Main content

General ETH Information

Information on the coronavirus

The ETH task force headed by the Vice President for Infrastructure is monitoring developments in the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to draw up suitable measures as necessary. You can find constantly updated information on the coronavirus web page.

To ETH's coronavirus web page


Article on Cristina Dominguez Research

The Swiss Magazine "Baublatt" published an article about Cristina's Research on rural energy demand modelling in Kenya and Guatemala.
Read it Downloadhere (PDF, 735 KB) (in German)

Rural Household

A cover for the journal "Buildings"

Recent paper from the Chair of Building Physics has been selected as the cover picture of the current issue of journal "Buildings"

The paper reports results of Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations of wind-driven rain on the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada. The case study presents critical periods and facade locations with high freeze-thaw damage, and evaluates the future damage risk due to climate change, considering milder winters with higher temperatures and higher rainfall amount.

Read more

Investigating crime scenes with blood droplet analysis

A new application for our research.

The study of droplets behaviour applied to forensic science. In this article is shown how the contribution of the study on fluids and droplets on fabrics, developed in collaboration with Prof. Carmeliet, can be applied to the forensic investigation field.

Read more


ETH medal 2020 for Mingyang Chen

Mingyang Chen has been awarded with the ETH medal 2020 on nomination by the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering for his dissertation ‘Sorption induced deformation of nanoporous materials’.

Mingyang Chen was PhD student and postdoc at the chair of Building Physics from June 2015 until February 2020.

He has now a SNF early Post-Doc Mobility fellowship at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore on the project  ‘Multi-scale modeling of hydration and water transport in highly deformable hierarchically structured hydrogels’.


Krank vor Hitze? Wie das Klima unsere Gesundheit verändert

A 45-minutes documentary on the topic of climate change and its impact on our health. How is the Chair of Building Physics working towards this scenario. external pageWatch the streaming now!



NSB 2020 Building Physics conference, Tallinn

Professor Jan Carmeliet explains the smart wetting technologies for building materials, to mitigate local heat islands using evaporative cooling. The video has been presented on the 07.09.2020 at NSB 2020 in Tallin, Estonia (online).

Watch the Video

Multiscale Zoom into Moisture Sorption and Fluid Transport: a step towards design of new porous materials.

Keynote Speech at NSB 2020



Hitze in der Stadt on SRF

Two members of the Chair of Building Physics, Aytaç Kubilay and Andreas Rubin, explain the Urban Heat Island effect and present research that is performed at the chair regarding Urban Heat Island mitigation in the upcoming broadcast of SRF-Einstein on “Hitze in der Stadt”. 

external pageWatch the Video


Energy access for all: fieldwork in rural Africa

Cristina Dominguez, doctoral student at the Chair of Building Physics, writes about her recent experience in Kenya. Her research focuses on developing a data-driven geospatial methodology to forecast the energy demand of rural households in developing countries to support the planning of electrification projects.

Read more on ETH Blog




“Asphalt has a major downside”

Together with scientists from Empa, ETH Professor Jan Carmeliet studied the latest heatwave last June. ETH News asked him where is the most pleasant place to be in Zurich in summer, and which structural measures should be taken to protect cities from extreme heat events.

Latest Papers

Machine Learning Reveals Frictional Failure

Research in Collaboration with LANL

machine learning 01

Spatial and temporal forecasts of earthquakes are among the biggest open challenges in Earth Sciences. A major difficulty in studying earthquakes is the limited possibility to investigate seismic events at the point of its origin, deep in the Earth. Real earthquakes can only be analyzed by seismometers far away from the exact point where the rupture takes place. To get better insights in the genesis of earthquakes, scientists mainly rely on two approaches i.e. building a scaled model in laboratory conditions to replicate the behavior of shearing and colliding tectonic plates or building a computational model for simulating the behavior of fault damage zone under shear.

Read more

Origin of Sorption Hysteresis in Wood: our research published on Nature Communications.


A tree relies on the strength of its building material to stand up. Being moisture sensitive, how can it cope with the continuous variations in relative humidity? How can wood, used in buildings, furniture or supporting paintings, do the same? This is due to hysteresis, a passive mechanism embedded in its polymeric nanostructure that allows wood to hold its moisture under varying relative humidity. This mechanism also allows important wooden artefacts, like the painting of the Mona Lisa, from cracking. Hysteresis has been observed since long, now it is understood.

Read more

JavaScript has been disabled in your browser