The Research Center for Mechanics of Materials and Structural Safety - CEMSIG is a RTD (Research and Technical Development) unit of the "Politehnica" University of Timisoara, at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Steel Structures and Structural Mechanics. The research center was established in 1999. In 2001 CEMSIG was qualified as Research Centre of Excellence by the National University Research Council (CNCSIS). In 2006 CEMSIG was again qualified as Research Centre of Excellence.

The center's mission addresses development and promoting of new technologies, expertise, technical assistance and education of highly qualified specialists in the field of mechanics of materials and structural safety. CEMSIG research center promotes cooperation at the national and international level and supports master and PhD studies. Through its experimental and computing facilities, the research center offers expertise and consulting services to industry.

The research area focuses on cold formed steel structures and performance of steel and composite structures under seismic action, fire and other natural and man-made hazards. New directions extend the area of expertise to seismic rehabilitation of existing buildings using new techniques and materials, as well high-performance materials for steel structures located in seismic regions.

Significant achievements in past years included participation to the IC15-CT96-0201/1997 European project COPERNICUS "RECOS" - "Reliability of Moment Resistant Connections of Steel Building Frames in Seismic Areas", and the World Banc/CNCSIS project C16 "Reliability of Buildings Located in Strong Seismic Areas in Romania". Currently, the FP6 project "Earthquake protection of historical buildings by reversible mixed technologies", CEEX MATNANTECH "Structural systems and advanced technologies for structures from high- performance steels for buildings located in high-seismicity areas - STOPRISC" and EUREKA "SEFIE" projects are underway. The master course "New technologies and structures for construction" is closely connected to the CEMSIG research centre. Members of the research centre are actively involved in teaching and tutoring of master student research.

CEMSIG research centre pursues development of the structure, competence and acting capability necessary to promote new technologies, research services, expertise, technical assistance and training of qualified specialists in the field of materials used in engineering structures, especially from the point of view of their mechanical characteristics that affect structural response and safety under static and dynamic loading. Research competence and capabilities are to be strengthened through national and international partnership, especially through cooperation with universities in the frame of European Union Programmes. CEMSIG offers research services and technology transfer for industry partners, and aims to support doctoral and master activities by integrating them into research activities and providing the necessary financial and material support.

Main Research Fields

Performance of steel, timber and composite steel-concrete structures and characterisation of their response under exceptional actions

Performance of steel and composite steel-concrete structures is regarded in terms of strength, stiffness, and ductility at global and local levels, including material behaviour. Exceptional actions refer to earthquakes and fire. Earthquake resistant design of structures improves continuously as a result of experimental and analytical research, as well as experience and observations gained after new earthquakes. One of the latest trends in seismic design of structures is the Performance-Based Design, which requires assurance of a set of controlled performance levels under a corresponding set of earthquake intensities. Performance-Based Design aims at reducing both structural and non-structural damage under multiple performance objectives. Strengthening of historical buildings in seismic areas using reversible mixed technologies, mainly based on metal devices is a new research area addressed by the CEMSIG team. Analytical and experimental investigations on high-performance steel for use in earthquake-resistant structures are underway.

Light gauge steel structures

Light-gauge steel profiles are class 3 and 4 welded sections and cold-formed members and sheeting. Beside the classical structural problems characterising hot-rolled profiles, light-gauge steel sections are prone to local instability phenomena, involving reduction in section strength, poor post-elastic capacity and ductility, and high sensivity to geometrical imperfections. However, these materials have important technical and economical advantages, and the sector of light-gauge steel structures is one of the most dynamic in the field. In order to promote these light-gauge steel structures, instability problems and connecting technology and performance have to be carefully managed. These problems are even more important in case of structures located in seismic areas, as Romania. The research activity on light-gauge profiles is focused in three main directions: (1) buckling of members under compression and/or bending; (2) performances of structures made of light-gauge profiles under earthquake loading and (3) the promotion of new structural solutions where the advantages of light-gauge profiles can be fully exploited.