PhD Programme in Structural, Geotechnical and Seismic Engineering (31st cycle, a.y. 2015-2016)


PhD Program in Structural, Geotechnical Engineering and Seismic Risk

Admission | 33rd Cycle – Academic Year 2017/2018

Apply for Admission

Apply for Admission | Applicants for Reserved Positions

  • Call for applications
  • Attachment A

Application Deadline | 12.00 a.m. (Italian time) of September 21st, 2017

Examination topics | Download pdf

Examinations Results

  • Assessment of the qualifications
  • Written examination
  • Oral examination
  • List of winners

Examinations Results | Applicants for Reserved Positions

  • Assessment of the qualifications
  • Written examination
  • Oral examination
  • List of winners

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List of PhD Theses

PhD Program Information


The main objective of the proposed PhD (DISGES) is the development of highly qualified researchers by offering a training program aiming at increasing the students capacity for analysis, synthesis, decision-making and organizational independence which can facilitate their inclusion both in the research activity and /or in other fields of the labor market.
By virtue of the interdisciplinary and complementary features of the research groups involved in the PhD program, the DISGES aims at providing the PhD students with a firm preparation in physics and mathematics and with an advanced understanding of the scientific aspects that contribute to the evaluation, mitigation and monitoring of natural and human risks, with particular emphasis on the seismic one.
The basic training will be developed during the first year whereas the specialistic one will be completed in the subsequent two years by means of theoretical or experimental research activity that will make use of renowned and innovative laboratories in the fields of structural and geotechnical engineering as well as seismology.
Starting from the second year, the PhD students are supposed to spend at least six months of study in training and research at prestigious international institutions in order to deepen their knowledges.
Finally, the DISGES aims at encouraging the participation of PhD students in national and international research projects.

Doctoral Committee

Research Areas

The prediction of the risk phenomena, especially of the seismic one, as well as the estimate of the expected damages, assumed as tools for subsequent choices of mitigation, require the development of a synergic approach to the problem.
Thus, common elements of the PhD mission are seismology and geology, for the proper characterization of the seismic hazard as a specific property of the territory, as well as structural and geotechnical engineering for assessing the vulnerability of the built environment in addition to the correct design of new constructions.
Moreover, engineering and seismology are preliminary tools to a proper allocation, in time and space, of the resources available for the most critical risk situations, besides to the imposition of constraints for sustainable building activities and, more generally, to land use as function of different levels of hazard.
Therefore, the research activities related to risk are of particular interest and importance to all countries, and for Italy in particular, which are often subject to earthquakes, landslides, lava flows, subsidence, etc.., causing extensive damages in terms both of material goods and human lives losses.
Finally, the interdisciplinary and complementary aspects of the research topics addressed in the PhD program make the DISGES a unique example of this kind in Italy.

Teaching Activities

PhD students are supposed to fulfill 60 credits per year. As a rule these will be divided according to the following table:

Year Teaching Seminars Research activities
I 30 10 20
II 15 10 35
II 0 10 50





In particular, assuming the equivalence 1 CFU = 6 hours of lecture, teaching will consist of:

  • 6 courses at the first year (30 CFU);
  • 3 courses at the second year (15 CFU).

These courses are organized as follows:

First Year Courses
Course Title Professor(s) CFU
1 Applied statistics and probability analysis Jalayer 3
2 Numerical methods in engineering D’Acunto 3
3-4 Two elective courses to be selected among:
a. Dynamics of continuous media Rosati 3
b. Advanced seismology Picozzi 3
c. Constitutive laws for geomaterials Mancuso 3
d. Seismic base isolation and dissipative systems De Luca/Serino 3
5-6 Two elective courses proposed by the mentor of each PhD student 9+9


 Second Year Courses
Course Title Professor CFU
1 Seismic reliability of structures Iervolino 3
2 Natural catastrophe modelling Zuccaro 3
3 One elective course proposed by the mentor of each PhD student 9


A final examination has to be passed for each course. It may include, in addition to the traditional forms of assessment, the discussion of a presentation outlining:

  • the content of papers published in the international literature on topics related to the content of each course
  • the operative procedures and the results of experimental tests carried out within the course

Elective courses can be chosen among the whole set of courses offered by the research groups of the PhD and/or official BS/MS courses.

Useful Materials