101-0138-00L  Bridge Design

SemesterSpring Semester 2022
LecturersW. Kaufmann
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThis course presents the fundamentals of bridge design. It covers the entire range from conceptual design to construction, encompassing all relevant building materials. The focus lies on the structural behaviour of today’s most important bridge typologies and their suitability for certain boundary conditions, the dimensioning of the main structural elements as well as construction methods.
ObjectiveAfter successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
- Define the main bridge design parameters and identify constraints and boundary conditions
- Explain the structural behaviour and peculiarities of today’s most important bridge typologies
- Explain the main elements of bridges and their structural behaviour
- Define the relevant actions on bridges
- Dimension a standard bridge (pre-dimensioning by hand; dimensioning using computer-aided tools)
- Explain the most relevant bridge construction and erection methods
- Select an appropriate typology and conceive a convincing bridge for a site with its specific boundary conditions
- Name the most eminent bridge designers and their relevant works
ContentThe course is built up as follows:
1. Introduction
2. Conceptual design
3. Superstructure / Girder bridges
4. Support and articulation
5. Substructure
6. Arch bridges
7. Frame bridges
8. Special girder bridges
9. Cable-supported bridges

The course is complemented by
- Guest lectures by leading bridge designers active in industry
- Inverted classroom exercises on conceptual bridge design
- Slides on eminent bridge designers and their works
- Exercises (homework)
Lecture notesLecture notes (slides with explanations)
LiteratureMenn C.: Prestressed Concrete Bridges. Basel: Birkhäuser Basel, 1990
(available online at ETH Library)

Hirt, M., Lebet, J.P.: Steel Bridges. EPFL Press, New York, 2013
(available online at ETH Library)
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is part of the MSc specialisation in structures and requires solid knowledge in structural analysis and design. Students are assumed to be proficient in the material taught in the following courses offered in the BSc in Civil Engineering at ETH Zurich (or have acquired equivalent knowledge elsewhere):
- Theory of structures I+II
- Steel structures I+II (incl. steel-concrete composite structures)
- Structural Concrete I+II (incl. prestressed concrete)

The flipped classroom exercises are preparing the students for Part 1 of the exam (conceptual design). Active participation is highly recommended to all students who have not conceived a bridge.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Social CompetenciesCooperation and Teamworkassessed
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered