A track within the MSc Architecture, Building and Planning

Master track Structural Engineering and Design

Structural Engineering & Design

ECTS points
Education type
Master program
2 year
Master of Science (MSc)

Structural Engineering & Design (SED) revolves around the structural aspects of the built environment. Buildings and infrastructure become more and more complex. We build higher and closer together, and we use many new materials, products and methods. How do we (literally) keep the built environment upright? How do we ensure that our buildings and infrastructure are optimally strong, rigid and stable?

It is a matter that affects everyone within our built environment. Moreover, it is an extremely current topic in our society. After all, we all want structures to be safe, also in the event of earthquakes, for example.

Topics related to the field of Structural Engineering & Design include:

  • Sustainable use of materials: construction consumes a large portion of our resources. How can we change this?
  • Digitization: housing shortages are increasing. So are labor shortages. Digitization of the related processes, from design and optimization to production and execution, leads to a better built environment.
  • Reuse of existing and aging buildings and infrastructure: how will they remain usable with potential structural interventions without excessive investments and disruptive interventions, like closures?

About this master's track
In the Structural Engineering & Design master's track, you will learn to design, schematize, calculate and assess the structures of buildings and infrastructure. You will also obtain scientific research skills, related to small- and large-scale laboratory research and analytical and numerical research. You will use additional methods, such as analytical and experimental methods, finite elements and other numerical methods, artificial intelligence, programming, parametric design, and optimization. The fields of study you will be involved in as a student of this master's track are:

  • The design of (the topology of) structures in relation to spatial building design, and the creation of new typologies, e.g. light-weight structures. All of this by using traditional and artificial intelligence (AI) techniques;
  • Applied mechanics: the response of structures and materials in terms of load effects and deformation and vibration behavior;
  • Structural behavior and properties of structures made of common and less common materials, such as concrete, steel, timber, brick, aluminum, (biobased) composites, glass, and so on.

Combining architectural and structural design
Would you like to combine architectural and structural design? Then you can follow a so-called Double Track. With this, you will graduate in both the Architectural Urban Design and Engineering (AUDE) master's track as well as in the Structural Engineering & Design (SED) track.

Structural Engineering & Design at the TU/e
At the Department of the Built Environment at TU/e, you will find all main disciplines of building design under one roof. This is one of the aspects that makes this master's program at TU/e so favorable: you study structural engineering & design in the context of other building disciplines. At other universities, the architecture/design branch is sometimes removed from the engineering disciplines, and even the structural engineers, building physicists and installation engineers may not be closely related.

In addition, there is fruitful interaction of education and scientific research. You experience this intertwining of education and research first-hand as a student. For example, in the ‘Research Project’ course you participate in concurrent scientific research, usually together with PhD students. As a result, your work may happen to be included in scientific publications. This applies also to most thesis projects.

As a student, you can use TU/e's professionally equipped Structures Laboratory. Here you conduct your own experimental research, using high-quality equipment, under the guidance of experienced lab personnel. If necessary, on impressively large structural components.

Structural engineer and designer: something for you?
The Structural Engineering & Design master's track is a versatile track, where a variety of skills can come in handy. Perhaps you are strong in (structural) design, while another student focuses on structural assessment and yet another is absorbed by research. Everything is possible and offers plenty of opportunities. In addition, are you curious and do you possess quite a bit of creativity, abstraction competences, technical interest, and spatial insight? Then this master's track is really meant for you. As a graduate in this track, you will easily find a job in an engineering company, in the (semi) government, or in the construction and contracting industry. Or you may see your master's degree as a potential preparation for an academic career and continue studying for an EngD or PhD.

You can also choose this master's track as a graduated student from a university of applied sciences (hbo). In that case, you will need to take a premaster of 30 EC before starting. 

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This program is NVAO-accredited. In the Netherlands, the NVAO assesses the internal quality assurance of universities and colleges and the quality of their programs.