School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Research Profile

What will the built environment of the future look like? What new materials or construction methods are required? How will we move in it? The range of research questions in the joint faculty for architecture and civil engineering is very extensive and includes developments in construction and building technology, transport, real estate management, urban planning, architecture and its history. Investigations into the design and construction of the built environment are located in the technical engineering sciences, while research into cultural, historical and social aspects also uses methods from the humanities and social sciences. The faculty moves in the field of tension between application-oriented research on the one hand and basic research on the other. Both areas have been represented with us in different forms for years. In total, we have worked on research projects with an annual volume of around €4 million in recent years. The trend is increasing. Our typical donors are federal and state ministries and their subordinate offices, the DFG, the European Union, foundations and other organizations as well as private industry. In-house research, in the context of national and international research networks, also has its place in our faculty.

This research forms a contribution to the profile lines of our university.

We are therefore also part of the sustainability initiative of the universities in NRW: HumboldtN

You can get the best access to the respective research projects and their actors via the website of the professorships or institutes concerned.

Research today is increasingly interdisciplinary. Due to the wide range of research activities of the faculty, we are already researching many topics in the network. These include, for example:

• Digitization in construction: from "Building Information Modeling (BIM)" to "additive manufacturing" to "Virtual and Augmented Reality"

• Numerical simulation in construction: from finite element calculations of supporting structures to dynamic building and system simulation to the simulation of fires and traffic flows

• Sustainable building: from recycling-friendly planning and building certification to the circular economy of building materials

• Infrastructure for mobility and transport: from motorways to residential routes, via roads, bridges and through tunnels, railway systems and bus lanes to bicycle lanes and sidewalks

• Architecture as a cultural practice: from the investigation of historical references to the development of experimental and innovative forms, images and typologies

• Planning and participation processes: from the preparation of political decisions to participatory development processes

This research work uses our national and international networks, our laboratories and facilities as well as the institutes of the faculty:

In addition, we are active in the following interdisciplinary centers at our university:

In the research field of simulation of traffic flows and fires, there is close cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Simulation 7 at Forschungszentrum Jülich.

In addition to joint doctoral and third-party funded projects on pedestrian and fire dynamics and the modeling of bicycle traffic, the cooperation is supported by two professorships based on the Jülich model.


We often work together with European and non-European institutions and are represented in international committees. Examples of this are the construction-related programs of the International Energy Agency IEA or the harmonization of regulations and knowledge transfer in the PIARC World Road Association.

  We cooperate with universities and research institutes worldwide. More recent examples are the DFG-funded fire research in cooperation with the Polish partner NCN, the Humboldt scholarship holders for pedological research, the cooperation with the universities of Waterloo, Stellenbosch, Rostov am Don or Burgos with regard to the use of GRP reinforcement in reinforced concrete components.

A particularly visible sign of our international work was the Solar Decathlon Europe in the anniversary year of our university in 2022.

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