The Institute of Structural Lightweight Design prepares students for a wide variety of career paths by an application-oriented and research-led teaching and by the impartation of a broad university basic knowledge.

A particular goal is the cooperation with foreign universities to promote the international exchange of students.

Courses offered in Current Semester

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Complete Course Program

Fundamentals of Lightweight Design

  • Combined Course (KV, lecture and tutorial parts) 2 hours per week (2.5 ECTS)

The course gives an overview on the applications and classical disciplines of lightweight design:

  • Objective, methods and tools of lightweight design
  • Types of lightweight constructions
  • Examples of lightweight systems design
  • Lightweight materials, metals, composite materials and joining technologies
  • Introduction into constructional lightweight design

The course (KV) is a

  • Compulsory subject of the bachelor's programme in Polymer Engineering
  • Compulsory subject of the specialisation Mechanics of the bachelor's programme Mechatronics

Design of Lightweight Structures

  • Lecture (KV) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS, is held in winter semester)
  • Tutorial (UE) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS, is held in winter semester)

This course covers the design and strength analysis of lightweight parts and structures:

  • Introduction into Structural Lightweight Design
  • Stress Analysis of Lightweight Structures
  • Stability Analysis of Lightweight Structures
  • Strength Design of Lightweight Constructions
  • Strength of Composite Materials - Fundamentals

Lightweight Design with Composite Materials

  • Lecture (VO) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS)
  • Tutorial (UE) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS)

This course introduces the basic concepts of lightweight design with composite materials, particularly with laminated fiber-reinforced polymers and provides a fundamental knowledge regarding the strength analysis of such materials:

  • Introduction to composite materials
  • Fiber and matrix materials
  • Micro-mechanical behavior of a lamina
  • Macro-mechanical behavior of a lamina
  • Macro-mechanical behavior and stiffness design of laminates
  • Failure criteria and strength concepts
  • Design of lightweight composite structures

Lecture (VO) and tutorial (UE) are compulsory subject of the master's programme Polymer Technologies and Science

Structural Health Monitoring

  • Lecture (VL) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS, is held in winter semester)

The lecture covers methods and techniques for automated monitoring of lightweight structures in terms of structural damage:

  • "Structural Health Monitoring" (SHM) as mechatronic task
  • Application of SHM in civil engineering and aerospace
  • Classification and assessment of the damages of structures (e.g. cracks)
  • Appropriate sensors and measurement methods for SHM
  • Design of SHM systems

Structural Analysis with Finite Element Method

  • Lecture (KV) 1 hour per week (1.5 ECTS, is held in winter semester)

This compact, application-oriented course provides an introduction to the numerical strength calculation of lightweight components using Finite Element programs:

  • Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • Introduction to the operation of a finite element program
  • Calculation of simple static stress problems
  • Calculation of stability problems of beam and shell structures
  • Physical nonlinearities and their interaction with stability problems
  • Calculation of dynamic problems

This course is compulsory for all students who want to carry out a thesis at the Institute of Structural Lightweight Design.

Structural Durability Calculations

  • Tutorial (UE) 1 hour per week (1.5 ECTS)

In this course the basic knowledges of the durability calculations are acquired:

  • Short overview of the durability theories of engineering materials with special focus on fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites and sandwich structures.
  • Fatigue; Physical modeling of damage development for composite materials under stress, Life-time prediction methods for both constant and variable stress histories, statistical analysis of fatigue data, application of constant life diagrams for engineering structures, reliability methods, fatigue analysis of adhesively bonded structural joints, theories for multiaxial stress state analysis
  • Creep; application of the time-temperature superposition principle for creep calculations of composite materials
  • Wear; models of composite wear, application of life time estimation methods


Structural Durability and Damage Tolerance

  • Lecture (VL) 2 hours per week (3 ECTS, is held in winter semester)

This course introduces the basic concepts of damage and failure of lightweight structures:

  • Material behavior under quasi-static monotonic, and quasi-static cyclic (fatigue) loading
  • Cyclic loading case: analysis methods for fatigue damage intitiation, and fatigue damage growth
  • Particular damage modes and mechanisms for homogeneous isotropic (e.g., metals), and heterogeneous orthotropic (e.g., fiber reinforced laminated composites) materials
  • Composite materials: intra-laminar, and inter-laminar (delamination) damage
  • Analytical methods, and particular aspects of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) numerical implementation

Interested in a Thesis?

Students who want to deepen their knowledge or pursue a career in structural lightweight design have the opportunity to conduct a bachelor's or master's thesis or do research as part of a doctoral study at the institute.

Current topics for bachelor's and master's theses can be found here. For an overview of finished master's theses please see here.

Further topics for bachelor's and master's theses can be developed together in accordance with the interests and the personal goals of the students. If interested, please contact directly Prof. Martin Schagerl.

For the preparation of the bachelor's thesis the following seminars in the amount of 6 hours per week have to be taken at the Institute of Structural Lightweight Design:

  • Bachelor Seminar for students of Mechatronics
  • Project Seminar for students of Polymer Engineering

For the preparation of the master's thesis the following seminars in the amount of 3 hours per week have to be taken at the Institute of Structural Lightweight Design:

  • Master's Thesis Seminar for students of Mechatronics
  • Master's Thesis Seminar for students of Polymer Technologies and Science

Doctoral theses are associated with an employment at the institute. Such offers will be announced here.