Our company

Summum Engineering is a structural design, engineering and optimization consultancy, founded in 2017 as a sole entrepreneurship, and based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It operates in the domains of architecture, engineering and construction as well as industrial design and art. Services are provided to project developers and owners as well as architects, designers, engineers and contractors. Specialties include the parametric modelling and structural engineering of lightweight structures, complex geometries and sustainable buildings.

Our interests

Recent developments in computational design and digital fabrication hold a strong fascination. There is a clear movement towards generating data within well-informed parametric models, managing that data in collaborative building information models, and giving that data physical form through direct input to computer-controlled machinery such as robotic arms and 3D printers. Perhaps new forms of cooperation will follow suit, allowing us to break the value chain and shift towards seamless processes of design, construction and operation.

Whatever the future holds, Summum is pleased to stand witness and keen to play a modest part in these ongoing developments. Our interests extend to historical and scientific research that help us to understand how we got here, and where we might be going.

Our core beliefs

Contemporary corporate ethics can be summarized as trying to not be evil. Indeed, Summum will not commit to projects that have a demonstrably or overtly negative impact on people or the environment, and is pleased to rely on commendable services provided by others: sustainable banking, ethical smartphones, recycled business cards, and so on.

But, unlike traditional engineering practice, Summum will not limit itself to so-called corporate social responsibility. In many firms, socially responsible business practices and guidelines are applied while at the same time, for example, executing projects in the fossil fuels industries, operating in cultures where construction workers are heavily exploited, or working for governments that patently violate human rights. Summum will refuse and has in fact refused such projects and clients. Our overarching objective is to do good and be credible, by forming a moral and ethical corporation, affecting real change, and having a net positive impact on the world. Along these same lines of thought, but on a more positive note, the company intends to grow as a cooperative, for-profit social enterprise. Summum is pro-active in seeking a clientele and building a holistic portfolio in support of its vision of a moral enterprise that contributes to a sustainable built environment.

© Titia Hahne

Our team

Summum Engineering is currently a powerhouse company of three people. Summum is the sole entrepreneurship of Diederik Veenendaal, and he is joined by graduate students Gido Dielemans and Simone Rutigliano.

Diederik has a standing invitation to other like-minded and entrepreneurial people to join him and, in the long term, form a cooperative, for-profit social enterprise. Please see our contact page for more information if you are such a person.

Diederik Veenendaal

Diederik is a structural engineer, passionate about innovative and complex structural designs, as well as parametric modeling, computational optimization and sustainability. He studied Civil Engineering at the University of Technology in Delft (TU Delft), specializing in building engineering. He was a visiting student in 2006 at the Lousiana State University (LSU) Hurricane Center after hurricane Katrina, working on floating structures and buoyant foundations for historical buildings. He completed his Master’s thesis on the topic of evolutionary optimization of fabric formed beams, with assistance from Prof. Mark West of the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.

He started his professional career at Witteveen+Bos engineering consultants in the Netherlands, working on various types of structures and materials. Notable projects include groundfreezing calculations and safety analysis for the downtown subway stations of the North/South subway line in Amsterdam and the structural design for the largest tensioned membrane roof in the Netherlands, ice skating arena De Scheg in Deventer.

He then joined the Block Research Group at the Institute of Technology in Architecture at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. While carrying out his doctoral research on flexibly formed concrete shell structures, he also served as co-editor for the book ‘Shell Structures for Architecture’ and as project coordinator for research & innovation unit NEST HiLo. He successfully defended his doctoral thesis in 2017 while starting Summum Engineering in Rotterdam.

Diederik has an Erdős number of 5 (which is a totally nerdy thing to note, and an idea he picked up from Paul Shepherd’s website): 

 dr.sc. ETH | Architecture | ETH Zurich | 2017
 EUR ING | Engineering | FEANI | 2017
 ir./MSc. | Civil Engineering | TU Delft | 2008
 BSc. | Civil Engineering | TU Delft | 2005

Gido Dielemans

Gido studies at the Eindhoven University of Technology, specializing in the field of Structural Design and Engineering within the master Architecture, Building and Planning. His passion lies with innovation, optimization, and automation in structural engineering.

As part of a student project design team, he focused on fabric formworks for large span span structures. This ultimately led to the realization of a fabric formed structure at the precast factory of Geelen Beton. This object, named Organica Hyparbolica, featured at the 2016 Dutch Design Week as well as the 2017 Material Xperience. During his internship at Van Boxsel Engineering he set up a parametric calculation model for a new type of floor system, and published about it in the professional journal Cement.

He is currently working on his Master’s thesis on linear versus non-linear optimization of shell structures at Summum Engineering.

Gido loves assembling computers, and once built a computer as a gift to his grandpa.

 BSc. | Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences | TU Eindhoven | 2015

Simone Rutigliano

Simone is studying to obtain a Master of Science in Architectural Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Bari in Italy.

He has always been fascinated by the relation between shape and structure. He is strongly inspired by combinations of different areas of knowledge and science, by pioneering research, experimentation and innovation. He is passionate about art, mathematics and future technology. Simone took part in many idea contests, workshops and summer schools, national and international, in the field of Architecture and Urbanism.

At the moment, he is developing the first part of his Master’s thesis research, starting from the project for the exhibition “Additive Stereotomy 2.0”, and wants to investigate the potential of and synergy between parametric design and computational engineering methods. He is working, through analytical or numerical methods, on the optimal shape of a prestressed arch, and the topology optimization of its additively manufactured voussoirs.

Simone once built an aircraft when he was 8. It never worked.



Past interns:

Sjef Brands