ICTB 2021 PLUS 4th International Conference on Timber Bridges

The Bern University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material and Technologies have the pleasure to welcome the international scientific community for timber bridges in Switzerland. 4 days of international exchange, inspirational keynote speeches, presentations, exhibition, and technical tours will be organized.

30.08.2021 until 02.09.2021 – Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland and Online. Hybrid conference with online participation/presentations or being onsite as usual.


  • Start date 30.08.2021
  • End date 02.09.2021
  • Place Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland and Online. Hybrid conference with online participation/presentations or being onsite as usual.
  • Application deadline 30.06.2021
  • Status February 2021 Notification of Acceptance of Abstacts, March 2021 Opening Registration
  • Costs CHF 790 Guest / CHF 240 Online participant


The ICTB 2021 PLUS will be a meeting point for engineers, architects, experts, as well as scientists and students from all over the world in the field of timber bridges, including highway, railway and pedestrian structures. The successful conferences ICTB 2010 in Lillehammer, Norway, ICTB 2013 in Las Vegas, USA, and ICTB 2017 in Skellefteå, Sweden is now being followed up by a forth conference in Switzerland, where you can be a guest or join as online participant.

Within the conference, we would like to show the past, current and future in timber bridge engineering:

  • Railway, roadway or slow traffic timber bridges
  • Design and construction of timber bridges
  • Construction details, systems or solutions
  • Maintenance of historical timber bridges
  • Quality management
  • Constructive protection, materials and coatings
  • Assessment and monitoring of timber bridges
  • The conference provides the opportunity to present a research or construction project

Your benefits

  • Become an ICTB 2021 PLUS participant or sponsor/exhibitor for your strategic position and relationships
  • Meet and build contacts with experts, producers and scientists from all over the world
  • Share experiences and information in the area of timber bridge research, construction and maintenance
  • Attend a technical tour on recent and historical timber bridges in Switzerland 
  • About 100 people from several countries all over the world attend the conference each time. 

Promotional video ICTB 2021 PLUS

International Scientific Committee

Organizational Committee

Bern University of Applied Sciences

The Bern University of Applied Sciences represents an innovative, attractive and young timber main research centre in Switzerland. The focus of the four research institutes at the Bern University of Applied Sciences is on practical solutions. New products, building optimizations and solutions are developed by a team of around 140 scientists together with the industry.

EMPA | Materials Science and Technology

The Empa is the famous building material testing laboratory of Switzerland for over 100 years. The five “Research Focus Areas” concern their work on converting research and technology into marketable innovations.

The research work of the hosts of the ICTB 2021 PLUS comprises projects in e.g. high performing material and connections in hardwood, quality assurance of timber structures, assessment and reinforcement of large span timber structures, long-term behaviour of block-glued glulam members under varying moisture content, and the assessment and non-destructive testing of timber structures. The laboratories and Tech Park at Bern University of Applied Sciences are open to visit for guests in Switzerland.

  • Prof. Andreas Müller
  • Dr. Bettina Franke
  • Robert Widmann
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Franke

Fees + Registration


Onsite Participants: CHF 790
Onsite Participants Student: CHF 290

Online participants: CHF 240



Registration will be open in March 2021.

Any further questions?

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Technical Contribution, Full papers, Presentation

The Call of Abstracts has been expired. We are happy to announce that many engineers, architects, researchers and PHD students submitted numerous abstracts for presentation to one of the topics of the conference:

Decisions about acceptance or rejection of abstracts will be notified no later than February 2021. 

The full papers will be reviewed for high quality and completeness of content including state of art, material and methods, results and discussion. The full paper will be upload on a secure conference website during the time of the conference and published in an E-Book as proceedings of the ICTB 2021PLUS conference.

  • Deadline full papers: 5 July 2021
  • Template for full papers
  •  Technical presentation time will be 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for Q&A
  •  Presentation can be done online and onsite at the conference venue
  •  Please hand in your presentation as *.ppt or *.pdf in advance in case of technical issues
  •  Pre-recorded presentations are welcome und will be uploaded on the secure conference website for all participants especially outside of Europe

Conference Programme

ICTB 2021 Programm Enlarge image

Technical tour and social events for onsite participation (included)

The topography of Switzerland requires a great number of bridges thereunder many famous and innovative timber bridges. The history from still existing Swiss timber bridges stretches from the “Kapellbrücke” in Lucerne (1333) via the “Grubenmann bridge” (1767) and hundreds more historical covered bridges to modern bridges like Neumatt bridge (2013). Most of the historical bridges are used for pedestrians and cyclists as well as road traffic up to 16 tonnes; whereas modern timber bridges can carry traffic loads up to 40 tonnes. The conference tour will give a short impression of famous, efficient and innovative timber bridges in Switzerland as well as a technical discussion with planers, engineers or owners.

  • 30.08.2021 Technical tour to recent and historical timber bridges start/end Biel/Bienne
  • 30.08.2021 Welcome evening with apéro at the Bern University of Applied Sciences
  •  01.09.2021 Visit OMEGA Museum including Dinner

Besides bridges, Biel/Bienne shows various examples of wooden buildings. Two innovative examples are currently in planning and erection. The first one is the new headquarter for the Swatch Group and Omega designed by the world-famous Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, (swatchgroup.com). The second one is the new campus of the Bern University of Applied Sciences. The project – named “trèfle” - has been designed by a pool of architects from Zurich. It is proposed to present/visit wooden buildings on a short tour in the evening of the conference.


The inhabitants of the bilingual city of Biel/Bienne are lucky to live in a region where others come for their holidays. With the largest interconnected lake and river area in Switzerland on its doorstep; all around is wonderful, unspoiled countryside.

On the other side, the watch industry like Rolex, the world's leading watch brand, as well as the Swatch Group, the world's biggest watchmaking group are part of the town just as is the sports centre of Switzerland with the WTA tournament "ladies open" or the Olympic sports center in Magglingen. The city has numerous cultural attractions and hosts international events every year. Two museums, in a leafy alley setting – Neues Museum Biel and Pasquart, make up the city’s «Museum mile». Biel/Bienne can easily be reached with public transportation from the international airports Zurich, Geneva and Basel within 90 minutes.

Bern University of Applied Sciences in Biel Switzerland


If you have not yet booked your accommodation, we recommend making a reservation at one of the hotels listed below, where we have blocked some rooms:


You may book directly with the hotel (www.accorhotels.com/Biel, E-Mail: h6166@accor.com) at the cost of CHF 165.00 per night. Please refer to the key word “The 4th International Conference on Timber Bridges ICTB 2021”

City Hotel Biel Bienne

You may book directly with the hotel (https://www.cityhotel-biel.ch/en/rooms, E-Mail: info@cityhotel-biel.ch) at the cost of CHF 100.00 (Single Room) / CHF 139.00 (Double Room) per night. Please refer to the key word “The 4th International Conference on Timber Bridges ICTB 2021”

Hotel Artist

You may book directly with the hotel (https://artist-biel.ch/buchen/, E-Mail: info@artist-biel.ch). We have no contingent reserved at this hotel. Room bookings are upon availability.