The longstanding raison d’être of our CE department is to reduce (the effects of) fragmentation in infrastructure life cycle and construction project delivery. We study, develop, and teach new process approaches, methods, and technologies to enhance Integration and Innovation for infrastructure life cycle and integrated project delivery.
Climate change, energy transitions, increasing risks of water scarcity and flooding, rapid urbanisation, shifts in mobility & modes of transport, and the push for circularity, these trends create a challenge for society, and for the state, use and renewal of our infrastructure. In our vision, the Civil Engineering discipline has a key role to play in coping with these societal challenges and in providing innovative insights and solutions that make living environments healthier, safer and more sustainable. We envisage our Civil Engineering research as a multidisciplinary task that goes beyond the technical challenge into environmental, social and economic dimensions and their trade-offs.
Bridges, roads, canals, power lines, sewage and buildings are constructed to last for decennia and possibly centuries. In our societies, these vital infrastructure and networks are commonly taken for granted. Society expects uninterrupted operation and functional continuity, particularly in urbanized and highly populated areas where the infrastructure networks are dense and interrelated. Projects for extending, upgrading and the maintenance of infrastructure are intrusions into a live system. This domain is technologically challenging and societally sensitive. Therefore, planning, investment, use, and maintenance of this network require a life cycle approach and an integral perspective.
Establishing an integral perspective, however, is difficult. Decision-making, project planning, and execution are divided into several phases and involve a great number of public and private stakeholders. Institutional and contractual frameworks create interfaces where inter-organizational barriers cause sub-optimality. Within his fragmented structure, the success and failure of the infrastructure management and projects depend heavily on integration, coordination and cooperation.