Faculty of Civil Engineering
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Faculty of Civil Engineering



Riga Polytechnic (1862-1896)

The Riga Polytechnic started its work on 14 October 1862 as the first multidisciplinary technical university in the Russian Empire of that time. It was modelled on the most modern technical universities in Europe at the time - Zurich and Karlsruhe. It operated as a private university supported by the Baltic nobility. It was composed of six departments: Engineering, Chemical Technical, Agricultural, Mechanical, Commercial, Architectural. From 1869 to 1888 there was also a Surveying Department.

The university was attended by men from all over the Russian Empire, without distinction of nationality, religion or class. Tuition was free of charge and the language of instruction was German.

The first student was a member of the nobility, Leon Kulbach. By 1896, 4941 students were enrolled at the university.

Riga Polytechnic Institute (1896-1918)

The Riga Polytechnic was transformed by the Russian government into a state educational institution called the Riga Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1896. The six departments or faculties that had been established earlier were retained in the educational structure: Architecture, Engineering, Chemistry, Mechanics, Agriculture and Commerce.

In accordance with the approved Statutes, new study procedures and study programmes came into force. The study of Architecture, Engineering, Chemistry and Mechanics was made five years instead of the previous four years.

University of Latvia (1919-1944)

On 28 September 1919, the University of Latvia (LU), the state higher education institution of independent Latvia, was founded on the foundations of higher technical education established during the period of the RP and RPI activities. The Faculty of Engineering provided studies in the construction fields. The Faculty of Engineering offered higher education in the fields of civil engineering and cultural engineering. In civil engineering, studies lasted five years, with the possibility of specialising in three fields: road construction, water construction and urban construction. In the field of cultural engineering, there was a four-year programme specialising in cultural engineering (land reclamation) and geodesy

Institute of Construction and Reconstruction

The Institute was established in 1993. The first director of the Institute was Professor Kārlis Rocēns (1993-2011). Since 2011 the Institute is headed by Professor, Dr. sc. ing. Leonīds Pakrastiņš. According to the Statutes, the Institute consists of the Department of Building Mechanics (headed by Prof. I. Radiņš), the Department of Building Structures (headed by Prof. L. Pakrastins) and the Department of Computer Aided Engineering Graphics (headed by Prof. M. Dobelis).

The scientific research work at the Institute of Construction and Reconstruction is developed in several directions: the latest generation of composite material structures are developed, in which a rational relationship between self-weight and payload is respected. Analysis of the actual performance of the structures to be reconstructed and of the load-bearing structures and design of reinforcements, as well as research into the operating conditions of construction and improvement of reconstruction methods. Research in the field of technological mechanics of composite structures and composite building materials is developing. The staff of the Institute actively participates in the working group of the Technical Committee for Standardisation LVS/STK30 in the development of the National Annexes to the Eurocodex Standards. Work has started on the transfer of innovative solutions of the modern Building Information Modelling (BIM) process both to production and to the study process. Financial support for scientific research is obtained from participation in various local and foreign projects or scientific research programmes.

Institute of Construction Production

The Institute was founded in 1993/1994. In the beginning of the academic year of 1993-1993, the Institute of Construction Production was established at the same time as other academic institutes of the Faculty of Civil Engineering. For the first years the Institute was headed by Assoc. prof. Juris Noviks (1993-2000). From 2000 to 2013, the Director of the Institute was elected Assoc. prof. Jānis Grabis. Since 2013, the Director of the Institute has been Associate Professor Mārins Vilnītis.

At the beginning of its establishment, the Institute was composed of three departments: Construction Production, Construction Materials and Building Products, Industrial and Civil Construction, as well as the Concrete Mechanics Laboratory (from 2000 - Concrete Mechanics Laboratory). In 1998, four groups of professors were created from the departments of construction: professors of construction materials, construction technology and mechanisation, civil construction and geotechnics. In the following years, the professorial groups were restructured. Prof. The new head of the Construction Technology Department was Prof. J. Novik, the Head of the Construction Machinery and Construction Mechanisation Department was Prof. V. Mironov, and for civil buildings and geotechnics, Assoc. prof. Prof. J. Grabi. The group of the professor of building materials was later renamed the group of building materials in construction and, together with the building materials laboratory, was incorporated into the Institute of Materials and Structures of the Faculty in 2001. 

In 2005, the Department of Construction Production was reinstated from the groups of Professor of Construction Technology, Construction Machinery and Construction Mechanisation, and the Department of Civil Building Construction was reinstated from the groups of Professor of Civil Building Construction and Geotechnics. The Concrete Mechanics Laboratory and the Centre for Ecological Construction were also incorporated into the Institute of Building Production. 

Institute of Materials and Structures

Established in 1994 at the Faculty of Civil Engineering as the Institute for Automated Design of Structures, Professor Dr. habil. sc. ing. Rolands Rikards. In 1999, a separate group of professors for the Automated Design of Structural Structures was established at the Profile Institute, headed by Dr. sc. ing. In 2001, the Profilinstitut was reorganised and renamed the Institute of Materials and Structures. The Institute was expanded with a professorial group on the use of building construction materials, which was taken over from the Institute of Building Production. As a result of the subsequent changes, the Group of Professor of Automated Design of Building Structures was transformed into the Department of Composite Materials and Structures in 2003, and the Group of Professor of Building Materials Applications into the Group of Professor of Building Materials and Construction Products, which was reorganised into the Department of Building Materials and Construction Products in 2014. The Institute of Materials and Structures was headed by prof. R. Rikard, but since 2008 the Director of the Institute is prof. A. Čate.

Institute of Heat, Gas and Water Technology

The Institute was founded in 1993. The Director is prof. Andris Krēsliņš (from 1993), Deputy prof. Prof. Egīls Dzelzītis. In 2014, the Faculty Council elected Prof. Egils Dzelzītis as the Director of the Institute. The Institute includes the Departments of Heat Supply, Gas Supply and Ventilation and Water Supply and Sewerage. As the composition of the Departments and the fields of study changed, the two Departments acquired their current names - the Department of Heat Engineering and Technology and the Department of Water Engineering and Technology.

The Institute offers higher education in the programme "Heat Gas and Water Technology". It is an important sub-discipline of civil engineering, closely related to energy, mechanical engineering, ecology and environmental protection, based mainly on flow mechanics, engineering thermodynamics, thermal physics of construction, acoustics and light engineering, applied climatology, water chemistry, microbiology and human psychophysiology. The study programme offers the possibility to specialise in two fields: building engineering systems and urban infrastructure. Each of these offers specialised subjects. The Building Engineering Systems specialisation includes: heating and air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, gas, cold and hot water supply, sewerage, fire-fighting equipment and systems. In the area of settlement infrastructure: district heating, conventional and alternative sources of thermal energy, gas supply, water supply and sewerage, their regional planning aspects, as well as gas transport and storage, drinking water abstraction and treatment, water treatment plants, fire-fighting water treatment, transport and storage.

RTU is the only university in Latvia that trains engineers and researchers in this specialty for large joint stock companies and municipal enterprises such as JSC "Latvijas Gāze", "Rīgas Siltums", "Rīgas Ūdens", etc., as well as specialists for the design and installation of building engineering systems. Heat, gas and water technology specialists provide heating, gas supply, water supply and sewerage services to the infrastructure of cities and other settlements and carry out the necessary modernisation, operation and maintenance of the engineering systems installed in buildings.

Institute of Transport Engineering

The Institute has been headed since its foundation in 1993 by Professor Dr. sc. ing. Juris Rihards Naudžuns. Since 2010, Professor Ainārs Paeglītis has been elected Director of the Institute. In 1998, the Department of Transport Infrastructure was divided into the Professorial Groups of Roads and Bridges and Transport Infrastructure. In 2002, the two Professorial Groups were merged to form the Department of Roads and Bridges. The Department of Geodesy was also transformed into the Professor Group of Geodesy and Cartography in 1998 and the Department of Geomatics was created from it in 2003.

The Institute of Transport Infrastructure provides studies in the construction profile programme "Civil Engineering" with a sub-programme in the field of transport structures for the training of bachelors, masters and engineers, as well as in the geodesy profile programme "Geodesy and Cartography". Since 2003, the Institute has been re-profiled as a bachelor and master professional study programme "Transport Engineering", and in 2008 the programme "Geodesy and Cartography" was replaced by the professional study programme "Geomatics".  The Institute also provides doctoral studies. Since 2000, the Transport Structures specialisation has organised first-level studies in higher vocational education, provided by the Faculty's College Programmes Unit, whose long-standing director is Voldemārs Putnaērglis. In the early years, the transport engineering specialisation was in road, railway (until 1996), port and bridge construction, while the surveying specialisation was in surveying, cartography or real estate management.