Photo: Joachim Rode

DTU opens laboratories for geology, geotechnics, and sustainable construction

Wednesday 14 Nov 18


Niels-Jørgen Aagaard
Head of Department
DTU Civil Engineering
+45 45 25 18 77
HRH Crown Prince Frederik inaugurates new laboratories at DTU Civil Engineering in connection with a symposium on arctic construction.

DTU opens two new laboratories that will study technical geology, geotechnics, and the development of sustainable construction materials in depth.

The laboratories will form the basis for analyses and research that will meet the challenges that building and construction face worldwide due to climate changes and strain on the Earth’s resources. The new laboratories will strengthen DTU’s position as an international elite university.

“The laboratories will strengthen DTU’s research in technical geology and geotechnics. With the new facilities, we can deliver research-based knowledge, among other things, which is very useful in new, large construction projects such as Femern Bælt (The Fehmarn Belt) or for maintenance of existing infrastructure. The laboratories will also play a key role in the development of sustainable construction materials and circular construction—areas of research which DTU Civil Engineering are expanding significantly these years,” says Head of Department Niels-Jørgen Aaggard. 

Laboratories to open with seminar on arctic construction
The inauguration of the new laboratories will be conducted by HRH Crown Prince Frederik, who also participates in an academic symposium on arctic construction, held as a prelude to the inauguration. Global climate change increases the need for research-based knowledge on arctic conditions in particular, where human living conditions will change in the coming decades. The change is already notable in terms of melting ice both from the ice cap as well as the arctic subsoil. It can lead to serious consequences for the areas with homes and infrastructure grounded on permafrost.

Niels-Jørgen Aagaard points out that the laboratories together with the development of DTU Sisimiut Campus in Greenland will play an important role in DTU’s arctic research and strengthen DTU’s commitment in the Arctic. The laboratories must be used, among other things, as an element in producing more Arctic engineers, who in close collaboration with the surrounding world can contribute to sustainable growth in the Greenland society. A development where research-based knowledge about the subsoil, geotechnics, and local adaptation of building materials is essential.

"With the new facilities, we can deliver research-based knowledge, which is very useful in new, large construction projects or for maintenance of existing infrastructure. "
Niels-Jørgen Aagaard, Head of Department, DTU Civil Engineering

Increased collaboration with companies
The new laboratories will be welcomed by the construction industry. Executive Vice President of Cowi, Lars Hauge, believes that the new facilities will strengthen the education of engineers and lead to an increased collaboration with companies.

“It’s very important for Cowi that we have a technical university of high international standard in Denmark. Laboratory-based teaching provides students with physical contact with soil, geology, and laboratory tests, which gives them a better insight into the uncertainties associated with describing structures in or on the ground. And that is important to us when we recruit new candidates,” says Lars Hauge.

He is looking forward to Cowi collaborating with DTU Civil Engineering on business researchers or entering into specific projects, e.g. in connection with major national or international tunnel, bridge, or wind turbine projects.