Grants & Awards

Promoting early academic independence


Successful early career researchers typically show high intrinsic motivation and identification with their academic work. In order to encourage and honor these attributes, the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC has established several early career grants.




The IntCDC Best Publication Award recognizes up to two excellent publications per year to honor and strengthen early academic independence and dedication to academic work. It is endowed with 1.500 € each.

All publications authored or co-authored by IntCDC early career researchers, published or formally accepted to be published, are eligible for the award.


IntCDC Best Publication Award 2022 | Call for application

We warmly invite all IntCDC early career researchers to apply, either as author teams or as individual authors.

Deadline for application: 15 May 2022.

For further Information please contact Karolin Tampe-Mai

Integrative data processing for cyber-physical off-site and on-site construction promoting co-design

Carsten EllweinAlexander Reichle, Melanie Herschel and Alexander Verl.

Procedia CIRP,  Volume 100, 2021, Pages 451-456;

The term co-design describes a collaborative design process, usually across the boundaries of individual areas. A major aspect, and often an obstacle in the implementation of the co-design approach, is the establishment of a centralized data management system. In the past, the data management concept has been approached from different perspectives. Current approaches usually are oriented along the process chain and thus reflect a unidirectional flow of information. Neither the information feedback nor the reaction to adjustments in upstream model steps is supported, which makes continuous collaboration more difficult and at best reduces the co-design approach for continuous data usage. This paper addresses these weaknesses while outlining an integrative data processing concept enabling co-design between the domains of construction and industrial prefabrication.

Geometrical information generated during architectural design and construction planning is reused for the production of components, manufacturing-related design adjustments are transferred back into the domain of construction. Changes throughout the entire process are centrally recorded. To ensure independence from the software tools used and to consider their great diversity, data exchange is largely based on standards, namely industry foundation classes and the standard for the exchange of product model data. In order to counteract the sequential processing according to a waterfall model and to support the co-design approach, the industrial prefabrication toolchain, consisting of computer-aided manufacturing software and downstream postprocessors, is largely automated, so that reprocessing of a workpiece for minor geometric adjustments no longer requires any interaction of the production planner


Holistic Quality Model and Assessment: Quality as Driver for Sustainable Construction

Li Zhang, Laura Balangé, Kathrin Braun, Roberta Di Bari, Rafael Horn, Deniz Hos, Cordula Kropp, Philip Leistner and Volker Schwieger

Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7847;

Facing rising building demands due to a fast-growing world population and significant environmental challenges at the same time, the building sector urgently requires innovation. The Cluster of Excellence Integrative Computational Design and Construction for Architecture at the University of Stuttgart tackles these challenges through a Co-Design approach for integrating computational design and engineering and robotic construction. Within this research framework, a Holistic Quality Model is developed to ensure the technical, environmental, and social quality of Co-Design processes and products. Up to now, quality models that consider and integrate all these three aspects throughout the life cycle of buildings are still missing. The article outlines the concept of holistic quality assessment based on a Holistic Quality Model for sustainable construction. A key mechanism for sustainable quality assessment in the Holistic Quality Model is the definition of control and decision points in the construction process where critical decisions are made that will affect the quality of the building throughout its entire life-cycle. Firstly, subject-specific quality concepts are defined and their interrelations are conceptualized. Subsequently, these interrelations and their effects on the overall Co-Design construction processes and products are explained using the example of the semi-robotic production of concrete slabs. Examples for control and decision points are given as well. The outline presented here serves as a basis for further advancing and concretizing the Holistic Quality Model and its applications in Co-Design for a functioning, liveable, and sustainable high-quality construction and building culture.



The IntCDC “Blue Sky” Project Grant is awarded annually in recognition of a research idea that stands out in terms of its originality, its quality and the readiness to assume risk. The grant is endowed with 10.000 € enabling the grant recipient to test the feasibility of their research idea in preparation for a full dissertation or postdoctoral project.

All IntCDC early career researchers as well as advanced master’s students of the institutes involved in IntCDC are eligible to apply.


IntCDC “BLUE SKY” PROJECT GRANT 2022 | Call for application

We warmly invite master students, who completed their master’s thesis at one of the institutes participating in IntCDC and all IntCDC doctoral researchers to apply!

The deadline for applications is 1 July 2022.

For further information please contact Karolin Tampe-Mai.


"Automated preforming of natural-fibre textiles for biocomposite profiles and lightweight structures”

Piotr Baszynski

The project investigates possibilities of erecting structures from free-formed biocomposite profiles, fabricated in a fully additive process based on Automated Preforming (AP) of natural fibre textiles. AP allows for noticeable time and energy savings, at the same time offering profile customization possibilities such  curvature or transition of the profile section. Consequently, free-formed biocomposite profiles can be fabricated in a fully additive process, which makes them a potential alternative to timber elements in structures that use free-formed timber beams. As the technology has not been used in construction industry yet, developing a proposal of a structural system based on such profiles and fabricating profiles samples for a small demonstrator are the key interests of this proposal.


(up to 2022 Master’s Thesis Grants)

The IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award aims to encourage excellent master’s students to pursue an academic career by supporting independent master’s thesis research. We award up to two IntCDC Master’s Thesis Awards per year.

All master’s students who are writing their master’s theses at one of the institutes involved in IntCDC are eligible. Candidates must be nominated by their thesis advisors.

Building Across Scales: A Heterogeneous Robotic System for In-Situ Timber Fabrication         

Daniel Locatelli and Nils Opgenorth
Supervisor: Achim Menges, Jan Knippers
Tutors: Hans Jakob Wagner, Samuel Leder

The research proposes a heterogeneous multi-scalar robotic construction system to further automate on-site timber construction. Specifically, it presents the next step in the automation of on-site gluing through the introduction of a custom robotic clamping device for the on-site pressuring of timber elements. Therefore, at the core of the research, lies the development of the custom device as part of a larger robotic construction team including an industrial robot and crane in co-design with the material and building system.


Distributed Fabrication for Fibrous Networks

August Lehrecke, Cody Tucker and Xiliu Yang
Supervisor: Achim Menges, Jan Knippers
Tutors: Rebeca Duque Estrada, Mathias Maierhofer

The research expands the design and fabrication space of fibre structures, through a multi-agent system inspired by bobbin lace making. It proposes a novel material system based on spatial fibre interactions, facilitating the creation of multiple topologies within a single structure. Through cyber-physical coordination, mobile robots and bobbins fabricate using a parallel, continuous logic while maintaining high material programmability. State of the art manufacturing for filament structures are constrained by machine size, rigid frames, and logic of discrete assembly, limiting the variety and adaptability of fibre systems in architecture. This research proposes a flexible process that can achieve hybrid fibre topologies, thereby creating novel architectural qualities. The interlocking fibre interactions allow the structure to retain its topology in a collapsed state, and therefore can be flat-packed for transport and post-tensioned on site. This open-ended system creates new design and fabrication possibilities for fibre systems in architecture, enabling greater scalability and complexity.



Joint Effort: Robot team enabled carbon fibre joining strategies for lightweight wood construction

Simon Lut, Lasath Siriwardena und Tim Stark

Supervisors: Achim Menges, Jan Knippers
Tutors: Hans Jakob Wagner, Simon Bechert, Mathias Maierhofer

Collective robotic construction is a contemporary research field in which multi-robot systems modify their shared environments to materialize structures. Current research is primarily focussed on the positioning of elements and tends to disregard connection strategies, limiting scalability and structural viability of autonomously built structures. This study demonstrates methods by which a heterogeneous team of robots connects discrete timber elements by winding carbon fibre through pre-routed grooves to establish a structurally performant joint. In contrast to current human-centric steel fasteners, CFRPs are flexible, compact and can be easily integrated into mobile robots, enabling the exploration of novel robot-orientated connection typologies. By regarding the timber as an integral part of the robotic system, assembly information is pre-programmed into the material, including instructions for navigation, localization and construction. This substantially reduces robot complexity, weight, size, cost and allows for decentralized control of the connection agents. Through cooperation between different robotic and material species, a fully autonomous assembly choreography can be performed, leveraging the task-specific capabilities of each agent in the team. This building framework demonstrates the utility of heterogeneous robot teams in facilitating novel construction methods that could eventually mount a challenge to the reliance on existing humancentric connection strategies in timber assemblies.


Working with Uncertainties: An adaptive fabrication system for bamboo structures utilizing computer vision

Yue Qi und Ruqing Zhong

Supervisors: Achim Menges, Alexander Verl
Tutors: Hans Jakob Wagner, Yasaman Tahouni, Benjamin Kaiser

The group investigates an adaptive fabrication system that is able to work with cumulative deviations. During fabrication, the deviation can be caused by material- and fabrication-related uncertainties. All these factors exist in the bamboo constructions significantly, which limits the application of this high performance and sustainable material. To address the challenge, the proposed method leverages vision-based feedback to update future fabrication instructions and provide guidance for manual assembly, thereby compensating for the error in every iteration of the building process. This workflow effectively improves the accuracy of manually fabricated structure with natural imperfect material, allowing it to predictably interface with prefabricated building components.





This image shows Karolin Tampe-Mai

Karolin Tampe-Mai


Graduate School & Early Career

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