Research and teaching at our institute is dedicated to practical problems. The aim is to improve tunnel design and construction with respect to safety, costs and durability.
One of the main topics of research is the assessment of ground and system behaviours under different geological and boundary conditions. Observations are used to identify characteristic behaviours. Theoretical models then are developed to describe those behaviours. Testing the theory on practical situations is a mandatory step in the development.
The philosophy is best described by a statement of Leonardo da Vinci:
"They say that the knowledge gained from experience is purely banausic, and only that one developing and ending in the brain is scientific. But it seems to me that science, not being based on experience, the mother of certainty, is vain and full of errors."
This implies that a focus is also set on observations of the behaviour of tunnels, as well as the interpretation of monitoring results. By continuous development over many years and on many projects a considerable knowledge has been accumulated.