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 more than sixty years. During this time, the institute built up extensive expertise in design, sizing and qualification of aerospace structures. Today, lightweight design is crucial for more and more applications. The SLA takes this into account and develops new mobility applications, sports equipment or biomedical structures.


The SLA is researching four clusters: Methods & Optimization, Dynamics & Aeroelastics, Fatigue & SHM, and Space Engineering. The scientific approach at SLA is based on the so-called "triad of lightweight design": simultaneous testing, computing, and analytics allow the development of holistic solutions to meet the current challenges in lightweight design. With more than fifty employees, its manufacturing facilities, and a well-equipped test laboratory, the SLA serves the triad of lightweight design quickly and agilely. Thus, the institute supports its partners and customers in developing new lightweight solutions, the analysis of lightweight structures and their full qualification by testing.