Ingo Burgert: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Name Prof. Dr. Ingo Burgert
FieldWood Materials Science
Institut für Baustoffe (IfB)
ETH Zürich, HCP G 27.2
Leopold-Ruzicka-Weg 4
8093 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 77 73
DepartmentCivil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
RelationshipFull Professor

101-0615-01LMaterials III Restricted registration - show details 4 credits4PR. J. Flatt, I. Burgert, P. Lura, 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
101-0617-00LMaterials IV Information 3 credits2GH. J. Herrmann, I. Burgert, R. J. Flatt, F. Wittel
AbstractThis lecture is focused on current issues of materials research from various fields. It provides an overview on various directions of research on civil engineering materials and is intended to simplify the further choice of courses.
ObjectiveBased on the bachelor courses „Materials I-III“, current, fundamental, and important issues of specific building materials are addressed. Next to aspects of material production, usage and properties, their interaction with the environment e.g. by durability and environmental impact are addressed. This course is intended to simplify the further selection of courses.
ContentThe lecture is segmented into 13 important problems, namely:
1. Materials, Structures, and Sustainability
2. Granular matter: (DEM)
3. Fracture mechanics and size effects in concrete
4. Cyclic failure of asphalt (Fatigue)
5. Mechanics and failure of fiber reinforces materials
6. Wood: from the tree to the beam (multi scale approaches)
7. Transport and degradation in porous building materials
8. Rheology
9. Plasticity
10. Foam (e.g. polymers)
11. Gluing and coating (surfaces)
12. Asbestos, nano particles and hazardous substances
13. Biomimetics in Constructions
Lecture notesdownload from
Literaturedownload from
Prerequisites / NoticeThe lecture will be given in english.
101-0637-01LWood and Wood Composites3 credits2GA. Frangi, I. Burgert, G. Fink, M. Fontana, R. Steiger
AbstractKnowledge of characteristic properties of wood as a anisotropic and porous material and their consideration in structural timber design. History, ecology, structure of timber, drying, material properties, influence of moisture and creep. Durability and grading.
Solid timber, glued laminated timber and wood composites.
Fire behaviour and fire design.
ObjectiveKnowledge of characteristic properties of wood as a anisotropic and porous material and their consideration in structural timber design. Knowledge about history, ecology, structure of timber, drying, material properties, influence of moisture and creep, durability and grading.
Knowledge about material properties and field of applications of solid timber, glued laminated timber and wood composites.
Design of timber in fire.
ContentCharacteristic properties of wood as a anisotropic and porous material and their consideration in structural timber design. History, ecology, structure of timber, drying, material properties, influence of moisture and creep, grading. Durability.
Material properties and field of applications of solid timber, glued laminated timber and wood composites.
Fire safety and fire design.
Case studies.
Lecture notesPower Point slides. Further literature.
Literature- U. Lohmann: Holzhandbuch, 2. Aufl., DRW-Verlag Stuttgart, 1982
- R. von Halasz, C. Scheer (Hrsg.): Holzbau-Taschenbuch, Band 1: Grundlagen, Entwurf und Konstruktionen, 8. Aufl., Verlag Ernst & Sohn, Berlin., 1986
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Vorlesung ist mit einer halbtägigen Exkursion verbunden.

Voraussetzungen: Grundkenntnisse der Baustoffkunde
101-0637-10LStructures of Wood and Function Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.
3 credits2GI. Burgert, E. R. Zürcher
AbstractThe lecture 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. For softwoods, exercises for the identification of species will be conducted. In the following, relationships between wood structure, properties and function in the living tree will be in the focus of the lecture. Topics covered are mechanical stability and water transport, branches, reaction wood formation (compression wood, tension wood), spiral growth, growth stresses as well as adaptive growth of trees.
101-0637-20LFundamentals of Wood Elaboration and Woodmachining3 credits2GI. Burgert, O. F. Kläusler
AbstractThe lecture 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.
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.
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. 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
Students that already enroled in this course during their Bachelor's degree studies are not allowed to enrol again in their Master's.
3 credits3GA. R. Studart, I. Burgert, E. Cabane, R. Nicolosi Libanori
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.
701-0901-00LETH Week 2017: Manufacturing the Future Restricted registration - show details
All ETH Bachelor¿s, Master¿s and exchange students can take part in the ETH week. No prior knowledge is required
1 credit3SR. Knutti, C. Bratrich, S. Brusoni, I. Burgert, A. Cabello Llamas, F. Gramazio, G. Grote, A. Krause, M. Meboldt, A. R. Studart, A. Vaterlaus
AbstractThe ETH Week is an innovative one-week course designed to foster critical thinking and creative learning. Students from all departments as well as professors and external experts will work together in interdisciplinary teams. They will develop interventions that could play a role in solving some of our most pressing global challenges. In 2017, ETH Week will focus on the topic of manufacturing.
Objective- Domain specific knowledge: Students have immersed knowledge about a certain complex, societal topic which will be selected every year. They understand the complex system context of the current topic, by comprehending its scientific, technical, political, social, ecological and economic perspectives.

- Analytical skills: The ETH Week participants are able to structure complex problems systematically using selected methods. They are able to acquire further knowledge and to critically analyze the knowledge in interdisciplinary groups and with experts and the help of team tutors.

- Design skills: The students are able to use their knowledge and skills to develop concrete approaches for problem solving and decision making to a selected problem statement, critically reflect these approaches, assess their feasibility, to transfer them into a concrete form (physical model, prototypes, strategy paper, etc.) and to present this work in a creative way (role-plays, videos, exhibitions, etc.).

- Self-competence: The students are able to plan their work effectively, efficiently and autonomously. By considering approaches from different disciplines they are able to make a judgment and form a personal opinion. In exchange with non-academic partners from business, politics, administration, nongovernmental organizations and media they are able to communicate appropriately, present their results professionally and creatively and convince a critical audience.

- Social competence: The students are able to work in multidisciplinary teams, i.e. they can reflect critically their own discipline, debate with students from other disciplines and experts in a critical-constructive and respectful way and can relate their own positions to different intellectual approaches. They can assess how far they are able to actively make a contribution to society by using their personal and professional talents and skills and as "Change Agents".
ContentThe week is mainly about problem solving and design thinking applied to the complex manufacturing world. During ETH Week students will have the opportunity to work in small interdisciplinary groups, allowing them to critically analyze both their own approaches and those of other disciplines, and to integrate these into their work.

While deepening their knowledge about how manufacturing works, students will be introduced to various methods and tools for generating creative ideas and understand how different people are affected by each part of the system. In addition to lectures and literature, students will acquire knowledge via excursions into the real world, empirical observations, and conversations with researchers and experts.

A key attribute of the ETH Week is that students are expected to find their own problem, rather than just solve the problem that has been handed to them.

Therefore, the first three days of the week will concentrate on identifying a problem the individual teams will work on, while the last two days are focused on generating solutions and communicating the team's ideas.
Prerequisites / NoticeNo prerequisites. Program is open to Bachelor and Masters from all ETH Departments. All students must apply through a competitive application process at Participation is subject to successful selection through this competitive process.