Civil Engineering Research - Structural Engineering

Structural engineering is vital to an efficient and effective development built environment. As urban development and global urbanisation take place, the Structural Engineering group has focussed its efforts on structural integrity and serviceability, sustainable design, disaster resilience, structural robustness and innovative structural materials. Working collaboratively with colleagues from academia and industry, we have looked at novel structural materials, energy-producing structures, renewable energy structures and zero-CO2.

These topics are tackled in collaboration with other School’s research groups and subjects include High Strength Steel (HSS) structures, glass (energy-producing and energy-efficient facades), load bearing glass constructions, composite panels (timber, synthetics, fibre-reinforced etc.), cold-formed structural members, structural insulated panels and new generation concretes. Particular emphasis is given to Wind Energy Structures design and in particular, to Building Integrated Wind Turbine BIWT-structures and to zero CO2 emissions policy related topics. 

Structural Engineering - Photograph courtesy of Lightworks Photography/Barrett Byrd Associates

Photograph courtesy of Lightworks Photography/Barrett Byrd Associates

Research activities in Structural Engineering

This discipline of Structural Engineering is fundamental to many other areas of research, growing originally as a result of investigating the structural response of reinforced concrete and steel structures. Today, the team at Birmingham carries out research alongside the requirements of modern structural design codes and therefore consider structural integrity, robustness and serviceability within cutting-edge research into structures and their components. Work includes the study of conventional and advanced structures (such as load-bearing glass and High Strength Steel structures) which provides a comprehensive range of research interest around the theme of structural Integrity, serviceability, structural robustness and advanced structures design.

Structural Engineering

Professor Charalampos Baniotopoulos, Dr Jian Yang, Dr Samir Dirar and Dr Pedro Martinez-Vazquez, have expertise covering theoretical and numerical modelling, as well laboratory and field testing. 

Current research projects include: 

Research activities in the Design of Wind Energy Structures

The discipline of the design of Wind Energy Structures (WES) concerns research activity on wind energy technology infrastructure and, principally, wind energy towers. The use of High Strength Steel (HSS), innovative component joining techniques and alternative solutions for the foundations are among the topics investigated.

Professor Charalampos Baniotopoulos and a group of talented research students have a number of projects in this topic and focus on the optimisation of the structural design of wind energy towers. 

Research projects of note involve the study of:

Design of Wind Energy Structures

Sustainability and Resilience issues in Structural Engineering

This discipline concerns research activities on sustainability and resilience topics in structures. Construction activities consume more raw materials by weight (about 50%) than any other industrial sector. 

Furthermore, demolition activities also create the largest waste streams. Optimised design, material choice, recycling waste construction materials can contribute significantly to a zero-CO2 embedded energy and waste strategy.

Professor Charalampos BaniotopoulosDr Jian Yang and Dr Samir Dirar together with their research students, are currently investigating

  • sustainable steel buildings 
  • concrete with recycled aggregates
  • fibre reinforced concrete with recycled aggregates 
  • energy-saving building facades

Sustainability and Resilience issues in Structural Engineering

Opportunities relevant to this theme

This active research group is always looking for good postgraduate research candidates. For general enquiries, please contact us (details below) or search on the Postgraduate Research Degrees web pages.

We also offer taught postgraduate programmes, including:

Enquiries to


For postgraduate research opportunities, please contact ther Postgraduate Support Team
Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 4160 / +44 (0)121 414 4233

For postgraduate taught courses and MScs, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone:  +44 (0)121 414 5089

To discuss a new research project or to explore applying the group’s research to your business, please contact
Dr David Boardman, Knowledge Transfer Manager, Tel +44(0)121 414 5086, Email