EventsCivil engineering – yesterday and today

Civil engineering – yesterday and today

Bill Addis

Opening exhibition "Visionäre und Alltagshelden"

Event from
09 November
Photo from Bill Addis



In the late eighteenth century, a major factor that prepared the ground for modern structural design was the introduction of cast and wrought iron, which replaced conventional building materials such as stone, timber and brick. This meant that engineers had to develop new ways of using these materials for unprecedented types of structures such as railway bridges and stations. For the first time, load-bearing structures had to be optimised in terms of minimising both cost and weight. The structural design process differs fundamentally from the architectural design process. Firstly, it involves developing structures that meet both architectural and functional needs. Secondly, it must be ensured that these forms function as efficient load-bearing structures and reliably transfer all loads imposed on them, such as self-weight, wind and seismic loads, down to sturdy foundations


In his lecture, Bill Addis also described the beginnings of engineer training in various European countries and the emergence of the professions of civil and structural engineer

Bill Addis

Bill Addis widmet sich seit fast 40 Jahren dem Studium der Geschichte der Bautechnik und Baumaterialien. Sein Schwerpunkt ist die historische Dimension der Bauingenieur-Praxis. Er ist Autor von über 100 Publikationen zu diesen Themen. Er war Mitherausgeber von Construction History und der Zeitschrift der Construction History Society. Zudem ist er Vorsitzender des Redaktionsausschusses von Engineering History and Heritage, der Zeitschrift der Institution of Civil Engineers in London.


In addition, he is chairman of the editorial ­committee of Engineering History and Heritage, the magazine published by the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. For several years he has been a member of the scientific advisory committees for the Spanish, French and British construction history congresses as well as for the international congresses in Cambridge, Cottbus, Paris, Chicago and Brussels. In collaboration with the Institution of Civil Engineers, he is presently developing a database providing information about engineers working in heritage conservation. In the summer semester of 2018, he was a visiting professor at the TUM’s Chair of Structural Design.

In Future, structural engineers should find new ways to achieve gerater resourse efficiency.
Bill Addis


Photo from Bill Addis
Photo: Astrid Eckert
Church vault London Syon House
Church vault London Syon House