Aarhus University is the largest and second oldest research university in Denmark. Founded in 1928 it ranks among the top 100 world’s best universities. It comprises five faculties in Arts, Natural Sciences, Technical Sciences, Health Sciences, Business and Social Sciences which cover the entire research spectrum – basic research, applied research, strategic research and research-based advice to the authorities. It is home to over thirty internationally recognized research centers, including fifteen Centers of Excellence funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. Among these is a Centre for Digital Twins.
Aarhus University has 38,000 students; about 1,800 PhD students – of which one in four has a foreign nationality – and close to 1,000 postdoctoral scholars together with 10,700 employees. As such, internationalization is a key part of the University’s mission. The Times Higher Education ranks Aarhus University in the top 10 of the most beautiful universities in Europe (2018).
The engineering discipline at Aarhus University is known for its recent expansion and strong research framework. A growing student population and expansion of research and development activities have added substantially modern infrastructure on its campuses. Aarhus University forms a solid framework for operation and development of engineering education in accordance with market demand, for a unique model of cooperation with the industry and for a strongly expanding research environment that ensures societal impact.
The Principle Investigator for the BIM2TWIN project on behalf of Aarhus University is Jochen Teizer, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at Aarhus University. He says: “We are making an important contribution towards the ongoing digitalization efforts in the construction industry. Construction sites are rich of data that hardly ever are collected nor analyzed to improve its processes. Digital twins promise a lot of benefits. They are much more than mirrors of the real world. When data streams from the physical objects into their virtual counterparts, it allows understanding their correct state. The virtual world then helps us creating safer and more productive real work environments. Safety also must be part of digital building twins.”
Aarhus University contributes to BIM2TWIN with an interdisciplinary research team from the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering (CAE) and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). In their works Jochen Teizer and Umberto Alibrandi (both from CAE), Carl L. Schultz, Lukas Esterle, and Peter G. Larsen (all from ECE) formalize and test a digital construction twin for construction safety and health. The team’s core contributions are:
- early hazard prevention through smart worksite planning using artificial intelligence;
- proactive real-time construction site risk monitoring for prediction and avoidance before accidents occur;
- advancing decision making processes at all project levels and lifecycle phases using personalized feedback and learning.