Honorary Lecture - Prof. Eugen Brühwiler


Event details

Date 29.11.2023
Hour 18:0019:00
Speaker Prof. Eugen Brühwiler
Category Inaugural lectures - Honorary Lecture
Event Language English
Date: 29 November 2023
Time: 18:00 - 19:00
Introduction by Vice President Jan S. Hesthaven, Dean Claudia R. Binder and Associate Dean Katrin Beyer, lecture by Prof. Eugen Brühwiler. Followed by an Apero.
Place: SG-1
Zoom link

The art of engineering existing structures

Only recently, the preservation of the built infrastructure has been recognized by the civil engineering community and the public as a necessity to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and civil structures. The good engineering project of an existing structure is founded on knowledge of construction history, calls on advanced technologies and methods, and requires creativity and an exclusive commitment to preserve the existing structure and its cultural values. Engineering of existing structures is a respectful and humble activity, which makes it an art !
This lecture will highlight recent scientific developments and shows how novel engineering methods and technologies make a difference in preserving existing structures. For example, accurate determination of in-situ structural behaviour of bridges using data from monitoring of traffic action effects allow to verify realistically their structural and fatigue safety. If interventions are necessary, a targeted use of advanced high-performance materials such as UHPFRC (Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Cementitious Composite) allows to rehabilitate and strengthen effectively buildings and civil structures such as bridges. In all cases, it is a question of prolonging the duration of use of structures and their embodied resources, with the least invasive intervention possible. Consequently, resources are reasonably managed and cultural values are preserved. 
By means of examples of existing structures of high cultural values, mostly bridges, this lecture reviews 40 years of research and its implementation in teaching and applied structural engineering. More than 20 years of experience in technology transfer “from the lab to the field” reveals key factors to draw the future of structural engineering towards real sustainability. 

About the speaker
Eugen Brühwiler is a professor of structural engineering and director of the laboratory of maintenance and safety of existing structures at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) since 1995. He received his civil engineering and doctoral degrees from ETH Zurich in 1983 and EPFL in 1988.
His research activities comprise methods of engineering of existing structures including structural and fatigue safety, monitoring and reliability, durability and management of bridges, buildings and built infrastructure. Together with his team, he developed original structural concepts and engineering methods for the use of Ultra-High Performance Fiber Reinforced Cementitious Composite (UHPFRC) to rehabilitate and strengthen reinforced concrete structures. His research approach is based on experimental methods (both in the laboratory and in situ on structures) complemented with advanced analytical and numerical methods.
His teaching activities included engineering of existing structures, safety and serviceability of structures, rehabilitation of buildings, risk management as well as aesthetics and history of civil engineering structures. He supervised numerous semester and master projects in these domains. Recently, Eugen Brühwiler received again the award for the best teaching at the Civil Engineering Section.  
For many years, he is a consulting engineer and independent expert for existing bridges and buildings, with the objective to implement research findings. He was involved in numerous projects related in particular to the preservation of road and railway bridges. For more than 20 years, he is consultant of the federal office of culture in questions related to heritage structures.
He was a member of several code committees of the SIA (swiss society of engineers and architects) and leader of the SIA 269 Standards on Engineering of existing structures. Among the scientific duties, he was chairman of the steering committee of the SNF’s NRP 54 “Sustainable development of the built environment” concluded in 2011.



Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Registration required


  • SGC - Céline Dupuy


  • SGC - Céline Dupuy

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