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News and Events

2017.04.24: Signing celemony with Chiba Institue of Technology, Japan

On 24th April, President Prof. Kuzuhito Komiya (left 2nd in the above photos, copyright ©RUB, Marquard) from the Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan (CIT) visited RUB, and signed the Cooperation Agreement and Memorandum for Student Change Program between CIT and RUB (including mainly the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the RD SME). On behalf of the RUB side, our Vice-Rector Prof. Andreas Ostendorf (left 1st), faculty dean Prof. Peter Mark (right 1st) and speaker of RD SME Prof. Günther Meschke (right 2nd) were presented in this signing celemony.

Link to Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan
Link to Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering (RUB)

2017.06.20: SFB 837 - Geotechnics and Energy

Prof. Richard Jardine from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about 'Geotechnics and Energy'.

In March 2016 Prof. Richard Jardine delivered the 56th Rankine Lecture, which considers the pressing problem of geotechnical engineering as one of the society’s grand challenges. This announced lecture focuses on the main three main sections of the Rankine lecture: reporting recent geotechnical research considers the pressing problem of ensuring vital energy supplies while also recognising, mitigating and dealing with the climate consequences of fossil fuel consumption.

The Lecture’s three main sections report recent geotechnical research relating to these wide ranging topics, illustrating some aspects of each with specific examples from the Speaker’s portfolio. The first focuses on research to support offshore hydrocarbon production, considering platform foundations on the continental shelf and large landslide geohazards in deeper water. The second considers research into climate change impacts in warming permafrost regions and engineering to raise flood defences founded on difficult organic soils. The final section reports on current research that is having a major impact on offshore wind turbine foundations and hence renewable energy economics.

The Lecture emphasises that integrating geology and rigorous analysis with advanced laboratory and field experiments is the key to resolving the complex geotechnical problems raised; careful full-scale field monitoring is also essential to checking reliability in practice.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Richard Jardine (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
Date: 20.06.2017
Time: 16:00
Room: IC 03 / 606 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2017.04.27: SFB 837 - Structural diagnosis and material model calibration through inverse analysis: some innovative procedures and applications

Prof. Vladimir Buljak from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about 'Structural diagnosis and material model calibration through inverse analysis: some innovative procedures and applications'.

The purpose of this lecture is to show some recent research contributions, achieved by our team, to the methodology of inverse analysis apt for diagnosis of possibly damaged structures and for mechanical characterization of materials in diverse industrial environments. Research results are presented with reference to the real life engineering problems. First group of results considers diagnostic analysis of structures, with following industrial applications briefly presented: (a) diagnosis of pipelines and platforms by instrumented indentation test and fast simulations; (b) assessment of inelastic properties of large shafts through inverse analysis and experimental data collected from small punch test; (c) in-depth diagnostic analysis of aged concrete dams affected by diffusive mechanical deterioration by alkali-silicon reaction through flat-jack tests and inverse analysis. Second group of results concerns calibration of complex constitutive models, described by large number of parameters, with reference to the following problems: (a) assessment of parameters entering into constitutive models employed for simulation of mechanical compaction of ceramic powders; (b) modeling damage in fiber reinforced concrete.

Presented examples demonstrate practical advantages in terms of time and resource savings that may be achieved by the employment of inverse analysis methodology. Heterogeneity in engineering application evidences the flexibility of methodology, suggesting that the applications in some other engineering fields can be easily accomplished by marginal modifications of presented techniques.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Vladimir Buljak (University of Belgrade, Serbia)
Date: 27.04.2017
Time: 16:00
Room: IC 03 / 604 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2017.02.24: SFB Workshop "Monitoring and Sensoring in Underground Engineering"

Current researches as well as engineering practice heavily rely on theoretical assumptions regarding the analyses conducted in the field of tunneling. Numerical models are more sophisticated than ever and enable engineers to simulate complicated interactions between the tunnel boring machine (TBM), soil, grouting materials and the lining. Although in good agreement with theoretical assumptions and results reported in literature a verification and consequently a critical view of such is difficult due to a lack of real life data.

Although the extent of available data is increasing, it is mostly related to the TBM and therefore not sufficient for a holistic assessment of theoretical models. To facilitate a more general view on interaction mechanisms, comprehensive data regarding the tunnel lining, grouting materials, soil and the effect of tunneling on its environment are of importance.

The workshops main goal is to introduce new monitoring and sensoring techniques to generate the required data, up to date methods of pre and post processing and to present current tunneling projects with exemplary application of such.

Date: Friday, 24.02.2017
Time: 10:00-17:30
Room: Veranstaltungszentrum, Room 1 (RUB)

Participation is free of charge. Please register HERE.

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2017: Dr. Steffen Freitag becomes the speaker of the Junges Kolleg

Dr. Steffen Freitag has been elected as the speaker of the Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Arts. The junior researcher from the Institute for Structural Mechanics and PI of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 837 has been appointed in 2015 to be a member of the Junges Kolleg. He already was a deputy spokesman in the last two years.

The Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Arts consist of 30 young researchers of all scientific disciplines. They are working together for a duration of four years in several interdisciplinary groups. The Junges Kolleg has been established in 2006 with financial support from the Mercator foundation to promote young researchers in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 2014, the Science Ministry of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia took over the financial support. The young researchers get professional, financial, and ideational support. They are awarded with a scholarship of 10.000 EUR per year during their four year membership. In addition to a PhD, the members must have achieved outstanding scientific performance at a university or research institution in North Rhine-Westphalia. New members can be 36 years maximum and must not have a permanent professorship. The members of the Junges Kolleg get the possibility to discuss their research projects in interdisciplinary working groups within the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Arts and to get in contact with established elite researchers. Also they can showcased their results at workshops and at the Science Day of the Academy.

More information on Junges Kolleg
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2016.04.07: RD SME Workshop "Subsurface Modeling and Engineering"

On April 7th the RD-SME Workshop „Subsurface Modeling and Engineering“ will take place. The workshop starts with two invited presentation:

"Background and status of the In-situ Stimulation and Circulation Experiment"
Dr. Florian Amann (ETH Zürich Switzerland)

"Numerical Methods in Geoenergy Applications"
Prof. Dr. Olaf Kolditz (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH, Germany)

Afterwards an overview on three existing collaborative research centers within the RD-SME will be given.

Date: 07.04.2016
Time: 10:00
Room: seminar room IC 03/606 (RUB)

see the workshop flyer

2015.11.06: SFB 837 - Workshop "Herausforderung Tunnelbau"

The use of subsurface structures is one of the key factors in the sustainable development of both industrial and emerging/developing nations. Subsurface transalpine traffic routes, the tendency towards larger diameters, difficult geological conditions and high groundwater pressures pose new challenges to tunneling and excavation technologies.

This year's workshop will feature the following presentations (held in German):
"Tunnel Rastatt - Herausforderungen für den maschinellen Tunnelbau und für modernes Building Information Management"
by Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Grundhoff, Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Klar (ABS/NBS Karlsruhe-Basel - Projekt Tunnel Rastatt, DB Netz AG, Karlsruhe)
"2. S-Bahn Stammstrecke in München - Herausforderungen für den Tunnelbau im schwierigen Umfeld von Bestandsbauwerken in der Innenstadt"
by Dipl.-Ing. Albert Schneller (Großprojekt 2. S-Bahn-Stammstrecke München, DB Netz AG, München)

Date: 06.11.2015
Time: 15:00
Room: Beckmanns Hof (RUB)

Participation is free of charge. Please register HERE.

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.10.12: SFB 837 - Reliability analysis of Geotechnical Systems

Prof. G. L. Sivakumar Babu from Indian Institute of Science, India will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about 'Reliability analysis of Geotechnical Systems'.

The properties of natural soil are inherently variable and influence design decisionsin geotechnical engineering. Apart from the inherent variability of the soil, the variability may arise due to measurement of soil properties in the field or laboratory tests and model errors. These wide ranges of variability in soil are expressed in terms of mean, variance and autocorrelation function using probability/reliability based models. The most common term used in reliability based design is the reliability index, which is a probabilistic measure of assurance of performance of structure. The main objective of the reliability based design is to quantify probability of failure/reliability of a geotechnical system considering variability in the design parameters and associated safety. The presentation highlights the importance of reliability based design methodologies of different geotechnical systems such as shallow foundations, pile foundations,retaining walls, unsaturated slopes, piping in dams as well as pavements, municipal solid waste landfills. A number of techniques and concepts such as random fields, inverse reliability based optimization; response surface methods, time dependent reliability etc have been used to bring out the significance of consideration of variability in soil parameters in the design and analysis of geotechnical systems.

Guest lecturer: Prof. G. L. Sivakumar Babu (Indian Institute of Science, India)
Date: 12.10.2015
Time: 17:00
Room: IC 03 / 604 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.09.16: SFB 837 - Analysis of Slurry (Mix shield) TBM Ground Deformation Control during the Queens bored tunnels project in New York City

Prof. Mike Mooney from Colorado School of Mines, USA will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about 'Analysis of Slurry (Mix shield) TBM Ground Deformation Control during the Queens bored tunnels project in New York City'.

The first part of the presentation will give an overview of the Colorado School of Mines. A summary of the research projects currently being conducted is also included.

The second part of the presentation will focus on recent research into slurry TBM control of ground deformation observed on the Queens bored tunnel project in New York City. Four closely spaced and near surface transit tun-nels were excavated using two me-chanically identical Herrenknecht mix shield TBMs. The talk will describe the Queens bored tunnels and obser-ved deformation, present the observed TBM behaviors and the results of com-putational modeling.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Mike Mooney (Colorado School of Mines, USA)
Date: 16.09.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: IC 03 / 604 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.07.07: Prof. Meschke has been appointed to the austrian science board

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Federal Government has decided to appoint Prof. Dr. Günther Meschke, Head of the Institute for Structural Mechanics at Ruhr University Bochum, to be a member of the Austrian Science Board as of 01.01.2016 for six years.

According to the press release of the Austrian Science Board, "Prof. Günther Meschke, as an excellent exponent of modern engineering sciences, enjoys high international reputation. He is an expert for scientific policy, especially for comparing the situation in Austria with other countries."

At the turn of the year 2015/2016, the Austrian Science Board will be faced with far-reaching changes. At that time, the term of the current prominent chairmanship will end, which is very active concerning governmental policy on higher education. After the decision of the Austrian Council of Ministers July 7, 2015, the Austrian Science Board is pleased to announce, that the characteristics of his advisory activity, i.e. independence and scientific substantiality, will be guaranteed also in the future due to the appointment of excellent successors.

The new members of the Austrian Science Board, which have been suggested and nominated by the Austrian Council of Ministers, fulfill all mandatory requirements: high scientific reputation, political independence, long-term experience in science and matters concerning the universities and scientific policy, reliable readiness to contribute to the working groups of the Austrian Science Board.

The Austrian Science Board advises both the Federal Minister and the universities, as well as advising the National Assembly and the regional assemblies about matters concerning the universities and generally on special questions of scientific policy and the arts. Taking into consideration European and international developments, the Science Board observes and analyses the Austrian university system and as well as the related academic systems and prepares recommendations for their further development.

Vienna, July, 7th 2015

2015.07.07: SFB 837 - Highly-Scalable Methods for Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation

Prof. Riccardo Rossi from International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), Barcelona will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about "Highly-Scalable Methods for Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation".

The simulation of engineering problems in CFD and other disciplines requires handling increasingly complex geometries. This in turn puts an increasing burden on all the aspects of a simulation pipeline, from the pre processing to the solution stage. The use of “Immersed CFD” techniques represents an appealing alternative in addressing such scenario, providing a completely automatic path toward the solution of complex CFD problems. A cornerstone of such technique is the capability of efficiently running extremely large problems, since the use of fine meshes is mandatory both in capturing the geometrical features of interest and in providing the required accuracy.

The focus of the talk will be thus on highly scalable solver technologies for CFD, with special emphasis on the use of modern HPC hardware. The talk will include a brief discussion of deflation approaches to scalable sparse preconditioning as well as the discussion of real world benchmark examples.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Riccardo Rossi (International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), Barcelona)
Date: 07.07.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: ID 03 / 445 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.07.02-03: Evaluation of The SHynergie-Project

On 2nd July, the SHynergie-project was reviewed by 3 external referees (Mr. Ralph Weidler, Dr. Torsten Tischner, Dr. Gunter Siddiqi) and a representative of the funding agency at Ruhr-University, Bochum. The attendees from the SHynergie-project side included the PI's (Prof. G. Meschke, Prof. W. Friederich, Prof. H. Steeb and Prof. J. Renner) and the PhD-students within the 6 sub-projects. At the beginning Prof. J. Renner gave an introduction on the progress of the project, and during the rest of the day the PhD-students presented their research work and results concurrently followed by questions and discussions. On 3rd July, the meeting was moved to the Hotel Oekey, Bochum. The referees presented the evaluation report and provided also suggestions to the project. The meeting was followed by moderated discussion along a set of questions formulated by members of SHynergie-project.

More information on SHynergie webpage

2015.06.29-30: SFB 837 Status Seminar 2015

On 29th and 30 June, the Annual Status Seminar of SFB 837 "Interaction Modeling in Mechanized Tunneling" took place at the Hotel Burg Schnellenberg in Attendorn. PI's and PhD-students of each subproject reported their current research status, and disscussed the existing and new internal interactions among subprojects as well as external cooperations. In addition, future perspectives, especially detailed research plans of each subproject for next year were explored.

More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.04.28: SFB 837 - Modelling of anisotropy, creep and destructuration in clay

Prof. Gustav Grimstad from Norwegian University of Science and Technology will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about "Modelling of anisotropy, creep and destructuration in clay".

Natural soft soils exhibit bonding between particles. During straining, some of these bonds can be progressively destroyed by a process called "destructuration". In recent years, a number of constitutive models incorporating bonding and destructuration have been proposed. The various models differ in the precise form of the destructuration law and in the form of the underlying reference model used for the "unbounded" material. A model for soft clay, including rate dependency by utilizing the time resistance concept, is presented. The model is primarily meant for soft clays and the calibration of the model is performed with focus on the "wet" side. However, the conceptual basis can be applied to higher degree of over-consolidation which will produce similar results as high strain rates will for "normal-consolidated" clay. More details on the model can be found in e.g. Grimstad and Degago (2010). Recently NTNU has been administrating an EU project called "Creep of Geomaterials", The aim of the project is partly to get to a consensus on creep modelling in the engineering practice. The reasonable modelling of creep deformation in the soft clays in e.g. Norway and Sweden for engineering practice is important to ensure a good design that reduces e.g. maintenance costs or ensures the integrity of the construction. The presentation will also touch upon the work that has been done in the "CREEP" project.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Gustav Grimstad (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Date: 28.04.2015
Time: 16:30
Room: ID 03 / 653 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.04.28: SFB 837 - Numerical Simulation of a Progressive Slide Mechanism in a Sensitive Clay - The Smaaroed Case from Sweeden December 2006

Prof. Steinar Nordal from Norwegian University of Science and Technology will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about „Numerical Simulation of a Progressive Slide Mechanism in a Sensitive Clay - The Smaaroed Case from Sweeden December 2006„.

The lecture introduces porepressure based strength softening, as observed in Scandinavian soft, sensitive clays. The softening implies that, strictly speaking, a conventional limit equilibrium based slope stability analysis is not appropriate for a highly sensitive clay. A slide may develop in a progressive manner, passing peak strength at different times along a potential, long sliding surface. A traditional limit state based design may provide a safety factor larger than one for a slope that actually will fail.

The progressive failure mechanism is believed to play an important role for the quick clay slide that took place in Smaaroed in Sweden in December 2006. An investigation committee concluded that the slide was triggered by the construction of an embankment overloading the upper part of the slope. The slide then progressively developed 200 meter downslope. The constitutive model „NGI_ADPsoft„ is used in a finite element simulation order to incorporate the anisotropic strain hardening/softening behavior of the sensitive clay. A regularization method is implemented in order to remediate mesh dependency. The method involves non-local strains controlling the shear band thickness through an internal length. The FEM analysis of the Smaaroed slide is presented and demonstrates how local failure first develop under the embankment before the failure mechanism is then seen to gradually progress downslope, finally covering the area that actually failed in 2006. The results shed light on a discussion, currently going on in Norway, on how much safety factors must be increased to account for the effect of softening in a practical design if traditional limit equilibrium analysis is used for calculating the slope stability.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Steinar Nordal (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
Date: 28.04.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: ID 03 / 653 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.03.31: SFB 837 - Methodology for Real-Time Adaptation of Tunnels Support using the Observational Method

Prof. Daniel Dias from Polytech Grenoble, France will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about “Methodology for Real-Time Adaptation of Tunnels Support using the Observational Method”.

The observational method in tunnel engineering allows the evaluation in real time of the actual conditions of the ground and to take measures if its behavior deviates considerably from predictions.

However, it lacks a consistent and structured methodology to use the monitoring data to adapt the support system in real time. The definition of limit criteria above which adaptation is required are not defined and complex inverse analysis procedures may be needed to consistently analyze the problem. A methodology for the real time adaptation of the support systems during tunneling will be presented. In a first step, limit criteria for displacements and stresses will be proposed. The methodology uses graphics that are constructed during the project stage based on parametric calculations to assist in the process and when these graphics are not available, since it is not possible to predict every possible scenario, inverse analysis calculations are carried out. The methodology will be applied to the “Bois de Peu” tunnel which is composed by two tubes with over 500 m long.

It will be showed that the methodology has potential to be applied in real cases contributing for a consistent approach of a real timeadaptation of the support system and highlight the importance of the existence of good quality and specific monitoring data to improve the inverse analysis procedure.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Daniel Dias (Polytech Grenoble, France)
Date: 31.03.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: ID 03 / 653 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage

2015.03.03: SFB 837 - Introduction of X-Earth Center and Its Application of Rock Mechanics

Prof. Akira Sato from Kumamoto University, Japan will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about "Introduction of X-Earth Center and Its Application of Rock Mechanics".

Geo-mechanics group including rock and soil mechanics group of Kumamoto University are organizing research group "X-Earth Center". The organization introduced industrial and μ-focus X-ray CT scanner systems, and has been operating and applying the systems to the Geo-mechanics field. At the beginning of the presentation, X-Earth Center and its activities are introduced.

Main research field of Prof. Sato is the rock mechanics, and also applying CT system to the analysis of water flow, water saturation process, CO² migration process, diffusion phenomena in the porous media and so on. Results of these analyses are mainly introduced in the presentation. He also studies DEM analysis to understand the blockage phenomena in the vertical shaft of open pit mines and water-vapor flow simulation by finite volume method are also studied. Outlines of these research topics are also introduced.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Akira Sato (Kumamoto University, Japan)
Date: 03.03.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: ID 03 / 653 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage


Prof Carlo Callari from University of Molise, Italy will hold a guest lecture in the framework of SFB 837 about "Damage in pressurized interfaces of hydrocarbon wells".

In oil/gas wells, circumferential cracks are often observed at the two contacts of cement sheath with the casing and the rock, respectively. The corresponding formation of an annular gap at these interfaces (the so-called "micro-annulus") can be the main reason for upward leakage of fluids. In sites of CO2 storage or shale gas production, such a leakage can be an environmental issue of major concern, especially in presence of several abandoned wells. The upward propagation of debonding at well interfaces is often driven by the same fluid pressure, thus indicating the crucial role of the coupling between fluid flow and mechanical damage in the problem at hand. In view of these considerations, we present an interface poroelastic law to model fluid-induced damage. The new model is obtained from a penalized thermodynamic potential for porous interfaces, defined in terms of displacement jump and fluid pressure, and employing generalized poroelastic coefficients which depend on a damage internal variable. The coupled laws for traction and fluid content obtained from this potential are fully consistent with arguments using surface fractions and partial stresses. The rate of energy release resulting from differentiation of the interface potential with respect to damage is realistically dependent on fluid pressure. The considered damage criterion and the corresponding evolution law employ an available expression of damage resistance for dry interfaces. We assess the model ability in reproducing the main behavioural features of fluid-pressurized fractures in concrete. Furthermore, the proposed poroelastic damage model is contrasted with other laws for pressurized interfaces. The model is implemented in a formulation of the problem consisting of a well with displacement discontinuities and fluid pressures at interfaces. The semi-numerical solution of this problem is employed to simulate the effects on well integrity due to the combined action of fluid pressure, cement shrinkage, temperature variations and rock strain.

Guest lecturer: Prof. Carlo Callari (University of Molise, Italy)
Date: 17.02.2015
Time: 16:00
Room: ID 03 / 653 (RUB)

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage


For 31 October 2012, 3:30 p.m., SFB 837 has organized two guest lectures at Beckmannshof, Ruhr University Bochum. The two lectures form a part of a series of guest lectures and seminars organized by SFB 837. The goal of the series is to form the basis for a lively dialogue between SFB members, internationally renowned researchers and experts from industry. All topics of SFB 837 - from the numerical multiscale method to machine technology - will be addressed.

Guest lecturers:
Prof. Dr. Bergmeister, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Dr.-Ing. E.h. Martin Herrenknecht, Herrenknecht AG, Germany

see Flyer for more details
More information on SFB 837 webpage


We are glad to announce that the RD Subsurface Modeling and Engineering has been officially established since its 1st General Assembly on Nov. 26th 2014. During this meeting, Prof. G. Meschke (Speaker), Prof. W. Friederich (Deputy Speaker), Prof. H. Steeb, Prof. J. Renner and Prof. E. Saenger were elected as the five Board members of RD SME.

Slides of 1st General Assembly RD SME (3.1 MB)


On 20 and 21 March 2012 a delegation from the SFB 837 consisting of 10 researchers will travel to the University of Cambridge to participate in a workshop hosted by the "Innovation and Knowledge Centre" (IKC) on Smart Infrastructure and Construction. The workshop aims at consolidating the close research cooperation between SFB 837 and the University of Cambridge / IKC, and furthermore, at exchanging the latest research results in the field of smart infrastructure. Within the frame of the workshop five projects will be presented by both research partners.

More information on SFB 837 webpage