Civil engineering structures are designed and built for use according to plan during life-time. The design is usually performed under the assumption of an ideal state of structures and building materials during the total life-time. Actually the state of materials and thus the properties of buildings are changing over the period of use, what may influence the reliability and quality of the building during life-time and may lead to a reduction of safety with respect to loads and usage. The evolution of the properties of building materials and structures may be caused by physical or chemical reasons and takes place on different spatial and temporal scales.
Goal of the research programme is the development of scientific approaches to describe and to evaluate the changing of properties and quality of buildings and infra-structures with respect to physical and chemical effects. The multi-coupled processes, which are responsable for the evolution of building materials, will be described by model equations on different spatial and temporal scales within the theory of continuum mechanics and the theory of porous media. The models will be the basis for prognoses of the development of building materials and structures.
The multi-scale models describe the different phenomena of aging as a coupled process, what needs a direct coupling of the single processes in space and time, in order to consider the interaction of processes and to integrate all information for an evaluation of the quality of buildings. In an extension of the current approaches on the macroscopical scale, the mechanisms of transport as well as physical and chemical damage shall be investigated experimentally and shall be modelled on different scales of materials and buildings. Based on experimental and numerical investigations simplified engineering approaches shall be taken into account, which can be realized to practice.
The scientific training of the doctoral-students follows a structured programme of workshops, seminars and publications, whereas the individual work will be honoured by credits. The programme contains scientific experiences in the field of experimental work, mathematical modelling of processes and structural analysis, and the training of key skills in the field of scientific work and scientific management. Based on the broad education regarding different building materials the doctoral-students will get the possibility to understand and to evaluate completely different phenomena and to describe them by advanced models for life-time-prognosis of civil engineering structures.