Research Project Proposals

Risk & Resilience Engineering for the Natural, Industrialized and Built Environments

Three grants are available.

According to the GREEN topics (Action IV.5) outlined by the ministerial decree 10/08/2021 no.1061, the research topics of these grants will more specifically deal with:

  • the assessment and monitoring of the impacts of the climate change on weather phenomena and the design of control measures and mitigation policies for enhancing the sustainability and resilience of built and natural environments

  • the assessment of the impacts of new green technologies on process and personnel safety in industrial activities and the promotion of participatory processes with citizens to understand the new risk profile

More specifically, the following research topics are proposed.

The assessment and monitoring of the impacts of the climate change on weather phenomena and the design of control measures and mitigation policies for enhancing the sustainability and resilience of built and natural environments

Research Topic A

Title: Monitoring of rain-induced landslides using sensor networks and remote sensing techniques

Proposers: Rossella Bovolenta and Bianca Federici

Curriculum: Risk and Resilience Engineering for the Natural, Industrialized and Built Environments

Description: The project concerns the mitigation of the landslide risk and the increase of the resilience of the territory through a sustainable system for the monitoring, analysis and forecasting of landslides. The University of Genoa conceived and is still developing a system, named LAMP, for the analysis and forecast of landslides triggered by rainfalls. LAMP is based on a hydrological and geotechnical model, for whose feeding soil moisture sensors, in addition to temperature and rainfall data (observed by rain gauges or meteorological radar), are used. GPS receivers are arranged on the ground for the result validation. Maps of landslide susceptibility in the occurrence of measured or forecasted rainfalls are provided by LAMP. The PhD student's activity could focus on: calibration of low-cost soil moisture sensors; automatic integration of the monitoring data for feeding the hydrological-geotechnical model; testing of low-cost GNSS receivers and implementation of new filtering and data processing methods; implementation of a new procedure to integrate satellite data with sensors distributed on the ground for monitoring the soil moisture.

Supporting company: Gter srl Innovazione In Geomatica, Gnss e Gis

For more information please contact: rossella.bovolenta@unige.it or bianca.federici@unige.it

Link to the group or personal webpage:

https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/VUZBWF1s

https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/UkNHWV5q


References:

  • Federici B.; Bovolenta R.; Passalacqua R. (2015). From rainfall to slope instability: an automatic GIS procedure for susceptibility analyses over wide areas. In Geomatics, Natural Hazards & Risk - ISSN:1947-5713, vol. 6, special issue 5-7, pp.454-472. DOI:10.1080/19475705.2013.877087.

  • Bovolenta R.; Passalacqua R.; Federici B.; Sguerso D. (2020). Monitoring of Rain-Induced Landslides for the Territory Protection: The AD-VITAM Project. In Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering - ISSN: 2366-2557, vol. 40, pp. 138-147. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-21359-6_15.

  • Bovolenta R.; Iacopino A.; Passalacqua R.; Federici B. (2020). Field measurements of soil water content at shallow depths for landslide monitoring. In Geosciences (Switzerland) - ISSN: 2076-3263, vol. 10, issue 10, art. no. 409, pp. 1-26. DOI: 10.3390/geosciences10100409.

Research Topic B

Title: Non-synoptic windstorm risk mitigation by downscaling climate predictions for climate-change resilient port infrastructures

Proposers: Massimiliano Burlando, Maria Pia Repetto

Curriculum: Risk and Resilience Engineering for the Natural, Industrialized and Built Environments

Description: According to the European Severe Weather Database of the ESSL (https://www.eswd.eu/), more than 1200 collapses and failures to structures and infrastructures occurred in Italy in the last 3 years (and almost 60.000 in Europe), brought about by non-synoptic windstorms, with huge economical losses and dangerous situations for people and goods. Most of the non-synoptic windstorms are deep convective storms (e.g., thunderstorms) whose intensity is expected to become more and more disruptive in the coming years because of global warming. Port work is an occupation with a high risk of accidents and health implications for workers, and the wind is considered the most dangerous cause of disasters and malfunctions in port areas, directly affecting operation and safety. The candidate will be asked to dynamically downscale, through a high-resolution CFD model of the port of Genoa, the non-synoptic windstorms that occurred in the past, according to ERA5 data, and predicted by the climate model projections of the CMIP6 for the 21st century. The climate change-related evolution of the wind hazard will be analyzed with the final aim of increasing the resilience of ports infrastructures.

Supporting company: DM-Airtech

For more information, please contact: Prof. Massimiliano Burlando,massimiliano.burlando@unige.it

Link to the group or personal webpage

Institutional website: gs-windyn.it

Personal webpage: https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/UkNHX15h

References

  • Burlando M., D. Romanic, G. Boni, M. Lagasio and A. Parodi (2020) Investigation of the Weather Conditions During the Collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa on 14 August 2018 using Field Observations and WRF Model. Atmosphere 11, 724

  • Solari G., M. Burlando, and M. P. Repetto (2020) Detection, simulation, modelling and loading of thunderstorm outflows to design wind-safer and cost-efficient structures. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 200, 104142

  • Ricci A., Blocken B. (2020) On the reliability of the 3D steady RANS approach in predicting microscale wind conditions in seaport areas: The case of the Ijmuiden sea lock. J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerodyn. 207, 104437


Research topic C

Title: Stormwater control measures including Green infrastructures to enhance sustainability and resilience in the built environment

Proposer: Ilaria Gnecco

Curriculum: Risk and Resilience Engineering for the Natural, Industrialized and Built Environments

Description: Resilience of the built environment addresses how cities can sustain progress and development in the face of climate change. The design and implementation of Stormwater Control Measures (SMCs) including Green Infrastructures (GI) may contribute to achieve such goal including the mitigation of the hydraulic risk, to the protection of the ecosystems and to the improvement of the liveability in the urban areas. The present research aims at investigating the hydrologic and quality impacts of SCMs at the catchment scale thus assessing the translation of the effects from the single installation (site) to the systemic installations (catchment scale) and supporting the development of appropriate metrics to represent the implementation of SCMs at different spatial scale and built environment scenarios. Among the research needs that have to be addressed in this field, the use of “smart systems” approach to operating systems and improving their performance is investigated.

Supporting company: Swi Group S.r.l.

For more information please contact: Ilaria Gnecco, ilaria.gnecco@unige.it

Link to the group or personal webpage: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ilaria-Gnecco-2

References:

  • Li, C., Fletcher, T.D., Duncan, H.P., Burns, M.J. Can stormwater control measure restore altered urban flow regimes at the catchment scale? J. Hydrol., 2017, 549, 631-653.

  • Palla, A. and Gnecco, I. (2020). A continuous simulation approach to quantify the climate condition effect on the hydrologic performance of green roofs. Urban Water Journal, 17(7), 609–618.

  • Di Matteo, M., Liang, R., Maier, H.R., Thyer, M.A., Simpson, A.R., Dandy, G.C., Ernst, B. Controlling rainwater storage as a system: An opportunity to reduce urban flood peaks for rare, long duration storms. Environ. Modell. Softw. 2021, 111, 34-41.


The assessment of the impacts of new green technologies on process and personnel safety in industrial activities and the promotion of participatory processes with citizens to understand the new risk profile

Research topic D


Title: The other side of the green: environment, process risk and citizen engagement


Proposers: Guido Busca, Bruno Fabiano and Andrea Fabrizio Pirni

Curriculum: Risk and Resilience Engineering for the Natural, Industrialized and Built Environments

Description: The project proposal deals with the challenge of the Next Generation EU, for which a central role is played by: i) the adequate assessment of the impacts of new green technologies on process and personnel safety in industrial activities; ii) and the promotion of participatory processes with citizens to understand the new risk profile. Starting from the limitations of the common paradigm “Green is Safe”, the research aims to go beyond, on the one hand, by investigating the emerging industrial risks associated to the new green technologies and environmental sustainability and, on the other one, combining the technical aspects with the appropriate citizen engagement. Summarizing, main keywordsof the research are: Citizen engagement, Emerging process risk, Land-use planning, Participatory approach, Risk perception and communication.

Supporting company: glfc - Genova Liguria Film Commission

For more information please contact: Guido Busca, guido.busca@unige.it ; Bruno Fabiano , brown@unige.it; Andrea Fabrizio Pirni , andrea.pirni@unige.it

Link to the group or personal webpage:

https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/VUZEW1lt

https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/VUZCWV9r

https://rubrica.unige.it/personale/UkNHXVNg

References:

· Guido Busca (2021) Production of gasolines and monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: From fossil raw materials to green processes, Energies, 14 (13), 4061.

· Markowski A.S., Kraslawsski A., Vairo T, Fabiano B (2021) Process safety management quality in industrial corporation for sustainable development, Sustainability, 13 (16), 9001.

· Luigi Pellizzoni (1999) Reflexive Modernization and Beyond: Knowledge and Value in the Politics of Environment and Technology Theory, culture & society, 1999-08, Vol.16 (4), p.99-125

· Beck Ulrich (2009) Critical Theory of World Risk Society: A Cosmopolitan Vision Constellations (Oxford, England), 2009-03, Vol.16 (1), p.3-22.