Institute of Highway and Railroad Engineering

Presentation of our departments

The institute does not only deal with the classical disciplines of road engineering such as planning, designing and constructing road facilities: Triggered by a growing environmental awareness and governmental budget cuts in whole Europe, the institute desires to gain further insights into topics connected to 

  • environmental compliance
  • optimization of operating procedures in the sector of rail road engineering
  • management concerning the maintenance of infrastructure


On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research  , the Federal Highway Research Institute  , the Federal Environment Agency (UBA)  , the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF)  , the "Deutschen Bahn AG"   and other clients, the institute is chiefly operating in the following fields of research.


Focus of research of the departments of the institute

Department of Highway Design and Operations: (Dr.-Ing. Matthias Zimmermann)

environmentally friendly designing characteristics and alignment rules for roads

  • three-dimensional alignment
  • safety on road networks and sections of road
  • safety audits for roads
  • analysis of accident black spots
  • collection and evaluation of surface properties of roads
  • optimization processes for road maintenance services
  • resource planning for periodic maintenance works (e.g. winter service, cleaning work, maintenance of (roadside) vegetation)


Department of Road Construction and Structural Design of Highways: (Dipl.-Ing. Plamena Plachkova-Dzhurova)

  • examination and evaluation of the roadbed and the groundwork of roads
  • recycling of building materials and industrial byproducts
  • development of particular construction techniques
  • sound-absorbing road surfaces
  • capturing structural characteristics of roads
  • pavement-management-systems
  • quality management of road systems
  • quality monitoring of building materials for producers and at the construction site


Department of Railroad Engineering: (Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Eberhard Hohnecker)

Get a closer look on the homepage of the department of rail road engineering  .

  • evaulation methods for the public transport sector
  • fully-automatic railway transportation for transporting persons as well as transporting goods
  • wheel/rail interdependencies
  • the science of rail transport operations
  • performance moduls
  • noise reduction and acoustic insulation
  • studies about potential applicabilities in the technical/operational/traffic related/economical sector
  • intermodular networks of roads (traffic nodes)
  • road way and track systems
  • comfort matters for passengers (in a technical & qualitative way)


Counseling services

The Institute of Highway and Railroad Engineering of the KIT is also offering couseling service. Predominantely concerning the following topics:

  • causes of damage when constructing roads
  • planning and supervision of road testing experiments
  • analysis connected to Pavement Management
  • environmental impact reports concerning road designs
  • traffic related analysis
  • vehicle accident investigation and safety Evaluations


Laboratory (accredited testing center of the "RAP-Stra")


  • examination of mineral building materials, recycling building materials and composite building materials with reference to structural engineering characteristics and environmental compatibility
  • examination of different kinds of asphalts and asphalt building materials
  • recycling of building materials and industrial by-products
  • quality control of building materials during their production process and their use at the construction site
  • performance tests, check tests and arbitration tests
  • dynamic distortion tests
  • development and verification of testing methods
  • examination of of costruction waterproofing and bituminous sealing sheetings