The Structural Engineering Platform (GIS)
The Structural Engineering Platform (GIS) is an experimental platform offering the opportunity to test structural materials at large-scale using cutting-edge technology in measurement techniques and machinery. The GIS can rely on the extensive know-how of its technical staff to custom-design test to solve any real-life problem a lab or company may have.
By supporting researchers in striving to understand the response of selected parts of structures when subjected to extreme loadings, the GIS extends the service duration of existing structures by detecting their effective capacity and developing new structural materials and systems that support our vision of a sustainable, more resilient future for all societies.
Research and teaching
In addition the GIS offers a unique place to pursue fundamental research and teaching on a wide range of materials and structures. The platform is used by Master students, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, as well as for semester projects by visiting students from abroad, and generating publications in scientific journals, conferences and papers. The graph below shows the importance of these activities. The decline observed over the last three years can be explained by the Covid restriction period and also, since 2021, by several renewals of Professors in structural engineering (will continue until 2024).
The GIS platform is coordinated by its own technical team and led by a consortium of members from eight labs (seven from the Civil Engineering Institute, and one from the Institute of Architecture), each specialized in one field of structural and computational engineering.
The GIS replaces its CNC 5-axis wood-cutting machine with a new model
Thanks to funding from EPFL, the GIS Platform was able to replace its 5-axis CNC wood-cutting machine with a new model, the MAKA BC 170, which was custom-manufactured and installed in room GC H0 612.
Luca Mari joins the GIS Platform as Testing Technician
Luca Mari joins the GIS Platform as Testing Technician – Jonathan Martin, Technical Specialist, leaves the platform as of end of January.
A more sustainable material to reinforce concrete structures
The next generation of ultra high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) has just been created at EPFL. The new material will be used to strengthen and to extend the life span of bridges and other structures – both new and old. What’s more, the process of manufacturing this material releases 60–70% less CO2 than the previous generation of fiber-reinforced concrete.