Dr Jelena Ninic

Jelena Ninic

Senior Lecturer in Digital Engineering

Contact details

School of Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jelena is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Civil Engineering in the School of Engineering since 2022.

Her current research focus is on the development and implementation of computational methods and tools to combine advanced numerical methods with novel information technologies, AI and digital modelling to study structural and geotechnical problems.

Please contact Dr Ninic, if you are interested to pursue a PhD study in any of the aforementioned areas of research.


  • FHEA, 2020
  • PhD in Computational Mechanics, 2015
  • Dipl.-Ing. in Structural Engineering (five-year diploma programme equivalent to MSc), 2008


Dr Jelena Ninic is Associate Professor in Digital Engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham since 2022. She obtained her PhD degree in 2015 ``with distinction'' in the field of numerical modelling of shield tunnelling at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. In 2016, she obtained the Marie Curie individual fellowship ``SATBIM'' at the University of Nottingham, where she was appointed as Assistant Professor in Structural Engineering and Informatics in 2018.

Jelena is associate editor of ``Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology'' (TUST), UK representative and core member of the ISSMGE Technical Committee (TC) 222 Geotechnical BIM and DT, and Executive Committee member of UKACM.

Jelena’s research combines intelligent computing, computer vision and machine learning, computational mechanics, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) with application to structural engineering, manufacturing, and transport infrastructure problems.  The methods I developed and implemented include fully-parametric multi-level geometric-semantic models for urban tunnelling, Finite Element (FE) formulations on the element and constitutive level, artificial neural networks, optimisation algorithms, algorithms for sensitivity analysis, and methods to handle massive computations and analyse the resulting data. The reliability of the predictions obtained from the process-oriented numerical simulations is evaluated by means of stochastic, interval, fuzzy, and imprecise probability approaches. Applied to infrastructure problems , these methods provide design support throughout the complete lifecycle, from planning over design to construction. In the following, a more detailed description of my research areas is given.


  • Computational mechanics
  • Process-oriented finite element simulations
  • Digital twins for infrastructure
  • Process optimisation and virtual control
  • Data and simulation-based risk assessment
  • Global-local multidisciplinary optimisation
  • Machine learning, sensitivity analysis and optimisation for structural mechanics problems

Other activities

  • Associate editor of Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (TUST)
  • Executive Committee member of UK Association for Computational Mechanics (UKACM)
  • IACM General Council member
  • UK representative and core member of the ISSMGE Technical Committee 222 “Geotechnical BIM and DT”
  • Chair of UKACM 2022 conference in Nottingham
  • Co-chair of CTTU 2020 conference in Melbourne
  • Co-chair of EG-ICE 2017 conference in Nottingham


M. Huang, X.L. Chen, Y, Bai, J. Ninic,  QB. Zhan. “A framework for integrating embodied carbon assessment and construction feasibility in prefabricated stations” Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 132, 104920. 2023.

G. Ntourmas, F. Glock, F. Daoud, G. Schuhmacher, D. Chronopoulos, E. Özcan and J. Ninić  Stacking sequence optimisation of an aircraft wing skin; Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (IF 4.5), 66 (31), 2023. DOI: 10.1007/s00158-022-03483-8.

C.O. Sandoval, W. Tizani, E. Pereira, J. Ninic, C. Koch “A framework for the integration of building information modelling and construction simulation”, Buildings 12 (8), 1199. 2022.

M. Huang, HM Zhu, J. Ninic, Q. Zhan. “Multi-LOD BIM for underground metro station: Interoperability and design-to-design enhancement” Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology. 119, 104232. 2022.

For a full list of publications, please visit visit Dr Jinic's Google Scholar profile.

A. Arteiro, P. Camanho, G. Corrado, D.Chronopoulos, F.Daoud, F.Glock, J.Ninic, G. Ntourmas, G.Schuhmacher, M. Sferz,c, N.Traiforos, W. Tan, T.Turner, E.Ozcan, L. Brown. “Recent progress, challenges and outlook for multidisciplinary structural optimization of aircraft and aerial vehicles”. Progress in Aerospace Sciences 135, 100861, 2022.

H.G. Bui, J. Ninić, N.A Do, D. Dias and G. Meschke, “A Variationally Consistent Hyperstatic Reaction Method for Tunnel Lining Design”, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (impact factor 2.342) 46: 205– 217, 2022.

MQ Huang, HM Zhu, J Ninic, QB Zhang; “Digital Twin for Underground Stations : Improving Decision Making for Construction Lifecycle” September 2022 Australian Geomechanics Journal 57(3):139-149 DOI: 10.56295/AGJ5737.

MQ Huang, XL Chen, J Ninic, Y Bai, E Zhang; “Adaptive Design and Sustainability Assessment for Prefabricated Metro Station”, Available at SSRN 4231311, 2022.

W Tizani, M Cabrera, M Mahmood, J Ninic, F Wang. “The behaviour of anchored extended blind bolts in concrete-filled tubes” Steel Construction: Design and Research, https://doi.org/10.1002/stco.202100037, 2022.

M. Cabrera, J. Ninic., W. Tizani and F. Wang, “Experimental and numerical analysis of preload in Extended Hollo-Bolt blind bolts” Journal of Constructional Steel Research, vol 186, 106885 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcsr.2021.106885.

J. Ninić, A. Alsahly, A. Vonthron, H.G. Bui, C. Koch, and M. König, G. Meschke. “From digital models to numerical analysis for mechanised tunnelling: a fully automated design-through-analysis workflow” Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol 107, 103622, 2021.

M. Huang, J. Ninic, Q. Zhang, “BIM, machine learning and computer vision techniques in underground construction: current status and future perspectives“ Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (Invited paper for SI on Information Modelling of Tunnelling and Underground Infrastructure: Technology and Applications), vol 107, 103677, 2021.

M. Sferza, J. Ninic, D. Chronopoulos, F. Glock and F. Daoud. “Multidisciplinary Optimisation of Aircraft Structures with Critical Non-Regular Areas: Current Practice and Challenges”. Aerospace, 8(8), 223 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8080223.

Y. Fang, J. Ninić, G. Meschke, M. König, Q. Zhang, „Forward: Information modelling of tunnelling and underground infrastructure: Technology and applications“, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol 116, 104067, 2021.

M. Cabrera, W. Tizani and J. Ninic. “A Review and Analysis of Testing and Modelling Practice of Extended Hollo-Bolt Blind Bolt Connections” Journal of Constructional Steel Research, vol 183, 106763. 2021.

J. Ninić, A. Vonthron, C. Koch, W. Tizani and M. Koenig, “Integrated parametric multi-level information and numerical modelling of mechanised tunnelling projects,” Advanced Engineering Informatics (impact factor 3.358), vol. 43, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2019.101011.

J. Ninić, H.G. Bui and G. Meschke, “BIM-to-IGA: a fully automatic design trough analysis workflow for segmented tunnel linings”, Advanced Engineering Informatics (Invited paper for SI Eg-ice 2019) (impact factor 3.358) vol. 46, 2020.

J. Ninić, H.G. Bui, C. Koch and G. Meschke, “Computationally efficient simulations in urban mechanized tunnelling based on multi-level BIM models“, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering (impact factor 1.798), vol. 112(3),  2019.

J. Stascheit, J. Ninić, G. Meschke, F. Hegemann and U. Maidl. Building Information Modelling in mechanised shield tunnelling – A practitioner's outlook to the near future Geomechanik und Tunnelbau. 11(1), 34-49, 2018.

S. Freitag, B. T. Cao, J. Ninić, and G. Meschke, “Recurrent neural networks and proper orthogonal decomposition with interval data for real-time predictions of mechanised tunnelling processes,” Computers and Structures (impact factor 3.354), vol. 207, pp. 258-273 2018.

J. Ninić, C. Koch, and J. Stascheit, “An integrated platform for design and numerical analysis of shield tunnelling processes on different levels of detail,” Advances in Engineering Software (impact factor 4.194), vol. 112, pp.  165-179, 2017.

J. Ninić and G. Meschke, “Simulation based evaluation of time-variant loadings acting on tunnel linings during mechanized tunnel construction,” Engineering Structures (impact factor 3.084), vol. 135, pp. 21–40, 2017.

J. Ninić, S. Freitag, and G. Meschke, “A hybrid finite element and surrogate modelling approach for simulation and monitoring supported TBM steering,” Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (impact factor 3.942), vol. 63, pp. 12–28, 2017.

S. Freitag, B. T. Cao, J. Ninić, and G. Meschke, “Hybrid surrogate modelling for mechanised tunnelling simulations with uncertain data,” International Journal for Reliability and Safety (impact factor 0.71), vol. 9, pp. 154–173, 2015.

J. Ninić, and G. Meschke, “Model update and real-time steering of tunnel boring machines using simulation-based meta models,” Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology (impact factor 3.942), vol. 45, pp. 138-152, 2015.

G. Meschke, S. Freitag, A. Alsahly, J. Ninić, S. Schindler, and C. Koch, “Numerical Simulation in Mechanized Tunneling in Urban Environments in the Framework of a Tunnel Information Model,” Bauingenieur (impact factor 0.622), vol. 89, no. 11, pp. 457–466, 2014.

J. Ninić, J. Stascheit, and G. Meschke, “Beam-solid contact formulation for finite element analysis of pile-soil interaction with arbitrary discretization,” International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics (impact factor 2.481), vol. 38, no. 14, pp. 1453–1476, 2014.

G. Meschke, J. Ninić, J. Stascheit, and A. Alsahly, “Parallelized computational modeling of pile-soil interactions in mechanized tunneling,” Engineering Structures (impact factor 3.084), vol. 47, pp. 35 – 44, 2013.

View all publications in research portal