Research Focus

  Graphic: City view with buildings, street and construction vehicles Copyright: © ISAC

The Institute of Highway Engineering of RWTH Aachen University has been acknowledged and recognized as an independent research institution for decades, in basic research as well as in application-oriented research. By diversifying the research spectrum, we are able to expand our core competencies and pass on the know-how to our customers continuously.

Road Construction Technology

Road Planning, Road Operation and Road Traffic Engineering

Tunnel Equipment and Tunnel Operation

  Graphic: City, road, construction vehicles Copyright: © ISAC

The research activities of the institute in the field of road construction technology focus on a future-oriented, progressive and modern infrastructure, taking into account the needs of road users, the environment and construction companies.

The aim is to maximize the functionality and durability of pavements by optimizing existing pavements on the market and developing new road pavement materials. This is done taking into consideration the entire life cycle of the roadway, from the production of the building materials and paving to the assessment of the quality of the roadway system in operation. The institute has comprehensive "know-how" in the field of simulation-supported as well as experimental investigation methods.

Currently, the Road Construction Technology Department at the Institute of Highway Engineering is divided into two working areas with various research foci:

Testing Technology

  • Laboratory Testing Technology
  • Paving Technology
  • Surfaces


  • Machine-Material Interaction
  • Cyberphysical system
  • Multi-scale simulation


  Graphic: City, street, vehicles Copyright: © ISAC

The Institute of Highway Engineering at RWTH Aachen University deals with central topics of road planning and equipment, traffic flow, and road safety.

The subject of the work in the field of road planning are all questions concerning traffic control under consideration of parameters of traffic safety and quality as well as the research of the effects of work sites and its optimization on federal highways.

The most important fields of activity and research at the Institute of Road Engineering Aachen are:

Traffic Management

  • Equipment
  • Influence
  • Communication
  • Safety

Digitization of Traffic

  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Communication
  • Simulation

The Institute of Highway Engineering at RWTH Aachen University can look back on extensive Experience in all of these areas. These includes both: the field of research and the field of application in practice.


  Graphic: Cross section of a road tunnel Copyright: © ISAC

The Institute of Highway Engineering of RWTH Aachen University has its research focus for underground traffic facilities in safety and ventilation systems of tunnel facilities as well as in fluid mechanical phenomena by means of simulation. In this context, safety aspects and environmental issues play a crucial role.

The Tunnel Technology department is in active exchange with the departments of Road Construction Technology and Traffic Engineering.

The questions posed in civil engineering concerning pavement materials and pavement structure are therefore also relevant in tunnels.

Video detection, an important component of traffic engineering, is also frequently used for traffic control in road tunnels. For this purpose, the institute has its own developed video detection software (isacVITO) for automatic traffic data acquisition and event detection, which can be integrated into existing video surveillance systems.