IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award winners Hanna Sophie Mast, Pelin Asa, Christelle El Feghali and Christian Steixner (online from USA)

IntCDC Master’s Thesis Awards 2023

March 6, 2023 /




We are pleased to announce that the IntCDC Master Thesis Awards were awared during the IntCDC Research Network Colloquium on 3 March 2023. The Master's Thesis Awards went to Hanna Sophie Mast and jointly to Pelin Asa, Christelle El Feghali & Christian Steixner (online from the USA).


Auf dem (Holz-) Weg in die gebaute Zukunft? Sozio-technische Zukunftsvisionen für das Bauen mit Holz im Deutsch-Französischen Vergleich / English title: On the (Wooden) Path into the Built Future? A German-French Comparative Analysis of Sociotechnical Imaginaries for the Future of Timber Construction

The construction industry is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In view of resource scarcity,climate change, and rapid global population growth, the industry faces the urgent challenge of a sustainable transition. The renaissance of timber as a renewable, carbon-neutral construction material could pave the way for more sustainable modes of building.

Taking France and Germany as examples, and based on a sociological discourse analysis, Hanna Sophie Mast's thesis reveals four different and conflicting sociotechnical imaginaries of the future built environment. The four imaginaries show specific characteristics depending on the respective national, political, and cultural contexts. Moreover, they include partially incompatible objectives and compete for discursive hegemony, and thus implementation. Scrutinizing the four competing visions and their approach to conflicts and scarcities raises profound questions about their political, technological, ecological, and social implications.


Pdw_20230303_Status-Colloquium_125IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award winner Hanna Sophie Mast with Manfred Bischoff, Photo: Julia Mederus

Pdw_20230303_Status-Colloquium_129IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award winner Hanna Sophie Mast presenting at the IntCDC Research Network Colloquium, Photo Credit: Julia Mederus



Embraced Wood: Building with Unprocessed Reclaimed Timber         

With the growing demand for timber as a building material, Embraced Wood expands the availability of wood in construction by establishing a computational and robotic workflow to create beams from unprocessed reclaimed timber. In this workflow, reclaimed timber pieces of unknown quality are sourced from demolished buildings. Each sourced piece goes through non-destructive regrading and is digitally inventoried. A digital workflow optimally places the reclaimed pieces based on respective strength grade, geometry and the design scenario. Once a suitable combination is generated, the beam is materialized. Clay is used in the composite beam to overcome surface irregularities, add friction, provide fire proofing, offer toxic substance encapsulation, and protect against hazardous nails left in-place. Natural jute fiber wraps the lamella together using a custom wrapping end-effector using design specific reinforcing patterns. 1:1 prototypes and structural testing conducted on samples prove design specific span and loading performance.

Combining digital and robotic fabrication tools with an outlook for connection to other building assemblies and industrial scale automation, Pelin Asa, Christian Steixner, and Christelle El Feghali's research presents solutions for simplifying and expanding the reuse practices while offering design freedom. Embraced Wood offers a lower energy carbon-conscious design and fabrication process that is competitive to that of other timber systems and is suitable for building extensions as well as new multi-story timber construction. Considering reuse from the onset of design, the beam can be unwrapped to retrieve all materials separately for continuous use.


Pdw_20230303_Status-Colloquium_105IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award winners Pelin Asa and Christelle El Feghali with Manfred Bischoff
Photo: Julia Mederus



IntCDC Master’s Thesis Award winner Pelin Asa, Christelle El Feghali and Christian Steixner (online from the US) presenting at the IntCDC Research Network Colloquium,Photo: Julia Mederus


The annual IntCDC Master’s Thesis Awards are part of a bundle of measures designed to promote early career researchers within the Cluster of Excellence IntCDC. The Awards encourage excellent master’s students to realize a first step towards a prospective academic career by recognizing excellent master’s thesis research.

Up to two Master’s Thesis Awards are awarded per year. Each award is endowed with 500€ price money, to be used at the winner’s discretion.


More information on the IntCDC Grants & Awards can be found here.


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