Thematic areas and research topics
The activities of the research groups are devoted to the following topics:
The Research Topic INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING focuses on the following objectives:
(1) training of experts in the area of transport infrastructures;
(2) development of expert knowledge in the field of surveying, management and analysis of spatial data in the control and monitoring of displacements and strains at all scales;
(3) study of topics related to surface water and groundwater;
(4) development of topics related to stability of natural and artificial slopes and underground excavations.
Concerning objective (1), theoretical and experimental subjects are examined, related to the characterization of the mechanical behaviour of road materials. This approach stems from the need to identify requirements that ensure an optimal timing of construction activities (new, rehabilitation, maintenance, preservation and reconstruction) with respect to the current and future traffic and environmental demands. Issues related to both geometric design of roads and road condition assessment to ensure high levels of safety while driving are also addressed.
Concerning objective (2), attention is paid to: automation of orientation and object surface reconstruction in digital photogrammetry; segmentation of point clouds from photogrammetric and laser scanning surveys; mobile mapping; algorithms and techniques for surveying at close range and by drones; low-cost GPS receivers in monitoring terrain and large structures displacements; reverse engineering for BIM.
Concerning objective (3), the main topics are: evaluation of the impact of the global climate change, laboratory scale models of hydraulic structures and of seepage phenomena, numerical modeling of unsteady free surface flows and floodings, also by means of high speed computational devices (GPUs).; analytical and experimental modeling of sea gravity waves and of sediment transport, turbulence and exchange phenomena at the air-water interface; saline and turbidity gravity currents; gravity currents of non-Newtonian fluids in isotropic and anisotropic porous media, aimed to soil remediation and CO2 sequestration; rheology and rheometry of non-Newtonian fluids.
Concerning objective (4), the following issues are examined: analysis of landslides on slope scale and large area, and of the prevention and/or risk mitigation systems. Specific interest is reserved for underground excavation, in both infrastructural and mining field; in particular, issues related to numerical modelling of excavation and effects induced on the boundary are discussed from both mechanical and hydrological point of view.
The Research Topic STRUCTURAL AND GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING focuses on the following objectives:
(1) development of expert knowledge in the field of mechanical behaviour and characterization of construction materials;
(2) development of nonlinear formulations to analyse mechanical behaviour of structural components and structures;
(3) training of experts in the area of mechanical behaviour and characterization of soils, geotechnical structures and ground works.
Concerning objective (1), integrity of materials is examined to evaluate the safety of structures, even according the recent knowledge in the field of fracture mechanics and fatigue. Further, general formulations related to the local behaviour of reinforced concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete and high-performance concrete are treated, aimed to analyse structures, even under fire conditions.
Concerning objective (2), the safety of structural components and structures is examined up to failure by applying the nonlinear finite element method. The mechanical behaviour of structures made of reinforced concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete and high-performance concrete is modelled and examined, aimed at the analysis of full-scale structures (such as beams, precast long span roof or floor elements, tunnel linings), even under fire conditions. Structural dynamics is also treated, by examining the nonlinear behaviour of structures subjected to earthquake and wind.
Concerning objective (3), experimental tests and theoretical models to examine the mechanical behaviour of soils under static and dynamic conditions are developed, by taking into account the problems related to the interaction between soil and structures, with particular reference to surface and deep foundations, the restraint works and the filtration problems in steady and varied regime. The recent interest for prevention and mitigation of earthquake risk has led to study special materials to be introduced into the soil, in order to mitigate the effects of the earthquake on the soil.
The Research Topic ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANNING focuses on the following objectives:
(1) the theoretical, formal, distributive and functional aspects of architecture, and the analysis and criticism of contemporary architecture and urban habitat;
(2) the problems and techniques for the survey and the graphic and video representation of architecture at the scale of the single building and of the urban fabric;
(3) the issues connected to the development, regeneration and management of the urban settlements, also in relation to the territorial infrastructures and the landscape;
(4) the historical, artistic, technical and aesthetic issues of the architecture of the past, both addressed to the development of a critical knowledge and to the cultural valorization in the present time;
(5) the theoretical and operational tools for the knowledge of the built heritage and for the definition of the intervention methodologies aimed at its conservation and restoration.