Department of Engineering Structures (ES) studies civil engineering structures and infrastructure. The aim is to develop resilient, smart and sustainable (infra) structures, which meet the societal demands in transportation, energy transition and sustainable reuse.
Our sections & labs:
Getting it straight: bridges are becoming circular
A large number of bridges in the Netherlands are scheduled for large-scale maintenance work or replacement. In order to minimise the effect on the environment and bring down costs researcher Wenjun Cao is working on a model to assess the potential for circularity of these bridges. This will help the Netherlands to achieve its aim of a fully Circular Economy (CE) by 2050.
Good vibrations? Not for bridges
Due to poor monitoring, many structures are not maintained properly or on time. This results in safety risks and high costs for overdue maintenance. Researcher Alice Cicirello is working on better design and monitoring tools to ensure the secure construction of structures to extend their service life.
Super asphalt lasts longer
Asphalt concrete is a great material for road surfacing purposes but it’s not always the most sustainable of options. Sandra Erkens, professor of Pavement Engineering Practice, is looking for ways of predicting and extending the lifespan of both existing and new pavement materials. Epoxy asphalt may well hold the key to more durable road surfaces. The end of October should see the start of the construction of a trial section on a Noord-Holland road to put the new super asphalt through its paces.
From concrete waste to concrete buildings
Earth’s primary resources are finite. Human inventiveness, however, isn’t. At TU Delft’s laboratories, Francesco Di Maio is working on the recycling of concrete waste. Just like the Phoenix, the mythological bird that rises from its own ashes, Di Maio wants new concrete buildings to arise from their predecessors waste. He hopes his technologies will help to transform urban economies into self-sustaining loops.
The concrete listener
Dutch concrete bridges are getting old and wrinkled. For this reason, Assistant Professor Yuguang Yang spots cracks inside concrete by listening to how sound spreads inside it. Proposing a revolutionary monitoring technique that can reduce maintenance costs and help unsticking traffic on highways.
Roots for riverbanks
The Netherlands has had an indissoluble relationship with water throughout history. Nowadays, 2400 km of waterways flowing through its veins use timber retaining walls along their banks. A more eco-friendly solution than brick or concrete but, still, not as sustainable as it could be. Civil Engineer Abhijith Kamath is researching an alternative method to use tree roots to strengthen waterways’ banks. Making Dutch channels greener in every way.
Testing a bio-based bridge
For the first time in history, a bio-based movable bridge for cyclists is tested within TU Delft’s laboratories. It was made out of flax and resins derived from plants. This structure is actually a 12-meter long prototype and it’s the first time this bio composite material is used on this scale.