The Civil Engineering Institute of EPFL
Urban population growth, scarcity of resources and climate change will create situations where traditional civil-engineering practice is no longer appropriate. While civil engineers have strived to do “more with less” for centuries, they now need to do this proactively in challenging contexts of high environmental uncertainty and limited material availability.
The mission of the Civil Engineering Institute at EPFL is to combine expertise across a broad range of disciplines with world-class experimental facilities to develop significant scientific results, advanced learning support and appropriate innovation and technology transfer for the next generation of engineers. These engineers shall either become specialists or be able to collaborate with specialists from EPFL and elsewhere to meet society’s needs through improving the quality of life, lowering environmental impact and reducing life-cycle costs.
Our core disciplines:
The Civil Engineering Institute at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne performs research in the core disciplines of Civil Engineering (structures and materials, transportation and networks, geosystems and natural resources), as well as research at the interface with environmental engineering (fluids) and at the interface with architecture (buildings physics).
The research conducted in our laboratories and research groups fosters excellence in fundamental and applied research.
We offer exceptional experimental facilities at various scales including the ability to test large-scale structures in our experimental halls.
With the emergence of the EPFL Valais and EPFL Fribourg (Smart Living Lab) campuses, the Civil Engineering Institute is going through an exciting growth phase.
Dimitrios Lignos, Director of Civil Engineering Institute
Sophie Bauer, Administrative Assistant
Sediments threaten the efficency of dams
The construction of a dam substantially modifies the flow conditions of a river or stream in and downstream of the associated reservoir. Due to the natural input of fine sediments and bedload, every reservoir is inevitably subject to sedimentation, thus filling-up its water storage volume.
Jean-Louis Scartezzini: a life devoted to the sun
“I can’t even offer you a cup of coffee – I already packed up my coffee machine!” Prof. Jean-Louis Scartezzini, who has headed EPFL’s Solar Energy and Building Physics Laboratory (LESO-PB) for the past 30 years, doesn’t seem fazed by his upcoming retirement. We spoke with him about his long, successful career and some of the twists and turns along the way.
Peripheral neighborhoods abandoned by shops
Vincent Kaufmann, director of the Laboratory of Urban Sociology at EPFL, was invited to La Matinale. He explains that the problem of the commercial desertification of peripheral neighborhoods is found in most of the French-speaking world and warns that these shops are essential to allow the population of the neighborhood.