Laboratory for Research on Structural Models

Welcome to the website of the Laboratory for Research on Structural Models (LMO). Our lab is embedded within the Department of Structural Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Ghent University.

LMO staff is specialized in structural analysis, construction, design and testing of metallic and glass structures. As such, we are proud to support the education, research and service to industry of our Department. Feel free to browse our web pages for a first impression, and to contact us for any further information you may like about our activities.

Our mission is to provide high-level research and education and to provide our know-how as a service to industry, especially in the field of structural analysis and construction. More specifically, our most important expertise is focussed at two domains:

steel constructions and structural glass

Gustave Magnel Prize 2014-2018

Delphine Sonck Gustave Magnel Prize 2014-2018

Dr. ir. Delphine Sonck was awarded with the prestigious Gustave Magnel Prize 2014-2018 for her Ph.D. entitled “Global buckling of castellated and cellular steel beams and columns” (supervisors Prof. Rudy Van Impe and Prof. Jan Belis, Department of Structural Engineering, LMO) during an official ceremony in Brussels on 6/6/2019.
The Gustave Magnel Prize was created by SECO in memory of Professor Gustave Magnel, founder of the Magnel Laboratory for concrete research at Ghent University and founder and managing director of SECO. The goal of this prize is to encourage scientific research applied to construction while encouraging researchers working in this area. The 10.000 EUR prize is awarded every four years; it was awarded for the first time in 1963.


The strongest timber tested by Marcel Vanthilt and the Department of Structural Engineering
Wonen-TVIn the new television programme “”, Marcel Vanthilt addresses a variety of issues related to housing, living and building. For the concept, calculation and data acquisition for a spectacular destructive test on an 8 m long beam made of the strongest timber, he relied on LMO, Department of Structural Engineering. Broadcasting is scheduled on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017, at 20:40 on Flemish television - channel “Eén”. For more information, contact Prof. Jan Belis or see


Prof. Robby Caspeele receives the UGent Minerva Award for Education
Ghent University each year honors some coworkers for their drive for quality and their commitment related to one of the three university tasks: education (Minerva award), research (Prometheus award) and public engagement and knowledge transfer (Hermes award).
Recently, Prof. Robby Caspeele received the 2016 Minerva Award for Education “because of the extraordinary quality and flexibility with which he performs his extensive teaching duties – in addition to his many research and service activities. His students praise his boundless enthusiasm, excellent guidance, and lucid lectures”.
The award was handed over during an official ceremony on 21 December 2016 in the Aula of Ghent University.

Link YouTube:


ir. Karen De Vis wins StudentenSTAALprijs 2016 

ir. Karen De Vis has received the so-called ‘StudentenSTAALprijs 2016’ Award for her master dissertation ‘Development of design rules for composite megacolumns exposed to fire’ (supervisors Dr. Delphine Sonck and Prof. Robby Caspeele, Department of Structural Engineering).
The Award ceremony took place on 15 November 2016 in Affligem on the occasion of the national Steel Day (Staalbouwdag) of Infosteel.

For more information: see


 Ir. Kenny Martens selected for FEA Innovation Track coaching and funding

BeamThe FEA Innovation Track (i-Track) supports the entrepreneurial mindset of the faculty’s research community. After an initial selection phase, five promising innovation ideas are further developed and commercialized. They get the support of two business coaches, intensive training on idea and technology valorisation, and additional funding for prototype development and tool support.
MGE – innovation in structural glass (business developers: Prof. Stijn Matthys & Prof. Karen Hemelsoet)
Being selected within the top-five, the innovation of ir. Kenny Martens (supervisors: Prof. Jan Belis & Prof. Robby Caspeele) comprises a structural glass beam system existing of a connected network of modular glass beams. The system ensures structural safety, while maximising transparency and is suitable to realize large-scale façade, floor and roof systems, as well as glass frameworks. During the i-Track campaign, the focus is on establishing a proof-of-concept and developing an online software tool that generates the design of a glass façade, floor or roof system. The results of this campaign will be presented to a broad public at Techboost 2017, and its ultimate goal is to establish a start-up company, to be launched in 2018.   

Ir. Bert Van Lancker wins grant for Training School on Adaptive Facades

Training schoolIn the fall of 2016, the first Training School on Adaptive Facades was organised at the Hafencity University in Hamburg, by COST Action TU1403. During six days of lectures, technical visits, workshops and case studies, over 60 Master and PhD students from Europe and Brazil were educated in Adaptive Façade Systems by leading international experts in the field. The initiative offered, moreover, a privileged networking opportunity to all participants. For this Training School, Bert Van Lancker was awarded a COST grant with a total value of 500 EUR.




Prof. Jan Belis co-founder of the International Association of Structures and Architecture

logo iasaIn September 2016, the International Association of Structures and Architecture was founded by 22 experts from 18 different countries, among which Prof. Jan Belis.The International Association of Structures and Architecture aims to explore and to promote the merging of the fields of Structures and Architecture, encompassing all the aspects related with the recent  advances in the art, practice and theory of teaching, researching, designing and building structures. More information is available at


ir. Pieter Raes wins XVth Student’s Glass Award

Glass Awardir. Pieter Raes is awarded the 2015 Student’s Glass Award second prize for his Master Thesis “Effects of Production Defaults on the Visual Quality of Laminated Glass” (supervisor: Prof. Jan Belis). The prize is provided by the Belgian Confederation of the Glass Industry (FVI-VGI - Verbond van de Glasindustrie), and consist of a cheque of € 500. The awarding ceremony will take place during the FVI-VGI’s Annual Congress at Pittsburgh Corning Europe in Tessenderlo. More information.


LMO students and staff build 35 m high ice shell in Finland

Ice ShellBeing part of an international team headed by TU Eindhoven, ten civil engineering students and members of the academic staff of LMO are building a 1:5 replica of the Sagrada Familia in (reinforced) ice in Juuka, Finland. The towers are made using reinforced inflatable membranes sprayed with water and pykrete, forming a rigid shell structure when frozen in cold outdoor conditions. The main tower will reach a maximum height of about 35 m. Throughout the semester, the students have performed intensive background research, material tests and numerical analyses during the course “Spatial Structures” (Prof. J. Belis, ir. J. Dispersyn, ir. K. Martens and ir. B. Vanlancker).


Prof. Jan Belis Editor-in-Chief of new Springer journal “Glass Structures & Engineering”

Cover MidresThe newly established journal Glass Structures & Engineering addresses the challenging domain of structural glass and is initiated in collaboration with Springer scientific publishers.
The journal aims to become the leading reference in the field of Structural Glass and is accepting contributions on a wide range of glass-related subjects, offering a holistic approach to research, construction and engineering. Presenting research papers, reviews, technical notes, discussions, case studies and letters, the journal benefits researchers as well as designers and manufacturers of structural glass.
The journal’s product flyer can be downloaded here.



Jolien De Jaegher wins VGI Student’s Glass Award 2014 in Brussels

jolien.jpgIr.-arch. Jolien De Jaegher was awarded the Student’s Glass Award second prize by the Federation of the Glass Industry VGI-FIV (Verbond van de Glasindustrie - ) on October 10, 2014, for her master thesis “Experimental and numerical investigation of glass panels supported by adhesive point fixings” (supervisors ir. Jonas Dispersyn, Dr. Delphine Sonck and Prof. Jan Belis). The prize consists of a glass trophy designed by Benoît Regniers and a cheque of 1000 EUR. The first prize was awarded to Mr. Sébastien Coppens (UCL).
More information on the Award:




PhD defense by Mr. Marc Vandebroek: Thermal Fracture of Glass, 27/10/2014

mvdb.jpgThermal fracture of glazed façades is a frequent problem with a significant economic impact. It is caused by temperature gradients in the glass panel, e.g. due to solar radiation which causes the exposed central zones to heat up faster than the edge zones which are often covered by a frame. Resulting tensile stresses will lead to glass fracture in case the edge strength is exceeded. As existing (empirical) methods do not provide a sound failure probability and they are not applicable to e.g. double skin façades, there is a need for a more accurate method with a wider scope. To estimate the glass edge strength, a vast experimental campaign was conducted. Subsequently, the influence of climatic and environmental conditions on the glass edge stresses in a double skin façade case was assessed based on real climate data. Finally, also a safety coefficient for thermal fracture was determined.



bert.jpgBert Van Lancker wins Young Researcher 1st Place Award in Philadelphia, USA

On July 8, 2014, Bert Van Lancker, assistant at LMO, has won the Young Researcher 1st Place Award during the international GlassConGlobal conference in Philadelphia, USA, with his paper “Rotational Stiffness of Adhesive Connections between Cold-Formed Steel Members and Glass Panels (PDF)”. The prize has a total value of USD 2700.




PhD Defense of Mr Didier Delincé, Experimental approaches for assessing time and temperature dependent performances of fractured laminated safety glass, 31/03/2014

Laminated glass is nowadays a well-known product in the construction industry for conferring safety performances to glazing units. Besides the safeguarding of persons, laminated glass products are contributing to a variety of other safety performances, in case of accidental breakage of one or more of their constitutive glass panes. When they are used in structural applications, the assessment of the residual load-bearing capacities of fractured elements is gaining importance and relevance. Because of the specific properties of polymer materials used as interlayer components, it is necessary to account for time and temperature dependent effects for characterizing their mechanical properties for design purposes by means of experimental investigations. This thesis critically analyses different experimental scales and explains accurately why it is difficult to obtain significant design values, with regard to different types of border effects related to sources of systematic uncertainties. Furthermore it proposes analysis grids to set up more efficient and relevant experimental campaigns, based on test configurations at intermediate scale, relying on the identification of a limited set of critical load transfer mechanisms. The response of interlayer ligaments in fractured configurations is identified as a critical load-transfer mechanism. It is investigated by means of tests on pre-cracked specimens laminated glass according to an incremental approach involving two loading modes and different combinations of temperature and loading level or loading rate. The experimental results allow to identify different failure modes and are giving comprehensive orders of magnitude of the identified time and temperature dependent effects.


PhD Defense of Ms Delphine Sonck: Global buckling of castellated and cellular steel beams and columns, 14/01/2014

doctoraatdsCastellated and cellular members are steel I-section members with round or hexagonal web openings.
Their global buckling behaviour will be influenced by the modified geometry and the effect of the manufacturing process on the already present residual stresses. Current design rules for the global buckling behaviour contradict each other, and so far the effect of the modified residual stress pattern was never considered.
In this work, the influence of the production method of cellular and castellated members on the residual stress pattern is determined experimentally. It is shown that the fabrication process has a detrimental influence on the residual stresses and the corresponding buckling resistance. A residual stress pattern for cellular and castellated members is proposed. Subsequently and the global buckling behaviour is studied numerically.
Based on the results of this investigation, a design rule is proposed, fitting in the Eurocode 3 approach used for the design of steel structures.

The public PhD defense will take place at 17:00 on January 14th, 2014 in the Jozef Plateauzaal, J. Plateaustraat 22, Ghent. More information is provided in the adjacent pdf.


LMO co-organises international conference on the Architectural and Structural Applications of Glass

Challenging Glass and COST Action TU0905 on Structural Glass have joined forces in the organization of an international conference on the Architectural and Structural Applications of Glass. The conference aims at gathering world class designers, engineers and researchers on the architectural and structural use of glass, and will take place 6 - 7 February 2014 at the EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The conference is hosted by the ICOM Laboratory at the EPFL, and is organized by:
Dr Christian Louter (ICOM-EPFL), Dr Freek Bos (Witteveen+Bos) and Prof. Jan Belis (UGent).
For more information, please visit


2nd COST Training School Structural Glass

TS2Following the success of the first COST Training School “Structural Glass”, organised in 2012 at Ghent University (BE), the call for the second edition is now launched. This time the Training School will take place at TU Darmstadt (DE), on March 11-15, 2013. The program is again not limited to lectures by well-known international speakers, but also includes amongst others a student colloquium, a technical visit and access to the local “Glass and polymer” conference.  In addition, 40 student Grants of 500 EUR are available to partially cover travel and accommodation expenses. More information is available in the flyer


COST Action TU0905 organizes mid-term conference on Structural Glass

Structural Glass AGThe European COST Action TU0905 'Structural Glass – Novel Design Methods and Next Generation Products’ organizes a mid-term conference on Structural Glass. This conference will be held 18-19 April 2013 in Poreč, Croatia, and will focus on various themes within the structural use of glass.

The conference chair is Dr Danijel Mocibob (Permasteelisa, HR) and organizational support is provided by the Civil Engineering Society of Poreč (HR). The scientific committee is chaired by Prof Jan Belis (UGent, BE) and Dr Christian Louter (EPFL, CH).

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