Team members

  • Gianni Royer-Carfagni (PO)
  • Andrea Spagnoli (PO)
  • Roberto Brighenti (PA)
  • Francesco Freddi (PA)
  • Laura Galuppi (RTD-b)
  • Mattia Pancrazio Cosma, Borsista (Post-Doc)
  • Giovanni Migliaccio, Assegnista (Post-Doc)
  • Luca Viviani, Borsista (Post-Doc)
  • Riccardo Alberini (Dottorando, Ing. Civile, 36° ciclo)
  • Lorenzo Mingazzi  (Dottorando, Ing. Civile, 35° ciclo)
  • Matteo Montanari (Dottorando, Ing. Civile, 37° ciclo)
  • Farzad Tatar (Dottorando, Ing. Civile, 37° ciclo - PON)
  • Claudio Boni (Dottorando, Ing. Industriale, 35° ciclo)
  • Ali Haydar (Dottorando, Ing. Industriale, 37° ciclo)
  • Salman Zandekarimi (Dottorando, Ing. Industriale, 37° ciclo - PON)


The group is involved in various research activities in the broad field of solids and structural mechanics with applications in civil and mechanical engineering, and beyond. 

Theoretical models are developed to describe the mechanics of materials, their limit conditions (damage, fracture, fatigue), mechanical interactions (delamination, contact mechanics) and the response to actions of different nature (temperature, light, electric/magnetic, fluid, etc.).  

Modern numerical tools (phase field, multiscale, multiphysics, DDT, peridynamics, etc.) and multidisciplinary approaches are used to describe the response of traditional building materials (concrete, steel, glass), as well as advanced materials and systems (architectured materials, matamaterials, polymers, soft materials, biotissues, layered and sandwich composites, carbon nanotubes, tensegrity structures). 

A research field, pursued during the last 20 years, regards the analytical/numerical/experimental study of problems addressed to the design and verification of structural elements made of glass. The topics range from probabilistic micro-mechanically motivated models for the glass strength, to the design of large structures. The interest is for: material glass characterization (testing methods, probabilistic mechanics, fracture mechanics, abrasion/corrosion, phase transformation of NiS inclusions); laminated glass plates (sandwich behaviour, rheological characterization, response under bending and torsion, buckling, impacts, bomb-blast resistance, post-glass-breakage response); insulated glass units (load sharing, environmental loads); thermoelastic characterization (climatic actions, thermal shocks).

Another activity regards the experimental characterization and the numerical modelling of Carbon Nano Tube (CNT)-based materials, in particular solution-spun CNT fibers, from the nano-scale (single CNT) to micro-scale (CNT fibers and aggregates) and the macro-scale (CNT-based structural elements, such as cables).

Instability of thin-walled structures has been investigated via numerical and experimental approaches with particular emphasis to the buckling of shells and to the wrinkling of soft membranes. Further research activities related to geometrically non-linear problems have been carried out on tensegrity structures; analytical and experimental methodologies have been proposed with relevant applications in the field of kinetic structures, soft robotics, and metamaterials.

A broad spectrum of activities (sensoring, structural analysis, signal processing, etc.) are carried out in the field of structural health monitoring for structural and damage identification with applications to civil engineering infrastructures.


Contact person: Andrea Spagnoli -

Recent Research Projects

  • Carbon HUB Research Grant 2021-2023, Rice University, USA. Project “Advanced modelling of CNTFs and CNTF-based cables for structural applications”.
  • H2020-WIDESPREAD-2018-2020 project ‘Structural Integrity and Reliability of Advanced Materials obtained through additive Manufacturing (SIRAMM)’ (Grant agreement ID: 857124), 2019-23 [].
  • ReLUIS-DPC 2019-2021 Project. “Rapid, low impact and integrated retrofit intervantion”.
  • Project “Smart kinetic structures for protected agriculture. Pioneering use of thin glass for transformable surfaces.” - University of Parma (Italy) under project FIL 2019- "Quota incentivante".
  • PRIN Project 2015JW9NJT “Advanced mechanical modelling of new materials and structures for the solution of Horizon 2020 challenges”. (as members of the research unit of Modena-Reggio Emilia University, Italy).
  • ReLUIS-DPC 2014-2018 Project. “Innovative materials for structural rehabilitation of existing buildings” and “Masonry structures”.
  • Research contract on “Development of algorithms for the thermal analysis of insulated reinforced concrete precast panels, numerical and experimental tests on structural joints for reinforced concrete precast elements” (Edilmatic srl, 2019-2021).
  • Contracts on vibration analysis in industrial plants of Galbani-Lactalis food company, 2019.
  • Research contracts on statics, dynamics and seismic assessment of hydraulic infrastructures: elevated tanks (IREN Spa, 2017), dams (Majone&Partners, 2020).
  • Research contract on “Protection systems against natural phenomena: block falling, landslides and avalanches” (Incofil Tech srl, 2016-2019).

Selected publications

  1. F. Freddi, L. Mingazzi, “Mesh refinement procedures for the phase field approach to brittle fracture” Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Eng 388, 114214, 2022
  2. Boni, C., Royer-Carfagni, G., Equilibrium of bi-stable flexural-tensegrity beams (2021) Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 152, art. n. 104411.
  3. Galuppi, L., Nizich, A.J. Cantilevered laminated glass balustrades: the Conjugate Beam Effective Thickness method—part I: the analytical model (2021) Glass Structures & Engineering, 6(4), 377-395.
  4. Spagnoli, A., Beccarelli, G., Terzano, M., Barber, J.R. A numerical study on frictional shakedown in large-scale three-dimensional conforming elastic contacts (2021) International Journal of Solids and Structures, 217-218, pp. 1-14.
  5. Spagnoli, A., Brighenti, R., Cosma, M.P., Terzano, M. Fracture in soft elastic materials: Continuum description, molecular aspects and applications (2021) Advances in Applied Mechanics (DOI: 10.1016/bs.aams.2021.07.001). 
  6. Brighenti, R., Cosma, M.P. Mechanical behaviour of photopolymerized materials. J. Mech. Phys. Solids, 153, 104456, 2021 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2021.104456).
  7. Brighenti, R., McMahan, C.G., Kotikian, A., Lewis, J.A., Daraio, C. A micromechanical-based model of stimulus responsive liquid crystal elastomers. Int. J. Solids & Structures, 219-220, 92-105, 2021 (DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2021.02.023).
  8. R. Alessi, F. Freddi. L. Mingazzi “Phase-field numerical strategies for deviatoric driven fractures” Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Eng 359, 112651, 2020.
  9. Terzano, M., Dini, D., Rodriguez y Baena, F., Spagnoli, A., Oldfield, M. An adaptive finite element model for steerable needles (2020) Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 19 (5), pp. 1809-1825. 
  10. Brighenti, R., Cosma, M.P. Swelling mechanism in smart polymers responsive to mechano-chemical stimuli. J. Mech. Phys. Sol., 143, 104011, 1-22, 2020 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2020.104011).
  11. Fosdick, R., Royer-Carfagni, G., Hadamard’s conditions of compatibility from Cesaro’s line-integral representation (2020) International Journal of Engineering Science, 146, 103174.
  12. Galuppi, L., Royer-Carfagni, G., Green’s functions for the load sharing in multiple insulating glazing units (2020) International Journal of Solids and Structures, 206, 412-425.
  13. Galuppi, L., Pasquali, M., & Royer-Carfagni, G. The effective tensile and bending stiffness of nanotube fibers (2019) International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, 163, 105089.
  14. Beatini, V., Royer-Carfagni, G., Tasora, A., The role of frictional contact of constituent blocks on the stability of masonry domes (2018) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A, 474(2209), 20170740.
  15. Terzano, M., Spagnoli, A., Ståhle, P. A fracture mechanics model to study indentation cutting (2018) Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures, 41 (4), pp. 821-830. 
  16. Spagnoli, A., Terzano, M., Barber, J.R., Klarbring, A. Non-linear programming in shakedown analysis with plasticity and friction (2017) Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 104, pp. 71-83. 
  17. F. Freddi, F. Iurlano, “Numerical insight of a variational smeared approach to cohesive fracture” J. Mech. Physics Solids 98, 156-171, 2017
  18. Ballarini, R., Pisano, G., & Royer-Carfagni, G. The lower bound for glass strength and its interpretation with generalized Weibull statistics for structural applications (2016) Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 142(12), 04016100.
  19. F. Freddi, E. Sacco. “An interface damage model accounting for in-plane effects” International Journal of Solids and Structures 51, 4230 - 4244, 2014
  20. Galuppi, L., & Royer-Carfagni, G. Laminated beams with viscoelastic interlayer (2012) International Journal of Solids and Structures, 49(18), 2637-2645.
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