The Institute

  Organization and Fields of Research Copyright: © SLA

The Institute for Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design (SLA) of RWTH Aachen University teaches and conducts its research in the field of lightweight design for more than sixty years. In this period the institute developed its comprehensive expertise in the fields of design, sizing and qualification of space and aerospace structures. With start of Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai-Uwe Schröder as Head of Institute, the SLA now brings its know-how to all applications where lightweight design, i.e. structural optimization, plays an essential role.


Regarding subject matter, the research activities of the SLA are divided into four areas: Methods & Optimization, Dynamics & Aeroelasticity, Fatigue & Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Space. Our scientific approach bases on the so-called “Triad of Lightweight Design”: Test, numerics and analytics allow for developing holistic solutions to cope with recent challenges in the field of lightweight design.

With more than 50 employees, its own manufacturing facilities and a well-equipped structural test laboratory the SLA is able to fully perform the aforementioned triad. In joint projects, the institute also supports its partners and customers with its expertise in component design, structural analysis and qualification through testing.