Structural engineering forms a major research and educational unit in civil engineering whose researchers serve the construction sector in demanding and diverse research, development, testing, measurement and product development projects and as specialists in demanding design tasks. The main aim of structural engineering education is to make students able to design structures of different types. The education considers the requirements set for structures from various aspects. Moreover, it provides a solid foundation for many other tasks in the construction sector.
About 50 people teach and do research in the structural engineering field. The researchers have engaged in determined research co-operation with industry since the 1980's. As a result, an abundance of new innovations and novel business activity have sprung up in the construction sector. Industry has also commissioned a large number of scholarly theses in various fields of structural engineering and structural statics.
Researchers in structural engineering also take part in the activities of domestic and international expert organisations. The Unit has both student and researcher exchange with several international universities.
The metal construction research centre studies metal constructions and construction processes from design to end use. The research, both theoretical and experimental, takes place in Seinäjoki, Hämeenlinna and Tampere.
The building acoustics research team investigates the acoustic conditions of buildings and spaces as an entity influenced by the behaviour of sound within a space (room acoustics), transfer of sound from one space to another (airborne sound and impact sound insulation) and noise abatement (noise from traffic, the environment and building services).
The building physics team studies the physical phenomena affecting the hygrothermal performance of structures and buildings and indoor air quality in different conditions. The research involves e.g. laboratory tests, field measurements and calculational modelling.
The structures and their behaviour team investigates the strength and deformations of structures as well as related safety and dimensioning issues concerning bearing structures. Examinations of the overall stability of a building or an individual structural member are also a key field of structural engineering.
The service life engineering and renovation of structures research team examines the strength properties and failure of structures and building materials in natural conditions and by accelerated weather resistance testing equipment, develops systematics for the selection of the correct repair measure, and does R&D on various renovation methods.
The structural mechanics research team develops calculation analysis models and methods which allow determining the behaviour of a structure under loading more accurately and in more detail. Existing and planned structures are also analysed with computer models.
The fire engineering of structures team engages in the planning, evaluation and calculational analysis of the fire safety of buildings as well as testing and condition assessment of the bearing structures of buildings after fires. Research related to general fire safety is also conducted.