Bridges - Challenges of Planning, Design & Construction

  • Engage in an exchange with international key players in the bridge construction industry and find out how they see the future of the business.
  • Profit from presentations about groundbreaking bridge projects from around the world.
  • Use the networking sessions, such as the World Cafés and the exclusive evening get-together to expand your professional network on an international level.

The international VDI Bridges – Challenges of Planning, Design and Construction conference in Rotterdam is the central industry meeting point for the leading players in the bridge construction industry. Here you’ll find out firsthand about the developments and trends that will shape the future of bridge construction. Practical reports of international bridge project will present country-specific challenges and how to overcome them successfully.

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Bridge across Schorgast Valley - Design Process of an Exciting Cable Stayed Bridge
Author: Dr.-Img. Bernhard Schäpertöns, Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Schäfer, Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Näßl

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Focus areas: digitalization and international bridge projects

The careful construction of bridges and their maintenance is clearly very important, as demonstrated recently by the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa. That’s why this VDI conference is concerned not just with the traditional challenges to be faced in bridge-building, but also new risks and opportunities that come from increasing digitalization. Themes such as building information modeling (BIM), big data and ‘self-monitoring bridges’, which provide additional safety, will be covered here.

In addition to the use of new technologies, such as drones for bridge inspection, for example, the VDI Bridges – Challenges of Planning, Design and Construction conference will also look at the benefits and disadvantages of new construction materials and the special challenges presented by lightweight bridges. In the process, several practical examples from leading international companies will offer valuable orientation for the realization of your own bridge projects.

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    Tuesday, June 25, 2019


    Registration & welcome coffee


    Chair´s welcome and opening address

    I. The Future of Planning Bridges


    The valuable Role of the strong Concept in Bridge Design

    • What is conceptual design? 
    • The value of story telling 
    • How to define, protect and enhance design quality

    Martin Knight, Director, Knight Architects, England


    Working on Circular Bridges 

    • Working on sustainable solutions for our infrastructure - circular developments in bridges 
    • Integrating circularity in the design of bridges 
    • Possibilities for durable materials 
    • Re-use of ‘old’ bridges
    • Examples: Re-use of Archbridge Lekbrug and the first circular viaduct

    Barbara van Offenbeek-Kuipers, Senior Consultant Circular Infrastructure, Rijkswaterstaat – Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, The Netherlands

    II. Facing international Challenges in Bridge Construction


    Crown Bridges – Tram Connection to Laajasalo

    •  Project presentation
    •  Bridge and light railway project
    •  Design and project management issues

    Ville Alajoki, Team leader, City of Helsinki, Finland


    Making of the Signature Bridge at Delhi – Challenges and Lessons Learned

    •  Challenges during the conceptualisation phase
    •  Lessons learned from engineering the Signature Bridge
    •  Facing logistical and administrational challenges
    •  Getting ready: Our learnings from the commissioning phase

    Venkataramana Heggade, Technical Director, Gammon Engineers & Contractors Pvt Ltd., India




    Challenges in Bridge Construction: Todays Engineer between Technology, Demand and Reality

    •  Draft and deliverables
    •  Technical solution in domain of normative and regulatory complexity
    •  Future developments

    Rüdiger Schidzig, Director, SZG – engineering & managing, Germany


    The Coastal Highway Route E39 Project – How to cross the deep and wide Fjords of Norway

    •  Why we are building a „ferry free“ E39, and the challenges it encompasses
    •  Overview of options for crossing the fjords, including in depth description of two concepts
    •  The Submerged Floating Tube Bridge – The „hidden“ bridge
    •  The Bjørnafjord Crossing – A look at the design of a modern floating bridge

    Mathias Egeland Eidem, Project Manager, Fjord Crossing Project, co-author; Arianna Minoretti, Bridge Section, both: Statens vegvesen - Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Norway


    The Brighton i360 Observation Tower and its Implications for Bridge Engineering

    •  Genesis of the project
    •  From contract phase to completion – the challenges throughout the different phases
    •  Why the project was successful and what we can learn for bridge engineering

    Nardo Hoogendijk, Managing Director, Hollandia, The Netherlands


    Networking and coffee break


    Interactive World Café Session

    During the interactive World Café Session, we invite you to directly engage with other experts. It is an interactively moderated discussion on different topics.

    Discuss and identify challenges within your sector as well as problems, needs and solutions.

    The focus is on the participants – Decide what exactly you would like to discuss and introduce your own experiences and cases.


    End of Conference Day One & Time for Refreshments

    Creating Connections – Challenges of building Footbridges in rural Areas

    Holly Bartelt, Senior Program and Accounts Manager, Bridges to Prosperity, USA

    Get Together

    At the end of the first conference day we kindly invite you to use the relaxed and informal atmosphere for in-depth conversations with other participants and speakers.

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    III. The Importance of Maintaining our Bridges


    Learning from the Polcevera Viaduct – the Importance of Bridge Assessment and Rehabilitation

    •  The structural behaviour of the Polcevera Viaduct
    •  The capacity of the props, stays, deck and diaphragms
    •  The importance of assessment: A systemic failure
    •  Stay versus suspension: An ever ending story

    Marco Petrangeli, CEO, co-author; Dr. Filippo Del Drago, Structural Engineer, both; INTEGRA, Italy


    Digital Transformation of Structural Health Monitoring

    •  Structural health monitoring
    •  Stream processing of data and non destructive testing
    •  Innovative methods and self-monitoring bridges

    Dr.-Ing. Ralf Herrmann, Scientist, co-authors; Dr. Stefan Maack, Scientist, Dr. Matthias Baeßler & Dr. Ernst Niederleithinger, Head of Division,BAM, Germany


    Knowing your Bridges – How to get a good Picture of the Bearing Capacity of your Bridges

    •  Managing all bridge data and make the best out of it
    •  Static analysis of bridges
    •  Fatigue calculations of bigger transports and simulated trafficflow

    Heini Raunio, Bridge Specialist, Väylä - Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, Finland


    Networking and coffee break

    IV. Innovations and New Technologies


    Inspection of Existing Structures by Drones – Recent Trends and Future Perspectives

    •  How to collect and process high quality images
    •  Principle differences between traditional inspection and inspection based on using drones – benefits an challenges
    •  How to generate 3D models (digital twins) of structures based on digital images
    •  Principles & tools for carrying out virtual inspection of structures
    •  Future perspectives – How will virtual inspection, the principles of BIM and asset management merge?

    Finn Raun Gottfredsen, Project Director, COWI, Denmark


    Hybrid Bridges: A Field for Innovation in Structural Engineering

    •  Definition of hybrid structures
    •  Hybrid bridges in construction history
    •  Contemporary hybrid bridges
    •  New trends and future developments in hybrid bridges

    Jose Romo, CEO, FHECOR, Spain


    Computational Design and large-scale 3D Printing for Bridge Building: Current & Future Applications

    •  Key challenges the bridge construction industry must face
    •  Benefits of computational design and large-scale 3D printing vs. traditional bridge design & construction methods
    •  Bridge use cases: Current performance and limits
    •  Technological & market trends

    Jean-Daniel Kuhn, Managing Director, XtreeE, France and Hyuk Brands, CEO, Haasnoot Bruggen, The Netherlands



    V. The Value of Bridge Building Materials


    Design Guidelines for Optimal Use of High Strength Steel in Bridges

    •  Design of highway bridges using High Strength Steel (HSS)
    •  Comparative design of a 80m highway deck in standard S355 and HSS S690 using EC3-1-5
    •  New deck forms to solve local buckling and fatigue issues

    José Oliveira Pedro, Assistant Professor – University of Lisbon, Portugal


    Pre- and Post-tensioning with Carbon Fibres

    •  Building with carbon fibre reinforced polymere
    •  Pre- and posttensioning concrete with carbon fibres
    •  Integral and elegant concrete bridges
    •  The importance of Baukultur

    Mike Schlaich, Professor at Technische Universität Berlin and schlaich bergermann partner, Germany


    The Value of building Bridges with Fiber Reinforced Polymers

    •  Advantages and challenges of FRP bridges
    •  State of the art of FRP bridges in the Netherlands
    •  Durable, flexible and sustainable infrastructure using FRP
    •  Trends and developments in FRP bridges

    Liesbeth Tromp, Lead engineer FRP, Royal HaskoningDHV, The Netherlands


    Panel Discussion – How can good Design, Procurement and Realization of Bridges enhance their Value to Society?
    Moderator: Joris Smits, Lead Architect & Bridge Designer, Royal HaskoningDHV, The Netherlands


    Closing remarks


    End of conference

    Who should take part in the international VDI “Bridges” conference

    This conference is aimed at professionals and management in all areas of bridge construction. The target audience includes, amongst others:

    • Building authorities and officials in the areas of bridges, transport and road construction
    • Construction companies
    • Structure operators and owners
    • Engineering companies
    • Construction material manufacturers
    • Planning offices

    International presenters and renowned supporting experts

    The program of the Bridges – Challenges of Planning, Design and Construction conference is specifically designed for the needs of the industry. It was created with the help of experienced supporting experts. They include Rüdiger Schidzig, Director of SZG GmbH, Mike Schlaich, Professor at the Technical University of Berlin and Partner at “schlaich bergmann partner“ as well as Joris Smits, Lead Architect & Bridge Designer at Royal Haskoning DHV. The international presenters are from the Netherlands, Finland, India, Germany and the United Kingdom, amongst others.

    Book your ticket now

    You’d like to discuss the future of bridge construction with international experts? You want to learn about groundbreaking international projects and apply this knowledge to your own bridge projects? Then book your ticket now for the international VDI Bridges – Challenges of Planning, Design and Construction conference.

    If you are a public authority, please contact us for a special discount.

    Our partners

    Cooperation partners

    Logo Structurae EN

    Advisory Board

    Dipl.-Ing. Rüdiger Schidzig SZG - engineering & managing / Nürnberg

    Prof. Mike Schlaich TU Berlin / Berlin

    Joris Smits Royal HaskoningDHV / Rotterdam

    Eventnumber: 07KO903

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