Portrait Prof. Ziegler Copyright: © privat


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Martin Ziegler



Prof. Martin Ziegler sent into retirement

In 2000, University Professor Dr.-Ing. Martin Ziegler was appointed to the Faculty of Civil Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, thus giving the Chair of Geotechnical Engineering in Civil Engineering and the Institute of Foundation Engineering, Soil Mechanics, Rock Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering a new distinctive face. As the son of a civil engineer, he studied Civil Engineering at the University of Fridericiana in Karlsruhe from 1973 to 1979. After completing his studies, he also worked at the same university and was (until 2000) the managing director of Philipp Holzmann Planungsgesellschaft mbH in Neu-Isenburg.

At the Chair of "Geotechnics in Civil Engineering", Martin Ziegler was able to successfully contribute his sound education in theoretical soil mechanics and his practical experience from the construction industry to RWTH Aachen University. He held lectures on soil mechanics, foundation engineering, tunneling, and Soil Mechanics & Dynamics, among others, organized an annual geotechnical project study, and supplemented the course offerings with several practice-oriented teaching assignments. Appreciated highlights were the regular student excursions to construction sites, which led as far as China, Brazil and Singapore, and in which Professor Ziegler himself liked to participate in order to maintain direct contact with the students in casual conversations and professional exchange.

With great dedication and time commitment, Martin Ziegler and his staff also devoted themselves to research, for example on hydraulic fracturing, the application of geosynthetics, ground freezing, mechanized tunneling, and fundamental questions about safety and risk in geotechnical engineering. A large number of publications and academic papers document the intensive and successful research work at his institute.

Martin Ziegler is also very active in geotechnical standardization at national and European level and wrote, for example, the technical bestseller "Geotechnical Verifications according to EC 7 and DIN 1054, introduction with examples" together with his colleagues. Furthermore, since the 7th edition of the „Grundbautaschenbuch“, he has been the author of the chapter " Safety verifications in earthwork and foundation engineering".

In order to be able to handle the many complex geotechnical projects in which he was and is involved as a consultant, expert and problem solver, ZAI Ziegler und Aulbach Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH was founded in 2013, initially based in Schloss Rahe near Aachen and relocated to Aschaffenburg after Prof. Ziegler retired.

The intensive research on the composite behavior of geosynthetics and soil for reinforced-earth structures, that Martin Ziegler established at RWTH Aachen University, led to great national and international attention and recognition as a highly esteemed expert colleague for plastics in geotechnics. For example, he played a major role in shaping and influencing the 10 th International Conference on Geosynthetics (ICG) in Berlin and the 11 th ICG in Seoul, including the Invited Keynote "Reinforcement with Geosynthetics - How They Work in Soil". In addition, he co-facilitated the 2018 Educate the Educators (EtE) workshop at the IGS in Johannesburg.

Prof. Ziegler is also head of the „Plastics in Geotechnics“ section of the German Society für Geotechnics (DGGT), of which he is also a board member. Besides that, he is also active in the International Geosynthetics Society (igs), as a member of the Council and as head of the German Chapter.

For his work as an advisor to the "Centre for German and International Civil Engineering Law (CBTR)" since 2004, and in recognition of his outstanding geotechnical work, in particular with regard to the subsoil and civil engineering law, Martin Ziegler was awarded the Civil Engineering Law Prize of the CBTR in 2015.

A very special focus of his non-academic commitment was and still ist he STUVA, the „Studiengesellschaft für Tunnel und Verkehrsanlagen e.V.“ (), whose chairman Martin Ziegler has been since 2003. In this function, he is responsible, among other things, for the STUVA conference, which takes place every two years and is one oft he largest and most prestigious tunneling conferences in the world, regularly attracting around 2,000 participants.

The Faculty of Civil Engineering would like to thank Martin Ziegler for his commitment during his tenure and wishes him all the best for the future.