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Welcome to IABSE Congress Ghent 2025!

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) is delighted to be invited to Ghent, Belgium, for the IABSE Congress in August 2025 co-organised by the Dutch and Belgian groups of IABSE in co-operation with Ghent University.

Since 1929 IABSE has successfully promoted the exchange of knowledge and has advanced the practice of structural engineering worldwide, in both the profession and in society. Our members deal with all aspects of structural engineering – all types of structures, all construction materials, and all phases in the life of structures, from the early planning and design stages through to operation, maintenance and final decommissioning, demolition or re-purposing. In everything we do, we take technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic, and social aspects into consideration. The theme of the IABSE Congress in Ghent is The Essence of Structural Engineering for Society, and asks the question: What is the essence of structural engineering?

Society has valid expectations for structures to be reliable under both normal service, to ever-more extreme conditions than seen before – whether due to climate change, natural or man-made hazards - while at the same time minimising consumption of resources and emission of greenhouse gasses. As a result, the complexity increases both from the design and the construction perspective. Structural engineers have developed sophisticated digital tools in response and their use requires a solid understanding of the fundamentals of structural behaviour and the ability to apply engineering judgement.

The construction industry is responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions and collectively we have a big responsibility to develop solutions that have a positive effect on the urgent challenges. The challenges are at a global scale and to make a real difference we need international collaboration. With over 3000 members in 100 countries, IABSE has a major role to play in facilitating such collaboration. During the congress you will get the opportunity to connect with some of the leading experts and recognised thought leaders in the field. Please join the congress to share your knowledge and let your voice be heard.

On behalf of the Association, I would like to thank the Dutch and Belgian Groups for organising this event. The preparations for the 2021 Congress, which was to be held in Ghent, were in the final stages and we all had great anticipations when the event had to be changed from onsite to online due to the covid-19 pandemic. I am grateful to the two national groups for giving the IABSE community a second chance to visit the wonderful city of Ghent and meet in person. A special ‘thank you’ goes to the Organising Committee, chaired by Dr. H. De Backer from Belgium, and the Scientific Committee, co-chaired by Dr. H.H. Snijder and Dr. D. Leonetti of the Netherlands for taking responsibility for the preparations this time also.

I look forward to reconnecting with our members and to welcoming new participants. A special invitation goes to young engineers born in or after 1991 to sign up and enjoy the Young Engineers’ Programme, as well as the networking opportunities with experienced members of the profession. Please join us!

Tina Vejrum
President of IABSE

Tina Vejrum, Denmark
President of IABSE


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