L-R: Stephan Leyer; Nicoleta Popa; Pascal Moisy; Jens Kreisel; Olivier Vassart; Christophe Odenbreit; Serge Haan; Teodora Bogdan; Credit: Sophie Margue / University of Luxembourg

The University of Luxembourg recently announced that it has extended its collaboration with ArcelorMittal Foundation Luxembourg until 2025.

Building upon foundations forged more than ten years ago, the University of Luxembourg and ArcelorMittal Foundation Luxembourg have agreed to extend their collaboration, through the ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction. A signature ceremony took place on 13 February 2023, in the presence of Prof Jens Kreisel, Rector of the University of Luxembourg, Prof Christoph Odenbreit, holder of the ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction, Prof Olivier Vassart, CEO of Steligence©, Nicoleta Popa, Head of ArcelorMittal Global R&D Construction applications, Infrastructures and Long Products, and Pascal Moisy, Head of Communications & CSR of ArcelorMittal Luxembourg.

The ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction was created in 2010 by ArcelorMittal and the University of Luxembourg for education and research. The Chair is held by Prof Christoph Odenbreit, Professor in Steel and Composite Structures at the University of Luxembourg, and its focus is to investigate the steel construction of tomorrow for high-performance buildings and construction techniques, developing new structures and design rules for innovative steel and steel composite construction. A strong emphasis lies on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by means of circular economy in construction and improvement of sustainability with the development of green solutions.

Over the past decade, as the University of Luxembourg noted, the Chair of Steel Construction has proven successful. For example, in 2020, Dr Maciej Chrzanowski received an FNR Award for his outstanding PhD thesis on "Shear Transfer in Heavy Steel-Concrete Composite Columns with Multiple Encased Steel Profiles" and at the FNR Awards 2022, Prof Christoph Odenbreit received an Outstanding Mentor award. Moreover, at the Luxembourg’s Pavillon of Expo 2020 Dubai, the Chair promoted a future vision of modular, circular, standardised steel solutions leveraging Digital Twin technologies. These scientific findings have recently been applied in the Pavilion "Petite Maison", a University of Luxembourg contribution to Esch2022 - European Capital of Culture initiative, which can still be visited on the Belval Campus.

According to the University of Luxembourg, the Chair has also contributed towards the elaboration of European standards in the field of steel and composite structures. In particular, the team, which consists of four senior researchers since the Chair was established (Oliver Hechler, Renata Obiala, Matthias Braun and Jie Yang) and fourteen doctoral researchers, has been actively involved in the revision of Eurocode 4 "Design of composite steel and concrete structure".

"This third extension of the collaboration between ArcelorMittal and the University will empower the Chair to bind research and real-world solutions in three axes: a further development of constructional steel solutions towards sustainability and zero carbon emission by circular economy, an exploration of timber as a partner for efficient and green steel structures, and further committee work and involvement in the European standards development in the European Committees like CEN and ECCS - especially at the intersection between constructional and environmental concerns," said Prof Christoph Odenbreit.

For Mr Michel Wurth, Chairman of ArcelorMittal Luxembourg, "the proximity between the academic and business worlds is a source of mutual enrichment. The fruitful cooperation between ArcelorMittal, through the ArcelorMittal Foundation Luxembourg, and the University [of Luxembourg] for more than ten years illustrates this perfectly. The exchanges between the ArcelorMittal and Prof Odenbreit's teams allow us to imagine the buildings of tomorrow, that steel will help to make more efficient in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability."

Prof Olivier Vassart, CEO of Steligence©, added: "Over the last decade, the collaboration between ArcelorMittal and the University of Luxembourg has been very valuable, both on the scientific level, with numerous research projects that have led to new solutions in construction and new European regulations, and on the human level with intense exchanges between our research teams and those of the University. Five doctors and post-doctoral students from the Chair are currently working in various departments of the ArcelorMittal group, a fine illustration of the links that unite us." 

"I wish to thank ArcelorMittal for their continued commitment to the research and teaching activities of the ArcelorMittal Chair of Steel Construction," said Prof Jens Kreisel, Rector of the University of Luxembourg. "The Chair reflects the vision of the University of Luxembourg: to respond to the needs of society by contributing to the societal, cultural, technological and economic development. We are proud of the achievements of the Chair, whose cutting-edge research contributes to make steel construction ever more re-usable and sustainable."