01/26/2021 | News

Con­struc­tion In­dus­try Spon­sor­ship Award for Out­stan­ding Master's The­ses

This year's promotional award of the North Hessian construction industry was presented to two civil engineering students from Kassel. Both received prize money of 1500 euros each. Julian Apel received the prize for his master's thesis "Development of a software-based working tool for the calculation and cost-related project controlling of a medium-sized modular house supplier". Ruben Schwarze was honored for his master's thesis "The roof structure of the Margarethenkirche Kierspe".

Julian Apel developed a construction management software tool.Image: Julian Apel
Julian Apel developed a construction management software tool.
Image: Ruben Schwarze

In his master's thesis, Julian Apel developed a construction management software tool tailored to the typical needs of young, medium-sized companies in the construction industry. In cooperation with an East Hessian provider of houses in systematized modular construction, he created a work tool for construction contract accounting that is easy to implement in operational practice. He paid particular attention to the special advantages for costing and project controlling that result from the high degree of standardization of modular houses. First applications of the working tool showed time advantages of up to 70% compared to the previous approach.

In his master's thesis, Ruben Schwarze investigated the load-bearing behavior of the wooden roof structure of the "Margarethenkirche church in Kierspe", Sauerland. This is a so-called plank arch structure dating from 1817. This construction method was used in Germany at the time for only about 20 to 30 years, so the number of load-bearing structures that have survived to the present day is very small. Based on a very detailed analysis of the historic building fabric, including the wooden and wrought-iron nails used, Ruben Schwarze succeeded in mathematically modeling the load-bearing behavior of the structure in need of repair using today's methods. Based on this, he developed possible repair variants for selected damaged areas.

The results of both prize winners were very convincing and valuable, said the jury. The work combines scientific standards with direct practical relevance in an outstanding way and exemplifies the close link between university research, teaching and knowledge transfer.

The prize was donated by the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stufenausbildung (Bau) Kassel - ASK" and is endowed with a total of 3000 euros. The prize is awarded once a year in cooperation with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the  Kassel University to students of the department for outstanding theses. The selection criterion is that the work to be awarded makes a contribution to solving significant problems in engineering practice, taking into account cost-effective planning, design and construction.

The North Hesse Construction Industry Award continues the tradition of the KBB Award, which was first presented 33 years ago. Thus, it is the longest existing sponsorship award for student theses at the Kassel University. The prize sponsors were very proud to be able to award the prize in the year of the university's fiftieth anniversary.

Julian Apel's master's thesis was supervised by Prof. Peter Racky (Department of Construction Management) and Dr. Melanie Schleicher. After completing his master's degree, Julian Apel is continuing to pursue his interest in systems construction and is currently working as a site manager at the Kassel branch of a large construction company.

Ruben Schwarze's master's thesis was supervised by Prof. Werner Seim (Department of Building Conservation and Timber Construction) and Prof. Jens Wackerfuß (Department of Structural Engineering). After completing his master's degree, Ruben Schwarze is now also working professionally as a structural and maintenance planner in a Kassel engineering office dealing with historic timber and masonry structures.

Prof. Peter Racky
University of Kassel
Department 14 - Construction Management
Phone: +49 561 804-2620