Structural Engineering

Leading education aligned to the market’s needs and excellent scientific research in the field of the structural design of buildings and structural and integral design of civil engineering infrastructure. These are the two, main objectives of the Structural Engineering  theme. The point of departure being a good balance between science, engineering and design.


Three categories can be distinguished within the theme: scientific innovation through fundamental research, particularly in the field of mechanics and materials’ science. We, for example, develop new materials – think, for example, of high-strength concrete – and increasingly reliable models.


The second category is engineering knowledge. For example, we develop innovative concrete, timber or steel structures, road and rail structures and new recycling technologies on the basis of the laws of mechanics and new materials. By using ultra high-strength concrete we can, for example, make much thinner concrete shells for bored tunnels.


The third category is all about design knowledge. How do you arrive at a good design for a building or civil engineering work taking function, aesthetics, buildability, maintenance and - after its lifespan is over - demolition and re-use into account? We are convinced that the combination of these three knowledge categories is important and meetings with sector parties have demonstrated that they are of the same opinion.

Integral design

In order to enable an integral approach to design we put a great deal of effort into building information modelling, an approach whereby the entire construction cycle – from design to demolition and re-use - can be examined in a 3D environment. The appealing thing about this type of computerised design systems is that they enable parametric design. If, for example, you make a part slightly lighter you can immediately see what the consequences are for the rest of the structure.

Prof. Ir. J.G. (Jan) Rots

Theme leader and Professor of Structural Mechanics

Further information

Further information on research

Further information on study programmes

Further information on cooperation

Further information on the Delft Infrastructures and Mobility Initiative

  • Delft Infrastructures and Mobility Initiative
  • Self-healing concrete using calcium carbonate producing bacteria.
    Repairing tears in concrete structures is a complicated and expensive, yet crucial matter. Structural Engineering studies how this can be improved using calcium carbonate producing bacteria and the conditions the latter need to thrive. Read more

There is an exponential increase in mobility in the Netherlands. People are travelling more for both work and in their social lives. Moreover, the country has developed into Europe’s distribution hub. Consolidating and expanding this position requires suitable, affordable infrastructure.

Competence Center InfraQuest is a cooperation between Rijkswaterstaat [Directorate General of Public Works and Water Management], TU Delft and TNO. Specialists in the field of road building and civil engineering works collaborate in InfraQuest on knowledge development and innovative, future-oriented solutions. 

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