Aushim Koumar



Aushim Koumar

In 2012 ir. Aushim Koumar obtained the degree of “Master of Sciences in Civil Engineering” at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). In 2013 he started his PhD research at the Department of Architectural Engineering (ARCH) and the Department of Mechanics of Materials and Constructions (MeMC) at the VUB, under supervision of prof. dr. ir-arch. Niels De Temmeranand prof. dr. ir. Tine Tysmans. The research focused on the development of a design and optimisation approach of transformable scissor arches for humanitarian aid. After obtaining his PHD in November 2016, he co-founded in 2017 the VUB spin-off Transformactive.

PhD research

Deployable Scissor Structures for Disaster Relief: Multi-Criteria Optimisation and Design for Adaptability

Date2012 - 2016
SupervisorsNiels De Temmerman and Tine Tysmans

When a country is hit by a disaster, the affected community requires all kinds of assistance. One of them is on the sheltering level where besides providing family shelters, collective shelters are needed for medical facilities, storage rooms and community centres.

A sustainable post-disaster collective shelter solution should consist of a fast-to-erect collective shelter for the first emergency phase (the first hours to the first few weeks after a disaster) that should be part of the transitional settlement approach for the second, rehabilitation phase (the first two or three years after the disaster).

On the field, however, there is a lack of innovative solutions that provide a quick and easy design for the emergency phase and that facilitate the transitional process. As a result, the same static shelters are used for several decades now. This work presents an alternative to the current state-of-the-art. Deployable scissor systems are used because of the easy transportability, the ease and speed of erection and folding, as well as the high volume increase between compact and deployed state.

In this research, an integrated structural design framework for transitional shelter solutions is developed that not only designs optimal scissor structures for the first emergency phase, but also considers their future transition into housing kits at the very beginning of the design process. As such, the adaptability to the local needs through the involvement of the beneficiaries is achieved, ensuring therefore the sustainable aspect of the provided design. A full-scale prototype is built of a specific case study and mechanical tests validate the numerical model and demonstrate the constructability and the feasibility of the integrated approach.

Master’s thesis

Design and analysis of a transformable pedestrian bridge for sustainable development

Date2011 - 2012
SupervisorsNiels De Temmerman and Lincy Pyl

In this master’s thesis, a universal building kit for the construction of a transformable pedestrian bridge with a span varying between 4m and 26m is designed.

This kit has especially been designed for developing countries in which lots of local communities do not have access to schools, health facilities and trading places during the rainy season. Mostly, the practical decisions made in this master’s work are therefore based on the aim of sustainable development.

The proposed solution allows the transformation of a footbridge by means of adding or removing the same basic component and in this way, to obtain different spans. This component uses merely two kinds of structural elements: a steel section of 2m length (H-section in S235) and steel cables. Combining those elements in such ways, they can generate a basic component that can be used in order to obtain a bridge with a span varying between 4m and 26m.

For the connections between the members of the bridges, a one-fit-all gusset plate has been designed (this is a thick sheet of steel that is used to connect the members) and in order to respect the transformable aspect, only bolts were used.

Finally, after having designed and analysed the complete ‘bridge construction set’ for all the different spans, a practical manual was made that illustrates step by step the building phases from a single element to the whole bridge.


Laureate ie-price 2012 category: infrastructure and mobility


The "IE-prices" are granted annually to civil or bio-engineers (Masters in Engineering or bio-engineering), in that year promoted, for their Master's dissertation. They are competing for the price by making a poster about the work with special emphasis on market potentiality and social relevance. There are various categories. A jury, consisting of professionals from industry, government, research and education institutions, evaluates the posters, also takes into account communication and quality, and indicates, along with the audience, the winners. They may call themselves "Laureate ie-prices 2012".

Millennium Development Goal Award 2012 (VUB)


This VUB prize awards a master thesis that was successfully defended during the academic year 2011-2012, and whose subject is of direct relevance to the achievement of the millennium objectives in the South.

Award "Stichting Vandenheuvel" (VUB)


VUB Award for "The Most Valuable Student of the 2nd master Civil Engineering"