Digital twins in civil engineering

Background and motivation

Digital twins constitute a promising technology that lies at the core of emerging trends within Industry 4.0, such as cyber-physical systems and the Internet-of-Everything. The civil engineering community has been showing increasing interest in adopting digital twins for operation and management purposes, e.g. within the framework of structural health monitoring (SHM). In particular, SHM stands to benefit from the enhanced predictive capabilities of digital twins, which yield richer information on structural conditions than conventional models. However, while the digital twin concept has comprehensively been investigated in research, adapting state-of-the-art digital twins to engineering practice is still hardly straightforward.

Project goals

This cooperation between MKP GmbH and the Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction aims to bring forward the implementation of digital twin concepts into engineering practice. Closely related to digital twin technologies, the fields of construction robotics, artificial intelligence, intelligent sensor systems, and digital models will be considered. Special focus will be given to digital-twin-based monitoring of civil infrastructure. The digital twin solutions proposed in this cooperation will be validated at civil infrastructure monitored by MKP GmbH. An essential part of this cooperation is the support of young researchers. For example, to gain insights into engineering practice at an early career stage, students are encouraged to conduct Bachelor or Master theses together with MKP GmbH as an industrial partner.

Project partner

  • MKP GmbH


Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Hamburg University of Technology
Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction
Blohmstraße 15
21079 Hamburg
Email: kay.smarsly(at)tuhh(dot)de

Dipl.-Ing. Oliver Hahn
Katharinenstraße 4
20457 Hamburg