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Research focus area “Civil infrastructure systems”

Spokesperson: Professor Kay Smarsly, kay.smarsly(at)

Deputy Spokesperson: Professor Marcus Rutner, marcus.rutner(at)

Civil infrastructure systems form the backbone of our society and represent vulnerable and safety-relevant structures designed to fulfill critical operations, such as facilitating commute across natural impediments or protecting and managing traffic. Main challenges associated with maintenance and operation of civil infrastructure systems are related to structural deterioration, life-cycle assessment, adaptation to climate change as well as to digitalization and automation of construction processes. The research focus area “Civil infrastructure systems” aims to coordinate basic and applied research in an attempt to advance new methods and technologies that are essential to solve the aforementioned challenges. The research focus area is a working group of TUHH professors as well as associated members of partner universities. The goal is to bring together researchers and practitioners in an international network of excellence, to initiate coordinated research projects. The members and associated members of the research focus area bring in expertise in a broad wealth of areas to be applied to civil infrastructure systems, such as construction robotics, digital twinning, building information modeling, Internet of Things technologies, smart sensor systems, and additive manufacturing, computational mechanics, structural dynamics, and isogeometric analysis.

Current research topics covered by the research focus area include, but are not limited to

  • Smart infrastructure
  • Cognitive buildings
  • Adaptive structures
  • Digital roads
  • Innovative discretization schemes in computational mechanics
  • BIM/CAD-integrated design and analysis

Please find below the TUHH research field the research focus area is associated with as well as the member institutes. For further information, a selection of current projects, cooperations, and publications may be found below.


Selected projects