Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann

Prof. Dr.  Walter Kaufmann

Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann

Inst. f. Baustatik u. Konstruktion

HIL E 42.3

Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5

8093 Zürich


  • +41 44 633 75 29
  • 0000-0002-8415-4896
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Additional information

Curriculum Vitae

Walter Kaufmann is the Chair of Structural Engineering (Concrete Structures and Bridge Design) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. He studied at the Department of Civil Engineering, ETH Zurich, and received his diploma in 1992. Subsequently, he developed a novel testing facility for large-scale beam elements, the „Beam Element Tester”, and carried out several large-scale experiments on reinforced and prestressed beams as a research assistant of Prof. Dr. Peter Marti. He received his doctorate in 1998 with a dissertation on the load-deformation behaviour of structural concrete subjected to in-plane shear and normal forces, which was awarded the ETH-Medal. He then continued at the ETH as a research associate and lecturer for plate and shell structures. From 1999-2002 he was a project manager and technical director with the renowned bridge designer, Prof. Juan José Arenas, Santander, Spain, where he contributed significantly to the design and construction of several large bridges. After his return to Switzerland, he joined the engineering firm dsp Ingenieure & Planer, where he became a partner in 2005 and acted as CEO until his appointment at the ETH in May 2014. During this time, he participated successfully in several bridge design competitions, directed numerous structural engineering projects for buildings and bridges, and was involved in a large number of expert appraisals, particularly regarding the structural safety evaluation and retrofit of existing bridges. In order to preserve a direct link to engineering practice, Walter Kaufmann is maintaining a connection to dsp Ingenieure & Planer AG as a board member and expert consultant.

Walter Kaufmann is responsible for courses in structural concrete and bridge design. His research focuses on the load-deformation behaviour of structural concrete, the structural safety evaluation of existing bridges and buildings, innovative structures and bridges, as well as interdisciplinary research projects. Since 2016, he has been active in the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Digital Fabrication (associated 2016-2018, Lead Principal Investigator since 2018).

He is, inter alia, the Chairman of SIA Code Commission 262, Concrete Structures, member of fib Commission 2 Analysis and Design and delegate of the Swiss Group of fib (fédération internationale du béton) as well as member of the Swiss Working Group for Bridge Research of the Federal Roads Administration.



Year Distinction
2018 Golden Owl of the VSETH (Award for excellence in teaching)
2017 Best Paper Award, Second Concrete Innovation Conference, Tromsø 2017 (with N. Hack et al.)
2017 Mirko Roš Silver Medal Award (with M. Bimschas)
2011 European Steel Design Award (representing dsp Ingenieure + Planer AG)
2011 IABSE Outstanding Paper Award, Category Scientific Papers (with M. Alvarez)
2009 Swiss Steel Design Award "Prix Acier" (representing dsp Ingenieure + Planer AG)
2001 fib Award for Research
1999 ETH Medal for outstanding doctoral thesis
1998 IABSE Outstanding Paper Award, Category Scientific Papers (with P. Marti, M. Alvarez and V. Sigrist)

Mr Prof. Dr. Walter Kaufmann is the winner of a «Golden Owl», a prize awarded by students at ETH Zurich in recognition of outstanding faculty teaching.

The «The Golden Owl» website

Course Catalogue

Autumn Semester 2022

Number Unit
101-1187-00L Colloquium in Structural Engineering


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