Institute of Territorial Engineering (INSIT)

Institute of Territorial Engineering

We dream of a land where...

  • the buildings, roads and infrastructures are effective, economical and environmentally efficient;
  • mobility is effective, pleasant and convenient;
  • decisions are based on accurate, reliable up-to-date information;
  • decisions are reached by consensus;
  • natural hazards are considered in our lifestyles;
  • impacts are attenuated or compensated for;
  • and changes are anticipated.”

Areas of expertise


Geomatics essentially concerns measuring a local or regional area and its components, using the latest topometric methods. The department also works on intelligent processing of Geographic information systems (GIS).

Contacts :

Space geodesy - Prof. Michel Kasser
Official measurement - Prof. Béatrice Simos-Rapin
Topometry & Instrumentation - Prof. Vincent Barras
Geolocation - Prof. Thomas Touzé
Geomatic imaging & photogrammetry - Prof. Bertrand Cannelle
Geographic information systems (GIS) - Prof. Jens Ingensand


The department has solid experience and know-how in materials technology. Their expertise includes analysis and modeling of steel, wood, concrete, mixed and composite structures. The department works closely with industry on R&D projects, including development of new materials, mechanical characterization of structural components, and scientific analysis of specific questions. The department has a modern, well-equipped laboratory for conducting static, cyclical and dynamic tests of materials and weight-bearing structures.

Contacts :

Wood - Prof. Andrea Bernasconi
Concrete - Prof. Marco Viviani
Steel and mixed construction - Prof. André Flückiger

Water & natural hazards

To build a territory considering the risk of natural disasters is not new in itself. However, due to the increasingly intense use of our land, and the impact of global climate change, this field has become increasingly important over the last decades. The compromises are more difficult, and the risks and uncertainty are ever greater. This is the area in which the Water & Natural hazards department provides expertise. Ongoing research projects include flooding and gravitational natural hazards (eg landslides, mudslides, and rockfall).

Contacts :

Hydrology – Prof. David Consuegra
Natural & geotechnical hazards – Prof. Erika Prina Howald

Planning & Development (P&D)

The P&D group is a team of territory management researchers. Their approach is operational with a focus on providing decision-making support. Their work concerns: mobility & transport, land management, energy transition, environmental protection, climate change, conflict settlement, and urban planning.
Their aim is to combine a participative approach with political, social and institutional analyses of territorial systems.

Contacts :  

Mobility & transport – Prof. Yves Delacrétaz
Local governance – Prof. Florent Joerin
Environmental engineering – Prof. Dominique Bollinger
Operational urban planning – Prof. Pierre-Henri Bombenger
Spatial planning – Denis Leroy

Center for Road Building & Maintenance (French: CCDR)

Area of expertise: Construction of roads and civil engineering structures.

The CCDR provides accredited laboratory services in the field of construction materials, and consulting services in the field of road construction.
They also conduct R&D in areas such as asphalt paving, recycled materials and road condition assessment.


Contacts :

Director - Dr Francine Laferrière

Lab Director - Françoise Beltzung