The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Civil Engineering Master Information
The entire course programs of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich are open to the students to individual selection.
Recommended Electives of Master Programme
051-0781-16LCostruire correttamente/Constructing Correctly: Curve and Fold to Bear Loads and Forces Restricted registration - show details W2 credits2GG. Birindelli
AbstractIn line with the approach of P.L. Nervi's book, our study is based on factors that, outlined by him, are still today all the more relevant as a lesson for architecturally and structurally justified buildings. We will observe selected buildings both of our time and of the past for their space, architecture and construction, understand them and interpret them according to universal values of design.
Objective'Costruire correttamente' (Constructing Correctly), the 1955 book published by Pier Luigi Nervi, covers crucial factors for building that, outlined by him, are still today all the more relevant as a lesson for architecturally and structurally justified buildings. His thoughts represent valuable criteria and indispensable tools for observation and carrying out investigations of the built environment.
Lessons learned from this can enrich the design work of today's and tomorrow's architects.
All of these (see abstract) i.e. analyses, observances, hypotheses, groupings and cross-comparisons, will help the students in their careers to find their own strategies and approaches to design and to be aware of them. And so, according to the advice of Pier Luigi Nervi : "...At every stage of his training, the future architect should be constantly and methodically guided to search for essential elements in each problem, be it large or small. The study of the architectural works of the past should consist in the critical examination of their functional and structural solutions and of the relation between these and form, in order to show that form is a consequence and not a determinant of functional and structural needs." [P.L. Nervi: Costruire correttamente, Milano 1955; English version titled "Structures", 1956, p.28].
ContentThe main thread of this course, that runs over two semesters (*), are buildings of all ages that could be categorised under notions such as « most viewed », « most technically daring », « most unknown », « most discussed » or « most worthly of discussion », and carry instructive aspects of the teachings of Pier Luigi Nervi ("costruire correttamente"). In the lecture, these buildings will be investigated on-the-spot, described from the designers' point-of-view and will be commented on with reference to any redesign resulting from the interplay of architectural and structural concepts. Harmonies and discords should be discovered.
Occasionally there will be guest lectures. These people, who were directly involved with a certain building, will portray the emergence and development of the project.
In this sense, the course is also intended for civil / structural engineering students and presents a possible bridge between the two prospective project partners - architect and engineer.

(*) Begins in the autumn semester. Entry into the course in the spring is possible.
Lecture notesNone for the time being
363-1065-00LDesign Thinking: Human-Centred Solutions to Real World Challenges Restricted registration - show details
Due to didactic reasons, the number of participants is limited to 30.

All interested students are invited to apply for this course by sending a one-page motivation letter until 14.9.16 to Florian Rittiner (

Additionally please enroll via mystudies. Places will be assigned after the first lecture on the basis of your motivation letter and commitment for the class.
W5 credits5GA. Cabello Llamas, F. Rittiner, S. Brusoni, C. Hölscher, M. Meboldt
AbstractThe goal of this course is to engage students in a multidisciplinary collaboration to tackle real world problems. Following a design thinking approach, students will work in teams to solve a set of design challenges that are organized as a one-week, a three-week, and a final six-week project in collaboration with an external project partner.

Information and application:
ObjectiveDuring the course, students will learn about different design thinking methods and tools. This will enable them to:
- Generate deep insights through the systematic observation and interaction of key stakeholders.
- Engage in collaborative ideation with a multidisciplinary (student) team.
- Rapidly prototype and iteratively test ideas and concepts by using various materials and techniques.
ContentThe purpose of this course is to equip the students with methods and tools to tackle a broad range of problems. Following a Design Thinking approach, the students will learn how to observe and interact with key stakeholders in order to develop an in-depth understanding of what is truly important and emotionally meaningful to the people at the center of a problem. Based on these insights, the students ideate on possible solutions and immediately validated them through quick iterations of prototyping and testing using different tools and materials. The students will work in multidisciplinary teams on a set of challenges that are organized as a one-week, a three-week, and a final six-week project with an external project partner. In this course, the students will learn about the different Design Thinking methods and tools that are needed to generate deep insights, to engage in collaborative ideation, rapid prototyping and iterative testing.

Design Thinking is a deeply human process that taps into the creative abilities we all have, but that get often overlooked by more conventional problem solving practices. It relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express ourselves through means beyond words or symbols. Design Thinking provides an integrated way by incorporating tools, processes and techniques from design, engineering, the humanities and social sciences to identify, define and address diverse challenges. This integration leads to a highly productive collaboration between different disciplines.

For more information and the application visit:
Prerequisites / NoticeClass attendance and active participation is crucial as much of the learning occurs through the work in teams during class. Therefore, attendance is obligatory for every session. Please also note that the group work outside class is an essential element of this course, so that students must expect an above-average workload.
363-1047-00LEconomics of Urban TransportationW3 credits2GA. Russo
AbstractThe first part of the course will present some basic principles of transportation economics, applied to the main issues in urban transport policy (e.g. road pricing, public transport tariffs, investment in infrastructure etc.). The second part of the course will consider some case studies where we will apply the tools acquired in the first part to actual policy issues.
ObjectiveThe main objective of this course is to provide students with some basic tools to analyze transport policy decisions from an economic perspective. Can economics help us reduce road congestion problems? Should drivers be asked to pay for using urban roads? Should public transport tariffs depend on how roads are priced? How should the investment in transport infrastructure be financed? These are some of the questions that students should be able to tackle after completing the course.
ContentCOURSE OUTLINE (preliminary):

1. Introduction
2. Travel demand :
a. travel cost and value of time
b. mode choice
3. Road congestion and first-best pricing
a. Static congestion model
b. Dynamic congestion models
c. Examples: London Congestion Charge, Stockholm Congestion Charge
4. Second-best pricing
a. Pricing roads with unpriced alternatives. Examples: tolled and toll-free highways
b. Public transport: pricing with road congestion and with (or without) road tolls
5. Investment in infrastructure: public transport and roads
a. Roads: Investment with and without pricing
b. induced demand
c. Economies of scale/density in public transport
6. Topics:
a. Political economy of road pricing: why do we see road pricing in so few cities (London, Stockholm...) and not in many other cities (NYC, Manchester, Paris...)?
b. What are the alternatives to road pricing to reduce congestion? Parking tariffs, traffic regulation (speed bumps, low emission zones), road space reduction. Examples: Zurich, San Francisco (SFPark), Paris.
c. Transport and land use: value of housing and transport services. Road congestion, transport subsidies and urban sprawl.
Lecture notesCourse slides will be made available to students prior to each class.
LiteratureSYLLABUS (preliminary):

course slides will be made available to students.

Additional material:

Part 1 to 5: textbook: Small and Verhoef (The economics of urban transportation, 2007).

Part 6: Topics to be covered on research papers/case studies.
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