The 2024 Aperitivo on the Rocks

The Rockmech team was out for an aperitivo last night to share, meet and enjoy. A very local habit lively interpreted by the today's global nature of the team which includes researchers from China, Colombia, France, Iran and, of course, Italy from North to South. So, not only martini (or vermouth, as we say here) on the rocks but also aguardiente, ayran, moutai and ...what else.

Symbolically, the 2024 group photo is taken in front of the Frejus tunnel monument in the central Piazza Statuto in Torino. It is a pyramid of large stones from the Frejus Tunnel with a Winged Genie at the top. On the various boulders of the fountain, there are also the statues of some Titans killed by the Winged Genius. Following the positivist spirit of the historical period in which the work was made, the statue would be an allegory of the victory of Reason (the Winged Genius) over brute force (the Titans), necessary to build the tunnel. Reinterpreting, it is a nice message also for the world today, thriving between cruel wars where the Reason seems lost.

The Frejus tunnel has rich connections with the research team and the Politecnico di Torino. Built in 1871 the 13,6 km tunnel to connect Torino and Italy to France, is the first tunnel under the Alps and the first in the world to see the use of mechanised systems for excavation such as the pneumatic automatic drilling machine. The pioneering efforts needed to excavate the Frejus tunnel recall the studies on deep excavations, tunnelling, brittle behaviour, and squeezing conditions which are still current topics of researchers of the team together with the current challenges in ground engineering addressing sustainability, energy and climate change. 

The timeless connections between the past and the future of engineering and of the Rockmech team of the Politecnico di Torino is probably the take-home message from the nice evening.

1st July 2024

A new approach for predicting brittle or ductile failure of rock in deep excavations - Lorenzo Milan PhD defense

Last Monday 1st of July, Lorenzo Milan completed his PhD with the discussion of his work 'A new approach for predicting brittle or ductile failure of rock in deep excavations', under the supervisors Monica Barbero and Mauro Borri Brunetto. The Evaluation Board composed by Marco Barla, Daniela Boldini, Pietro Cornetti, Leandro Alejano and Josè Muralha agreed on an excellent evaluation. Congratulations to Lorenzo by the whole Rockmech team!

7-8 Giugno 2024

XIII IAGIG - Incontro Annuale dei Giovani Ingegneri Geotecnici

Il 7 e l’8 Giugno 2024 il Politecnico di Torino ha ospitato il XIII Incontro Annuale dei Giovani Ingegneri Geotecnici (IAGIG), un’iniziativa intesa a promuovere la discussione di argomenti di Ingegneria Geotecnica in ambito accademico e professionale. L’evento è stato patrocinato dall’Associazione Geotecnica Italiana (AGI) e dal Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale, Edile e Geotecnica del Politecnico di Torino (DISEG).

28-30 Maggio 2024

Training School on Energy Geostructures

Maria Romana AlviSimone De Feudis and Alessandra Insana participated to the training school dedicated to "Energy geostructures: Overcoming barriers to their implementation", organized by COST Action FOLIAGE, that took place in Madrid from the 28 to the 30 May 2024. 

22-24 Maggio 2024

The ARV 3rd Consortium Meeting in Trento

The third General Assembly of the ARV project was held in Trento on 22-24 May 2024. It was a gathering of brilliant minds, including architects, social housing associations, building engineers, communication experts and more, all united by a common goal: to build Climate Positive Circular Communities across Europe. In the photo on the left, together with the other participants, also Marco BarlaAlessandra Insana (DISEG) and Paolo Simeone (DAD) the multidisciplinary group from the Politecnico di Torino.

15-16 Maggio 2024

ELGIP meeting at the Politecnico di Torino

It was a great pleasure to host colleagues from the European Large Geotechnical Institutes Platform this last week at the Politecnico di Torino and to exchange experience and share ideas for the future of geotechnical engineering.
The intensive programme included working group meetings for the 'sustainability' and the 'energy geostructures' teams, the Board meeting and a workshop on the resilience of mountain environments.
Alessandra Insana and Amirreza Pourfatollah presented, on behalf of our research group, the status of the research on the use of fiber optics for mountain environment protection and on the adoption of a machine learning-based approach to study climate change effects on landslides.

9 Maggio 2024

Upscaling energy tunnels: from proof-of-concept to citywide implementation

Alessandra Insana will illustrate the research activities on energy tunnels at the DISEG seminars today.

Abstract: Shallow geothermal energy is a key low-carbon, renewable technology to mitigate climate change and answer the inexorable increase in global energy demand driven by world population growth and the pursuit of a higher quality of life. Among the ground-source heat pump systems, energy geostructures are geotechnical structures that extend the conventional structural role to the one addressing energy challenges of our century by being equipped with heat transfer pipes so that they may act as a ground heat exchanger. In this 

context, this talk will unveil the research carried out and currently ongoing in the field of energy tunnels, describing the steps that led from a proof-of-concept project to large-scale implementation. Such a journey entailed and still entails several challenges, often multidisciplinary, to be dealt with. The goal is to uncover the potential of energy tunnels to produce thermal energy for conditioning of buildings, cooling of tunnel air, or de-icing of infrastructures and to emphasize the critical role of geotechnical engineers in taking full advantage of this technology.

24 aprile 2024

Optialp: una fibra ottica per contrastare gli effetti delle valanghe

L'articolo dedicato alla ricerca collaborativa tra DISEG e DET sui sistemi di detection per le valanghe e le colate detritiche pubblicato sull'ultima newsletter Polito per le imprese:

18 Aprile 2024

Biennale tecnologia - Dal sotterraneo un tè geotermico

Quali nuove frontiere nell’uso del sottosuolo?
Le geostrutture energetiche, opere geotecniche con una duplice funzione (strutturale ed energetica) grazie all’inserimento di serpentine geotermiche all’interno degli elementi strutturali.
La circolazione di un fluido termovettore estrae calore dal terreno in inverno e lo trasferisce al terreno in estate al fine di condizionare gli edifici (e non solo)…così gallerie e strutture di sostegno possono trasformarsi in veri e propri radiatori moderni.

Alessandra Insana insieme a Maria Romana Alvi, Francesco Campana, Simone De Feudis e Amirreza Pourtfatoullah presentano il bollitore geotermico alla Biennale Tecnologia. Oggi e domani a Biennale Tecnologia del Politecnico di Torino.

26 marzo 2024

Webinar SIG 'Risposta strutturale di gallerie soggette a fenomeni tempo-dipendenti'

In seguito alla vittoria del VIII concorso nazionale “Premio di Laurea – Società Italiana Gallerie”, Francesco Campana e Simone De Feudis del Politecnico di Torino terranno la 7° puntata di "Pillole di Tunnelling", ciclo di webinar a cura del Gruppo Young Members della Società Italiana Gallerie.
La puntata si intitola: "Risposta strutturale di gallerie soggette a fenomeni tempo-dipendenti" ed analizzerà l'interazione di gallerie con geomateriali dal comportamento dipendente dal tempo (materiali rigonfianti e spingenti) e con grandi frane lente (deformazioni gravitative di versante).
In particolare, Simone e Francesco si soffermeranno sui due rilevanti casi di studio italiani di gallerie dislocate lungo l'autostrada A1 Milano-Napoli, approfondendo la calibrazione del comportamento tempo-dipendente dei materiali coinvolti, la ricostruzione della situazione tenso-deformativa preliminare all’interazione e la simulazione nel tempo dei principali fenomeni geotecnici.
La 7° puntata di "Pillole di Tunneling" si terrà il giorno 26 marzo 2024 alle 18:00 e vi si potrà accedere collegandosi al seguente link: