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Structural Engineering Group

Team members

The main research topics of the group can be summarized as follows:
a)    Development of non-linear constitutive models for ordinary, fiber reinforced and prestressed concrete members, under static, cyclic loads and in presence of fire
b)    Non-Linear Finite Element Analyses (NLFEA) of reinforced concrete structures (e.g. slabs, ties, beams) and development of guidelines for NLFEA of existing bridges
c)    Experimental and numerical analyses of precast pre-stressed R/C elements: 
-    thin-wall roof elements
-    hollow core slabs and floors, also with openings
-    precast frames and connections between precast members
d)    Experimental and numerical evaluation of the mechanical effects of steel fibers addition into concrete
e)    NLFEA of concrete tunnel linings during construction stages, in service conditions and under fire load
f)    Vulnerability assessment of existing structures and analysis of strengthening techniques:
-    FEA of ancient masonry structures, such as towers and vaults;
-    Behaviour of structures strengthened by FRP and FRCM (bond, cracking);
-    Seismic behaviour of castles, ancient theatres, historical buildings (seismic assessment, and dynamic identification)
g)    Seismic risk assessment of existing RC structures and infrastructures (fragility curves) and of RC structures for nuclear power plants by advanced numerical methodologies
h)    Development of construction eco-materials through physical-mechanical characterization:
-    Circular cementitious materials containing waste (biochar from pyro/gasification of wooden biomass, recycled plastics; vitrified municipal solid waste incineration ash), in collaboration with D. Milanese and C. Sciancalepore (ING/IND22, DIA), and A. Malcevschi (SCVSA), including durability and corrosion resistance measure in steel reinforced elements;
-    New alkali-activated binders and mortars, in collaboration with C. Graiff and L. Bergamonti (SCVSA)
-    Optimization of aerated autoclaved concrete masonry and its components to improve their energy efficiency and seismic performance
i)    Material deterioration and corrosion processes in RC and PC members: inspection methodologies, experimental test and implementation of models for the capacity assessment and residual life estimation
j)    Robustness and resilience performances of cast in situ and precast concrete structures: analytical approaches, numerical methods, and validation of pre-normative rules for the new generation of Eurocodes


Contact person: Patrizia Bernardi -  patrizia.bernardi@unipr.it  Tel. +39.0521.905709

Recent Research Projects


  • 2022/2025: “FIRMITAS: multi-hazard assessment, control and retroFIt of bridges for enhanced Robustness using sMart IndusTriAlized Solutions”. Local Scientific Coordinator and Substitute Principal Investigator Beatrice Belletti. Funded by the Italian Ministry of Research, PRIN 2020 programme. (Partners Polytechnic of Milan, University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia, University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre)
  • 2020/2021: “CALCINVETRI: Development of eco-sustainable concretes with aggregates from vitrified Municipal Solid Waste Incinerated ash”, 2014/20 POR-FSE project, funded by Regione Emilia- Romagna, grant number 2019-13554/RER. PI Patrizia Bernardi.
  • 2019/2022: “IMPReSA-betonplast: Development of innovative construction materials including non-recyclable plastic particles acting as reinforcement”, 2014/20 POR-FESR project funded by Regione Emilia - Romagna, grant number PG/2018/632099. Local Scientific coordinator Alessio Malcevschi. (Partners: University of Ferrara, University of Modena-Reggio), web-site: https://www.impresa-betonplast.it/.
  • 2018/2021 “RobuStruPre: Robustness of precast structures”. 2014/2020 POR FSE project, funded by Regione Emilia-Romagna. PI Beatrice Belletti.
  • 2017/2020: “Failure mechanisms due to lack of construction details and degradation phenomena in existing reinforced concrete structures”. PI Beatrice Belletti. Funded by the Italian Ministry of Research, PRIN 2015 programme. (Partners Polytechnic of Milan, Polytechnic of Turin, University of Messina, University Roma Tor Vergata)



  • 2021/2022: CSLLPP/RELUIS – “Italian Guidelines for classification and risk management, safety assessment and structural health monitoring of existing bridges. WP2: Experimental application to motorway’s sections. WP4:  Analysis of structural/special members”. PI Beatrice Belletti, Funded by RELUIS Consortium.
  • 2021: “State of the art of the treatments for bottom and fly ash from Municipal Solid Waste Incineration (MSWI) for the development of End of Waste (EOW) solutions for building materials”. PI Beatrice Belletti, Patrizia Bernardi and Daniel Milanese. Client: TRM – Trattamento Rifiuti Metropolitani
  • 2020/2022: “Agreement for a specialised support in scientific and technical activities for the prevention, planning and management of emergencies related to the seismic risk ". PI Beatrice Belletti, Daniele Ferretti and Antonio Montepara. Funded by Civil Protection Department.
  • 2021. Teaching and organization of a professional training course for company technicians on "Seismic retrofitting". Client: Ente Centro Servizi Edili, PI: Beatrice Belletti, Patrizia Bernardi, Roberto Cerioni, Daniele Ferretti, Elena Michelini.
  • 2020/2022: “Experimental evaluation of steel fibers addition on mechanical behavior of concrete at failure”, PI Beatrice Belletti and Patrizia Bernardi. Client: UNIFER S.p.A.
  • 2021/2022: “Experimental test on anti-falling systems realised with welded steel mesh”. PI Beatrice Belletti. and Andrea Spagnoli. Client: Metallurgica Abruzzese S.p.A.
  • 2019/2022: “Numerical studies on anti-falling debris ceiling protection composed of welded steel wire mesh and washers”. PI Beatrice Belletti. Client: Metallurgica Abruzzese S.p.A.
  • 2019/2022: “Experimental studies on anti-falling debris ceiling protection composed of welded steel wire mesh and washers”. PI Beatrice Belletti and Daniele Ferretti. Client: Metallurgica Abruzzese S.p.A.
  • 2019/2021: “Study of the mechanical behavior of AAC masonry and mechanical characterization of their components” with Ekoru srl (Volla, Naples), Project PON «Imprese e Competitività» 2014- 2020 FESR N. F/090017/00/X36. PI Daniele Ferretti.
  • 2019/2021: “RELUIS WP11: Standard code formulation enhancement for reinforced concrete members ”, Task 11.1 Capacity assessment and modelling of RC structures - Task 11.2 Structural safety assessment using non-linear numerical methods. PI Beatrice Belletti. Funded by RELUIS Consortium.
  • 2019/2021: “RELUIS WP4: Risk maps and seismic damage scenarios (MARS) – Task 4.3”, PI Beatrice Belletti. Funded by RELUIS Consortium.
  • 2018: “Vulnerability assessment of the gym building in the school complex of Fornovo”, project funded by the Municipality of Fornovo, PI Andrea Spagnoli.
  • 2018: “Review of the assessment report on structural vulnerability and feasibility of repairing action of Hospital in Bobbio (PC)”. PI Beatrice Belletti and Ivo Iori. Client: Eng. Ferruccio Rossetti.
  • 2017/2018: “Numerical and Experimental study for structural optimization of the special precast roof element Vela”, client: Edilesse S.r.l., PI Patrizia Bernardi.
  • 2017/2018 “RELUIS WP2: Reinforced concrete structures”, PI Beatrice Belletti. Funded by RELUIS Consortium.
  • 2017/2020. “Review of a technical manual for the structural design of Prestressed Hollow-Core floors”, Client: Association of Manufacturers of Hollow Core Floors (ASSAP), PI Elena Michelini.
  • 2017: “Preliminary on-site testing and numerical simulation of the seismic retrofitting intervention for the school building of Borgo Val di Taro”, projects funded by the Municipality of Borgo Val di Taro and by Eng. G. Stefanini engineering firm, PI Roberto Cerioni and Elena Michelini.
  • 2016/2022: “Planning, supervision and coordination of investigations, load tests, instrumental checks, numerical analysis for the assessment of seismic vulnerability of five buildings of the Municipality of Sant'Ilario”, client: Municipality of Sant'Ilario (RE). PI Daniele Ferretti, Walter Salvatore.
Recent Research Projects

1.Belletti, B., Vecchi, F. (2022). A crack model for corroded reinforced concrete elements subject to cyclic loading. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Bridge Engineering, 175(1): 50–65.

2.Franceschini L., Vecchi F., Belletti B., Andrade C., Peiretti H.C. (2022). Analytical method for the evaluation of the residual service life of prestressed concrete beams subjected to corrosion deterioration. Structural Concrete, 23(1): 121-137.

3.Franceschini L., Vecchi F., Tondolo F., Belletti B., Sánchez Montero J. (2022). Mechanical behaviour of corroded strands under chloride attack: A new constitutive law. Construction and Building Materials 316, 17 January 2022 Article number 125872.

4. Belletti, B., Martinelli, E., Michelini, E., Tavano, M., & Vecchi, F. (2022). Seismic Risk Assessment of Existing RC Frame-Buildings with Shear Walls. In Seismic Behaviour and Design of Irregular and Complex Civil Structures IV (pp. 273-285). Springer, Cham.

5. Michelini, E., Ferretti, D., Pagliari, F., Cerioni, R., Bergamonti, L., Potenza, M., Graiff, C. (2022) Fracture energy of sustainable geopolymer composites with and without the addition of slaughterhouse by-products as fibre-reinforcement: an experimental investigation, Procedia Structural Integrity 39C, 71-80.

6. Sirico, A., Bernardi P., Sciancalepore C., Vecchi F., Malcevschi A., Belletti B., Milanese, D. (2021). Biochar from wood waste as additive for structural concrete. Construction and Building Materials, vol. 303, art. n. 124500.

7. Bernardi P., Cerioni R., Michelini E., Coisson E. (2021), “Vulnerability assessment of Italian Rationalist architecture: two case studies” Proceedings of 12th International Conference on Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions (SAHC), International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), pp.1502-1513.

8. Sirico A., Vecchi F., Sciancalepore C., Belletti B., Bernardi P., Malcevschi A., Milanese D. (2021), “Mechanical Properties of Concretes Containing Biochar and Recycled Plastic Aggregate”, Proceedings of fib Symposium “Concrete Structures: New Trends for Eco-Efficiency and Performance”, online 14-16 June 2021.

9. Boni, C., Ferretti, D., & Lenticchia, E. (2021). Effects of brick pattern on the static behavior of masonry vaults. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 1-21.

10. Ferretti, D., & Michelini, E. (2021). The Effect of Density on the Delicate Balance between Structural Requirements and Environmental Issues for AAC Blocks: An Experimental Investigation. Sustainability, 13(23), 13186.

11.Ravasini S., Sio J., Franceschini L., Izzuddin B. A., Belletti B. (2021), Validation of Simplified Tying Force Method for Robustness Assessment of RC structures. Engineering Structures 249, 113291.

12. Sirico A., Bernardi P., Belletti B., Malcevschi A., Dalcanale E., Domenichelli I., Fornoni P., Moretti,E. (2020). Mechanical characterization of cement-based materials containing biochar from gasification. Construction and Building Materials, vol. 246, art. n. 118490, doi: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.118490.

13.Belletti B., Rodriguez J., Andrade C., Franceschini L., Montero J.S., Vecchi F. (2020), Experimental Tests on Shear Capacity of Naturally Corroded Prestressed Beams. Structural Concrete 21(5): 1777-1793.

14. Michelini E., Bernardi P., Cerioni R., Belletti B. (2020), “Experimental and numerical assessment of flexural and shear behaviour of precast prestressed deep hollow-core slabs”. International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials, vol. 14 (1), art. n.31, pp. 1-17.

15. Ferretti, D., Michelini, E., Pongiluppi, N., & Cerioni, R. (2020). Damage assessment of autoclaved aerated concrete buildings: some Italian case studies. International Journal of Masonry Research and Innovation, 5(2), 279-301.

16. Bernardi P., Michelini E., Sirico A., Ranieri, S., Corradi, C. (2020), “Simulation methodology for the assessment of the structural safety of concrete tunnel linings based on CFD fire – FE thermo-mechanical analysis: a case study”. Engineering Structures, vol. 225, art. n.111193, pp. 1-14.

17. Bernardi P., Cerioni R., Michelini E., Sirico A. (2020), “Transverse reinforcement optimization of a precast special roof element through an experimental and numerical procedure”. Engineering Structures, vol. 203, art. n. 109894.

18. Bernardi P., Cerioni R., Ferretti D., Leurini F., Michelini E. (2019), “Experimental characterization of fiber-reinforced cementitious mortar under tension”. Frattura e Integrità Strutturale, vol. 13 (48), pp. 97-104.

19. Bergamonti, L., Taurino, R., Cattani, L., Ferretti, D., Bondioli, F. (2018), Lightweight hybrid organic-inorganic geopolymers obtained using polyurethane waste, Construction and Building Materials, 185, pp. 285-292.

20. Coïsson, E., Ferretti, D., Lenticchia, E. (2017), Analysis of damage mechanisms suffered by Italian fortified buildings hit by earthquakes in the last 40 years, Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 15 (12), pp. 5139-5166.

21.Belletti B., Scolari M., Vecchi F. (2017), PARC_CL 2.0 crack model for NLFEA of reinforced concrete structures under cyclic loadings. Computer and Structures 191: 165-179.

22. Ferretti, D., Michelini, E., Rosati, G. (2015). Mechanical characterization of autoclaved aerated concrete masonry subjected to in-plane loading: Experimental investigation and FE modeling. Construction and Building Materials, 98, 353-365.

23. Belletti B., Pimentel M., Scolari M., Walraven J.C. (2015) Safety assessment of punching shear failure according to level of approximation approach. Structural Concrete 16(3): 366-380.

Pubblicato Lunedì, 28 Marzo, 2022 - 10:35 | ultima modifica Lunedì, 28 Marzo, 2022 - 10:52