Quentin Collette

Quentin Collette

Dr. ir. arch. Quentin Collette graduated from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) in 2009 with a master in architectural engineering and in 2011 with a master in business management. From 2009-12, he was a PhD student at the Faculty of Engineering of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium). His PhD entitled "Riveted connections in historical metal structures (1840-1940). Hot-driven rivets: technology, design and experiments" was defended in 2014.


PhD research

Riveted connections in historical metal structures (1840-1940). Hot-driven rivets: technology, design and experiments.

Date2010 - 2014
SupervisorIne Wouters

Waiting for a train at London St Pancras railway station or reading a book on the Berlin underground are simple everyday actions. Conversely, preserving the service life of such historical metal structures enabling those routine actions is a challenge. The overall safety and stability of historical iron and steel structures and, more in particular, the state of their connections, are of concern to engineers, architects and heritage care specialists. Rivets were the primary fastener used to fabricate these connections through a technique called hot riveting. Although well developed in the nineteenth century, hot riveting fell into disuse when the welding technique was invented. Nowadays, the appraisal of riveted connections raises numerous theoretical and practical issues that remain to be solved. Therefore, we reviewed international historical literature and carried out experiments. This study unravels the technology and design of historical riveted connections built in France and Belgium (1840s-1940s).

Major evolutions occurred at the turn of the 20th century. The material iron was replaced by steel, rivets were not installed by hand anymore but with machines, and the design of riveted connections relied on a scientific approach. The appraisal of riveted structures of that period thus calls for additional care. The knowledge of past techniques and design methods can help engineers apprehend the assessment of riveted connections with more confidence. The study supports decisions-makers and workmen for inspection, structural assessment and intervention purposes. We should strive to preserve both the service life and the heritage value of historical metal structures belonging to the city's landscape for the decades and hopefully centuries to come.

Master’s thesis

Historical, architectural and structural analysis of a house made of concrete shells designed by the architect Louis Herman De Koninck: the Dotremont house (1932)

Date2008 - 2009
SupervisorsStéphane Vanbeveren and Pierre Stoffel

Nowadays, the preservation of an architectural heritage such as a heritage-listed building is a fundamental concern. It has to be based upon an in-depth knowledge about the history, architecture and structural underpinnings whenever a renovation is carried out. This scientifically-based article has the objective of proposing a methodology involving the analysis of the notable character of an emblematic building of modern Belgian architecture: the Dotremont house (1932) designed by the architect Louis Herman De Koninck. The results derived from this methodology are intended to provide a tool that enables the appropriate decisions to be made in any restoration project. The dwelling concerned is thus the support upon which this methodology is based, a methodology that offers a bi-disciplinary analysis based upon the complementarity relationship between architecture and structure.