The Institute

  Organization and Fields of Research Copyright: © SLA

The Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design at RWTH Aachen University (SLA) has been researching and teaching in the field of lightweight design for almost seventy years. During this time, the institute built up its extensive expertise in the optimization of space and aerospace structures and continues to develop it further. In addition, lightweight design is being applied more and more on a broad scale today. The SLA takes this into account and actively develops mobility applications, sports equipment, and biomedical technology. Always in the focus: the structure.


The SLA is researching three clusters: modeling, optimization, and digitization of structures. Driven by the idea of putting research into products, the SLA follows the principle of the so-called "triad of lightweight design" in its scientific approach. This refers to simultaneous testing, numerics, and analytics and is essential for the development of valid solutions to meet the current challenges in lightweight design. With more than fifty employees, its manufacturing facilities, and a uniquely equipped test laboratory, the SLA can play the triad of lightweight design to its full extent quickly and agilely. In collaborative projects, the institute thus supports its partners and customers in the development of new lightweight solutions, the analysis of lightweight structures, and their full qualification through testing.