Department of the Built Environment

Structural Engineering and Design

The rapid evolution of the built environment involves a growing complexity of structural design activities, including aspects of material-efficiency and sustainability, durability, retrofitting of buildings, structural safety and reliability, and structural optimization. The research program Structural Engineering and Design (SED) has included these aspects in its research portfolio through the definition of corresponding research directions for its chairs, which are Innovative Structural Design (chair group ISD), Applied Mechanics (chair group AM), Steel Structures, Aluminium Structures (together forming chair group SAS), Concrete Structures, and Sustainment of Concrete Structures (together chair group CMS).

Forefront research on the mechanical behaviour, optimisation, and design of structural systems, elements, and materials, ensures a safe, functional, aesthetic and sustainable built environment.

SED contributes to the forefront of challenging technological developments. For the chair of Innovative Structural Design this applies to its research on lightweight, adaptive, or otherwise innovative structures. Examples are the computational parametric modelling and form-finding of textile structures and the design and actual construction of reinforced ice structures. In addition, the work on bio-based structural materials is worth mentioning. Further on the activities include the evaluation of the potential to transform existing buildings towards a circular economy. The chair of Applied Mechanics has a strong international reputation in the modelling of failure (plasticity, fracture, damage, phase transformations) and deformation of advanced engineering materials. The coupled modelling of the mechanical behaviour of materials with other physical processes finds relevant applications within collaborative PhD research projects on the chemical degradation of concrete sewer systems, the damage development of historical museum objects under varying climate conditions, the optimization and durability of wind turbines, and the thermal resistance of steel structures. In addition, multi-disciplinary optimization of buildings is researched via a combination of conceptual design process simulation and computing science optimisation. The research in the chairs Steel Structures and Aluminium Structures encompasses the structural behaviour and fatigue of building components and structures made from steel, aluminium, and glass. In the chair of Concrete Structures, one of the highlights is the advanced research in 3D-printing of concrete structures, besides research on the sustainable concrete and masonry structures. The research within the program has led to a substantial number of articles in high-quality scientific journals and refereed conference proceedings. The impact of the used journals is 1.41 times higher than the world average in the field. Also more than 50% of the publications have been co-authored with members from other organisations.


When visiting a museum, you don’t immediately think about all the work being done behind the scenes. A world of decay, fading colors, bended canvases and even cracked paint. Tackling these problems involves a lot of science. Because even though some paintings have been around for centuries, research into the ageing process of art works is still in its infancy. Several research groups at Eindhoven University of Technology are working to preserve our heritage, often in collaboration with major museums in the Netherlands. They use everything at their disposal to combat the metal soaps, moisture, salt and changes in temperature that cause damage to our paintings. 

Structures Laboratory

The Structures Laboratory Eindhoven is well-equipped for testing structural elements, components and systems of various materials.

Meet some of our Researchers