The 2nd Dresden International Summer School (DISS) organised by the Research Training Group (RTG) 2250 “Mineral-bonded composites for enhanced structural impact safety”, and supported by RILEM and fib, was held at TU Dresden in June 2022.
A group of twenty international excellent undergraduate and PhD students took part at the event, together with the researchers and the professors involved in the Project. The programme was divided into various sessions, including keynote lectures held by renowned international scholars, presentation and poster sessions pertaining the recent developments in the RTG, and practical laboratory sessions.
Spotlight was set on textile-reinforced concrete (TRC) and strain-hardening cement-based composites (SHCC) for strengthening existing concrete structures against impact loading, with particular interest on material design and production, mechanical characterisation and modelling, structural design and data-driven material investigation and design. Sustainability assessment was also a crucial topic developed during the school.
Prof. Barzin Mobasher, from the Arizona State University, discussed the current challenges and issues in testing complex mineral-bonded composites. Prof. En-Hua Yang, from Nanyang Technological University, presented some fundamental concepts related to micromechanics of engineered cementitious composites, alongside cutting-edge research recently conducted in this field. Dr. Eric Jacques shared part of the research conducted in his team at Virginia Tech on protective structural design, taking the effects of the dramatic explosion in Beirut, in 2018, as a starting point. From RTG 2250 group, inspiring lectures were delivered by Prof. Stefan Löhnert, head of the Institute of Mechanics and Shell Structures at the TUD, on advanced numerical tools to investigate the complex fracture mechanisms of quasi-ductile cement-based composites, and by Prof. Edeltraud Günther, current Director of the United Nations University – FLORES in Dresden, on new concepts related to sustainability and resilience of the built environment, encompassing novel materials and technologies for structural rehabilitation.
Alongside lectures and presentations given by international experts and PhD students from RTG 2250, the participants had the opportunity to approach laboratory practical activities and testing, at the Alfred-Hütter Laboratory of the Institute of Construction Materials, at the Otto-Mohr Laboratory of the Institute of Concrete Structures, at in the laboratories of the Institute for Textile Machinery. A visit to the laboratories of the Leibnitz Institute for Polymer Research was also conducted, showcasing the most recent technologies for fibres design, manufacturing, and modification. The participants could then deliver a short presentation regarding the experiments conducted during those visits.