Ingo Burgert: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022

Name Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert
FieldWood Materials Science
Institut für Baustoffe (IfB)
ETH Zürich, HIF E 87.1
Laura-Hezner-Weg 7
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 77 73
DepartmentCivil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
RelationshipFull Professor

101-0615-01LMaterials Lab Exercises Restricted registration - show details 4 credits4PR. J. Flatt, U. Angst, I. Burgert, D. Kammer, H. Richner, F. Wittel
AbstractIntroduction into the basic and practical knowledge of important building materials and testing methods.
ObjectiveIntroduction into the basic and practical knowledge of important building materials and testing methods.
Contento Introduction of material testing equipment, with various examples of experiments on metals (tensile behaviour, hardness, bending and impact loading).
o Theoretical background and practical aspects of concrete technology: mixture design, casting and setting; determination of mechanical properties.
o Properties of bricks and mortar: individual materials and the composite brickwork. Parameters like strength, Young’s modulus, water absorption and thermal conductivity are determined.
o Understanding the characteristic properties of wood: anisotropy, hygroscopic behaviour, shrinkage and swelling, and effect of size on strength. Introduction to test-methods for wood and wood-products.
o Introduction into the basics of scanning electron microscopy: practical exercises with the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM).
o Introduction to fundamentals of Finite Element Methods and their application in examples.
o Introduction to durability of building materials and building structures: assessment of potentials for detecting and locating corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete.
Lecture notesFor each topic a script will be provided, that can be downloaded under
101-0617-01LAdvances in Building Materials4 credits2GR. J. Flatt, I. Burgert
AbstractThe course on Advances in Building Materials provides an introductive overview of the needs and future of materials science in the building sector. Focus topics concern sustainability, durability, thermal insulation, coatings, sealants, adhesives, flame retardancy and the future perspective and developments of concrete and wood with regard to smart material development and ecological concerns.
ObjectiveIn this course, the students will gain a broad overview of the use of materials in the building sector, with a particular focus on concrete and wood. Current limitations and in particular sustainability related challenges will be detailed with the objective of laying the grounds to discuss future developments anticipated in this field.
ContentThis course for civil engineers lays the grounds in the specialization Materials and Mechanics and complements the second introductory course of the specialization on Numerical Mechanics of Materials. The course also addresses master students in Materials Science and other study programs interested in deepening their understanding of application-relevant properties of engineering materials and sustainability related challenges.
The following topics are covered:
1. Material selection
2. Materials and sustainability 1
3. Materials and sustainability 2
4. Recyclability
5. Material science of wood durability
6. Material science of concrete durability
7. Foams in construction and thermal insulation
8. Sealants and adhesives in construction
9. Coatings
10. Flame retardants
11. Future of wood – 1
12. Future of wood – 2
13. Future of concrete – 1
14. Future of concrete – 2
Lecture notesHandouts will be provided for each lecture.
101-0637-01LTimber Structures I
Remark: Students in Civil Engineering must enrol this course as a year course Timber Structures I+II.
3 credits2GA. Frangi, I. Burgert, G. Fink, R. Steiger
AbstractConceptual design, detailing and structural analysis of multi-storey timber buildings as well as timber roof structures and halls.
ObjectiveComprehension and application of basic knowledge of structural timber design including material behaviour especially anisotropy, moisture and long duration effects and their consideration in structural analysis and detailing.
Conceptual design, detailing and structural analysis of multi-storey timber buildings as well as timber roof structures and halls.
ContentField of application of timber structures; Timber as building material (wood structure, physical and mechanical properties of wood and wood-based products); Durability; Principles of design and dimensioning; Connections (dowels, nails, screws, glued connections); Timber components and assemblies (mechanically jointed beams, trusses); Design and detaling of multi-storey timber buildings as well as timber roof structures and halls.
Lecture notesAutography Timber Structures
Copies of lecture slides
LiteratureTimber design tables HBT 1, Lignum
Swiss Standard SIA 265
Swiss Standard SIA 265/1
Eurocode 5
101-0637-10LWood Structure and Function Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.
3 credits2GI. Burgert, G. von Arx
AbstractThe course Wood structure and function conveys basic knowledge on the microstructure of softwoods and hardwoods as well as general and species-specific relationships between growth processes, wood properties and wood function in the living tree.
ObjectiveLearning target is a basic understanding of the anatomy of wood and the related impact of endogenous and exogenous factors. The students can learn how to distinguish common central European wood species at the macroscopic and microscopic level. A deeper insight will be given by wood identification exercises for softwood species. Further, the students will gain insight into the relationships between tree growth and wood properties with a specific focus on the wood function in the living tree.
ContentIn an introduction to wood anatomy, the general structural features of softwoods and hardwoods will be explained and factors of diversity and variability will be discussed. A specific focus is laid on common central European tree species with relevance in the wood sector, which will be studied in macro-and microstructural investigations. In the following, relationships between wood structure, properties and function in the living tree will be in the focus of the lectures. Topics covered are water transport, trends in wood anatomy within trees, environmental impact on wood anatomy, wood defects and their causes, tools to study wood properties over time, secondary changes in wood, and tree biomechanics.
101-0637-20LFundamentals of Wood Elaboration and Woodmachining3 credits2GI. Burgert, M. Schubert
AbstractThe course Wood processing conveys knowledge on technological properties of wood and wood-based materials as well as on industrial processes for the fabrication of a vast variety of wood products and covers new developments in the field of digital technologies.
ObjectiveLearning target is a fundamental understanding of the dominating wood machining processes, which are applied to fabricate common wood products. Students will be introduced to the economic relevance of the renewable resource wood and are trained in its technological properties. The students will learn to identify the relationships between wood species and their properties as well as the suitable wood machining processes to fabricate targeted wood products. Finally, the digital transformation process, which will affect all sectors of the wood industry with impact on the entire value chain and business models will be covered. It will be illustrated how production processes will become more flexible, efficient and less resource demanding.
ContentThe general introduction shows the economic relevance of the resource wood in a global, European and Swiss context and reflects aspects of sustainability in wood production and certification. In terms of bulk wood products a specific focus in laid on sawn timber production and drying processes. With regard to wood veneer production, steaming, veneer cutting and assembly to veneer lumber products are presented. Further the common technologies for the production of particle boards and fibre boards as well as paper will be discussed. In the following, the topics are related to wood gluing and wood protection as well as potentials and limitations in the application of wood and wood-based products. In a further part, the lecture deals with the most important digital technologies, e.g. Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and their impact on the wood industry on the basis of illustrative examples. At the end of the lecture an excursion to a Swiss wood manufacturer is planned, in order to facilitate practical experience.
327-1221-00LBiological and Bio-Inspired Materials Information 4 credits3GA. R. Studart, I. Burgert, R. Nicolosi Libanori, G. Panzarasa
AbstractThe aim of this course is to impart knowledge on the underlying principles governing the design of biological materials and on strategies to fabricate synthetic model systems whose structural organization resembles those of natural materials.
ObjectiveThe course first offers a comprehensive introduction to evolutive aspects of materials design in nature and a general overview about the most common biopolymers and biominerals found in biological materials. Next, current approaches to fabricate bio-inspired materials are presented, followed by a detailed evaluation of their structure-property relationships with focus on mechanical, optical, surface and adaptive properties.
ContentThis course is structured in 3 blocks:
Block (I): Fundamentals of engineering in biological materials
- Biological engineering principles
- Basic building blocks found in biological materials

Block (II): Replicating biological design principles in synthetic materials
- Biological and bio-inspired materials: polymer-reinforced and ceramic-toughened composites
- Lightweight biological and bio-inspired materials
- Functional biological and bio-inspired materials: surfaces, self-healing and adaptive materials

Block (III): Bio-inspired design and systems
- Mechanical actuation - plant systems
- Bio-inspiration in the built environment
Lecture notesCopies of the slides will be made available for download before each lecture.
LiteratureThe course is mainly based on the books listed below. Additional references will be provided during the lectures.

1. M. A. Meyers and P-Y. Chen; Biological Materials Science - Biological Materials, Bioinspired Materials and Biomaterials. (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
2. P. Fratzl, J. W. C. Dunlop and R. Weinkamer; Materials Design Inspired by Nature: Function Through Inner Architecture. (The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013).
3. A. R. Studart, R. Libanori, R. M. Erb, Functional Gradients in Biological Composites in Bio- and Bioinspired Nanomaterials. (Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2014), pp. 335-368.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered