Doctoral Programme in Civil Engineering

The overarching research theme of the multi-disciplinary Doctoral Programme in Civil Engineering Sciences aims at the identification and solution of scientific challenges related to the future built environment.

A central aspect is in developing new and improved scientific and technological approaches, methods and procedures for sustainable, resource-efficient and lifecycle-aware planning, construction, operation and re-use/recycling of next-generation buildings (high-rise office buildings, public buildings, passive houses, etc.), engineering structures (bridges, tunnels, etc.) and infrastructural networks (energy, water, communication, traffic).

The research results will contribute original insights to the scientific body of work by a holistic integration of the key-domains: adequate materials and structures, the most suitable ways for energy production, consumption and storage as well as the most eligible models and data for integrated analysis and planning. For this reason, the Doctoral Programme will bring together scientific expertise from various engineering disciplines in a common research environment. Doctoral candidates shall receive the opportunity for systemically integrated inter-disciplinary research, based on highly specialised fields of individual research. Cooperation with internationally highly reputed scientists and companies will guarantee both, cut of edge research results as well as transfer of relevant knowledge to industry. By this, the Doctoral Programme will stimulate the national research capacity through interdisciplinary, inter-sectorial and international partnerships.

Within the three main research axes

  • Structure and Building Materials,
  • Building Information Models (BIM), and
  • Energy Consumption, Storage and Production,

research activities are simultaneously taking into account common requirements for construction, applying harmonised methods and covering the most relevant life- cycle phases of structures: the initial design and manufacturing, the construction, the in-use phase, the interaction with its natural and built environment and the final deconstruction and re-use as well as possible changes of use or conversion needs during the use time have to be considered.

The Doctoral Programme aims at making a contribution to solving environmental challenges of the building sector responsible for a large amount of CO2 emissions and resources consumption. Reducing this impact remains a huge challenge for the construction industry. Therefore, major environmental challenges – based on the notions of sustainability and life-cycle thinking in the construction sector – are reflected in the ultimate environmental goals of the research programme respecting the “three Rs & zeros”:

  • Reduction of energy consumption towards zero,
  • Reduction of consumption of natural resources towards zero,
  • Reduction of CO2 production towards zero.

The research of the Doctoral Programme also wants to provide consulting scientific expertise and necessary fundamental data to support societal opinion-building and political decision-making with respect to the progress of regulations, as expressed on the EU level e.g. by the “Construction Products Regulations (CPR)” or the directive on the energy performance of buildings 2010/31/EU. On the national level, the research theme focuses on eco-construction/sustainable construction and the circular economy, two of the main niches of the governmental plan of 2014-2018 and therefore integrates into the strategy of university and the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy.