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Chair of Concrete, Masonry and Timber Structures

Katedra za masivne in lesene konstrukcije (KMLK)

The Chair of Concrete, Masonry and Timber Structures is active in research, professional and educational work covering the wider area of building structures. Our main focus is on reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, composite, masonry and timber structures. Structures made of all these materials have share the same material and geometric nonlinearity as well as rheological properties that affect considerably their behaviour. Reinforced and prestressed concrete represent »composite material«, which is extremely non-homogeneous and consists of very diversified materials, each of them behaving extremely nonlinearly.

For the moment the Chair has four members: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jože Lopatič as Head, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sebastjan Bratina, Assist. Prof. Dr. Drago Saje and technical associate Igor Valjavec.

Educational activity

With the courses taught by the members of the Chair of Concrete, Masonry and Timber Structures, we transfer to our students the knowledge about the behaviour of non-reinforced, reinforced and prestressed concrete structures as well as composite, masonry and timber structures. The students learn about the procedures for their design, and once they master these bases, they also learn about proper conceptual design, modelling, analysis and design of load-carrying structural elements. They obtain knowledge about the principles and rules for the preparation of project documents, and they learn about the bases of team work.

In different study programs we coordinate the following courses: Concrete Structures, Concrete and Masonry Structures, Timber Structures, Design of Building Structures, Introduction to Timber and Steel Structures, Introduction to Concrete and Masonry Structures, Concrete Buildings, Concrete Bridges, Design of Load-Bearing Structures of Buildings, Selected Chapters from Concrete and Masonry Structures, Engineering Timber Structures and Seminar from the Design of Concrete and Masonry Structures. Part of the courses  are offered also as elective contents, some of them are available within modules, while others are obligatory for specific study programs. As a rule, the courses are provided in the form of lectures, complemented by laboratory and seminar tutorials or seminars dealing with practical cases. An exception is the course Seminar from the Design of Concrete and Masonry Structures, where students learn conceptual design and design of concrete buildings and bridges in the form of seminars and tutorials.

The teaching process is complemented by expert field trips. We visit current building sites, production plants for concrete mix ingredients, production plants for prefabricated concrete and timber products and production plants for prefabricated elements used in concrete or timber structures.

Students are also able to actively cooperate in projects implemented in cooperation with business companies. For the moment, a group of students from the second cycle study program Civil Engineering is working on a project for the design of a load-carrying structure of a 40 m high timber tower »View over«.

Research and professional activity

Research of mechanical and rheological properties of concrete related to the concrete mix composition. The aim of the latest investigations is the development of adequate recipes for high strength concretes made of local materials. We also develop and investigate the properties of micro-reinforced concretes. The fact is that there is no concrete with all ideal properties. We investigate the reasons why, for example, modern high strength concrete, although it has high compressive strength, shows autogenous shrinkage much earlier, which leads to concrete cracking and shorter life span. We develop new types of concrete with longer life span, where durability is essential demand, and/or with higher strength in case of large compressive load. Good knowledge of mechanical and rheological concrete properties is the basis for the elaboration of nonlinear analysis of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures.

Elaboration of theoretic bases and software for realistic nonlinear analysis of the behaviour of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures, composite and timber structures. Within this area we investigate the structural response to external impacts in cases of normal design conditions and in cases of elevated temperatures during fire. The analysis includes material and geometric nonlinearity, rheology of materials, the influence of gradual construction, the influence of localized deformations and material softening. The developed software allows solving the most demanding real-life problems from practice.

Laboratory investigations into the behaviour of load-carrying elements made of reinforced and prestressed concrete as well as composite timber elements with metal or non-metal reinforcements. The laboratory and field investigations are focused on the response of structural elements on the mechanical loads or impacts from the environment, including regular load tests of various bridging structures, such as bridges, viaducts, cross-overs and underpasses, before they are handed over to public use.

Cooperation with the economy in the development of innovative reinforced and prestressed concrete, composite and timber structural elements and systems.

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