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"Leibniz Talents" student awards

"Leibniz Talents" student awards

© LUH/Moritz Küstner
Award Ceremony: Katharina Weber and Can Mark Bittner

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geodetic Science warmly congratulates Anna Katharina Weber, M. Sc. and Can Mark Bittner, M. Sc. on receiving the "Leibniz Talents" award. The prize recognises outstanding student theses at Leibniz University Hannover and was awarded by the Vice President for Teaching and Academic Programmes, Prof. Dr. Julia Gillen, on 8 November 2022.

Offshore Windenergy: Calculation method for a solid foundation

Anna Katharina Weber, M. Sc.

"Soils around offshore foundations, such as offshore wind monopile foundations, experience a build-up of excess pore pressures during cyclic loading. This leads to a reduction of soil stiffness and therefore bearing capacity.

One option to calculate the soil behaviour under such conditions is the explicit excess pore pressure estimation method, a coupled model which uses numerical modelling and high quality laboratory tests. The method is modular, therefore allowing for variations in each step to increase accuracy or save computation time.

In my thesis I present and compare different variations of the method, point out their differences and potential practical uses based on a model setup. I then draw a comparison to an implicit calculation method and test the boundaries of the model with a parameter study."

Anna Katharina Weber now works in an engineering office where she designs foundations for offshore wind turbines.

Sustainable construction: natural reinforcement of concrete

Can Mark Bittner, M. Sc.

"The current climate crisis and irresponsible overexploitation of resources are one of the biggest challenges of our time. The construction industry accounts for about 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of global resource consumption.

Reinforced concrete in particular, the most widely used building material worldwide, is extremely resource-intensive and environmentally detrimental in its production. Based on the growing population and projected industry needs, the demand for new buildings is set to rise dramatically, necessitating radical new approaches to reinforced concrete for the future of sustainable construction.

A promising avenue is to replace steel reinforcement with an environmentally friendly, resource-saving and cost-effective reinforcement made of natural plant materials.

Even though the load-bearing behavior of concrete components made of normal-strength concrete could be improved by the use of a bamboo reinforcement, two factors limit the potential of a bamboo reinforcement to date: poor bonding with the surrounding concrete matrix and insufficient durability. This is mainly due to the hygroscopic behavior of the bamboo and due to the alkaline environment of the concrete, as this attacks the bamboo.

Despite significant research efforts, these two major hurdles remain unsolved. In my work, I addressed this existing obstacle by using an ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). Due to its low water content and rapid hydration, water absorption can be kept to a minimum, the alkalinity is lowered to a harmless level by the use of pozzolans, and the bond is significantly improved by the optimized composition."

Can Mark Bittner continues to research this promising topic at the Institute of Concrete Construction.


Bittner, C.; Oettel, V. (2022): Fiber Reinforced Concrete with Natural Plant Fibers—Investigations on the Application of Bamboo Fibers in Ultra-High Performance Concrete, Sustainability 14 (2022), Issue 19, 12011. DOI: 10.3390/su141912011

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