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“Practische Studie”, our study association of the faculty of Civil Engineering at Delft University of Technology first got in touch with IABSE two years ago. It was due to a small visit to Switzerland; and we still have wonderful memories of it. In 2016 we started planning a trip for our students to France, Spain and Portugal – to learn about the interesting Civil Engineering solutions implemented in these countries. We got in touch with Ms. M. Dolores G. Pulido, the chair of the Spanish group of IABSE. She really defined our trip, held in July 2017, in cooperation with Mr. Roberto Revilla Angulo (another member of the Spanish Group of IABSE), by showing us how engineering and aesthetics/architecture are intertwined in Spain and, moreover, by her warm hospitality. In Spain we visited the cities Bilbao, Salamanca, Madrid and San Sebastián. In each of them we received information about both ancient and the more recent must-sees. M. Dolores helped us a lot by providing us with tips, contacts and, moreover, by personally organizing three tours for us in Madrid. Respectively, to the Atocha-Charmatín tunnel project (by ADIF), the Zarzuela Hippodrome and, finally, the La Peineta Stadion. The Atocha-Charmatin tunnel was very impressive and interesting to visit. Our students were especially surprised by the geotechnical differences between the Netherlands and the Madrid area. This allowed - amongst others - a different excavation technique and system to manage vibrations. Several INECO engineers (an Spanish company involved in the tunnel project) gave us talks about technical aspects of the project. After we had ascended once more and had visited the famous Atocha station, we drove through the grand streets of Madrid to the Zarzuela Hippodrome. Its aesthetics are self-explanatory, but M. Dolores and the technical manager of the Zarzuela Hippodrome showed us several components of the structure (from 1934) and explained to us Eduardo Torroja’s (brilliant) design choices. Examples are: the cantilever concept of the building; and the materials and curved form of the roof. A great example of engineering and aesthetics working together! Finally, we visited the roof of the La Peineta stadion of Atlético Madrid –by Cruz y Ortiz (architects) and schlaich bergermann partner (structural engineers). It has a very interesting design for its outer and inner ring, due to its curved design. One of the architects of Cruz y Ortiz was actively involved in the organization of the visit. We have learned a lot and left the city with wonderful memories. For this I would like to thank the Spanish Group of IABSE and especially M. Dolores G. Pulido. We hope to maintain friendly relations between our study association and IABSE; and hope to welcome you in the Netherlands as well!

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