IASS 2024 Symposium – registration continues

Welcoming you to our campus at ETH Zürich is getting closer and closer- only 12 weeks to go until IASS 2024.

The registration for the IASS 2024 symposium continues at regular prices until 16 August or until  500 full registrations tickets have been sold. You can now purchase tickets for workshops, technical tours and the companion programme. 

All those who have already purchased a ticket were already informed by email about the additional ticket options.

Get your tickets now, register here.

Meet the IASS 2024 Chairs – Walter Kaufmann

Each week, one of the IASS 2024 Symposium Chairs answers three questions about the upcoming event. This week we spoke to Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann, Chair of Structural Engineering (Concrete Structures and Bridge Design) at ETH Zurich. His research focuses on the load-​deformation behaviour of structural concrete, the structural safety evaluation of existing bridges and buildings, innovative structures and bridges, as well as interdisciplinary research projects.

Walter, what makes the IASS 2024 Symposium unique from others in the same field?

IASS 2024 brings together participants with a common interest in structural design, yet very diverse backgrounds, which makes it a very inspiring event.

What IASS symposium did leave the biggest impression so far and why?

To me, the most impressive contribution at an IASS event was Heinz Isler’s seminal lecture on “New Shapes for Shells”, which he presented at the IASS Symposium in 1959. Unfortunately, I missed it as I wasn’t even born at the time.

What would you like to share with the IASS 2024 participants?

As structural engineers, we should not lose our engineering judgement amidst all the sophisticated computational tools available today, and be aware that we know much less (e.g. on the mechanical behaviour of reinforced concrete) than many of these tools require as input. 

Meet the IASS 2024 Chairs – Jacqueline Pauli

Each week, one of the IASS 2024 Symposium Chairs answers four questions about the upcoming event. This week we spoke to Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Pauli.

Dr. Jacqueline Pauli, currently a member of the Executive Board of ZPF Ingenieure and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, is Full Professor of Structural Design in the Department of Architecture. Jacqueline’s research is concerned with the quest for highly efficient and practicable load-​bearing structures based on resource optimisation processes. She makes use of a number of standardised ecological parameters, together with forward-​looking production techniques such as additive manufacturing and robotic (pre-​)fabrication.

Jacqueline, why is it IASS 2024 a great place to meet?

Meeting structural engineers and structural designers both from industry and academic research from all over the world is an unique opportunity at IASS 2024.

It is a place to learn from and discuss with each other about the challenges that lie ahead and possible solutions to deal with them. Drastically and rapidly reducing the carbon footprint of the construction sector will only be possible if we join forces and IASS 2024 will be a great possibility to further advance in this process.

What do you look forward to during the symposium?

A thriving atmosphere of ideas and visions, knowledge and solutions. 

Meeting with international experts to learn about their local skills and construction techniques as well as groundbreaking theoretical work.

How do you envision the IASS 2024 symposium contributing to the advancement of knowledge in its field?

As mentioned before, to reduce the carbon footprint we all need to work together. 

To come up with possible solutions and discuss ideas among experts, conferences like the IASS 2024 are tremendously important, because directly bringing people together can be much more effective than reading each others publications. 

Is there anything you would like to share with the IASS 2024 participants?

I am really looking forward to welcoming and meeting all of you in person in Zürich in August, as I believe that together we can achieve this turn-around if we really set our minds on the common goal of global carbon reduction of the construction sector.

Meet the IASS 2024 Chairs – Philippe Block

Each week, one of the IASS 2024 Symposium Chairs answers four questions about the upcoming event. This week we spoke to Prof. Dr. Philippe Block.

You are the director of the NCCR Digital Fabrication, which is organising this year’s symposium. How are the topics of the NCCR DFAB relevant to IASS 2024?

The NCCR DFAB rethinks how we design and construct our buildings through computation and digital fabrication. What drives us is to find ways to build more responsibly (towards the environment, for example) and more productively. We want to build using fewer materials, better materials but also include ways to reduce resource use and waste production. 

Shell and spatial structures are key to achieving some of the above-mentioned targets, but we need clever ways to realise them. That is where computation and digital fabrication offer effective strategies to reintroduce shells and spatial structures but make them economically feasible in today’s construction. 

What do you look forward to during the symposium?

It will be great to see everyone again! The IASS is a great community that brings together some of the brightest minds and game-changers in structural design from academia and practice. I really hope that during this edition, we can develop ideas and discuss solutions to build better through elegant and efficient spatial structures. 

What will surprise people who attend?

That one can swim in the river going through the middle of Zurich. More seriously, I’m excited about the unique set of keynote speakers we have organised that are not the usual suspects. I hope they will provide some surprising insights. 

Is there anything you would like to share with the IASS 2024 participants?

Start thinking how we can make a difference, how we can start solving the environmental challenges, but also stand up and become ethical actors. And, of course, don’t forget your swimwear! 

Meet the IASS 2024 Chairs – Catherine De Wolf

Each week, one of the IASS 2024 Symposium Chairs answers four questions about the upcoming event. This week we spoke to Prof. Dr. Catherine De Wolf.

Can you share any insights into the selection process for speakers and presentations? What can participants look forward to keynote speaker wise?

We invited speakers who were inspiring pioneers in the world of construction and who combined not only Efficiency, Economy and Elegance but also Environment and Ethics in their structural design approach. Some of the speakers were my mentors, teachers and colleagues, some of them I’m looking forward to meeting for the first time. I look up to all of them as they all have always used building materials for what they are good for and inspired architects and engineers globally to design responsibly and beautifully. 

What will be different at this year’s IASS 2024 symposium than in last editions?

A strong emphasis on environment and ethics is crucial for how we view the future of the IASS community for inspiring practice and academia in this creative field. 

What do you look forward to during the symposium?

Learning about cutting-edge environmental and ethical structural design research and finding synergies with construction practitioners and researchers globally, so that we can connect the dots to, together, tackle the biggest challenges our industry is facing today, such as our sectors’ social and environmental impact. I believe creativity is the art of connecting. 

Why is IASS 2024 a great place to meet?

As an inclusive community, it goes beyond great structural design. As a hub for innovation, IASS 2024 unites a diverse community of engineers, architects, designers, and builders. Together, they shape a promising future where technology, art, and societal needs converge. We will exchange the latest knowledge about  historical and contemporary excellence in structural design. It not only celebrates the legacy of influential figures like Heinz Isler but also embraces groundbreaking advancements in digital fabrication and industrialized construction of today. We are not just meeting, we will be redefining the art of structural design through a lens of efficiency, economy, elegance, environmental consciousness, and ethics, together.

Honorary Member Speaker – David Campbell P.E.

David Campbell P.E. is the IASS 2024 Honorary Member Speaker. He has a distinguished record of outstanding achievement in the field of spatial structures. Geiger Engineers, a company that he co-founded, specialises in long-span structures, tensile membrane structures and structures and mechanisms for sports and live entertainment venues and events. David has been responsible for the tensile membrane roof of Canada Harbour Place in Vancouver, the Lindsay Park Centre in Calgary, the Redbird Arena at Illinois State University and the air-supported roof of BC Place in Vancouver. We look forward to hearing about your work, David!

Get to know David and his work here.

Keynote Speaker – Sarah Springman DBE

Sarah Springman completes our keynote roaster. Sarah is a renowned geotechnical engineer and a pioneer in the study of soil-structure interaction and geological mass movements, which are becoming increasingly common due to climate change. Professor Dame Sarah Springman DBE, FREng, is the Principal at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford. She also was the first female Professor of Geotechnical Engineering in Western Europe and the first female Professor of Civil Engineering in Switzerland at ETH Zurich. Welcome home, Sarah!

Get to know Sarah and her work here.

Keynote Speaker – John Ochsendorf

We are pleased to announce that John Ochsendorf will be giving a keynote at IASS 2024. John has uniquely combined his interests in engineering, archeology, and architectural history to become a leading authority on ancient building structures as well as sustainable design. He is an engineer, educator, and designer on the MIT faculty since 2002. We look forward to welcoming you in Zurich, John!

Get to know John and his work here.

Keynote Speaker – Anupama Kundoo

We are happy to announce Dr. Anupama Kundoo as a keynote speaker at IASS 2024. Anupama is an architect who cultivates a holistic practice that combines theoretical investigation, material research and sustainable building methods. Anupama advocates for an abundance of and investment in human resources to encourage ingenuity and places emphasis on time, skill, care and community cohesion. She believes that a focus on structural design can pave the way for a new materiality and new forms. We look forward to your contribution at the IASS 2024 Symposium, Anupama!

Read more about Anupamas and his work here.

Keynote Speaker – Laurent Ney

Laurent Ney, structural engineer and architect, will deliver a keynote speech at IASS 2024. His approach is characterised by research-driven design, focusing on optimisation and innovative form-finding techniques, thereby transcending traditional, hierarchical construction solutions. As the founder of Ney & Partners, a well-known engineering firm with offices in various parts of the world, Laurent brings invaluable experience and inspiration to the event. We are happy to you on board!

Read more about Laurent and his work here.