Robust Design

The full project title is Robust Design of Structures.


The project Robust Design aims at developing new concepts for modeling and optimising structural systems. Robust Design means here that changes in requirements can be managed efficiently. This cooperation between civil engineering and computer science provides an interesting and challenging scenario, in which all project partners can develop and apply novel and exciting concepts and technologies.

The sub-project Robust Cooperation of the CML aims to support robust design as a complex task in spatially separated teams. Innovative concepts are developed to allow efficient cooperation in the design of structural systems such as bridges. These concepts provide users with mutual awareness, communication, and collaboration.


From a user's perspective the main tool of the robust design process will be a model editor, which enables real time editing and calculation of structural models. In our sub-project we identify issues that arise when several partners cooperate in the optimisation of a model. We will develop novel concepts and provide software components that will offer efficient solutions for these issues and closely interface with the editor as well as other components provided by our project partners (e.g., automatic optimisers).


  • Requirements analysis
  • Development of customised solutions for communication and cooperation in robust design processes
  • Documentation and implementation of the insights and requirements
  • Mutual exchange among the project partners in meetings and regular workshops

Current State and Results

Currently we are developing innovative concepts for effective and efficient cooperation among the end-users, who are civil engineers, and these concepts are transferred into a first prototype of the Robust Cooperation Suite (cf. Figure 1).

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Figure 1. Schematic System Architecture Overview.

An instant messaging and presence system tailored to the special requirements in a distributed modelling process is currently under active development. This component will support cooperation by providing users of the Robust Design system a means for communication and exchanging models with each other. It will also provide status information inferred from the current activity of the users and meta information about the models they are working on. Future development will include components for coordination and calendar sharing, and access to a versioned storage system for model files.


In this interdisciplinary project we have partners from the field of engineering, who are focussing on modeling, computation and optimisation:
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Beucke, Bauhaus-University Weimar
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Carsten Könke, Bauhaus-University Weimar
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus König, Ruhr-University Bochum
In the field of computer science and media, we have partners, who are focussing on data-mining assisted optimisation and advanced visualisation techniques:
  • Prof. Dr. Benno Stein, Bauhaus-University Weimar
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Fröhlich, Bauhaus-University Weimar


Tom Gross, Principle Investigator
Ferdinand Kastl, Researcher


The project Robust Design of Structures is partly funded by the Thuringian Programme on Excellency; the funding period is Oct. 2009 to Jan. 2012.

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