The Research Center in Structures and Construction of UNL





The main objective of the Research Center in Structures and Construction of UNL - UNIC is to promote and to support research and development activities in Structural Engineering and Construction. The cooperation between investigators is encouraged, in order to establish a joint strategy that allows to mobilize the resources of the Center in the direction of a greater and better scientific production and technique.

UNIC initiated its activity in December of 2001, with a team of researchers in the areas of structures and the construction from the Departments of Civil Engineering and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the Nova University of Lisbon.

UNIC's activities consist of analytical and experimental investigations on different aspects of the engineering of structures and construction, that have been studied by its members, namely:

  • characterization of the mechanical properties and the durability of construction materials;
  • techniques of precast and analysis of the respective constructive processes;
  • study of composite materials and their application in structural systems;
  • analysis of concrete and precast/prestressed concrete structures;
  • computational methods in structural modelling, such as finite elements, boundary elements, genetic algorithms and neural networks;
  • dynamic analysis of structures;
  • structural and anti-seismic reinforcement. 


Special attention is given to the organization of conferences and seminaries as main actions of dissemination of results, presenting new techniques and future challenges. Also recycling and specialization courses will be organized, in order to stimulate a program of continuous post-graduate formation.

The Center will also promote consulting and services to the community in the areas of Structures and Construction, particularly in situations when scientific interest justifies it.

Cooperation with other centers and institutions, both national and from abroad, will allow an efficient exploitation of existing competences in Structures and the Construction, as well as a widened dissemination of the results.



UNIC is constituted by investigators that develop activity in the areas of Structures or Construction, distinguishing itself as:

  • effective members - members with the degree of PhD;
  • associated members - members with the degree of MSc or graduated;
  • collaborators - PhDs, MScs or graduated integrated in other research units, who collaborate in the activities of UNIC;
  • institucional members - companies or enterprise associations in the areas of the Structural Engineering and Construction. 


Scientific objectives

  • Concentrate research on a number of relevant topics compatible with research groups of adequate size
  • Increase Visibility of Work and Certify its Quality encouraging publication of results in leading Journals
  • Seek further internationalization focused on joint projects with probability of financial support
  • Increase support of doctoral and post-doctoral activities as e main source of development of sustainablelines of research
  • Strengthen ties with engineering community and industry 


Present topics of research

  • Modeling Structural Systems Including Nonlinear and Dynamic Responses
    • Modeling and mitigation of railtrack vibrations for high speed trains
    • Soil-abutment-deck interaction on the dynamic response of bridges
    • Nonlinear analyses of structural response due to seismic loading
    • Shape memory alloys in structural vibration control
    • Numerical implementation of upper bound limit analysis: formulation and applications (SUBLIM3D)
  • Durability, Monitoring and Strengthening of Structures
    • Experimental analysis and analytical modeling of environmental effects on the degradation of structural materials, especially FRP (carbon, aramidic and glass fibres).
    • FRP reinforcement of structures: durability studies, bond and design issues
  • Studies on punching of prestressed and hollow core slabs including seismic action.