November 17, 2021 – New research project: Mobile robots

The Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (BSW) of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is funding a research project on localizing mobile robot systems. Accurate localization is required when deploying robotic systems for building inspection, enabling the robots to find their routes within the buildings. Together with the Institute of Technical Logistics at TUHH, we will validate different LiDAR systems, which generate point cloud data, with regard to the usability for building inspections.

Project website:

November 11, 2021 – New project on SARS-CoV-2 monitoring

The Corona pandemic has unveiled an ongoing need for multidisciplinary research on various aspects of the COVID-19 disease and the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We are happy to announce a new project that aims to develop a monitoring system for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. The project will be conducted together with university and industry partners. Further information may be found at the project website.

October 15, 2021 – German-Danish cooperation

50 students from Aarhus University, Denmark, have visited IDAC to learn more about our activities in smart sensing, information modeling, AI in civil engineering, and construction robotics. It was an exciting event, in which our IDAC team members have presented some live demos and have very much enjoyed the discussions with the Danish students and their supervisors. The visit has been organized by Professor Teizer of Aarhus University and by Professor Smarsly. We are looking forward to strengthen the German-Danish collaboration in the near future.

More impressions of the visit:

October 13, 2021 – New research project: Structural health monitoring

A collaborative research project entitled “IDA-KI” has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the mFUND research initiative. The total IDA-KI budget is EUR 3.9 million. IDA-KI aims to design fully automated monitoring algorithms based on AI and IoT concepts, for detecting deterioration and damage of infrastructure. The algorithms will be validated on a large-scale bridge structure that will be intentionally damaged for test purposes. Project partners are Dresden University of Technology (coordinator), MKP GmbH, and Hentschke Bau GmbH

Further information may be found at the project website.

October 1, 2021 – Welcome to our new IDAC team member

On October 1, 2021, Mr. Muhammad E. Ahmad has joined the IDAC team. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Mr. Ahmad will be working on abstract mathematical modeling of engineering systems and its application in engineering practice. We welcome Mr. Ahmad as a new PhD student in our team.

September 20, 2021 – New courses offered by IDAC

This winter semester, we will offer new modules, “Construction Robotics” and “Digitalization and Sustainability in AEC”. Because of the positive feedback to our courses newly offered in the last summer semester, we will also offer the following courses again in the upcoming winter semester: “Smart Monitoring” and “Scientific Working in Engineering”. To enroll and for further information, please visit the course websites:

September 13, 2021 – We cleaned up our environment

Today, the IDAC waste collection initiative has successfully been conducted. Our destination for cleaning up our environment was the city park in Harburg, but we already became active on our way to the park when passing the Hamburg Innovation Port, the campus, and the city center. The result is 45 kg of waste. In the name of our environment, we would like to thank all participants for their active support. It was a great event to all of us, and it was an important statement to preserve our environment!

September 11, 2021 – We are hiring

We are hiring! Want to join our team? The following positions are to be filled. For details and contact information, please follow the links below.

September 9, 2021 – International XAICE workshop

On September 9, 2021, the Fourth German-Greek Workshop on Explainable Artificial Intelligence in Civil Engineering (XAICE) took place as an event co-organized by IDAC and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. The workshop has been conducted within the scope of the DFG-funded joint research project on “Data-driven analysis models for slender structures using explainable artificial intelligence”. In a hybrid format, researchers from Greece and Germany have discussed the research status and new opportunities about how to make AI, usually being "black-box", more explainable to engineers.

September 6, 2021 – DFG Mercator Fellow

We warmly welcome Professor Manolis, who joins the IDAC team as a DFG Mercator Fellow within a research stay. Dr. Manolis is a professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He will bring international expertise and will increase the visibility of our DFG project “Resilient infrastructure based on cognitive buildings”. The project has been initiated out of a German-Greek cooperation, also funded by DFG, entitled “Data-driven analysis models for slender structures using explainable artificial intelligence”. Interested in working in the project as a hiwi student? Contact kosmas.dragos(at)

August 21, 2021 – New job opening: Systems engineer

We are seeking a systems engineer for our team, to be employed in a full-time permanent position.

Duties include, but are not limited to, setup and development of the institute's IT infrastructure, maintenance of video and web conferencing systems, network management, development of software components, programming of embedded systems and intelligent sensors, technical support in research and teaching, data protection and IT security advisory as well as planning, tendering, purchasing, configuring, and operation of large infrastructure systems, such as robotic systems.

Apply here by September 17, 2021:

August 20, 2021 – IDAC waste collection initiative

Littering and environmental pollution are critical issues particularly in our cities. To preserve our nature and our neighborhood in Hamburg, IDAC is organizing a waste collection initiative. Everyone is welcomre to join. For free, every participant will get a modern “IDAC” high-visibility vest that can be kept after the event. Our initiative will be part of the City of Hamburg's campaign “Hamburg räumt auf!”. We will meet on September 13, 2021, at 3:30 pm, at the HIPOne building, and we will start at 4:00 pm. The campaign will be performed in strict compliance with the current Covid-19 restrictions and hygiene rules.

For joining the initiative, please send an email to our IDAC administrative manager Ms. Schütte (svea.schuette(at) by August 24, 12:00 pm. We are looking forward to a great afternoon of caring for our environment with you!

August 16, 2021 – We welcome our new IDAC team member

Mr. Jan Stührenberg has joined the IDAC team on August 16, 2021. As a PhD student, Mr. Stührenberg will be working on robotics, mechatronics, sensor/actuator systems, and embedded systems. Mr. Stührenberg will support us in research, in teaching, and in setting up our new labs. Welcome to the team!

July 20, 2021 – "Smart Monitoring" contest

It is our great pleasure to announce the winners of the 7th “SMART MONITORING CONTEST”, hosted by IDAC. The contest was initiated by Professor Smarsly in 2013 and took place this year, for the first time, at Hamburg University of Technology. Within this year’s contest, students of IDAC’s “Smart Monitoring” course have designed intelligent wireless sensor systems to automatically analyze the condition of bridges and buildings, which have been tested at Köhlbrand Bridge (or “smartBRIDGE”). The two groups with the best sensor systems have been honored with vouchers of a large e-commerce company. The following group members have received their prizes within the scope of the awards ceremony, in the foreground from left to right: Clea Kummert, Layla Raig (in the laptop), Marike Bornholdt, and Miriam Sonnak. Congratulations!

July 15, 2021 – We welcome a new IDAC team member

Mr. Carlos Federico Chillón Geck has joined the IDAC team on July 15, 2021. As a PhD student, Mr. Chillón Geck will be working on multi-agent-based sensor/actuator systems for intelligent facades. The project is a sub project to the joint research project "BioFass" ("Biologically inspired facades based on multi-agent technology and swarm intelligence"), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the program "Biologization of Technology".

July 7, 2021 – Cooperation with BAM

We are happy to announce a cooperation with the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM). Together with BAM Division 8.1 (Sensors, Measurement and Testing Methods), led by Dr. Bartholmai, we will work on intelligent material. Intelligent material is enhanced with miniaturized sensors and actuators, able to analyze its own condition, and to communicate with computer systems and with human individuals. Within the partnership, Mr. Johann, an expert of integrated sensors and a member of BAM Division 8.1, has started working on his PhD thesis at IDAC as an external PhD student. Welcome to the team! Website at BAM, project website.

July 1, 2021 – Welcome to our new team member

On July 1, 2021, Mr. Mohamed Kamal joins the IDAC team. As a PhD student, Mr. Kamal will be working on semantic modeling of additive manufacturing processes of metal structures, which is a subproject to the joint research project "ODE_AM", funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the MaterialDigital program. Project details may be found here.

June 24, 2021 – "Dafmon" closure meeting

This week, the closure meeting of the Dafmon project took place in digital form, organized together with our project partner MKP GmbH. Dafmon has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the mFUND program. Within Dafmon, an intelligent sensor concept has been implemented and successfully tested at bridges, which allows sensors to self-detect sensor faults and miscalibrations. As a result, sensor systems become more reliable and the assessment of engineering structures becomes more efficient. Follow-on projects are envisaged.

June 20, 2021 – New DFG priority program on digitalization

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has established the priority program SPP 2388 entitled "Hundred plus - Extending the Lifetime of Complex Structures through Intelligent Digitalization". The priority program has been initiated by Professor Marx (coordinator, Dresden), Professor Smarsly (Hamburg), Professor Geißler (Berlin), Professor Klemt-Albert (Hannover), and Professor Reiterer (Freiburg). The priority program will receive EUR 7.2 million for the first three-year funding period and will focus on lifetime extension of complex structures through intelligent digitalization. Proposals for subprojects may be submitted until October 29, 2021. DFG announcement (in German): PDF/website; article TU Dresden (in German): PDF/website; article Bauingenieur 24 (in German): PDF/website.

June 17, 2021 – New research project: Intelligent facades

A collaborative research project entitled “BioFass” has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). "BioFass" is biologically inspired in a twofold manner and pursues two corresponding goals, (i) the design of self-regulating façades, adapting the properties of the human skin, and (ii) the design of an intelligent sensor/actuator system, biologically inspired by emergent phenomena observed in nature ("swarm intelligence"), aiming to detect façade conditions and pro-actively trigger irrigation. Project partners are the Finger Institute at Bauhaus University Weimar and Fuchs Systembau GmbH.

Further information may be found at the project website.

June 4, 2021 – New hiwi jobs

The Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction offers attractive hiwi positions in different research areas. We are part of the School of Civil Engineering, but our research is also closely related to robotics, computer science, and mathematics. Therefore, the open positions are not restricted to students of the School of Civil Engineering. We currently offer exciting hiwi positions in the areas of construction robotics, building information modeling, artificial intelligence, geomatics/laser scanning, anstract mathematical modeling. Click here for details.

May 12, 2021 – New job opening – Mathematician wanted

The IDAC team is seeking candidates in the area of "abstract modeling of engineering systems". Main tasks include mathematical modeling of intelligent sensor systems and systems for structural health monitoring (SHM) as well as formal knowledge representation and creation of conceptual/semantic models. The topic is flexible and large portions of the work may be defined in accordance with the interests and expertise of the successful candidate. The initial duration of 2 years can be extended.

April 29, 2021 – New job opening in the areas of robotics and AI

Interested in joining our team to establish the affinity area of "robotics and artificial intelligence in construction"? We are seeking a PhD student or post doc (full time, 4 years). The topic is flexible and you will have the chance to define details of your work areas in accordance with your interests and expertise.

April 28, 2021 – Successful doctoral defense of Mr. Kölzer

Congratulations to our senior engineer Mr. Kölzer for successfully defending his doctoral thesis! His thesis is entitled "The impact of digitalization on work processes on construction sites". Examiners were Professor Schmidt-Döhl (mentor), Professor Smarsly, and Professor Mondino. Professor Rombach was chair of the examination board. As soon as he has received the doctoral certificate, Mr. Kölzer will be allowed to officially hold the doctoral degree.

April 1, 2021 – Welcome onboard to our new IDAC team members

We welcome onboard our new IDAC team members Svea Schütte (office assistant), Florian Brix (systems engineer), and Thomas Kölzer (senior engineer), and we are looking forward to working together to setting up the institute and beyond. Congratulations on joining our team!

March 24, 2021 – New research project: Additive manufacturing of metal structures

A new research project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has been approved. The project aims to render additive manufacturing techniques and processes of metal structures more robust and efficient. The project partners are the Material Research and Testing Institute (Weimar, Germany), Ilmenau University of Technology (Ilmenau, Germany), and Fraunhofer Institute for Casting, Composite and Processing Technology (Augsburg, Germany). Further information may be found at the project website.

We are seeking a PhD student or a post doc to work in this project. If you have studied computer science or if you are a civil engineer interested in computer science, please apply here (job posting, in German).

March 5, 2021 – Three new courses offered by IDAC

This summer semester, we will offer three new modules. Each module features hands-on project work, ranging from digital modeling to intelligent sensors with lab tests and on-site experiments. Important note: Because the courses are newly offered, they are not yet listed in Stud.IP. You need to enroll by email. You will find the email contacts at the following course websites. Due to the individual supervision and the limited number of sensor sets, enrollment is limited.

March 1, 2021 – A new DFG-funded project has been launched

IDAC receives a 3-year grant by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to construct resilient infrastructure based on physics-based models embedded into intelligent sensors, following the principles of cognitive buildings. The project has started today. Within this project, Professor Manolis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) has been awarded the prestigious title “Mercator Fellow” to support the project. Details may be found at the project website.

  • A list of IDAC research projects may be found here.

March 1, 2021 – A new DFG-funded project has been launched

A promising new project, funded for 3 years by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has been launched to develop an explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) concept to advance fault-tolerant sensor networks in smart cities. A novelty will be a strong mathematical formulation of a deep learning concept proposed for distributedly embedding convolutional neural networks in wireless sensor networks. Details may be found at the project website.

  • A list of IDAC research projects may be found here.

March 1, 2021 – IDAC's Instagram and Twitter account activated

It is our pleasure to announce the activation of our Instagram (@idac_tuhh) and Twitter (@IDAC_TUHH) accounts.

March 1, 2021 – IDAC websites are online

The websites are online at and, respectively. Some websites are bilingual, with English the main language. The websites will be continuously updated and expanded. Not all pages have been completed yet. We are working on it, looking forward to receiving your suggestions.

March 1, 2021 – The institute starts operations

With Professor Smarsly moving from Bauhaus University Weimar to Hamburg University of Technology, the new Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction (IDAC) starts operations in the Hamburg Innovation Port on March 1, 2021. The IDAC team is looking forward to taking the new opportunities in research, teaching, and industrial practice. For suggestions and questions, please contact us. You may find your contact persons here.