The Institute of Road Construction and Transportation Engineering (Professor Edeltraut Straube) is working on several projects relating to the evaluation, improvement and efficiency optimisation of existing and new asphalt road surfaces. In the field of electric mobility the Institute is also taking part in the colognE-mobil project together with the Institute of City Planning.
The Institute of Materials Science (Professor Doru Lupascu) evolved out of the Institute of Material Physics and Material Science. Reorganisation of the laboratories and adjustment to the new requirements began in 2010. Its research focuses on piezoelectric functional materials, the environmental influence on classic building materials, and energy materials in organic photovoltaics as well as high-temperature applications in solar power.
One of the main areas of ongoing scientific research at the Institute of Concrete Structures Engineering (Professor Martina Schnellenbach-Held) is the development of innovative light (bionic) structures with high-performance (ultra-)tensile and (ultra-)light concrete. Research in building in context concentrates on design concepts for new material reinforcement. Under the Innovation Programme (BMVBS/BASt) “Straße” – adaptive and intelligent bridges of the future –, an adaptive fuzzy-control system is applied to adaptive prestressed concrete structures. Further core areas of research include data processing in concrete structures engineering and monitoring systems for engineering work.
The Institute for City Planning and Urban Design (Professor J. Alexander Schmidt) is involved in numerous research projects relating 
to cities. The joint BMBF-funded research project “Shanghai: Integrated actions for a sustainable and energy-efficient city development”, works 
on an interdisciplinary basis to find solutions for the megacity Shanghai that allow long-term 
control of energy demand and CO2-emissions. The Institute is also participating in other projects to reduce CO2-emissions. The approaches here range from concepts for climate-compliant city planning to changes in the behaviour of inhabitants (for example in the pilot project “City meets climate change – integrated strategies for the 
City of Essen”). Professor Schmidt is also the spokesman for the University’s main research 
area of Urban Systems.
Professor Eugen Perau was appointed in 2010 to the Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, which is presently undergoing reorganisation. The established fields of research relating to sea and estuary dikes and foundation exploration for offshore wind farms will be continued under Professor Perau and supplemented by various new main areas of research.
The research activities of the Institute of 
Mechanics (Professor Jörg Schröder) are characterised by strong links with other disciplines such as the Faculty of Medicine, the Institute of Numerical Mathematics, the Institute of Urban Water and Waste Management and the Faculty of Chemistry. In cooperation with these partners, the Institute is working on a variety of projects, mainly DFG-funded, including  “Massive parallel simulation of arterial walls: continuum mechanical modeling and numerical solution”, “Statistically similar representative microstructures in elastoplasticity” (within the “Analysis and computation of microstructure in finite plasticity” 
research group), “Construction and analysis of anisotropic polyconvex energy functions”, “Frosting and defrosting processes in saturated porous materials” and “Monitoring in Urban Waste Landfills”.
The Institute of Urban Water and Waste Management (Professor Renatus Widmann) also intensified its activities in environmental technologies significantly in 2010. In autumn, the DFG launched a project entitled “Monitoring, modeling and simulation of the methane-oxidation layer in urban waste landfills” to analyse how the methane oxide layer in landfills works and describe it in a model using a coupled multiphase simulation. In September of the same year, another project within the framework of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network titled “Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management” got underway. By late 2011, a concept for assessment of aging and failure behaviour of pipes in water distribution systems is to be presented to the DVGW. 
The Institute’s competence in the area of energy is reflected in the significant part it played in the colognE-mobil project application process for the BMVBS Electric Mobility Pilot Regions call and in delegation of the project management to the Institute for the year 2010.
The Institute for Steel Construction (Professor Natalie Stranghöner) is working within an AiF research programme in cooperation with partners from Leibniz University Hannover and Ruhr University Bochum on devising and developing standards to determine the sustainability of steel constructions for the exploitation of renewable energies. The Institute is specifically interested in steel constructions for biomass cogenerating plants, biogas plants, hydraulic power plants and wave power plants with regard to their holistic sustainability. In 2010, it installed a test bench for high-strength friction screw fastenings, the only one of its size at a German research institute. The present cooperation with the Essener Labor für Leichte Flächentragwerke (ELLF) is concerned with formulating construction guidelines for various applications in building practice.
The Institute for Structural Analysis and 
Construction (Professor Jochen Menkenhagen) presented a sample façade developed as part of the BMWI-funded HybridGlasSt research project in conjunction with the Technical University Dresden at the glasstec international exhibition 
in Düsseldorf. Research for the project, which centres on product development of hybrid steel and glass composite girders, involved numerous simulations and parametric studies for jointing components on bonded structures under consideration of linear and non-linear material properties, and formulation of an optimal bonded 
joint as an optimisation problem. Cluster automation of parametric studies was also conducted to formulate a verification concept for civil 
engineering. In a further research project, the members of the Institute are working on standard solutions for point supported glazings with the aim of creating a standard design tool. Researchers from the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich, RWTH Aachen and Technical University Dresden are also involved in this research project.
The Institute for Computational Mechanics (Junior Professor Tim Ricken) concentrates on the description and computer-aided simulation of biological transformation processes. The scope of applications extends from the description of growth and remodeling processes of bones, cartilage and organs such as the liver to the simulation of biological residual activity of landfills and the description of water-ice phase transformation in concrete buildings. A “Simulation in Biomechanics” research group and a graduate school are also in the process of being established.