Torch of Sotchi in the wind tunnel Copyright: © STB

Modern architecture, more slender construction and an increased demand on the structural stability and suitability of structures have resulted in wind engineering becoming its own independent discipline over recent decades.

This research area deals with all issues relating to the natural wind effects on load-bearing structures and components. Wind loading on straight slender structures in particular can lead to undesirable, or even stability-effecting, oscillations. These dynamic effects can be investigated and assessed by our team with the aid of the extensive experimental and numerical investigation methods that are available.

Specifically, the following research topics are dealt with:

  • Determining the wind effects and structural responses of slender structures e.g. wind turbines, bridges
  • Development of wind tunnel methods
  • Development of wind load models for innovative constructions
  • Development of numerical methods in the field of flow simulation
  • Conducting aeroelastic experiments
  • Statistical description of wind-induced structural effects for probabilistic studies

The wind group at the Institute offers expert advice regarding the causes of damage and the effects of wind loading on new designs. Numerous high-rise buildings, sports stadia and bridges have already been surveyed in our wind tunnel and evaluated aerodynamically. We are also involved in updating the wind load standard and developing simplified models for describing wind loads and their effects.

Furthermore, the team is significantly involved in establishing the Centre for Wind and Earthquake Engineering at RWTH Aachen University. The aim of this Centre is to pool together the research capabilities relating to structural dynamic load effects on buildings. The Centre is composed of various Institutes from the Civil Engineering Faculty and RWTH Aachen University.

An overview of ongoing and completed wind engineering research projects can be found here.