Finding a topic for your thesis can be nerve-wracking and the research process somewhat trying, but many topics can prove very interesting and rewarding. Antonia Tarusova is a graduate student who just completed her master’s thesis at the Department of Structural Steel of  Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. She choose this university because of its rich history -¬it is the largest university in the German Ruhr area, which is in the heart of the steel industry in Europe.  

Ruhr-Universität Bochum plays an active role in the industry and is a source of young engineers worldwide. In cooperation with Trimble, the faculty of steel, composite and light metal structures provides a course called “Steel structures in BIM”, targeted to master students of civil engineering who are interested in applying BIM to steel structures in practice. 

BIM played an important part in Antonia’s thesis “Computer-aided design and calculation of a pipeline route”. She worked in collaboration with thyssenkrupp and the Structural Steel department of Ruhr-Universität.  

What’s in a BIM thesis? 

In Antonia’s thesis, Tekla Structures was used for designing and detailing the project while Dlubal’s RSTAB was used as an A&D solution for the calculations. In order to save time and effort when representing the model in both solutions, the structural model was exported from Tekla Structures to the A&D solution with exactly the same parts, for example the exact profiles. For this, Antonia utilized the interface between the two software solutions. 

After validating the analysis model, all loads and load combinations were set and the calculation proceeded. The results of the analysis identified some collapsing items inside the model. The dimensions of those items were optimized and adjusted. All information and results were synchronized between the 3D model and the A&D model. Because the programs interface, Antonia was able to calculate the exact quantities, geometries and material information. Changes in the model were automatically updated to all documents. 

 The design Antonia studied could be verified at the beginning of the project using Tekla Structures, which helped to minimize errors and keep the tight schedule. Antonia discovered that by using Tekla Structures and BIM workflows she could develop a sustainable, future-oriented concept in the earliest of the project phases. This ensured the project could be built according to the set requirements. In addition, BIM helped communication with the owner and illustrate the details of the project. 

Antonia’s thesis was prepared for a project still in development phase. She hopes that when the project is realized, her work will play a vital role in improving the planning of this pipeline.  

In summary, Antonia sees BIM as a hot topic in the construction industry. “Tekla Structures offers great possibilities to establish BIM workflows with other software solutions. In addition, the Tekla offers great support, which plays a very important role during project planning,” she commented.