Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering

About the Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering

About the Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Division of Civil and Environmental Engineering conducts research and provides research-based education at the highest international level within its subject areas. A common denominator for the division's research is to develop tools, methods and sustainable technical solutions for the benefit of the society. A key element in many of the activities is an experimental approach with an application-oriented focus.

Case studies, model experiments and fieldwork are largely supplemented by quantitative tools for analysis and simulation of observed data. In addition, the division develops software for various purposes, e.g. simulation of traffic, design of infrastructure, analysis of data from weather radar, automated identification of (micro) plastic, as well as control of wave basins and analysis of wave data. The developed software is available under different types of license and applied by e.g. research and educational institutions at home and abroad.

The division provides the teaching of the Engineering programs in Water & Environment and Veje & Trafik (red. Roads & Traffic), as well as the program in Geography. In addition, the division's researchers contribute to several other educations at the Department of the Built Environment and in other AAU departments, e.g. Environmental Science, Building & Civil Engineering, and Architecture & Design.

The vast majority of the section's research activities are funded externally, and we have strong national and international collaborations with research institutions, private companies and the public sector. The research results are published primarily in internationally recognized peer-reviewed journals and technical reports.

The research activities are organized into seven very active research groups. Choose one of the affiliated research groups to read more about the research and the division's expertise.

The section operates several well-equipped laboratories and field stations, which are used to perform experimental studies in lab, pilot and full scale.

Head of division

Research groups

Affiliated laboratories

Ocean and Coastal Engineering

Ocean and Coastal Engineering

We research in waves and hydrodynamic modelling with specific focus on wave energy, offshore wind turbines and coastal engineering.  

More about the Ocean and Coastal Engineering Laboratory

The Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory

The Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory

In the Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory, we can study stationary and non-stationary flows. In the 15 meters long tiltning flume, we can control both the slope and flow. In the recirculation flume, we can study both flows and particle behavior. In the laboratory, we have state-of-the-art measurement equipment such as LDA to measure flows.

The Virtual Flow Laboratory

The Virtual Flow Laboratory

The Virtual Flow Laboratory consists of 35 individual workstations with 140 cores in total, which each can be used individually or together in a cluster, and is used to simulate flows in water and air. We calculate e.g. how combined sewer overflow works and how this can be improved and simulate e.g. wind movements through a city in order to evaluate the local wind climate around tall buildings. 

Chemical analysis

Chemical analysis

Our state-of-the-art equipment is used for analysis of environment samples and for quantification of heavy metals and xenobiotic organic connections in complex matrices. We analyse e.g. the chemical composition of gas samples, of pollutants in water, soil and sediment samples and of various building materials such as concrete and mortar. 

Traffic Research

Traffic Research

The laboratory includes measurement equipment and special programmes for collecting and processing of traffic data. Among other things, we have video cameras with hard drives and power supply, which enables long-term recordings of traffic flow, a radar used for 3-dimensional detection of traffic flow, portable magnetic traffic counters for vehicle counts and speed measurements at specific locations and computers with special software suitable for processing a large traffic data quantity. 

Off-site Research Facilities for Water and Environment

Off-site Research Facilities for Water and Environment

The sewer research station (Frejlev), the Stormwater research detention ponds (Låsby), the SUDS and stormwater detention research facility (Sønder Tranders), Aalborg Weather Radar (St. Restrup), the BEWARE facility in Aalborg for research of urban runoff from impermeable surfaces, Field stations for research on runoff from permeable surfaces (Lystrup)

Microplastic

Microplastic

Our microplastics laboratory is equipped with two µFTIR imaging systems, an ATR-FTIR, a pyrolysis-GC-MS system, single particle ICP MS and various other instruments needed for microplastics analysis. The equipment provides the fastest scanning of microplastic available today, as well as the highest resolution currently attainable by FTIR technology. This infrastructure positions our lab amongst the world’s largest laboratories for analyzing microplastic in environmental matrixes.

Weather and Climate Observatory

Weather and Climate Observatory

At the weather and climate observatory, we measure the climate – especially precipitation. The observatory has two X-band dual-pole weather radars; one in St. Restrup and one at Thomas Manns Vej, which each has a measurement range of 50 km. In addition, we have a number of laser disdrometers that can measure and classify the precipitation according to its physical state (snow, sleet, hail, rain, etc.) as well as drop size and speed. There are also a number of traditional tipping bucket rain gauges and 2 climate stations.