Tallinn University of Technology

Mechanics of Fluids and Structures Research Group

Research group investigates processes in structures and processes in liquids, both independently and collaboratively.

  • In the field of structures, civil engineering students are taught the basics of structural mechanics, and engineering mechanics and strength of materials - basic knowledge that no civil engineer can do without.
  • In fluid  mechanics, students are familiarised with the fundamentals of hydraulics, but also with the basic principles of hydrodynamics, which are the basis for specialising in the design of utility networks for buildings and infrastructure planning.
Ave Eessalu EAMH

Underwater ambient noise in the oceans can be categorised as natural, mainly from wind-induced sea waves, and anthropogenic, mainly from shipping. The EU Marine Framework Directive requires Member States to ensure that anthropogenic underwater noise is at a level that does not adversely affect the marine environment. The research topic relates to the monitoring, modelling and analysis of underwater environmental noise. Methods to assess the impact of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals and fish will be developed in collaboration with marine biologists.

Akustika 1

Deployment of a marine recorder in the Gulf of Finland

Akustika 2

Sound map showing sound pressure levels in the Baltic Sea in March 2018. Presented is the median level at 125 Hz  decidecade. The light green colour indicates areas with higher underwater noise levels due to marine traffic.

The urban water systems research team coordinates and participates in different international research and development projects with the focus on developing and implementing of novel digital and smart solutions for improving the management and functionality of urban water systems. Basic research focuses on the flow dynamics in old rough pipes including experimental studies and CFD modelling. Main funding sources for the ongoing projects are Estonian Research Council, EC LIFE program and different Interreg programs.

Main research fields

Urban water systems (drinking water, storm water, sewage): System analysis, optimization, design, risk assessment, modelling, analysis related to aging infrastructure.

Smart water systems:

  • Real time control of urban water systems, development of control algorithms and concepts.
  • Planning and conducting of monitoring including analyzing the functioning of sensors, data acquisition and management.
  • Desing and management of flow control devices.
  • Quality based management of water systems.
Veesüsteemid 1

Water systems as a part of holistic urban planning:

  • Urban planning considering climate change and water system functioning
  • Combined implementation of green/blue/white/grey infrastructure to improve the service quality and urban environment.
  • Risk assessment, mitigation and adaptation (focusing on pluvial flood reduction, water scarcity and quality)

Modelling of hydraulic systems

  • Experimental investigations of hydraulic systems including flow visualization
  • Numerical modelling of hydraulic systems including CFD, SWMM, EPANET
Veesüsteemid 2

Cooperation in urban water systems

We see opportunities for cooperation in several fields. Our projects deal with climate change impacts on system performance, holistic urban planning, protection of ecosystems, implementation of circular economy, digitalization and modelling. Smart water usage is directly or indirectly linked with all SDG principles. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities for cross-sectoral cooperation.

Monitoring the integrity of structures is essential to ensure the safe and reliable operation of technical structures and is key to the long-term and sustainable use of infrastructure. We will focus on both fundamental and pilot studies in the construction, aeronautics, energy and transport sectors, with the aim of implementing off-the-shelf solutions for monitoring structures. The aim is to increase the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of inspection methods by combining the best knowledge in physics, electronics, IT, etc.

Purustus 1

Research topics:

  • Development of ultrasonic monitoring technologies for metal and composite pipelines
  • Non-destructive testing of building materials and structures
  • Prediction of useful design life, condition-based assessment, digital twins
  • Development of experimental and numerical methods for inspection and monitoring of modern structures (aircraft, wind turbines) and materials (composites, additive manufacturing).

The marine technology research group studies the behaviour of ships and offshore structures in the marine environment, and the technologies to identify marine conditions:

  • Behaviour of ships in accident situations such as collision and grounding (Video: collision 1, 2,3);
  • Load carrying capacity of marine structures (Video: US1);
  • Modeling and assessment of two-way fluid-structure interaction  (Video: FSI Free fall of a deformable wedge), ( Video: SR1, SR2)
  • assessment of ice-structure interaction;
  • identification of the marine environment (ice, ice ridges, breaking waves) by different perception systems;

Ongoing projects

Life logo

There is urgency of improving the climate resilience within territories of Baltic local governments, to solve practical urban climate coping challenges as well as transform the regions to be more resilient in extreme weather events in future.

The overall objective of the Project is to increase resilience of Estonian and Latvian urban areas to extreme weather events, by focusing on 4 specific objectives:

  • nature-based solution
  • digital change
  • quality of planning
  • engaged communities and skilled enablers

More specifically, the project will develop and test a set of measures that will help to prevent and respond in case of pluvial flooding, i.e., flooding generated locally by an overload of the urban drainage system by extreme rainfall. The new high-potential plant communities will be composed, pluvial flood simulation model and integrated decision support system for measures will be developed and nature-based solutions (NBS) will be designed. These tools and solutions will be tested in 8 urban demonstration sites of Estonian and Latvian local governments. Green infrastructure (GI) and NBS will be operationalised in local urban municipal planning by co-creation of policy and management options, adoption of NBS maintenance rules and urban greening plans. In addition, capacity of local governments (planners, project managers and politicians) will be strengthened on developing and managing NBS and urban planning of GI. Also, awareness will be raised on adaptation to climate change effects and thriving cocreation of NBS with the local communities.

Project will be implemented by 16 Latvian and Estonian partners in close cross-border co-operation, and the results will be transferred to other local governments in the Baltic region as well as to other EU Member States.

Project number: LIFE21-CCA-EE-LIFE LATESTadapt/101074438

Project duration: 5 years (09.2022 – 08.2027)


Overall budget in 5,1 million euros including 60% of LIFE Contribution.

New Goal Based Standard issued by IMO will change the philosophy how ships are currently designed. The central element for optimal ship design will be fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model, where ship’s behaviour and structural response under hydrodynamic loads is evaluated simultaneously. The project aims to develop such combined model using two-way partitioned approach for FSI simulations. To achieve the objective, two disciplines are combined for numerical calculations: (i) computational fluid dynamics are applied for the evaluation of fluid motions and forces; and (ii) structural mechanics using coupled beam method or non-linear finite element simulations for the evaluation of dynamic response of ship hull. Focus will be on slamming loads, resistance and seakeeping characteristics, whipping response and optimal structural configuration including geometric appendages. The developments are validated with experimental tests conducted in the ship model towing tank of SCC of TTÜ.


According to the Estonian Climate Change Adaption Development Plan the frequency of extreme rainfall events in Estonia will increase 3 times by the year 2030. This will increase the load to the existing urban drainage system (UDS) causing the risk of floods and outflow of pollutants to the environment. A shift in paradigm is needed in urban runoff control to overcome these challenges. In this project a novel smart decentralized stormwater system management platform will be developed to make existing UDS controllable and thus utilize the free capacity of the system more efficiently. For that, state-of-the art solutions from environmental engineering and ICT will be integrated. Novel control modes will be coupled with UDS model and sensors equipped with low-power long-range communication technologies. The concept will be tested in lab conditions and in real UDS. The implementation of the platform enables to change the control of the existing UDS from reactive to proactive.

Duration: 1.01.2020 – 31.12.2024


EA lipp ja interreg logo
EA Clean Stormwater logo

The aim of the project is to develop and test new storm water treatment solutions that are more efficient, ensure management quality and monitor of water quality near real time and enable operative response in emergency cases. In addition during the project novel water quality monitoring systems will be tested and implemented to 4 pilot sites in Estonia, Latvia and Finland.

The pollution of the Baltic Sea is a common problem, which cannot be solved by a single country. The main efforts have so far been focusing on industrial or agricultural wastewater, and pollution coming from storm water has not received sufficient attention. The use of storm water treatment solutions preventing and combating the spread of hazardous substances into the Baltic Sea through storm water is still not widespread. Available solutions are low in number, their effectiveness has not been measured and municipalities around BS do not have overview on the nature and dynamics of such substances.

During the project novel storm water treatment solutions will be implemented in Viimsi (EE), Riga (LV), Lieto and Turku (FI). Guidelines for the storm water treatment solutions will be provided for the main end-users and stakeholders (local municipalities, water utilities) to ensure the effective control and management of the units throughout their lifespan.

The lead partner of the project is Viimsi Rural Municipality Government, other partners are city of Riga, Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Duration: 1.02.2020 – 31.12.2022

Project total budget: 1 661 825.73 €

TalTech’s budget: 248 797.06 €



To meet the increasing environmental protection demands, countries around the Baltic Sea have taken measures for reduction of emissions of nutrients and hazardous substances for years. Still several priority hazardous substances and specific pollutants are released to the environment through urban stormwater systems. These substances are not only nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorous), but increasingly also oil products, metals (such as lead and copper), organic pollutants, and other substances of concern to environment. The common challenge of the project partners in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Sweden is tackled by developing digital and technical solutions for multi-objective stormwater planning and learning how to improve the efficiency of the urban stormwater treatment of above-mentioned nutrients and substances.

For the purpose of achieving the aimed goals, the project is divided into interlinked work packages that concern the analysis of the existing system and the development of new solutions, design and construction, and monitoring of pilot investments. State-of-art communication tools ensure that the developed solutions are sustainable and transferable to any Baltic Sea or other European municipality.

The shared territorial concern is multidimensional in nature, thus requiring deep expertise in various aspects of stormwater management. Cross-border co-operation ensures this by producing significant technological innovation and new multi-benefit smart nature-based solutions through 7 pilot sites of 4 countries:

  • Two sites in Estonia (Tallinn and Viimsi).
  • Two sites in the city of Pori, Finland.
  • A site in Riga, Latvia.
  • Two sites in Sweden (Söderhamn).

The digital solution developed in the MUSTBE project integrates the components of 1) purification and reuse of stormwater close to the source and 2) managing-controlling of the storm water fluxes during the rain events as well as monitoring of hazardous substances and toxins. This tool will support the municipalities and cities in Central Baltic area in their environmental protection efforts.

Project objectives

  • Developing digital and technical solutions for multi-objective stormwater planning and
  • Learning how to improve the efficiency of the urban stormwater treatment of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus), as well as oil products, metals (lead and copper), organic pollutants and other substances of concern to environment

Projects steps

  • Analysis of and design for construction of smart multi-objective stormwater treatment solutions at 7 pilot sites
  • Installations of the new solutions
  • Monitoring of the pilot investments to verify the effectiveness of the deployed solutions and techniques

Project partners

  • Viimsi Municipality, Estonia (Lead Partner)
  • Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
  • Tallinn Urban Environment and Public Works Department, Estonia
  • City of Pori, Finland
  • Municipality of Söderhamn, Sweden
  • Riga City Council City Development Department, Latvia
  • Riga Technical University, Latvia

Duration: 1.5.2023-30.4.2026

Total budget: 3 980 475.80 €

Project financing from European Regional Development Fund: 3 184 380.64 €

TalTech budget: 307 637.40 € (ERDF 246 109.92 €)



Completed Projects

mehaanika projekt 1
mehaanika projekt 2

Interreg Central Baltic ChangeMakers project is funded under Competitive Economy priority’s specific objective More Entrepreneurial Youth. This priority aims at a balance between economic and environmental interests and to use the potential of the young generation to make the Central Baltic region more entrepreneurial and competitive in the coming years.

ChangeMakers project aims to develop sustainable thinking and innovative competence on environmental sector of Finnish (inc. Åland), Estonian, Latvian, and Swedish 15-17-year-old students.

In total, 250 students will participate and the project’s result is the creation of 50 cross-border student companies and an open access ePlatform tool “ChangeMakers”.

In Estonia, TalTech’s Mechanics of Fluids and Structures Research Group in cooperation with Innovation and business centre Mektory participate in the project. The innovative water management technology combined with ideas of circular economy are essentials for successful environmental protection. Projects broad involvement of private sector mentors and experts of sustainable environment from the university gives an excellent platform for appealing bright young minds to the environmentally oriented study programs of TalTech.


University of Turku (lead partner), Stockholm University, Tallinn University of Technology, Riga Technical University, Åland's Vocational school, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

Duration: 1.03.2020 – 31.11.2022

Project financing from European Regional Development Fund: 1 080 723.05 €

TalTech budget: 174 592.80 €


The project designed and implemented a functional and hands-on study module for upper secondary school and vocational school. As part of the project, 253 students were divided into international teams and collaborated to establish 53 mini start-ups, each with the mission to address the environmental challenges presented by businesses and universities. Project partner TalTech engaged the student teams on topics of sustainable urban water systems. These student-led start-ups featured a diverse range of innovative ideas, including tangible products, services, and digital solutions, all prioritizing the principles of circular economy and sustainability.

Engaging students to ideate on the solutions of these environmental challenges added significant cross-border value for each enterprise and academy involved. The participating students gained multidimensional experience and enhanced their skills in cross-cultural communication and teamwork within an international setting through a range of activities that involved collaboration with 18 enterprises throughout the Central Baltic area. Furthermore, the students developed their creative skills and social intelligence while learning about entrepreneurship and important environmental challenges.

The project engaged 10 schools across the Central Baltic area, with 16 teachers undergoing training to implement the module effectively. The study module was designed to support and enhance existing curriculums, with a particular focus on sustainability, circular economy, and entrepreneurship. The module was composed by the project partnership experts and resulted in high-quality eLearning resources that covered topics such as innovation management, prototyping, market research, and pitching. The materials are accessible on an open access ePlatform at https://changemakers.samk.fi/eplatform/, which can be utilised for educational purposes in the future.

The project consists of three main topics: -Reduction of risks and energy consumption in hydraulic systems; -Limit state analysis of ship structures; -Acoustic field information on structural integrity. The first topic covers research of fluid dynamics in hydraulic networks, such as unsteady flow, transient flow, air-water interactions, stratified flow, the dynamic calibration of network models and functioning optimization to reduce risks and energy consumption in hydraulic systems. The second topic will allow to improve the safety of maritime transportation and its focus is to provide methods to lower the risk for a severe maritime accidents. The third topic focuses on underwater noise measurements and sound propagation modelling to determine shipping noise intensity and achieve good environmental status of marine waters according to Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Another focus will be on the improvement of non-destructive evaluation of the structures and adhesive joints.


 (01.04.2015 - 31.03.2018)

STORMWINDS contributes to operational and strategic management of ecological risks to the Northern Baltic Sea, emerging from maritime transportation incidents and accidents. Focus is on wintertime conditions as most accidents in the area occur in the ice season. To achieve these aims, advances are made to support operational risk management in two ways. First, a holistic cross¬border and cross¬sector analysis of the vessel traffic control and emergency response services is performed, using a systems¬theoretic approach. This analysis is further placed in context with maritime spatial planning, leading to policy¬relevant recommendations. The systems¬theoretic approach is furthermore applied to probabilistic, indicator¬based safety management modelling for vessel traffic services operation and training. Second, specific tools for operational risk management are developed. Accident prevention is enhanced through the development of e¬navigation services related to ship routing and ship performance in ice. Accident response is enhanced through the development of smart response services for shipping accidents. STORMWINDS addresses strategic risk management through the development of a risk management model for spill response effectiveness in wintertime conditions, resulting in recommendations regarding fleet organization. Both the operational and strategic risk management work require scientific advances in various fields, which are used in parallel to achieve the overall aims.


 (01.10.2015 - 30.09.2018)

 Waterchain is a practical tool that aims to reduce the inflow of nutrients and hazardous substances into the Baltic Sea from all types of land-based sources e.g from agriculture to storm water systems, from point source pollution to diffuce pollution. The project covers the whole aspect of a waterchain - water supplies, water usage, sewage, inflow to waterbodies. The project considers all regional water management plans. Cost efficient methods to reduce nutrinets and hazardous substances inflow into the Baltic Sea will be studied.The main actions are carried out in the pilot watersheds in each partner country with the practical actions targeted to sustainable impact. In Estonia the pilot area is Tallinn catchment area, where are many municipalities with their water treatment plants, agriculture companies with point source and diffuce pollution that influence the quality of raw water. Water quality measurments will be made in the pilot area to map the pollution sources and calibrate the model. A model is used to find best practices for reducing pollution. Models used will be calibrated and modified based on Estonias specifities. Best practices will be launched in other geographical areas within the Central Baltic region and further all countries around the Baltic Sea. Project results have a direct impact on the quality of living environment of local people and visitors to the area, especially on pilot watersheds. As a whole, the results increase the competitiveness and economic sustainability of all Central Baltic countries.


The level of continuous anthropogenic underwater noise in the oceans is increasing over the years. The reason for this is the increase in ship traffic and the introduction of ever larger and faster ships. Underwater noise can be detrimental to marine life, especially for species that use acoustic signals for communication, nutrition and other vital functions. Based on the primary data collected during the project, the statistical characteristics used as the baseline of the Baltic Sea underwater noise levels were calculated.
Report: LMIN16081
BIAS project web-page: https://biasproject.wordpress.com/


Climate change brings along intense rainfalls and storms in the Baltic Sea region. Urban drainage systems are not capable to handle this, and therefore floods are becoming more common in the densely populated areas. Floods rise the risk of flushing untreated wastewater from urban drainage systems into the nature. This is harmful to people and environment due to the excessive amount of nutrients, hazardous substances and pathogenic microbes in wastewater. Urban areas can be prepared for floods by improved planning and self-adaptive drainage operations. NOAH project has brought together 9 towns and water utilities, 7 academic and research institutions and 2 umbrella organisations from 6 countries around the Baltic Sea to join their forces. NOAH’s approach is to create a concept for holistic planning and implement smart drainage systems in real urban environments. Holistic planning combines stormwater management with spatial planning. This is followed by development of smart drainage systems to make the existing facilities resilient to the impacts of climate change. The NOAH concept will be easily scalable to any urban area around the Baltic Sea. Implementation of the concept could cut up to half of the inflow of pollutants into the Baltic Sea. The activities will be anchored into daily practices of towns and water utilities, leading to healthier and cleaner Baltic Sea!


Tallinn University of Technology (lead partner), Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Gdansk University of Technology, City of Haapsalu, City of Rakvere, Liepaja municipal authority "Komunālā pārvalde", Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Estonian Waterworks Association, City of Pori, Halmstad University, Economic Chamber Polish Waterworks, Riga Technical University, Ogre municipality, Slupsk Water Supply, Technical University of Denmark, Jurmalas udens Ltd, The municipality of Söderhamn, Rakvere Water Company

Duration: 1.01.2019 – 30.09.2021

Project total budget: 2 998 360.25 €

TalTech budget: 389 592.75 €



PhD students

Supervisor: Prof. Aleksander Klauson

Underwater Ambient Noise Spectrum of the Baltic Sea

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Hendrik Naar,  Co-supervisor: Prof. Aleksander Klauson

Developing and testing a new type reinforcement for 3D concrete printing


Supervisor: Senior Research Scientist Kristjan Tabri

Fluid-structure interaction for the assessment of dynamic loads and response of ship hull girder


Supervisor: Senior Research Scientist Kristjan Tabri

Numerical and experimental modelling of hydrodynamic performance High-Speed Marine Vehicles


Supervisor: Tenured Associate Professor Ivar Annus

Water quality based management of smart urban drainage systems


Supervisor: Senior Researcher Madis Ratassepp

Developing Guided Wave Tomography for Anisotropic Waveguides


Supervisor: Senior Researcher Madis Ratassepp  Co-supervisor: Senior Researcher Paul Annus

Effective ultrasonic NDE using encoding signal processing methods


Supervisor: Tenured Associate Professor Kristjan Tabri

Dynamic structural response of marine structures under hydrodynamic loads


Supervisor: Tenured Associate Professor Ivar Annus Co-supervisor: Researcher Nils Kändler

Nature Based Solutions for multidimensional and cross-infrastructural storm water management in urban areas