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Full Professor

Member of Interdepartmental Center (SISCON - Safety of Infrastructures and Constructions)

+39 0110904803 / 4803 (DISEG)

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(Area 0008 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura)
Curriculum Curriculum file application/pdf (433 KB)
Identifiers ORCID: 0000-0002-6340-0015
Scopus Author ID: 55956896300
Google Scholar ID:
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Research topics
  • Structures subjected to fire
 The non-linear thermomechanical analysis of two- and three-dimensional structures has been extended to steel structures subject to fire, investigating the thermal transient data and the effects of different types of insulating material adopted.
  • Structural problems in advanced technology fields
 All these researches have been carried out within a framework of international partnership.
 Sub-atomic particles detectors
 The collaboration with “INFN - National Institute for Nuclear Physics – Section of Lecce” for the structural design of subatomic particles detectors started in 2011. The research activity has been devoted to structural problems of the detectors of: experiment Mu2e – a detector for “Direct Muons to Electron Conversion”, to be installed at Fermilab, Batavia, USA; experiment SuperB – a detector for” high-luminosity electron-positron collider”; to be installed at the Cabibbo Lab, Rome, Italy; experiment MEG – a new detector for “Muon to Electron plus Gamma experiment”, to be installed at the Paul Sherre Institute, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Masonry structures
 A contribution has been given also in the field of numerical study of discrete masonry structures under static and dynamic loading. The numerical models have evidenced interesting aspects of the failure mechanisms for walls, columns and arches.
  • Massive concrete castings
 The research deals with a model for the simulation of thermo-mechanical phenomena that take place during concrete hardening. The numerical model takes into account the interaction of environmental factors, such as wind, solar radiation, the degree of cloud cover and the heat removed from the surfaces of the castings, also in the presence of surface curing. The analysis of the mechanical behavior is devoted to avoid crack propagations due to thermal expansion/contraction. The study of thermal transients takes considers the construction phase of a gravity dam. The variations in shape of the structure, as well as the boundary conditions are fully considered. The effects of surface treatments are suitably modeled by identifying the mathematical model and operating the discretization by an appropriate boundary condition, developed and implemented on purpose.
  • Structural problems in advanced technology fields
 All these researches have been carried out within a framework of international partnership.
 Effects of mechanical stresses on the optical fibers
 The highly topical issue concerns the influence of mechanical deformation on the efficiency of data transmission in optical fiber ribbons, since mall changes in geometry caused by residual stresses due to the production process can affect the efficiency significantly.
  • Contact mechanics
 This research theme, which is the main one, has been studied first for the PhD Thesis. 
 Starting from the analysis and mathematical representation of the contact surface roughness, both mechanical actions and heat flows are analyzed first on microscopic scale. This approach permitted to build macroscopic laws for mechanical and thermal exchange, with a close analogy with the constitutive laws of the continuum. Both the physical and computational aspects are considered within a robust and rigorous framework.
 The FE discretization technique of these contact laws was performed paying attention to the computational efficiency. For this purpose, both consistent linearization of the equation set, and non-consistent but rapidly converging algorithms have been suitably developed. This approach follows the mainstream developed at the Universities of Hannover (E. Stein, P. Wriggers) and Stanford (J. Simo), and requires a multi-disciplinary field knowledge, about mechanics, tribology, and computational mechanics of coupled problems. More in detail, the thermo-mechanical contact problem is a natural extension and complement of the usual mechanical contact one. It currently finds interesting applications in the aeronautical and space industries, nuclear power, forming and micro-electronics. Moreover, the research has been also extended to the field of electro-mechanical contact problems.
 The research activity in recent years has led to new techniques for solving contact problems and a new definition of the geometric parameters for the discretization of the surfaces. Scientific contributions have been given also with augmentation techniques, constitutive models (friction, delamination, comparison between micro-mechanical models), special techniques for rapid convergence, isogeometric approaches for an accurate modeling of the contact surfaces.
 A remarkable contribution has been given also in the field of contact between beams, with two papers that are nowadays a sort of starting and reference point for this research field. A contribution has been given also on the field of interactions between fracture mechanics and contact mechanics, with exploration of possible synergies, applications to the delamination problems, and the assessment of the accuracy of micromechanical contact models.
 This research experience, recognized at international level, has led to the invitation to the drafting of a chapter of the prestigious "Encyclopedia of Computational Mechanics", in collaboration with prof. P. Wriggers.
  • Structural problems in advanced technology fields
 All these researches have been carried out within a framework of international partnership.
 Technologies for newly developed optical astronomical instruments
 This research field concerns the feasibility study of the mechanical structure for a newly designed Large Binocular Telescope. Static and dynamic studies have been performed for the conceptual design of the support structure. The design, based on innovative criteria, satisfies the tight dynamic characteristics required for achieving a very high image quality.
 The project of the structure, supporting two mirrors 8.4 meters in diameter, has been performed in collaboration with the Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri and the Steward Laboratory at the University of Tucson. The LBT telescope, (originally named “Columbus Telescope”) is now part of the Mount Graham International Observatory.
  • Structural problems in advanced technology fields
 All these researches have been carried out within a framework of international partnership.
 Technologies for thermonuclear fusion
 This activity deals with structural problems of a facility for the preliminary studies on controlled thermonuclear fusion. More in detail, the studies are related to the “RFX – Reversed Field eXperiment” machine, which is a toroidal vacuum chamber. The analyses were devoted to the support rings of the superconducting coils for the magnetic confinement of the plasma. The survey covered the study of unilateral contact between chamber and supporting rings.
 The machine has been built in 1991, and is now part of the facilities of the CNR – National Res. Center, in Padua.
 More recently a contribution has been given also for the design of the superconducting coils of the ITER project. In this case an electromechanical contact model has been suitably developed to study the mechanical and thermal effects at the contact points of the superconducting filaments.
Skills and keywords

ERC sectors

PE8_3 - Civil engineering, architecture, maritime/hydraulic engineering, geotechnics, waste treatment PE8_4 - Computational engineering


Goal 13: Climate action Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


Augmentation techniques Computational mechanics Contact mechanics Debonding Lagrangian multipliers Penalty method
Scientific responsibilities and other assignments


Editorial boards

  • COMPUTATIONAL MECHANICS (2011-), Scientific Committee member


  • ICCCM 2017 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics/ Comitato per l'Innovazione e la Formazione, Italia, Program chair
  • ICCCM 2019 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics/ Università di Hannover, Germania, Program chair
  • CMIS2018 - Contact Mechanics International Symposium/ Comitato per l'Innovazione e la Formazione - CIF, Italia, Program chair
  • ICCCM 2015 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics, Program chair
  • GAMM 2015 - 86th Annual Meeting of the International Association of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, Program chair
  • ICCCM 2013 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics, Program chair
  • ICCCM 2011 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics, Program chair
  • TCCM 2011 - Trends & Challenges in Computational Mechanics, Program chair
  • ICCCM 2009 - International Conference on Computational Contact Mechanics, Program chair
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