IBLB, BOKU, doctoral theses


The Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction (IBLB, BOKU Vienna) would like to announce recently finished doctoral theses and related publications covering a broad range of soil and water bioengineering (SWB) related topics.


Life cycle assessment modelling for soil and water Bioengineering constructional measures 

von der Thannen, M., 2019. Entwicklung eines Ökobilanz-Modells für ingenieurbiologische Bauwerke. Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Wien.

The aim of the present dissertation is to make the already well-established method of life cycle assessment applicable in the field of soil bioengineering. Therefore, the methodological basics are compiled and tested on different case studies. The constructions are to be assessed holistically over their entire life cycle – from planning to production stage and up to the use stage until the end of their lives. The results show that an implementation of LCA in the field of soil bioengineering definitely makes sense and opens up new possibilities in the evaluation as well as in the argumentation of ecological aspects in the future. Additionally, the results show that it is mainly the machines on the construction sites that cause the most adverse environmental impacts. Nevertheless, every measure and every construction site is unique in itself and must therefore be analysed or assessed as such.

Fulltext download


Physical-based plant parameters for the characterisation of riparian vegetation

Weissteiner, C., 2018. Charakterisierung der Ufervegetation mit Hilfe physikalisch basierter Pflanzenparameter. Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Wien.

The present work deals with the characterization of riparian vegetation by means of physically based plant parameters. Woody specimens of various typical riparian species were examined for material properties, architecture and their behaviour under static and dynamic load. The results have confirmed that the tree architecture has a significant influence on the flow-plant interaction process. Differences in plant architecture were found between different types of woodland species. The plant architecture, in combination with the foliage, strongly influences the contraction behaviour of woody plants. In terms of dynamic interaction, it has been found that the leaves of trees have a significant effect on the degree of damping, but this behaviour depends greatly on the length-to-diameter ratio (slenderness ratio) of the underlying axis orders. 

Abstract and fulltext download 


Greening of shotcrete walls:

Medl, A., 2018. Begrünung von Spritzbetonwänden am Standort Steinach am Brenner, Tirol. Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Wien.


The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the performance of an innovative bioengineering method – a vertical 3D steel grid system used as carrier system for soil substrate to establish a vegetation cover – for greening shotcrete walls by the creation of a ‘Green Wall’ with respect to vegetation technological and microclimatic parameters. The greening of shotcrete walls represents an enormous challenge due to the high inclination of almost 90° and the missing connection to natural ground. The analyses show that ‘Green Walls’ are well suited to re-integrate shotcrete walls into the landscape by establishing a green vegetation cover. Due to better performance concerning vegetation cover, the use of net-like geotextiles is recommended in order to fulfil initial stabilization functions. Positive impacts on microclimate due to the used vertical greening system (4.5% increase of air humidity, reduction of albedo (= reflectance) from 29% to 8%) and thus reductions of temperature fluctuations on the shotcrete (max. daily temperature fluctuations on shotcrete: 17.9°C, behind der greening system: 2.9°C) were clearly detectable.

Related publications (selection):

Vertical greening systems – A review on recent technologies and research advancement
Vegetation establishment on ‘Green Walls’: Integrating shotcrete walls from road construction into the landscape
Microclimatic conditions of ‘Green Walls’, a new restoration technique for steep slopes based on a steel grid construction


Willow brush matresses and their impact on fresh water shore line stability:

Sokopp, M., 2017. Die Auswirkungen von Spreitlagen aus Strauch- oder Baumweiden auf die Uferstabilität schiffbarer Binnenfließgewässer. Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Wien. 


In the course of a research project commissioned by the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) Karlsruhe, a vegetation monitoring was carried out over the period of five years in willow brush mattresses at the technical-biological test track at the river Rhine near Worms constructed in 2011. In addition, the resilience and protective function of a willow brush mattress in a wave basin at the premises of the BAW Karlsruhe were investigated after five growing seasons in different system states. The nearly five year old willow brush mattress in the wave basin could still withstand the hydraulic loads. The results of the shear and filtration stability tests show that willows can increase the shear strength and reduce the permeability of a sandy soil, the shrubby species having achieved higher shear strength and an earlier reduction of permeability during the investigated initial phase.

More information and contact