ICTB 2021 4th International Conference on Timber Bridges

30.08.2021 jusqu'à 02.09.2021 – Bern University of Applied Sciences, Solothurnstrasse 102, 2504 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland

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. The organization institutes are familiar with timber bridges and show a long history in timber bridge engineering, maintenance and research.

The ICTB 2021 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.

Neubattbrücke Burgdorf

Fiche signalétique

  • Date de début 30.08.2021
  • Date de fin 02.09.2021
  • Lieu Bern University of Applied Sciences, Solothurnstrasse 102, 2504 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
  • Délai d'inscription 31.06.2021
  • Statut Call of Abstracts until December 2020
  • Coûts Pending

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

Your benefits

About 100 people from several countries all over the world attend the conference each time. 

International Scientific Committee

Organizational Committee

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.

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 ICTB2021 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.

Sponsors and Exhibitors

Become an ICTB2021 sponsor or exhibitor.

  • Zentrum Holz, Bern University of Applied Sciences
  • Bundesamt für Umwelt   

Fees + Registration

Registration will be open soon.


Call of Abstracts

We invite you to be part of the 4th International conference on timber bridges. Engineers, architects, researches and phd-students are invited to submit an abstract that might be selected for oral or poster presentation to one of the topics of the conference:

To make sure that the documents have high quality, all abstracts will be reviewed by the International Scientific Committee. The abstracts should bring to the discussion new information, so ones previously published or presented at international meetings will not be accepted unless it is proven that new data about the subject is provided. Decisions about acceptance or rejection will be notified no later than February 2021.     

Download Template for Abstracts

Conference Programme

ICTB 2021 Programm

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 Lucern (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 two conference tours 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.

  • 29.08.2021 Pre Technical tour according to Grubenmann Bridges and Museum start/end in Zurich
  • 30.08.2021 Technical tours to recent and historical timber bridges start/end in Biel/Bienne

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.


Information will follow soon.