consists of four research fields:

  • 1) Foundation engineering: The focus is on two themes: I. The bearing capacity of both shallow and pile foundations, and II. The influence of fatique on cyclic loaded foundations
  • 2) Soil dynamics: Since the gap between theory and practice is in this research field very large, we study and improve the prediction of wave propagation in the ground.
  • 3) Geohazards and risks:The largest risks and causes of failure in civil engineering, are linked to geotechnical aspects, therefore real geotechnical failure cases are studied.
  • 4) Constitutive modelling: Due to the high importance of numerical modelling in foundation engineering and soil mechanics, we develop new constitutive models of geomaterials in order to support the three research fields mentioned above

Stefan Van Baars

Structural Analysis - Andreas Zilian

The research team has its focus on the general safety and stability of structures in civil and mechanical engineering. The spectrum ranges from investigations of small material test specimens over partial construction components and to whole buildings including static and dynamic interaction with the surrounding environment (soil, wind, water). The main research areas are therefore in the fields of Mechanics of Solids and Fluids, Continuum Mechanics, Coupled Systems & Multi-field Problems with extended expertise in Analytical and Computational Mechanics including advanced predictive and data-driven models (multi-physics, fluid-structure interaction) and approximation methods (FEM, XFEM, mesh-free methods, space-time finite elements).

  • Static and dynamic response of slender structures under contact
  • Porous media and porous media flow, species transport
  • Structural dynamics, excitation phenomena, flow-induced vibrations
  • Constitutive modelling of construction materials, phase transitions
  • Ageing of construction materials and components
  • Full-scale analysis of civil engineering constructions

Andreas Zilian

Fig. 1. Frictional contact between beams with circular cross-section.

Fig 1. Multiple length scales in poroelastic problems.

Fig. 1. Evolution of hydration degree for fresh concrete mix - onset of setting and associated rheology.

Fig 1. Stress in concrete and steel reinforcements during flexural beam test after 6 years of sustained load.

Supply engineering and energy optimisation of buildings - Frank Scholzen

  • Technical building installations : Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning
  • Low-Tech energy concepts for buildings based on passive ventilation and cooling
  • Field studies on energy and comfort in buildings
  • Energy balances and dynamic thermal simulations of buildings
  • Low-Tech energy concepts for buildings based on passive ventilation and cooling
  • Optimisation of façade and structural concepts regarding energy efficiency of buildings and comfort of the user

Frank Scholzen

Construction Management - Michael Scheuern

Construction Management, or Construction Project Management, (CM) is a professional service that uses specialised, project management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end. The purpose of CM is to control a project's time, cost and quality. CM is compatible with all project delivery systems, such as design-bid-build, design & build and Public Private Partnerships. Professional construction managers may be reserved for lengthy, large-scale, high budget undertakings (commercial real estate, transportation infrastructure, industrial facilities, and military infrastructure), called capital projects. (From wikipedia)