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Chair for Metal Structures

Katedra za metalne konstrukcije (KMK)

Chair for Metal Structures is the leading Slovenian educational and research unit engaged in steel and composite structures and non-linear analysis of structures. The Chair has six teachers and research associates and is chaired by Prof. Dr. Jože Korelc in charge of education and research in the area of nonlinear modelling of structures. In the area of metal structures, Assist. Prof. Dr. Primož Može is responsible for the Chair’s educational and research work. Actively involved in the Chair’s research and education and thus making sure the Chair connects theory to practice, are also two external co-workers, Sen. Lect. Leon Hladnik, Ph.D., and Assist Prof. Dr. Franc Sinur. As support to education and research, there are three more members of the Chair: Assist. Teja Melink, Ph.D., and young researchers Nina Zupan and Blaž Hudobivnik.

The area of steel and composite structures

Chair for Metal Structures is the leading Slovenian educational and research unit engaged in steel and composite structures. With our research work we are on one side strongly connected to the European research area, while on the other we importantly affect with our educational, research and professional activity the development of steel and composite structures in Slovenia. As teachers we meet our students in the senior years of studies, where the teaching materials are mainly provided through project work, except for the basic courses. In this way we build an individual, informal relationship between student and teacher, which has proven to be the right approach, because many of our students have been able to find jobs in renowned international design companies specialised in the design of steel structures. The quality of the Chair’s work is evident in a multitude of areas. The research activity in the traditional area of steel structures is closely linked to the participation of the Chair members in technical committees of the European Convention for Constructional Steelwork (ECCS) and in workgroups of the European Standardisation Organization (CEN/TC 250/SC3). Participation in these international organizations represents a source of ideas for our research work and is a guarantee that our research is relevant and up-to-date. The Chair cooperates with the industry in the development of new products, and offers professional education. Part of the Chair’s professional work is reviews or consulting in the design of practically all important steel structures in Slovenia (buildings, bridges, reservoirs, towers, etc.). With our achievements, we are well represented also beyond the national borders. Especially worth mentioning are the design of the Norwegian bridge across the Farris lake, estimation of residual life span of steel reservoirs for different customers, such as Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, Vopak.

The Chair is coordinates all courses related to steel and composite structures at the higher education and academic studies of the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering.

The area of scientific computing

Owing to the interdisciplinary approach in scientific computing, with the accumulated knowledge from computer science, mathematics and mechanics effectively combined with the knowledge of technology, the newly developed numerical procedures and the resulting software programs have gained on generality, reliability and interdisciplinarity. The Chair members are among the world’s leading research groups in the development of basic tools and methods of convergent engineering based on general symbolic-numeric environments applied in technical computation. In the last two decades Prof. Dr.-Eng. Jože Korelc and his co-workers have developed an innovative approach to automatic generation of numerical models. The developed software programs (AceGen and AceFEM) are supported by the world’s leading manufacturer of symbolic-numeric environments for technical computation, Wolfram Research, and are used in research work by numerous universities, such as Hannover, Swansea, Trento, Pavia and Cape Town, in international corporations, for instance in Boeing and Osram, and in numerous research institutions in Slovenia. The main areas of work are: development of finite elements for the simulation of solids, contact problems and sensitivity analysis; analysis and optimisation of steel structures; simulations of connected thermal-hydro-mechanical problems; analysis of stochastic problems and development of algorithms for multiple rock analysis.

The Chair coordinates courses dealing with nonlinear numerical analysis of structures and solids at the Master Study Program of Civil Engineering. In the last few years the Chair has also been promoting its educational activity in the area of international technical teaching through international workshops and seminars, because higher level of abstract description of the mechanical and numerical models in combination with an innovative approach allows students direct insight into complex nonlinear models.

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